Coppoc One Health Lecture to Focus on Zoonotic Spillover

Friday, October 25, 2019

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The sixth annual Coppoc One Health Lecture at the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine will feature Dr. Raina Plowright, an infectious disease ecologist, epidemiologist, and wildlife veterinarian.  Her talk will focus on the concept of pathogen spillover and will take place Thursday, November 7, at 3:30 p.m. in Lynn Hall, Room 1136. The event is free and open to the public — no registration is required.  A light reception will follow the lecture.

The presentation is entitled, “Pathogen Spillover: Lessons Learned from Emerging Bat Viruses.” According to Dr. Plowright, viruses that originate in bats may be the most notorious for spilling over from wildlife into domestic animals and humans. Understanding how these infections filter through ecological systems to cause disease in humans is of great importance to public health.

Dr. Plowright is an assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Montana State University. She received an Australian Fulbright Fellowship and earned a Master of Science in epidemiology and doctorate in ecology from the University of California, Davis. She previously worked as a veterinarian on five continents and was a David H. Smith Fellow in Conservation Research at the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics at Pennsylvania State University.

Dr. Plowright’s research focuses on the dynamics of zoonoses in wildlife, the conservation implications of diseases in wildlife, the transmissions of pathogens across species barriers, and the links between environmental change and disease emergence. Her group focuses on bat pathogens including Hendra virus, rabies virus, and the fungal pathogen causing white nose syndrome. Dr. Plowright uses interdisciplinary approaches to investigate the dynamics of disease systems that connect human and animal populations.

The Coppoc One Health Lecture is held in honor of Dr. Gordon Coppoc, a Purdue professor emeritus of veterinary pharmacology, and his wife, Harriet. A longtime PVM faculty member and former head of the Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Dr. Coppoc also served as director of the Indiana University School of Medicine — West Lafayette and associate dean of the Indiana University School of Medicine.  He retired in December 2014.

Writer(s): Abbey Nickel, Purdue News Service, and Kevin Doerr |

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