Ross P Tarara

University of California, Davis, Davis, California, United States

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Publications (43)150.95 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Background Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the abnormal thickening of the ventricles and an increase in cardiac mass.Methods Pedigree analyses involving 108 rhesus macaques with pronounced HCM were performed.ResultsAnalyses revealed a strong genetic predisposition to this disease.Conclusions Macaques are ideal for investigating HCM because of their marked similarity to humans genetically, physiologically, and anatomically.
    Journal of Medical Primatology 05/2014; · 1.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to determine the 12-h fasting preprandial and 2-h postprandial serum bile acid concentration (SBAC) reference intervals for healthy, adult rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). We hypothesized that the mean 2-h postprandial SBAC would be significantly higher than the mean preprandial SBAC. We included 40 (24 male, 16 female) macaques after confirming that their health records, physical examinations, CBC, serum chemistry panels, and urinalyses were all within normal limits. In addition, hepatitis A titers were determined, an ultrasound examination of the liver was performed, and two 16-gauge ultrasound guided percutaneous liver biopsies were collected and submitted for histopathology. Macaques were confirmed healthy according to hepatitis A screens and sonographic and histologic evaluation of hepatic tissue. Within 2 wk of the screening procedures, preprandial and postprandial SBACs were measured. Preprandial SBAC (mean ± 1 SD) was 11.1 ± 1.9 μmol/L and postprandial SBAC was 19.7 ± 8.0 μmol/L, which was significantly higher than the preprandial value. Sex and hepatitis titers did not significantly influence preprandial and postprandial SBAC. The current study indicates that the SBAC reference values for rhesus macaques are higher than those reported for humans and companion animals.
    Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science: JAALAS 01/2013; 52(4):444-447. · 1.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neoplasia in juvenile (younger than 5 y) rhesus macaques has been estimated to represent only approximately 1.4% of all occurrences of spontaneous neoplasia. Here we report an unusual case of a 3.75-y-old primiparous female rhesus macaque that was euthanized due to poor prognosis associated with progressive anemia, marked hepatomegaly, and radiographic evidence of meta- static neoplasia. Postmortem examination revealed an invasive, hemorrhagic hepatic mass that effaced approximately 70% of the liver parenchyma and had evidence of metastatic spread to multiple abdominal organs, the lungs, and the pituitary gland. Neoplastic polygonal cells lined large necrohemorrhagic cavities and exhibited marked anisocytosis and anisokaryosis, with frequent multinucleate cells. There was no desmoplasia associated with the primary neoplasm or metastases. Immunohistochemical studies revealed the neoplastic cells to be diffusely reactive with pancytokeratin, cytokeratin 7, and cytokeratin 8/18 antibodies and rarely reactive with carcinoembryonic antigen antibodies. The cells did not react with vimentin, S100, CD31, or factor VIII antibodies. Tumor morphology and immunophenotype led to the diagnosis of anaplastic hepatocellular carcinoma. This report represents the first known case of metastatic liver neoplasia in a rhesus macaque. The young age of this animal and the aggressive nature of the neoplasm are highly unusual and reminiscent of adolescent onset hepatocellular carcinoma in humans.
    Comparative medicine 01/2013; 63(5):448-53. · 1.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We reported previously that while prolonged tenofovir monotherapy of macaques infected with virulent simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) resulted invariably in the emergence of viral mutants with reduced in vitro drug susceptibility and a K65R mutation in reverse transcriptase, some animals controlled virus replication for years. Transient CD8+ cell depletion or short-term tenofovir interruption within 1 to 5 years of treatment demonstrated that a combination of CD8+ cell-mediated immune responses and continued tenofovir therapy was required for sustained suppression of viremia. We report here follow-up data on 5 such animals that received tenofovir for 8 to 14 years. Although one animal had a gradual increase in viremia from 3 years onwards, the other 4 tenofovir-treated animals maintained undetectable viremia with occasional viral blips (≤ 300 RNA copies/ml plasma). When tenofovir was withdrawn after 8 to 10 years from three animals with undetectable viremia, the pattern of occasional episodes of low viremia (≤ 3600 RNA/ml plasma) continued throughout the 10-month follow-up period. These animals had low virus levels in lymphoid tissues, and evidence of multiple SIV-specific immune responses. Under certain conditions (i.e., prolonged antiviral therapy initiated early after infection; viral mutants with reduced drug susceptibility) a virus-host balance characterized by strong immunologic control of virus replication can be achieved. Although further research is needed to translate these findings into clinical applications, these observations provide hope for a functional cure of HIV infection via immunotherapeutic strategies that boost antiviral immunity and reduce the need for continuous antiretroviral therapy.
    Retrovirology 07/2012; 9:57. · 5.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We here report a spontaneous case of meningoencephalitis due to Listeria monocytogenes in an adult primiparous rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) during an outbreak of listeriosis in an outdoor enclosure. Clinical signs included tremors, abnormal posture, and altered mental status. Hematology and analyses of cerebrospinal fluid were consistent with bacterial infection. Pure cultures of L. monocytogenes were recovered from the placenta-abortus, cerebrospinal fluid, and brain tissue. The macaque did not respond to treatment and was euthanized. Histopathologic examination of the brain revealed acute meningoencephalitis. This case represents an unusual clinical and pathologic presentation of listeriosis in a nonhuman primate in which the dam and fetus both were affected.
    Comparative medicine 01/2012; 62(5):443-7. · 1.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In sub-Saharan Africa, HIV-1 infection frequently occurs in the context of other coinfecting pathogens, most importantly, Mycobacterium tuberculosis and malaria parasites. The consequences are often devastating, resulting in enhanced morbidity and mortality. Due to the large number of confounding factors influencing pathogenesis in coinfected people, we sought to develop a nonhuman primate model of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-malaria coinfection. In sub-Saharan Africa, Plasmodium falciparum is the most common malaria parasite and is responsible for most malaria-induced deaths. The simian malaria parasite Plasmodium fragile can induce clinical symptoms, including cerebral malaria in rhesus macaques, that resemble those of P. falciparum infection in humans. Thus, based on the well-characterized rhesus macaque model of SIV infection, this study reports the development of a novel rhesus macaque SIV-P. fragile coinfection model to study human HIV-P. falciparum coinfection. Using this model, we show that coinfection is associated with an increased, although transient, risk of both HIV and malaria transmission. Specifically, SIV-P. fragile coinfected macaques experienced an increase in SIV viremia that was temporarily associated with an increase in potential SIV target cells and systemic immune activation during acute parasitemia. Conversely, primary parasitemia in SIV-P. fragile coinfected animals resulted in higher gametocytemia that subsequently translated into higher oocyst development in mosquitoes. To our knowledge, this is the first animal model able to recapitulate the increased transmission risk of both HIV and malaria in coinfected humans. Therefore, this model could serve as an essential tool to elucidate distinct immunological, virological, and/or parasitological parameters underlying disease exacerbation in HIV-malaria coinfected people.
    Journal of Virology 09/2011; 85(22):11655-63. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis primarily produces a multifocal distribution of pulmonary granulomas in which the pathogen resides. Accordingly, quantitative assessment of the bacterial load and pathology is a substantial challenge in tuberculosis. Such assessments are critical for studies of the pathogenesis and for the development of vaccines and drugs in animal models of experimental M. tuberculosis infection. Stereology enables unbiased quantitation of three-dimensional objects from two-dimensional sections and thus is suited to quantify histological lesions. We have developed a protocol for stereological analysis of the lung in rhesus macaques inoculated with a pathogenic clinical strain of M. tuberculosis (Erdman strain). These animals exhibit a pattern of infection and tuberculosis similar to that of naturally infected humans. Conditions were optimized for collecting lung samples in a nonbiased, random manner. Bacterial load in these samples was assessed by a standard plating assay, and granulomas were graded and enumerated microscopically. Stereological analysis provided quantitative data that supported a significant correlation between bacterial load and lung granulomas. Thus this stereological approach enables a quantitative, statistically valid analysis of the impact of M. tuberculosis infection in the lung and will serve as an essential tool for objectively comparing the efficacy of drugs and vaccines.
    AJP Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology 08/2011; 301(5):L731-8. · 3.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Adenoviruses are DNA viruses that naturally infect many vertebrates, including humans and monkeys, and cause a wide range of clinical illnesses in humans. Infection from individual strains has conventionally been thought to be species-specific. Here we applied the Virochip, a pan-viral microarray, to identify a novel adenovirus (TMAdV, titi monkey adenovirus) as the cause of a deadly outbreak in a closed colony of New World monkeys (titi monkeys; Callicebus cupreus) at the California National Primate Research Center (CNPRC). Among 65 titi monkeys housed in a building, 23 (34%) developed upper respiratory symptoms that progressed to fulminant pneumonia and hepatitis, and 19 of 23 monkeys, or 83% of those infected, died or were humanely euthanized. Whole-genome sequencing of TMAdV revealed that this adenovirus is a new species and highly divergent, sharing <57% pairwise nucleotide identity with other adenoviruses. Cultivation of TMAdV was successful in a human A549 lung adenocarcinoma cell line, but not in primary or established monkey kidney cells. At the onset of the outbreak, the researcher in closest contact with the monkeys developed an acute respiratory illness, with symptoms persisting for 4 weeks, and had a convalescent serum sample seropositive for TMAdV. A clinically ill family member, despite having no contact with the CNPRC, also tested positive, and screening of a set of 81 random adult blood donors from the Western United States detected TMAdV-specific neutralizing antibodies in 2 individuals (2/81, or 2.5%). These findings raise the possibility of zoonotic infection by TMAdV and human-to-human transmission of the virus in the population. Given the unusually high case fatality rate from the outbreak (83%), it is unlikely that titi monkeys are the native host species for TMAdV, and the natural reservoir of the virus is still unknown. The discovery of TMAdV, a novel adenovirus with the capacity to infect both monkeys and humans, suggests that adenoviruses should be monitored closely as potential causes of cross-species outbreaks.
    PLoS Pathogens 07/2011; 7(7):e1002155. · 8.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The authors describe a selection of normal findings and common naturally occurring lesions in the reproductive system of female macaques, including changes in the ovaries, uterus, cervix, vagina, and mammary glands. Normal features of immature ovaries, uteri, and mammary glands are described. Common non-neoplastic lesions in the ovaries include cortical mineralization, polyovular follicles, cysts, ovarian surface epithelial hyperplasia, and ectopic ovarian tissue. Ovarian neoplasms include granulosa cell tumors, teratomas, and ovarian surface epithelial tumors. Common non-neoplastic uterine findings include loss of features of normal cyclicity, abnormal bleeding, adenomyosis, endometriosis, epithelial plaques, and pregnancy-associated vascular remodeling. Hyperplastic and neoplastic lesions of the uterus include endometrial polyps, leiomyomas, and rarely endometrial hyperplasia and endometrial adenocarcinoma. Vaginitis is common. Cervical lesions include endocervical squamous metaplasia, polyps, and papillomavirus-associated lesions. Lesions in the mammary gland are most often proliferative and range from ductal hyperplasia to invasive carcinoma. Challenges to interpretation include the normal or pathologic absence of menstrual cyclicity and the potential misinterpretation of sporadic lesions, such as epithelial plaques or papillomavirus-associated lesions. Interpretation of normal and pathologic findings is best accomplished with knowledge of the life stage, reproductive history, and hormonal status of the animal.
    Toxicologic Pathology 12/2008; 36(7):142s-163s. · 2.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Socially inhibited individuals show increased vulnerability to viral infections, and this has been linked to increased activity of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). To determine whether structural alterations in SNS innervation of lymphoid tissue might contribute to these effects, we assayed the density of catecholaminergic nerve fibers in 13 lymph nodes from seven healthy adult rhesus macaques that showed stable individual differences in propensity to socially affiliate (Sociability). Tissues from Low Sociable animals showed a 2.8-fold greater density of catecholaminergic innervation relative to tissues from High Sociable animals, and this was associated with a 2.3-fold greater expression of nerve growth factor (NGF) mRNA, suggesting a molecular mechanism for observed differences. Low Sociable animals also showed alterations in lymph node expression of the immunoregulatory cytokine genes IFNG and IL4, and lower secondary IgG responses to tetanus vaccination. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that structural differences in lymphoid tissue innervation might potentially contribute to relationships between social temperament and immunobiology.
    Brain Behavior and Immunity 08/2008; 22(5):717-26. · 5.61 Impact Factor
  • Brain Behavior and Immunity 05/2008; 22(4):9-9. · 5.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The sympathetic nervous system regulates immune responses in part through direct innervation of lymphoid organs. Recent data indicate that viral infections can alter the structure of lymph node innervation. To determine the molecular mechanisms underlying sympathetic denervation during Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) infection, we assessed the expression of neurotrophic factors and neuromodulatory cytokines within lymph nodes from experimentally infected rhesus macaques. Transcription of nerve growth factor (NGF), brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin-4 (NT4) decreased significantly in vivo during chronic SIV infection, whereas expression of the neuro-inhibitory cytokine interferon-gamma (IFN gamma) was up-regulated. Acute SIV infection of macaque leukocytes in vitro induced similar changes in the expression of neurotrophic and neuro-inhibitory factors, indicative of an innate immune response. Statistical mediation analyses of data from in vivo lymph node gene expression suggested that coordinated changes in expression of multiple neuromodulatory factors may contribute to SIV-induced depletion of catecholaminergic varicosities within lymphoid tissue. Given previous evidence that lymph node catecholaminergic varicosities can enhance SIV replication in vivo, these results are consistent with the hypothesis that reduced expression of neurotrophic factors during infection could constitute a neurobiological component of the innate immune response to viral infection.
    Brain Behavior and Immunity 03/2008; 22(2):185-94. · 5.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Diarrhea is the gastrointestinal disease most frequently encountered in captive rhesus macaques. The precise pathogenic mechanisms underlying chronic diarrhea in nonhuman primates are not well understood, but a persistent inflammatory component has been implicated strongly. This study evaluated the inflammatory changes in the colon of macaques with diarrhea and assessed the efficacy of a 10-d course of tylosin in a cohort of 21 animals with chronic diarrhea. Stool quality was evaluated daily, and fecal consistency was scored. Colonoscopies were performed; biopsy samples were characterized histologically and assayed for expression of TNFalpha mRNA. Blood samples collected pre-, mid-, and post-treatment were assayed for C-reactive protein (CRP). The results indicated that 63% of the animals receiving tylosin showed improvement in stool quality, compared with 10% in the sham-treated group. Histologically, 82% of animals in the tylosin-treated group had a reduction in the severity of colonic lesions post-treatment, compared with 40% of animals in the sham group. The amount of TNFalpha mRNA before treatment did not differ from that afterward in either tylosin- or sham-treated animals. CRP levels serially decreased in tylosin-treated monkeys; the average post-treatment CRP value for tylosin-treated animals was 11.96 +/- 3.86 microg/ml compared with 26.48 +/- 4.86 microg/ml for sham-treated controls. In conclusion, tylosin significantly improved the fecal consistency score, significantly decreased colonic inflammation, and significantly decreased serum CRP levels post-treatment in rhesus macaques with chronic diarrhea.
    Comparative medicine 02/2008; 58(1):81-7. · 1.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Behavioral processes regulate immune system function in part via direct sympathetic innervation of lymphoid organs, but little is known about the factors that regulate the architecture of neural fibers in lymphoid tissues. In the present study, we find that experimentally imposed social stress can enhance the density of catecholaminergic neural fibers within axillary lymph nodes from adult rhesus macaques. This effect is linked to increased transcription of the key sympathetic neurotrophin nerve growth factor and occurs predominately in extrafollicular regions of the paracortex that contain T-lymphocytes and macrophages. Functional consequences of stress-induced increases in innervation density include reduced type I interferon response to viral infection and increased replication of the simian immunodeficiency virus. These data reveal a surprising degree of behaviorally induced plasticity in the structure of lymphoid innervation and define a novel pathway by which social factors can modulate immune response and viral pathogenesis.
    Journal of Neuroscience 09/2007; 27(33):8857-65. · 6.91 Impact Factor
  • Brain Behavior and Immunity 05/2006; 20(3):65-66. · 5.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Clinical and in vitro studies have shown that activity of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) can stimulate lentivirus replication. To define the potential anatomical basis for this effect, we analyzed the spatial relationship between catecholaminergic neural fibers and sites of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) replication in lymph nodes from rhesus macaques experimentally infected with SIVmac251. Viral replication was mapped by in situ hybridization for SIV env, gag, and nef RNA, and catecholaminergic varicosities from the ANS were mapped by sucrose phosphate glyoxylic acid chemofluorescence. Spatial statistical analyses showed that the likelihood of active SIV replication increased by 3.9-fold in the vicinity of catecholaminergic varicosities (P < 0.0001). The densities of both ANS innervation and SIV replication differed across cortical, paracortical, and medullary regions of the lymph node, but analyses of each region separately continued to show increased replication of SIV adjacent to catecholaminergic varicosities. Ancillary analyses ruled out the possibility that SIV-induced alterations in lymph node architecture might create a spurious spatial association. These data support human clinical studies and in vitro molecular analyses showing that catecholamine neurotransmitters from the ANS can increase lentiviral replication by identifying a specific anatomic context for interactions between ANS neural fibers and replication of SIV in lymphoid tissue.
    Journal of Virology 05/2006; 80(9):4326-35. · 5.08 Impact Factor
  • Brain Behavior and Immunity - BRAIN BEHAV IMMUN. 01/2005; 19(4).
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    ABSTRACT: T-lymphocyte migratory circuits in human and nonhuman primates remain largely unexplored due to the difficulty of defining cell trafficking in vivo. However, this knowledge may reveal critical aspects of immunity and T-lymphocyte homeostasis in both health and disease. Furthermore, in vivo T-lymphocyte trafficking studies may facilitate defining mechanism(s) of immune dysfunction in the nonhuman primate model for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Here, we developed a model for in vivo T-lymphocyte trafficking in nonhuman primates, and delineated homing characteristics of unstimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) to lymphoid and nonlymphoid compartments in healthy rhesus macaques. T-lymphocyte homing of autologous, carboxyfluorescein diacetate succinimidyl ester (CFSE)-labeled PBMCs was defined within 48 h of intravenous transfer. The highest relative frequency of CFSE+ T lymphocytes was observed in peripheral blood and spleen. Expression of chemokine receptor CCR7 and its ligands correlated with recirculation of T lymphocytes through the periphery and homing to paracortical regions of lymph node, where cells remained largely excluded from B-cell follicles. T-lymphocyte trafficking was also detected to the liver and bone marrow, and at low levels to the thymus and small intestine. The liver contained the highest proportion of CD45RA- T lymphocytes, consistent with homing of activated/memory T lymphocytes to this nonlymphoid site. Our data suggest that lymphoid and nonlymphoid organs are under continuous immunosurveillance in healthy macaques, and that this model may serve to investigate aberrant patterns in disease.
    Journal of Immunological Methods 10/2004; 293(1-2):23-42. · 2.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies have demonstrated that tenofovir (9-[2-(phosphonomethoxy)propyl]adenine; PMPA) treatment is usually very effective in suppressing viremia in macaques infected with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV). The present study focuses on a subset of infant macaques that were chronically infected with highly virulent SIVmac251, and for which prolonged tenofovir treatment failed to significantly suppress viral RNA levels in plasma despite the presence of tenofovirsusceptible virus at the onset of therapy. While untreated animals with similarly high viremia developed fatal immunodeficiency within 3-6 months, these tenofovir-treated animals had significantly improved survival (up to 3.5 years). This clinical benefit occurred even in animals for which tenofovir had little or no effect on CD4 and CD8 lymphocyte counts and antibody responses to SIV and test antigens. Thus, the clinical benefits of tenofovir were larger than predicted by plasma viral RNA levels and other routine laboratory parameters.
    JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes 09/2004; 36(4):900-14. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The reverse transcriptase inhibitor 9-[2-(phosphonomethoxy)propyl]adenine (PMPA; tenofovir) was previously found to offer strong prophylactic and therapeutic benefits in an infant macaque model of pediatric human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. We now summarize the toxicity and safety of PMPA in these studies. When a range of PMPA doses (4 to 30 mg/kg of body weight administered subcutaneously once daily) was administered to 39 infant macaques for a short period of time (range, 1 day to 12 weeks), no adverse effects on their health or growth were observed; this included a subset of 12 animals which were monitored for more than 2 years. In contrast, daily administration of a high dose of PMPA (30 mg/kg subcutaneously) for prolonged periods of time (>8 to 21 months) to 13 animals resulted in a Fanconi-like syndrome (proximal renal tubular disorder) with glucosuria, aminoaciduria, hypophosphatemia, growth restriction, bone pathology (osteomalacia), and reduced clearance of PMPA. The adverse effects were reversible or were alleviated following either complete withdrawal of PMPA treatment or reduction of the daily regimen from 30 mg/kg to 2.5 to 10 mg/kg subcutaneously. Finally, to evaluate the safety of a prolonged low-dose treatment regimen, two newborn macaques were started on a 10-mg/kg/day subcutaneous regimen; these animals are healthy and have normal bone density and growth after 5 years of daily treatment. In conclusion, our findings suggest that chronic daily administration of a high dose of PMPA results in adverse effects on kidney and bone, while short-term administration of relatively high doses and prolonged low-dose administration are safe.
    Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 06/2004; 48(5):1469-87. · 4.57 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

825 Citations
150.95 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1996–2013
    • University of California, Davis
      • Department of Psychology
      Davis, California, United States
  • 2008
    • Roche Institute of Molecular Biology
      Nutley, New Jersey, United States
  • 2006–2008
    • University of California, Los Angeles
      • Department of Medicine
      Los Angeles, CA, United States
  • 1997–2003
    • University of Nebraska at Lincoln
      • Department of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
      Lincoln, NE, United States