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Dr. Jennifer Rudd

The Cowboy Way: Dr. Jennifer Rudd

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Media Contact: Mack Burke | Associate Director of Media Relations | 405-744-5540 |

During her undergraduate studies at Oklahoma State University, Dr. Jennifer Rudd fostered a deep appreciation for the interconnectedness of human and animal health and its impact on the world.

That One Health perspective shaped her into the accomplished scientist and veterinarian she is today.

Rudd — a first-generation American whose parents emigrated from South Africa and Zimbabwe — obtained a bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences from the College of Arts and Sciences in 2008. She continued her academic pursuits by completing a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2011.

After working as a general practitioner for a few years in Columbia, Missouri, and Owasso, Oklahoma, Rudd transitioned back into academia with a renewed passion for research. In 2018, she received a doctoral degree from the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine and joined the faculty ranks in 2018. Now an assistant professor of veterinary pathobiology, Rudd said she couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

“Part of me feels that I lucked into it, but I also know that’s not completely true because I think that each one of us has a bit of a journey to find that perfect job for us,” Rudd said. 

Rudd finds joy in her work, which is evenly divided between teaching and research. She educates second-year veterinary students on infectious diseases and teaches in several other courses. Her research primarily focuses on respiratory viruses, which naturally led her to extensively study COVID-19. Rudd has conducted significant research on the immune system’s response to the virus and ways to improve treatment.

“I just have really great people that I work with, but the other side of it that really drives my passion is that I know what I’m doing is important,” Rudd said.

Rudd’s ultimate objective lies in improving outcomes for individuals grappling with infectious diseases. Her approach involves applied and clinical research, leveraging her degrees from OSU. 

She firmly believes her work is reshaping medical practices and remains deeply passionate about the impact she can make. Each experience and accomplishment throughout her academic and professional journey has fortified her expertise. But it’s the students that continue to inspire her.

Stepping into the classroom each morning, Rudd finds fulfillment in engaging with students, empowering future veterinarians and advancing her field. Rudd has a DVM, but she doesn’t feel she has to fit the traditional model of what people think that needs to be.

“I can take that DVM and use it in ways that really work to make me the best veterinarian and best professional I can be,” Rudd said

Photos by: Phil Shockley

Story by: Mak Vandruff | STATE Magazine

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