NAME

Sharon Golda Witonsky

POSITION TITLE

Assistant Professor

 

 

EDUCATION/TRAINING  (Begin with baccalaureate or other initial professional education, such as nursing, and include postdoctoral training.)

INSTITUTION AND LOCATION

DEGREE

(if applicable)

YEAR(s)

FIELD OF STUDY

Earlham College, Richmond, IN                                                         

BA

Sept/1985-June/1989

Biology and Chemistry

University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN

DVM

Sept/1989-June/1993

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN

PhD

Aug.1993- Aug. 1997

Immunology

University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN

LA internship

 Aug. 1993-July, 1997

Intern LA medicine and surgery

University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN

LA medicine residency

Aug,1997-July, 2000

Large Animal Medicine

University of Tennessee (St Jude Children’s Hospital: 7/99-12/99) and Knoxville, TN

Post-doctorate

Aug., 1997-July, 2000

Immunology

A.   Positions and Honors

Positions:

1997-2000 Post-doctoral fellow, mentorErby Wilkinson and Peter Doherty, College of Veterinary Medicine, 

      University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN

1997-2000 Large Animal Medicine Residency, mentor – Frank Andrews, College of Veterinary Medicine,

      University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN

2000- current Assistant Professor in tenure track position, Dept Head - Craig Thatcher 2000-04; Beverly Purswell 2004-present, Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Virginia Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

       Honors:

 1989 Phi Beta Kappa

 1995 Phi Zeta (veterinary honor society)

 1998-1999 Large Animal Resident of the Year

2003  Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine

 2005-08 Elected to Board of Scientific Reviewers for American Journal of Veterinary Research; Reviewer for  Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Assoctiation, Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Journal of Parasitology, International Journal of Parasitology

 2005  Elected to Earlham College Athletic Hall of Fame

      Select Professional Societies:

2003- present American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Diplomate; committee member for      Residency Training Committee 2004-07; moderator for 2005 ACVIM meeting

2001-present member Society for Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis; moderator at 2004 meeting; organizer and moderator Special Interest Group on EPM at ACVIM 2005

 

B.  Selected peer-reviewed publications (in chronological order)

1. Witonsky S., Gogal R., Buechner-Maxwell V., Ahmed S. 2003. Feasibility of performing immune function

                        analysis on equine blood stored for 24 hr. American Journal of Veterinary Research  64: 1003-1009.

2. Witonsky S., Gogal R., Duncan R., Lindsay D. 2003. Protective immune response to Sarcocystis neurona infection in C57BL/6 mice. Journal of Parasitology 89: 924-31.

3. Witonsky S., Gogal R., Duncan R., Lindsay D. 2003. Immunopathologic effects associated with Sarcocystis neurona infected interferon-gamma knock-out mice. Journal of Parasitology 89: 932-40. 

4. Witonsky, S., Morrow, J., Dascanio, J., Palmer, W., Buechner-Maxwell, V., Leger, C., Kline, K.  2004.            Analysis of Sarcocystis neurona specific IgG in the serum and CSF of horses vaccinated with the S. neurona vaccine. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine 18: 98-103.

5. Witonsky S., R. Gogal, Jr., R. Duncan, H, Norton, D. Ward, D. Lindsay. 2005. Prevention of meningo/encephalomyelitis due to Sarcocystis neurona infected in mice is mediated by CD8 cells.   International Journal of Parasitology, 35: 113-123.

6.  Witonsky, S., Gogal, R., Duncan, R., Norton, H., Ward D., Yang, J., Lindsay, D. 2005. Humoral immunity is not critical to protection against experimental infection with Sarcocystis neurona in B-cell deficient mice. Journal of Parasitology 91: 830-837.

7. Scott, P.,* Witonsky S.*, Robertson, J., Daft, B.   2005. Increased predominance of T-lymphocytes in brains from EPM affected horses. Journal of Parasitology 91: R1-6. *co-primary author.

8. A.B. Klein, S.G. Witonsky, C.M. Reilly, S. Ansar Ahmed, S.D. Holladay, L. Link, and R.M. Gogal Jr. 2006. Impact of different cell isolation techniques on lymphocyte viability and function. accepted to Journal of Immunoassay and Immunochemistry 27: 61-76.

9. Yang J., Ellison S., Gogal R., Jr., Norton H., Ward D., Lindsay D., Witonsky S. 2005. Investigation of immune response to Sarcocystis neurona infection in naturally infected horses with equine protozoal myeloencephalitis. Vet Parasitol. Submitted Sept., 2005. Revised version submitted Dec., 2005.

 

 

Non-experimental Articles:

 

1. Witonsky, S., Grubbs, S., Andrews, F. 2001. Red Maple Toxicity Associated with Fallen Branches. Equine Veterinary Education 13(3): 119-123.

2. Dascanio, J., Witonsky, S. submitted 2004. What’s your diagnosis? (A case of urospermia). 2005. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. In press, July, 2005.

 

Books, pamphlets:

1. Witonsky, S. Polyneuritis equi in Neurology chapter of 5 minute Veterinary Consultant: Equine text. Andrews, editor, 2002. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, MD.

2. Witonsky, S. Hepatic encephalopathy in Neurology chapter of 5 minute Veterinary Consultant: Equine text. Andrews, editor, 2002. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, MD.

 

Presentations at Conferences:

 

Posters:

1. S. Witonsky, C. Foster, J. Bowen, N. Neilsen, C. Sommardahl, R.P. Woychik, J.E. Wilkinson. 1995. Pathobiology of NF-kB Transgenic Mice. Poster presented at the American Association of Immunology (AAI) meeting (Atlanta, GA).

2. S. Witonsky, J. Bowen, N.Neilsen, R.P. Woychik, J.E. Wilkinson. 1996. Pathobiology of p50del NF-kB Transgenic Mice. Poster presented at AAI meeting (New Orleans, LA).

3. S. Witonsky, N.Neilsen, R.P. Woychik, J.E. Wilkinson. 1996. Characterization of Wiskott-Aldrich Transgenic Mice. Poster presented at the Mouse Molecular Genetics Meeting. Cold Spring Harbor, NY.

4. K. Brenneman, S. Witonsky, R.P. Woychik, J.E. Wilkinson,1996.Transgenic Mice of Altered NF-kB Subunit Expression. Poster presented at ACVP meeting.

5. Witonsky, S., Francke, U., Wilkinson, J.E., Woychik, R.P. 1998. Immunopathology of Wiskott-Aldrich Transgenic Mice. Poster presented at AAI meeting, San Francisco, CA.

6. Belz G., Witonsky S., Doherty P. 1999. Characterization of a novel epitope for influenza. St. Jude Research Days, Memphis, TN.

7. Andreansky, S., Belz, G., Sangster, M., Liu, H., Witonsky, S., Hogg, T, Byers, G., Xie, W., Simas, J., Efstathiou, S., Doherty, P. 2001. In vivo analysis of gamma herpes virus 68 chemokine binding protein M3. Keystone Symposium, Viral Immunity.

8. Mitchell, S., Cook, A., Witonsky, S., Buchner-Maxwell, W., Lindsay, D. 2001. Sarcocystis neurona agglutination test: preliminary results in horses. Southeastern Society of Parasitologists. May, 2001.

9. Witonsky S., Gogal R., Duncan R., Lindsay D. Immunopathological effects associated with Sarcocystis neurona infected interferon-gamma knock-out mice. Poster presented at ACVIM, Charlotte, NC, 6/03.

10. Witonsky S., Gogal R., Duncan R., Lindsay D. 2004. Humoral Immunity is not critical to protection against experimental infection with Sarcocystis neurona in B-cell deficient mice. Poster presented at ACVIM, Minneapolis, MN, 6/04.

 

Oral presentations:

1. Witonsky, S. 1999. Characterization of the Immune Response to Sarcocystis neurona, the causative agent of Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis.  ACVIM, Chicago, IL.

2. Witonsky S., Gogal R., Buechner-Maxwell V., Ahmed S. 2002. Feasibility of performing immune function analysis on equine blood stored for 24 hr. Presented at VMRCVM Research Symposium, Blacksburg, VA. June, 2002.

3. Witonsky, S., Morrow, J., Dascanio, J., Palmer, W., Buechner-Maxwell, V., Leger, C., Kline, K. 2002. Vaccination of Horses with Sarcocystis neurona vaccine: Analysis of Specific IgG in Serum and Cerebrospinal Fluid. Presented at ACVIM, Dallas, TX, 5/02.

4. Witonsky S., Gogal R., Duncan R., Lindsay D. 2003. Protective immune response to Sarcocystis neurona infection in C57BL/6 mice. ACVIM , Charlotte, NC.

5. Witonsky, S. 2004. Mucosal Immunity: what have we learned from horses and mouse models. ACVIM, Minneapolis, MN.

6. Witonsky, S. Gogal R., Duncan R., Lindsay D. 2004. Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis: what have we learned from mouse models. EPM Society Meeting conducted at joint meeting of AAVP/ASP. Philadelphia, PA.

7. Sharon G. Witonsky1, Siobhan Ellison5, Jibing Yang1, Robert M. Gogal, Jr.,2,3  Heather Norton1, Frank Andrews6, Dan Ward4, and David S. Lindsay2 . 2005. In vitro alterations in immune function associated with experimental infection of horses with Sarcocystis neurona. presented ACVIM, June,  2005, Baltimore, MD.

8. Sharon G. Witonsky1, Robert M. Gogal, Jr.,2,3  Robert B. Duncan2, Heather Norton1, Dan Ward4, Yasuhiro Suzuki2, Jibing Yang1 and David S. Lindsay2. 2005. CD8 cells are critical for prevention of meningo/encephalomyelitis due to Sarcocystis neurona infection in mice on C57BL/6 background. presented ACVIM June, 2005, Baltimore, MD.

9. Siobhan Ellison5 , Sharon G. Witonsky1, Jibing Yang1, Robert M. Gogal, Jr.,2,3  Heather Norton1, Frank Andrews6, Dan Ward4, and David S. Lindsay2 . 2005. Parasitemia to Paresis:  a model for S. neurona EPM, presented at ACVIM, June, 2005, Baltimore, MD.

10.  David S. Lindsay, Sharon Witonsky, J. P. Dubey. 2005. Developmental Biology of Sarcocystis neurona: In vitro and in vivo insights. presented at ACVIM, June, 2005, Baltimore, MD.

 

 

Current Research Support:

 

1. Immunopathology and Vaccine Response to S. neurona using a mouse model. PI: Sharon Witonsky, 5% , Internal Grant: Animal Health and Disease, 06/02-06/05, $12,000. This project is focused on using immunocompetent and immunodeficient (IFN-gamma knockout) mice to determine the protective immune response to Sarcocystis neurona, the causative agent of Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis. We have demonstrated that C57BL/6 mice develop a significant CD44high/CD8 memory and CD45RBhigh/CD8 effector response, and CD8 cells are critical to prevention of encephalitis. Current efforts are to determine the antigen specific responses.

2.  An inhalation model of Brucella: vaccines, pathogens and immune responses. PI: Sharon Witonsky, 5%,         Internal Grant: HATCH, 06/02-06/05, $12,000 This project is focused on developing an aerosol model of B. abortus challenge and vaccination to assess the protective immune response to aerosol challenge of B. abortus. To date, we have shown that Brucella smooth strain 2308 is not cleared. We have preliminary data to support that rough strains stimulate an improved effector and memory response compared to smooth strains.

 3. Characterization of the Equine Immune Response of Clinically Normal and EPM affected horses to S. neurona and other commercial mitogens: an in vitro approach, part II. PI: Sharon Witonsky, 5% effort

Pat Stuart Foundation, 04/02-12/05. $8052. We have developed a panel of immune function assays that allow us to assess immune response in horses using blood which has been stored (shipped) for 24hrs (AJVR pub). We see a marked decrease in proliferation in response to one mitogen/ionophore combination that appears to be causing a marked increase in apoptosis of monocytes and neutrophils in vitro, which is not unexpected as S. neurona resides in phagocytic cells. Further studies are being performed to confirm these findings. This may be a supplemental diagnostic aid for horses that may have EPM.

4. Mechanisms of protection associated with rough Brucella strain in respiratory model. PI: Sharon Witonsky, 20% effort, ASPIRES internal grant, 04/04-04/06, $99,980. The ultimate goal of this proposed line of research is to mechanistically determine the means by which Brucella candidate vaccines provide protection. There is some overlap between these grants as both require the generation of HA expressing Brucella strains. This proposal will focus on both RB51 and RB51SOD vs. RB51 alone. The second part of the grant will focus on the mechanisms associated with protection, such as CD8 avidity.

5. Immunopathology of Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis, employing an equine model. PI: Sharon Witonsky, 5% effort, Pat Stuart internal grant, 07/04-07/05, $9,980. These funds are to determine the deficiencies in innate and adaptive immunity associated with experimental S. neurona infection in horses. There is no overlap.

6. Sarcocystis neurona-infected CD8 Knock-out Mice: A model for EPM. PI: Sharon Witonsky, 5% effort, AH&D internal grant, 06/05-06/08, $14,996. We have determined that CD8 cells are critical for the prevention of meningoencephalitis due to S. neurona infection. Histopathology of infected CD8 KO mice demonstrates mark endothelitis, which we believe is involved in the immunopathology of disease. This grant will further develop this model and determine the correlation between S. neurona infection, endothelitis, and meningoencephalitis.

7. Immunopathology of Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis, employing an equine model. PI: Sharon Witonsky, 5% effort, Patricia Stuart internal grant, 05/05-05/06, $9,980. The goals of this project are to determine the mechanisms of the in vitro suppressed proliferation response by EPM horses to one particular mitogen combination. This information has the potential to be used as a supplementary diagnostic test.

8. Paramutual racing funds for technical support. PI: Sharon Witonsky. Annual support for a technician 02/04-02/07.