Past Trainees

Past Trainees


VSTP Alumni Pie Graph

Notable alumni, who have made a major impact in their respective fields are highlighted below.

  • Harman Panesar, Ph.D., DVM (2023)
  • Samantha Kovacs, DVM, Ph.D. (2022)
  • Evelyn Bulkeley, Ph.D., DVM (2022)
  • Lisa Ma, Ph.D., DVM (2022)
  • Katelynn Ondek, Ph.D., DVM (2022)
  • Katti Crakes, Ph.D., DVM (2022)
  • Eric Velazquez, Ph.D., DVM (2020)
  • Kate Gates (Vetr), Ph.D., DVM (2020)
  • Jamie White, DVM, Ph.D. (2020)
  • Hannah Pritikin Savage, DVM, Ph.D. (2019)
  • Emily Ann Brown (Kotelnicki), DVM, Ph.D. (2019)
  • Caroline Elizabeth Moore, DVM, Ph.D. (2018).
    Dr. Caroline Moore serves San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance as Scientist in Disease Investigations. In this role, she works as a veterinary toxicology researcher  providing molecular and diagnostic toxicology support. She uses toxicology, pathology, molecular diagnostics, and epidemiology to better understand how environmental contaminates such as heavy metals, pesticides, and harmful algal blooms, create roadblocks to wildlife conservation, and how to prevent them. To learn more about veterinary toxicology in conservation contact Dr. Moore at
  • Terza M Brosoff, DVM, Ph.D. (2017)
  • Denise Ferrer Gonzalez, DVM, Ph.D. (2016)
  • Katerine Dee Watson Whitaker, DVM, Ph.D. (2016)
  • Hanine Alyn Elfenbein, DVM, Ph.D. (2016)
  • Katharine Meghan Tomalty Hoadley, DVM, Ph.D. (2016)
  • Kimberly Anne Dodd, DVM, Ph.D. (2015)
    Dr. Dodd did her PhD at CDC. During the height of the 2013-2016 West African Ebola outbreak, she served as a Veterinarian to prevent the spread of Ebola in humans and animals. Since 2017, Dr. Dodd has served as the Director of Plum Island Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, which is located on an island in Long Island Sound and a premium Level-4 Biohazard facility in US to diagnose and study zoonotic diseases.
  • Samantha Jaye McDonnel (Evans), DVM, Ph.D. (2015)
  • Nanelle Rose Barash, DVM, Ph.D. (2015)
  • Alissa Claire Blum (Burnett), DVM, Ph.D. (2014)
  • Amber Ford Roegner, DVM, Ph.D. (2014)
  • Elizabeth Emlika Waffarn, DVM, Ph.D. (2014)
  • Alexander Eugene Davies, DVM, Ph.D. (2014)
  • Roxann Stephanie Brooks (Motroni), DVM, Ph.D. (2013)
  • Jessica Marie Morgan, DVM, Ph.D. (2013)
  • Kristin A Trott, DVM, Ph.D. (2013)
  • Nili Karmi, DVM, Ph.D. (2012)
  • Jessica Rose Spengler (Levine), DVM, Ph.D. (2012)
  • Brian Callan Leonard, DVM, Ph.D. (2012)
  • Kristin Nicole Grimsrud, DVM, Ph.D. (2012)
  • Jeffrey William Norris, DVM, PhD (2012)
    Dr. Norris is an Assistant Professor of Pharmacology at Midwestern University, College of Veterinary Medicine


  • Bethany Paige Cummings, DVM, PhD (2011)
  • Alice Peiyu (Fitzpatrick) Liou, DVM, Ph.D. (2010)
  • Ingrid Edwards (Cornax), DVM, Ph.D. (2010), Associate Scientific Director in Nonclinical Safety at Janssen R&D, LLC.


  • Thomas Barclay Waltzek, DVM, Ph.D. (2010)
    Dr. Waltzek is an Associate Professor, Department of Infectious Disease and Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine at University of Florida.  Dr. Waltzek is a highly productive investigator and has published 68 articles.
  • Brian Houston Bird, DVM, Ph.D. (2009).
    Dr. Bird did his PhD work at Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and then as Research Scientist at CDC for 5 years. Dr. Bird served as the lead investigator of the CDC and US government Laboratory Task Force in the early stages of the 2013-2016 West African Ebola outbreak, and later as the overall leader of CDC field-diagnostic activities in Sierra Leone. Currently, as a senior research scientist at UC Davis One Health Institute, Dr. Bird leads efforts within the PREDICT2-USAID ($125M) project  to determine the animal origins of ebolaviruses where Dr. Bird and his collaborators discovered a new species of ebolavirus (Bombali virus), and Marburg virus in Sierra Leone. Dr. Bird is also the lead PI of the PREEMPT-DARPA project ($9.4M) to conduct in-depth Lassa virus surveillance and to develop novel vaccine approaches for Lassa fever and Ebola viruses.
  • Jennifer Ann Larsen, DVM, Ph.D. (2008)
    Dr. Larsen is a Professor of Clinical Nutrition in the Department of Molecular Biosciences in the School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis. Her research is focused on the clinical nutrition of dogs and cats, nutrient bioavailability, and amino acid nutrition.
  • Debbie Lupin Chou, DVM, Ph.D. (2007)
  • Joyce (Riehl)-Voss, DVM, Ph.D. (2006)
  • Kristin Dawn Evans, DVM, Ph.D. (2006)
  • Cara Lisa Field, DVM, Ph.D. (2005)
  • Sara M Thomasy, DVM, Ph.D. (2005)
    Dr. Thomasy is a board-certified Veterinary ophthalmologist and an associate professor at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. She was a Recipient of National Eye Institute K08 award and currently is an MPI on National Eye Institute Audacious Goals Initiative U24 to identify new nonhuman primate models of heritable retinal disease. Dr. Thomasy is also an MPI on a National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences U01 grant to study ocular toxicity of inhaled nanomaterials. She is a highly productive investigator (79 articles) and identified a naturally occurring nonhuman primate model of inherited retinal disease: a homozygous R565Q missense mutation in the catalytic domain of PDE6C, a cone-specific phototransduction enzyme associated with achromatopsia in humans. This nonhuman primate model of cone disorder will not only serve as a therapeutic testing ground for achromatopsia gene replacement, but also for optimization of gene editing in the macula and of cone cell replacement in general (J Clin Invest 2019 Feb 1;129(2):863-874).