UK Graduate Student Spotlight: Steffanie Burk

Burk?s main research focus is the development of a western blot test for Parascaris equorum.

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Name: Steffanie Burk
From: Harmony, Penn.
Degrees and institute where received: MEd, Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, Pa.
BA, Biology, Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, Pa.
PhD candidate, Animal Science, University of Kentucky

Steffanie Burk decided to pursue her doctorate degree in the University of Kentucky’s (UK) Department of Animal Science because of UK’s reputation for equine research.

“After talking with Dr. Mary Rossano (MS, PhD) about her parasitology research, I felt that the University of Kentucky would be the best match for me,” Burk said.

Burk’s main research focus is the development of a western blot test for Parascaris equorum, a parasitic roundworm that commonly affects young horses. P. equorum is found worldwide and is commonly referred to as the ascarid. The parasite usually infects horses younger than 18 months while older horses are commonly immune to infection. Severe infections can lead to respiratory signs, anorexia, weight loss, depression, colic, or even intestinal rupture

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