Sharon Witonsky, DVM, PhD, DACVIM
Associate Professor, Equine Field Service
Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences
The long-term goal of the Witonsky lab is unraveling the immunopathology of different pathogens and improving disease outcomes. Current efforts are focused predominantly on Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis (EPM). We have used both murine and equine models of EPM to understand the role of immune system and Sarcocystis neurona (S. neurona) in disease development and progression. Other current studies have focused on identifying potential biomarkers to improve the accuracy for diagnosing EPM-affected horses, assessing whether there is a genetic component to disease through GWAS studies, and identifying medications/methods that can improve the immune response and disease outcomes. In addition to EPM related studies, further current and recent collaborations involve assessing the immune response of immunomodulators, equine cancer models and asthma. In previous efforts, I worked extensively to develop a respiratory model of Brucella abortus vaccine and challenge and methods to understand and upregulate the immune response of Brucella vaccines to pathogen challenges.