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FIVM Seminar Series: Chronic Wasting Disease of Cervids

Chronic Wasting Disease of Cervids: Detection, transmission and new avenues of research

Dr. Edward Hoover

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a prion disease that kills cervids such as deer and elk in many regions throughout North America, including Alberta.  CWD is a progressive, fatal, degenerative disease of the brain. It causes a lethal decline of cognitive and motor function.  As yet, there are no effective treatments or vaccines.

On Friday, September 18, Dr. Edward Hoover will discuss studies of this ‘slow but quickly transmitted prion disease’.  His presentation will look at detection, transmission and new avenues of research into infectious neuro-degenerative diseases such CWD.

Dr. Hoover, DVM, PhD, is a University Distinguished Professor at Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biological Sciences.  

Ground-breaking research into retrovirus and prion infections

Among his many accomplishments, Dr. Hoover’s research led to the development of the FeLV vaccine, now used to immunize cats worldwide against leukemia-causing retrovirus. It is the only vaccine for leukemia in any species.

In addition to that work, for more than three decades Dr. Hoover has done ground-breaking research into prion infections of animals.  He is a leading expert on prions – misfolded proteins that cause neurons to degenerate. 

Dr. Hoover’s pioneering work on CWD has transformed the understanding of how disease spreads among populations.  His laboratory was the first to demonstrate infectious prions in the blood, saliva, and urine of deer with CWD.  His lab continues to study the mechanisms of prion and protein misfolding diseases, and experimental vaccines for prion and misfolding diseases.

Awards and honours

Dr. Hoover received his bachelor’s degree and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Illinois, as well as master’s and doctoral degrees in pathobiology from Ohio State University.

The recipient of many awards and honours, Dr. Hoover is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, received the Merial – Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) Excellence in Research Award in 2012, and was named to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences last year.

Along with being a renowned researcher, Dr. Hoover is a passionate educator and mentor.
“My most personally valued scientific accomplishment is the mentoring of 27 (mostly DVM) PhDs and 15 postdoctoral fellows,” he says.