Trainees

Christa Cheatham, D.V.M., 1st year Resident

Christa Cheatham is from Martinsville, Indiana, a town just outside of Indianapolis. Her interest in veterinary medicine began when she showed beef cattle, horses, swine, and dogs in 4-H for 10 years. Her first exposure to laboratory animal medicine occurred while working as a laboratory animal caretaker at Purdue University. She then completed her undergraduate studies at Purdue University where she received a bachelor’s degree in Animal Sciences. She also attended Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. During veterinary school, she started the first laboratory animal club, worked for a medical device company, and interned at a contract research organization where she worked with non-human primates. She also participated in a pathology-focused study abroad program in Tokyo, Japan and completed a summer research scholars program studying blast-induced neurotrauma in rats. Consequently, she was fortunate enough to accept a position at University of Missouri’s Comparative Medicine Residency Program where she plans to earn a PhD and pursue ACLAM certification. During her free time, she enjoys hiking, spending time with her Siberian Husky and fiancé, and taking care of her saltwater fish and coral aquarium.

James Chung, D.V.M., 1st year Resident

James was born in Seoul, South Korea and immigrated to the United States when he was 4 years old. He grew up in southern California in an area approximately 20 minutes away from Los Angeles. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of California Davis, where he worked for the UC Davis Campus Veterinary Services during his senior year. This experience ultimately led to James’ decision to pursue laboratory animal medicine. After graduating from UC Davis, James earned his DVM from Iowa State University. During veterinary school he took part in the UC Davis Students Training in Advanced Research (STARS) program and worked at the Iowa State University Laboratory Animal Resources as a veterinary student intern. In his free time, James enjoys playing video games, baking, reading comic books, and eating delicious food.

Jamie McNew, D.V.M., 1st year Resident

Jamie is originally from Kennett Square, PA – located an hour west of Philadelphia. He attended the Pennsylvania State University and earned an honors degree in Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences. His honors thesis was on the effect rumination time has on the milk fatty acid profile in Holsteins. After graduation from Penn State, Jamie earned his DVM from Texas A&M University. During veterinary school, Jamie took part in the Veterinary Medical Student Research Training Program and worked to purify murine pancreatic lipase for development of an immunoassay under Dr. Joerg Steiner in the GI Lab at A&M. As part of the program, he traveled to Germany to assist his mentor in a preclinical trial for pancreatitis treatments using a swine surgical model. This experience ultimately led to Jamie’s decision to pursue laboratory animal medicine. He completed several lab animal externships during vet school, visiting the University of Missouri twice (in person one summer and again remotely during his clinical year). His interest in research led Jamie to want to pursue a residency along which a PhD and he is grateful to have that opportunity at Mizzou. In his free time, Jamie enjoys going on hikes with his girlfriend, Rori, reading Stephen King novels, and binge-watching various shows on Hulu and Netflix.

Shakera Fudge, D.V.M., 2nd year Resident

Shakera Fudge is from Richmond, VA by way of Syracuse, NY. Her interest in veterinary medicine sparked at a young age after watching Dr. Dolittle featuring Eddie Murphy. Yet, her first exposure to laboratory animal medicine occurred while working as a laboratory technician assistant at North Carolina A&T State University (NCA&T) in the Laboratory Animal Resources Unit. Furthermore, as a research scholar, Shakera developed a publication on the impact of confinement swine production on young and adult porcine lung dynamics as it relates to respiratory complications among swine farmers and agricultural workers. She then completed her undergraduate studies at NCA&T where she received a bachelor’s degree in Laboratory Animal Science with certification in Biotechnology. Next, she attended Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine in Alabama. During veterinary school she participated in externships at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo Great Ape House, Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health at Michigan State University, and USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS). While externing with APHIS she participated in the Scrapie and Newcastle Disease outbreaks, as well as assisted veterinary medical officers with inspections of animal facilities. After graduating veterinary school, Shakera reported for duty as a supervisory export veterinary medical officer in Sacramento, CA. She later discovered that along with regulatory medicine, she still had an interest in biomedical research and One Health. Consequently, she was fortunate enough to accept a position at University of Missouri’s Comparative Medicine Residency Program where she plans to earn an MPH and pursue ACLAM certification. During her free time, she enjoys traveling, listening to audiobooks and podcasts, skiing, and trying new restaurants.

Charles Moley, D.V.M., 2nd year Resident

Charles was born and raised in Kirkwood, Missouri, a town just outside St. Louis. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Miami where he worked in the electron microscopy lab of Dr. Jeffrey Prince and was an avid Hurricane athletics fan. Charles then travelled back to his home state to attend Veterinary School at the University of Missouri. At Mizzou, he was a member and eventual senior scholar in the Veterinary Research Scholars Program (VRSP), completing various projects on swine in vitro fertilization in the labs of Dr.’s R. Michael Roberts and Randall Prather. During his clinical years, he completed an additional research project in lab of Dr. Jerod Skyberg in which he worked with neonatal meningitis-associated E. coli. In his free time, Charles enjoys fly fishing, playing guitar and piano, and taking long walks with his fiancé, Lauren, and their dog, Nelson.

Jessica Cayton, D.V.M., 3rd year Resident

Jessica grew up in both South Carolina and North Carolina. She first became interested in veterinary medicine at 12 years old when her guinea pig, Ginger Snap, became sick and her family took him to the local vet. Jessica earned her B.S. in Biology at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN where she was a fast pitch softball pitcher. At Rhodes College, she was introduced to laboratory animal medicine by being an animal caretaker in the biology facility. She also enjoyed working on a research project with cownose stingrays at the Memphis Zoo during her senior year. Jessica graduated from college in May of 2014 and took a job as a veterinary assistant in a small animal practice in North Carolina. She stayed there for a year before applying to North Carolina State University College of Veterinary medicine and being accepted. During veterinary school, Jessica did a Summer ASLAP fellowship with the University of Missouri, and a summer internship with Yerkes National Primate Research Center. After graduating vet school in May of 2019, she entered the Comparative Medicine Residency at University of Missouri. In her free time, Jessica enjoys baking, traveling, video games, and training her guinea pigs (Link and Zelda) to do tricks.

Kevin Gustafson, D.V.M., 3rd year Resident

Kevin is originally from Madelia, Minnesota where he attended Elementary and High School. He has spent most of his life in agriculture, growing up on a farm in southern Minnesota and working with beef, dairy, swine, sheep, and chickens. During elementary and high school, he was very active in FFA, 4-H, and advocating for agriculture by attending agricultural events and going on an agricultural based mission trip to South Africa. He attended South Dakota State University in Brookings, South Dakota for his under-graduate studies where he earned bachelor’s degrees in Animal Science, Biology, Microbiology, and Biotechnology. It was while he attended SDSU that he decided that the field of veterinary medicine was the path he wanted to follow. While an under-graduate student, he first performed research in the SDSU parasitology laboratory studying anthelminthic resistance of Haemonchus contortus nematodes to benzodiazepine drugs in sheep and goats. This is where Kevin first became interested in research. He attended veterinary school at the University of Minnesota and spent his first and second summers studying porcine immunology and virology in the Michael Murtaugh laboratory of the University of Minnesota through the University’s Summer Scholars Program. Kevin joined the MU Comparative Medicine Program to follow his passion of research and veterinary medicine through their Laboratory Animal Medicine Internship program. Kevin enjoys spending time outdoors doing almost anything, but especially hiking, camping, swimming, fishing, hunting, skating, and skiing. He also enjoys reading and studying all aspects of history.

Emily Knebel, V.M.D., 3rd year Resident

Emily is originally from Darien, Connecticut, but went to an all-girls boarding school in Wellesley, Massachusetts for high school. She decided to pursue veterinary medicine while at Davidson College, where she earned a degree in biology, in Davidson, North Carolina. While in college, she was first exposed to laboratory animal medicine by volunteering at the small animal research facility and helping with basic animal husbandry. After a summer at an animal diagnostics company, she realized she was interested in having a research career that could benefit human and animal health. She attended the University of Pennsylvania for veterinary school and spent her first summer conducting a feline microbiome research project in the small animal hospital’s Clinical Microbiology laboratory with the support of the NIH-Merial Summer Research Scholars Program. Her second summer at MIT’s Division of Comparative Medicine as a research fellow convinced her to consider a laboratory animal residency. She was introduced to the MU Comparative Medicine Program as a 4 week externship, and was fortunate to be offered a position in the residency program. She plans to pursue a PhD in her area of interest, microbiology and infectious disease, and get involved with promoting One Health and interdisciplinary and applied research collaborations. Emily and her husband have two energetic but elderly golden retrievers, Drover and Cleo, and enjoy spending their time goofing around with them, as well as biking and watching nerdy shows and movies.

Ryan Dashek, D.V.M., Graduate Fellow

Ryan was born and raised in Franklin, Wisconsin before moving to Madison to begin his undergraduate studies at the University of Wisconsin. While there, he earned a degree in biology, and after graduation worked for a couple of years as a research technician in an ophthalmology lab studying glaucoma. It was there that he realized the importance of veterinary medicine in the laboratory setting, and remained at the University of Wisconsin to earn his veterinary degree. Along the way, he participated the Veterinary Summer Scholars Research Program and later earned a Master’s degree while working in an epigenetics laboratory. During his senior year at veterinary school Ryan completed a 4 week externship with the University of Missouri’s Comparative Medicine Program, where he was later fortunate enough to be accepted into a residency position. In his free time, Ryan enjoys reading, running, and taking care of his dwarf Holland lop rabbit, Camille.

Gabrielle (Gabi) Hofmann, D.V.M., Graduate Fellow

Gabi was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. She received her biology degree from Wittenberg University, where she worked at a veterinary hospital and cared for laboratory reptiles and amphibians. Gabi attended veterinary school at the University of Illinois and enjoyed volunteering at the Wildlife Medical Clinic. She spent her first summer in Illinois in a research training program, helping to characterize a mouse model of ADHD. Her second summer was spent as a research fellow in a neuroscience lab at Stanford University, investigating pathologic changes in animal models of temporal lobe epilepsy. Gabi and her husband, Brandon, have an adorable cat (Vanya) and four snakes (Orion, Koschei, Maya, and Tempi). In her free time, Gabi enjoys cooking, hiking, and spending time with friends and family.