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Parasite Immunology Lab


image of the Bowdridge lab members

The Boss

Dr. Scott Bowdridge

image of BowdridgeScott was raised on a small sheep farm in Southern California where his family raised Rambouillet sheep. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture Science from Cal State Chico and taught high school agriculture in central California before moving to Maine. While in Maine he learned about parasite problems in sheep and was introduced to the Katahdin sheep breed and began a MS program in animal science at the University of Maine studying parasite resistance in Katahdin Sheep. Dr. Bowdridge earned his doctorate from Virginia Tech studying immune responses of St. Croix sheep to Haemonchus contortus and then took a NIH funded postdoc position at the New Jersey Medical School studying specific immune mechanisms during intestinal parasite infection. Since 2011 Dr. Bowdridge has been a faculty member at WVU and has developed a research program to investigate immune responses in sheep to gastrointestinal nematode parasites. Dr. Bowdridge lives in Morgantown with his wife Lizzie and daughter Charlotte.


Dr. Javier Garza

image of GarzaDr. Garza is a Veterinary Parasitologist with an interest in the immunological mechanisms that facilitate parasite expulsion as well as parasite-host immunomodulation. Dr. Garza earned his Bachelors of Science degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from the University of Texas – Pan American in Edinburg, Texas. Dr. Garza received his Doctor of Philosophy in Veterinary Medical Sciences from Louisiana State University under the tutelage of Dr. James Miller in the Department of Pathobiological Sciences at the LSU-School of Veterinary Medicine. His dissertation focused on characterizing the differences in immunological responses during gastrointestinal nematode expulsion in parasite resistant and susceptible sheep. Outside of the lab, Dr. Garza is an avid cyclist and photographer.

Grad Students

Jesica Jacobs

image of JesicaJesica Jacobs is a Ph.D. student focused on mechanisms of developing immunity to parasites. Jesica received a B.S. in Biology from Lincoln University of Missouri in 2011 and an M.S. in Animal Physiology from WVU in 2013. Jacobs’ current research involves immune cell activation, recognition, differentiation and communication signals involved in Th2 immunity. Upon graduation, Jacobs plans to pursue an industry career in animal and/or human health.

Elizabeth Shepherd

image of ElizabethElizabeth Shepherd is currently a Master’s student in Animal Physiology, working in Parasite Immunology. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado in Biology and Astronomy, before moving to West Virginia to pursue her interests in parasitology. Her current work focuses on immune cell response to Haemonchus contortus in vitro.

Brynnan Russ

image of BrynnanBrynnan Russ is currently a PhD student in the Animal and Nutritional Sciences Department with a focus in Parasite Immunology. Brynnan grew up in Tallahassee, FL and went to Mississippi State University for her Bachelors of Science degree in Biochemistry.

Denzel Middleton

image of DenzelDenzel Middleton is a Master’s student pursing a degree in the Department of Animal Nutritional Sciences with a focus in Parasite Immunology. He is originally from New York City and obtained his Bachelor’s degree at The Pennsylvania State University.

Taylor Harrison

image of TaylorTaylor Harrison is a master’s student in animal physiology concentrating on beef cattle nutrition. She hails from Coldwater, MI and received a B.S. from Michigan State University majoring in animal science. Taylor’s current research focuses on osmolarity and feed efficiency in beef cattle. She also coaches the livestock judging team at WVU.


Crista Crawford

image of CristaCrista was born and raised on a multi-species farm in Central Michigan. She attended Michigan State University where she received her bacheor’s degree in Animal Science. Her connection with the MSU Sheep Teaching and Research Farm lead her to WVU where she earned her M.S. in Animal Physiology under the tutelage of Dr. Scott Bowdridge. While working on her master’s project Crista became very active with management of the WVU sheep flock where she is now the acting shepherd.