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Vickie Ruggiero

Vickie RuggieroCooperating Doctoral Program: Comparative Medicine and Integrative Biology Program

EITS Track: Biomedical Toxicology

Education: B.S., Veterinary Technology, Michigan State University; M.P.H., Michigan State University

Research Interests:
My current research examines interventions to prevent the transmission and reduce the prevalence of bovine leukemia virus (BLV). I am particularly interested in investigating the negative effect of BLV on the immune system. BLV preferentially infects B-cells, but only approximately 1/3 of infected animals develop leukemia and only around 5% of infected animals develop the lymphoma which was once considered the hallmark of the disease. Animals that do become leukemic often also have high proviral loads, and the clonal expansion of B-cells seems to occur mainly in CD5+B-cells - a recent finding that is as-yet unexplained mechanistically, and something I'm interested in investigating to expand our understanding of BLV pathogenesis. I'm also interested in functional evaluations of immune function in infected animals because infected animals have significantly decreased survival compared to non-infected herd-mates, which is attributed to a variety of infections and illnesses, implying an impairment of the immune system.

Major Professor: Paul Bartlett, Large Animal Clinical Sciences

Contact: woodsvi1@msu.edu