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Jennifer Kishbaugh, D.V.M.

B.A., Buffalo State College; D.V.M., Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Jennifer Kishbaugh currently serves as the Judy and John W. McCarter, Jr. Global Health Veterinary Intern. Her duties include assisting the Global Health Program team with disease surveillance, training and capacity building in Myanmar and Kenya, as well as assisting with grant writing and performing independent research. Her research focuses on development of a freeze-dried platelet product from elephant platelets, to be used for supportive care in elephant calves suffering from Elephant Endotheliotrophic Herpes Virus (EEHV), a potentially fatal virus that currently has no vaccine and a high mortality rate. She is also helping to complete long-term GHP studies, including evaluating BNP as a marker of heart disease in gorillas, and a report on blood values from an endangered population of lizards in the Bahamas, the San Salvadore Iguanas.

Dr. Kishbaugh's projects include:

  • Lyophylized (freeze-dried) elephant platelet product production and evaluation for use in supportive treatment of Elephant Endotheliotrophic Herpes Virus (EEHV), a leading killer of Asian elephants
  • Tracking fruit bat (Pteropus gigantecus) movements in Myanmar to follow movements of zoonotic disease
  • Non-invasive sampling of tomb bats in Myanmar for evaluation of shifts in disease prevalence and shedding, as well as to evaluate exposure to local human and domestic animal populations
  • Biomarker measurement in captive western lowland gorillas to monitor and facilitate diagnosis of heart disease
Dr. Kishbaugh has been coordinating projects in Myanmar to monitor the prevalence and movement of infectious diseases in endemic bat populations, such as Nipah and Hendra viruses, among others, that may have serious effects to the local human and domestic animal populations. She will be collecting samples from bat populations in caves used by local people to monitor for disease presence and risk of disease exposure. Dr. Kishbaugh is also leading a pilot project to capture, sample and place tracking collars on giant fruit bats, to guide further research regarding the movement of these fascinating animals, as well as the potentially fatal diseases they may carry. She hopes to use her findings to improve local disease surveillance and education of local populations regarding endemic diseases, in order to prevent future outbreaks of zoonotic diseases.
Dr. Kishbaugh received a Bachelor of Arts in biology with minors in psychology and chemistry in 2010 from Buffalo State College and a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2014 from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. She has participated in population genetics and freshwater ecology research, contributed to the St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network and led the St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network Shorebird Project. She conducted her clinical rotations at Cornell University with an emphasis on wildlife health, including externships in South Africa and the Minnesota Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. Dr. Kishbaugh completed a rotating Small Animal Internship at the Veterinary Medical Center of Long Island before engaging in clinical emergency medicine on Long Island, developing the clinic’s wildlife treatment protocol to serve as an intermediary between wildlife rehabilitators and the general public. Most recently, she was granted the opportunity to receive mentorship at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, gaining experience in clinical zoological medicine.
Dr. Kishbaugh has a lifelong fascination with wildlife conservation and ecology and has been very active in outdoor activities since her childhood in Western New York. She enjoys working with both animals and people and is especially interested in public outreach programs focusing on education of those living in tandem with endangered wildlife populations, encouraging local people to take an active and productive interest in their wild animal populations for their protection and sustainability. Together, these attributes make her a great addition to the Smithsonian’s Global Health team.