Elephants are susceptible to infection with the same form of tuberculosis that infects human beings. Learning more about this important health concern for elephants, therefore, has the potential not only to help wild and captive elephants but also to protect human health. Dr. Jaime Landolfi has led work to develop elephant-specific molecular assays, similar to assays that exist for humans and cattle, to detect differences in immune functional responses between elephants infected or not infected with tuberculosis. This work represents the foundation for future research into elephant immune responses and the immunopathogenesis of tuberculosis in this species. Read more.

Training Programs

Residency Program

ZPP offers a three-year residency training program in anatomic pathology. This program provides the training and experience to prepare residents for careers in zoo, wildlife, avian and or aquatic animal pathology. Residents will be eligible for the anatomic pathology certification examination of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP) and for a master’s degree upon successful completion of the program.

This training program provides exposure to an extraordinary array of species from zoological institutions, local and national wildlife agencies as well as training in domestic animal pathology. Ph.D. training may be pursued after the completion of the three-year residency.

Residents spend the bulk of the first year studying domestic animal pathology in the University of Illinois Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and Department of Pathobiology in Urbana. Residents then rotate to the Chicago area for the final two years to study mostly non-domestic animal pathology. Graduates of the program work in a variety of settings including academia, zoological institutions, private diagnostic laboratories and government agencies.

Position announcements are typically posted in late summer on the ACVP website for positions starting on or about August 1 of the following year. ZPP residency program inquiries can be directed to Dr. Karen Terio at kterio@illinois.edu.

Please note the ZPP residency application process is separate from the application process for the anatomic pathology residency offered by the Department of Pathobiology.

Applicants wishing to apply to both programs must submit two separate applications.

Externships for Veterinary Students

Three- to six-week externships are offered for third- and fourth-year veterinary students interested in gaining exposure to all aspects of zoological pathology. Externs conduct gross necropsies and microscopic evaluation of diagnostic cases in conjunction with residents and staff pathologists. Background reading and research for diagnostic cases is expected of externs as is participation in weekly gross and histopathology seminars. Special projects arising from case materials may also be pursued.

Daily schedules are determined by the current day’s caseload. Whenever possible, participation in necropsies is the priority. Teaching sets of classic non-domestic animal gross and histologic lesions are available for study as are copies of important published papers and literature. The ZPP has a full library of reference texts and archives of case material that are available for individual study if interest and time permit.

To apply, students are asked to send a copy of their CV, letter of interest, requested externship dates, and names of three references (letters are not necessary) to Dr. Karen Terio at kterio@illinois.edu.

The externship program is highly competitive; available slots are often filled as far as one year in advance.

Externship positions are not open to graduate veterinarians. Housing is not provided, although there are several low-cost options in the area.