Associate Research Animal Veterinary Pathologist
Andres Mejia’s email
ALIGNED RESEARCH FOCUS
My goals are to advance as a pathologist and scientist in the fields of pathology of non-human primate models of human disease and mechanisms of disease and to become a leader in these areas. I aim to continue to establish my own collaborative studies with scientists in different areas, with particular interest in HIV, SIV, opportunistic infections, immuno-suppression, aging and neuropathology, and vaccines using NHP as models of human disease. Furthermore, I am very interested in discovering new molecular and serological methods of early diagnoses (such as multiplex diagnoses of enteropathogens –shigella, salmonella, yersinia and pathogenic E. coli, ECMV, and parvovirus) and other viral innate and acquired conditions that may produce confounding effects in animal studies. Additionally, I have a great passion and interest in teaching and mentoring in the field of pathology and laboratory animal medicine.
ORGAN SYSTEM/DISEASE FOCUS
Infectious diaseases, SIV, HIV, opportunistic infections
As a veterinary pathologist at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center, University of Wisconsin and previously at the University of Puerto Rico, Caribbean Primate Research Center; Harvard Medical School, New England Primate Research Center, and formerly as a Laboratory Animal Veterinarian at the Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), I have participated in numerous research projects as a pathologist, veterinarian and collaborator in colony pathology surveillance and diagnoses, toxicological studies, and basic research projects on vaccines, HIV, SIV, opportunistic infections research, artificial organs, organ transplantation, toxicology, pharmacology and immune modulation. Moreover I was the Comparative Medicine and Pathology Unit Director at the Caribbean Primate Research Center. Additionally, I have conducted and executed my own research in human papillomavirus where we developed a unique animal model to test HPV vaccines and to standardize the rabbit animal model method of challenge. The above projects were developed at Penn State in an inter-institutional collaboration with Culp TD, Cladel NM, Balogh KK, Budgeon LR, Buck CB, Christensen ND from the Gittlen Cancer Research Foundation, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, and the Laboratory of Cellular Oncology, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland. Furthermore, I am currently finishing the project, “Epizoology and pathogenesis of rhesus parvovirus in normal and SIV-infected rhesus macaques”, where we surveyed the prevalence of this erythrovirus in the NEPRC colony and other primate colonies, and studied the impact of this virus. Additionally, we are researching improvements in diagnostic methods for rhesus parvovirus. This last project is in collaboration with Kuei-Chin Lin, Heather Knight, Donling Xia, John MacKey, Susan Westmoreland, and Keith Mansfield at HMS, NEPRC. My responsibility at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Wisconsin National Primate Research Center is to assess the health status of the colony, develop the Veterinary Pathology division within the WNPRC, develop collaborative research projects in different scientific disciplines, teach Veterinary Pathology and Laboratory Animal Medicine, and develop my own research in infectious diseases.