ACVP Symposium

COVID-19: Basics, Animal Models and Human Pathology

Sponsored by ACVP and StageBio

Thursday, September 17, 2020

12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time

 Click here for the recording of the symposium! 

Symposium Organizers

  • Alicia Olivier, DVM, PhD, DACVP, Mississippi State University
  • Sanjeev Gumber, BVSc, MVSc, PhD, DACVP, Emory University
  • Deepa Rao, BVSc, MS, PhD, DABT, DACVP, FIATP, StageBio
  • Jerry Ward, DVM, PhD, DACVP, Global VetPathology
  • Ashley Haan, ACVP Innovations Manager


Symposium Overview


Presentation titles

Linda Saif, MS, PhD, Honorary DACVM

The Ohio State University


Emerging Coronaviruses: Global Threats to Humans and Animals

Olga Gonzalez, DVM, DACVP

Southwest National Primate Research Center


Comparative Pathology of Non-human Primate and Rodent Models of COVID-19

Jana Ritter, DVM, DACVP

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)


COVID-19: Pathology from the Pandemic

Timothy Sheahan, PhD

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Broad-Spectrum Antivirals for Pandemic Coronavirus Disease



Linda Saif, MS, PhD, Honorary DACVM

Dr. Linda J. Saif is a Distinguished University Professor at The Ohio State University (OSU) in the Food Animal Health Research Program (CFAES, OARDC) and the College of Veterinary Medicine. At OSU she is the Co-Director of the Virus and Emerging Pathogens Program in the Infectious Disease Institute. She is an elected member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Inventors.

Dr Saif is a virologist and mucosal immunologist, whose coronavirus research spans 4 decades. Her lab focuses on diagnosis, pathogenesis, immunity and vaccines for animal coronaviruses and their interspecies transmission. Dr. Saif worked with WHO and CDC during the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak and with the Ministry of Agriculture in Saudi Arabia on the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus in camels. In 2015, she was the first woman to receive the Wolf Prize in Agriculture. In the Novel Experts Coronavirus Global Expert Landscape, she is listed in the Top 10 in coronavirus vaccine publications. 



Olga Gonzalez, DVM, DACVP

Dr. Olga Gonzalez received her veterinary degree 2005 and completed pathology residency training 2008 at the University Of Wisconsin Madison School Of Veterinary Medicine. Prior to working at Texas Biomedical Research Institute, she worked at Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez Animal Science Department and Caribbean Primate Research Center (CPRC)-University of Puerto Rico Comparative Medicine.

In her current position at Southwest National Primate Research Center Texas Biomedical Research Institute, Dr Gonzales has multiple responsibilities: Provide both anatomic and clinical pathology research, diagnostic and colony support for non-human primates (1,500 baboons, 300 marmosets, 500 macaques, 250 chimpanzees and rodent colonies), identify any potential disease trends in the colony, and generate/ expand the searchable database for future scientific retrospective studies and publications. Perform in-house, collaborative, and contract research pathology support including studies on infectious diseases (T. cruzi, SIV, HIV, HCV, HBV, Lassa, Ebola, Marburg, Zika, SHF, Covid-19), diabetes, amyloidosis, seizures, cardiomyopathy, and reproductive pathology of the baboon. Provide specific gross and histological pathology support for multiple protocols covering a wide range of subjects in support of TX Biomed, affiliated and external scientists, and Non TX Biomed (fee for service) work. Support in-house training to integrate with and provide anatomic pathology support for all BSL3, BSL4, and Animal Rule primate protocols. Support the SNPRC tissue-share program for collaborative research that generates SNPRC income and scientific publications, and makes use of a valuable resource. Identify and publish case reports / case series highlighting the various species housed at the SNPRC as useful, appropriate animal models in order to encourage their increased use and advertise the research resources available at the center. Revise and generate cytopathology reports for clinical pathology laboratory. Support the Texas Biomedical Research Institute’s Summer Intern Program. 



Jana Ritter, DVM, DACVP

Dr. Ritter is the veterinary pathology team lead in the Infectious Diseases Pathology Branch (IDPB) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where she collaborates with CDC investigators on the development of animal models of human and zoonotic infectious diseases, participates in surveillance for pathogens of potential high public health impact, and investigates the pathology and pathogenesis of disease outbreaks.   Dr. Ritter also has interest in the development of minimally invasive tissue sampling methods as alternatives to complete diagnostic autopsy, and co-leads IDPB’s involvement with the Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance (CHAMPS) Network which implements these techniques.


Timothy Sheahan, PhD

Dr. Sheahan is an NIH funded virologist working at the host pathogen interface to develop new methods of viral control. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in Microbiology from the University of New Hampshire in 1999, he moved to Boston to try to make a career in music but soon realized he enjoyed pipetting more than playing guitar. In 2003, he came to UNC Chapel Hill for graduate school joining the laboratory of Ralph Baric to study how the recently emerged SARS coronavirus had jumped from wild animals into humans. After a postdoc on hepatitis C virus with Dr. Charles M. Rice at the Rockefeller University, he became an Investigator at GlaxoSmithKline in 2014 working to develop host targeting small molecules as antivirals. In 2015, he became faculty in the Department of Epidemiology in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. His current research is focused on developing antiviral therapies to treat emerging coronavirus as well as developing models to better understand chronic viral infections of the liver. New and exciting work in collaboration with Dr. Charles Rice is focused on understanding how host genetics affects the development of chronic hepacivirus infection. Dr. Sheahan and colleagues, in collaboration with Gilead Sciences and Emory Institute of Drug Discovery, have accelerated the preclinical development of several broad-spectrum small molecule antiviral drugs which are now in human clinical trial to treat SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19.




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