Alumni

Sondra Lavigne

PhD Candidate, Epidemiology And Veterinary Science
Sondra Lavigne
Academic Institution: University of Pennsylvania Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Cohort Start Year: 2016

FOCUS
Sondra studies how antibiotic use and stewardship in veterinary medicine (both companion and food animals) affects the population health of both animals and humans. More broadly, she is interested in One Health, an interdisciplinary collaborative movement that recognizes that human health is closely interconnected with animal and environmental health.

MORE ABOUT SONDRA
Sondra Lavigne is a fourth-year student in the Epidemiology PhD program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. She is a seventh-year combined degree VMD-PhD student and completed most of her veterinary medical coursework prior to starting her PhD. She now works with UPenn faculty across the veterinary school, medical school and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia on interdisciplinary research initiatives. Prior to joining HPRS and the VMD-PhD program at UPenn, Sondra completed her AB in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University where she graduated summa cum laude. She has previously conducted bench-based research at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Perelman School of Medicine, served as a high school science and math instructor, and worked in private practice as a veterinary technician. Sondra grew up in rural, western Maryland and was active in 4-H and Future Farmers of America in her youth.

DISSERTATION GRANT AWARDEE — JUNE 2018
Antimicrobial Use and Resistance: Intersections of Companion Animal and Public Health

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that at least two million people become infected with antibiotic resistant bacteria annually, causing 23,000 deaths. Antibiotic use is the greatest driver of the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria, although growing evidence indicates that environmental and social factors may play a significant role in their transmission. Local, national, and international institutions have developed policies to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with antibiotic resistant bacteria. These policies have largely focused on the human medical and food animal sectors. Despite veterinary research and recent outbreaks demonstrating the transmission of antibiotic resistant bacteria from pets to people, these policies have largely ignored how pets may impact public health. This study will investigate potential consequences of those policies in the Philadelphia metropolitan area.

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE HPRS DISSERTATION AWARDS, CLICK HERE.

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