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Dr. Fernando Bauermann

Vet Med Faces of Research: Dr. Fernando Bauermann

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

For the past 10 years, Dr. Fernando Bauermann has been conducting research. An assistant professor in the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology at Oklahoma State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, his expertise is virology or the study of viruses.

“Right now I have three different research lines in my laboratory,” said Bauermann. “In the first we are looking for different virus populations in specific animal populations. Our goal is to monitor whether viruses are circulating and perhaps identify new viruses or emerging viruses in specific animal populations. The second line focuses on checking the efficacy of different methods in activating viruses, which will support plans to avoid the spread of specific viruses.”

Bauermann recently received a National Institute of Food and Agriculture grant to support his third and newest line of research.

“We are just starting the third line of research which looks at possible long-term effects of virus infections on the immunity of calves. Specifically, we are looking at a virus called bovine viral diarrhea virus or BVDV. BVDV affects the thymus of calves. The thymus is a real important organ for young animals as it plays a major role in the immune system that fights infection. It is a tissue that doesn’t regenerate. Calves infected with BVD have had 50 percent of their thymus destroyed. By reducing the thymus, these calves could suffer long-term effects on their immune system. Our goal is to characterize those long-term effects.”

Bauermann will be doing RNA sequencing to see the differences in the genes that are being expressed and the different levels of expression in infected and not infected calves. He likes to use new technologies and apply them to his research. He also enjoys having multiple lines of research.

“I like the dynamics of learning different things at the same time and not having to focus on only one specific topic. Research is challenging. Usually things don’t work the way we intend or want. A good day is when things go as planned, when we are able to test our hypothesis or simply when the assays work the way they should. I’m really happy when I see that my work is being used by other researchers or is being applied to my field. If I’m making a difference in my field, I can see changes because of my work.”

Originally from Brazil, Bauermann earned his DVM, MSc, and Ph.D., from the Federal University of Santa Maria, Brazil. Before joining OSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine, he was a visiting scientist at the USDA’s Ruminant Diseases and Immunology Unit in Ames, Iowa, and more recently a virologist at the Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory at South Dakota State University.

Vet Med Faces of Research is a monthly series designed to inform the public about the impact of the numerous studies being conducted at Oklahoma State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Advancing knowledge and understanding for the benefit of the lives and livelihoods of the people of Oklahoma is a critical element of OSU’s land-grant mission.

If you would like to support research at the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine, please contact Ashley Hesser, assistant director of development with the OSU Foundation, at ahesser@osugiving.com or (405) 385-0715.

MEDIA CONTACT: Derinda Blakeney, APR | OSU College of Veterinary Medicine | 405-744-6740 | derinda@okstate.edu

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