University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine Dean Carolyn J. Henry has named Brenda Beerntsen, PhD, interim chair of the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology. Beerntsen is a professor of veterinary pathobiology. She teaches parasitology and her research focuses on mosquito-parasite interactions and vector-pathogen relationships. Recently her work has emphasized the genetics of mosquito vector competence for filarial worms. She has also been involved, in conjunction with other MU researchers, in the initiation of a mosquito and tick surveillance program in regions of Missouri.
She will replace George Stewart, PhD, who has held the post since Jan. 1, 2006. Stewart, the McKee Professor of Microbial Pathogenesis, retired from the college in September, but has continued on a part-time basis. Beerntsen will begin her interim department chair duties in January.
Beerntsen was born and raised in Green Bay, Wisconsin. She earned a bachelor of science in zoology, a master’s degree in veterinary science and a doctorate in veterinary science/entomology, all at the University of Wisconsin−Madison. She pursued postdoctoral research at the University of California, Irvine, before accepting a position at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine in 2000. She holds adjunct positions in Mizzou’s Division of Plant Sciences and Public Health Program.