Lab news

News & Lab Updates

July 9, 2019:
I.D.E.A. lab launches crowd-funding campaign for Canine Dysautonomia

The Schumaker research laboratory plans to relaunch a research program this fall to test samples from cases of CD. Due to the complexities with testing, each sample costs around $1,000 to test. We hope to gain preliminary data in order to determine the cause of this devastating disease. Please join us in helping to find a cure for canine dysautonomia!


If you would like to donate to the University of Wyoming’s CD Research Program, there is a direct link to submit a one-time or recurring donation. All donations are tax-deductible.


May 30, 2018:
Extension to Brucella suis project


The Rapid Outcomes from Agricultural Research through The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research has granted and extension for year two of the development and validation of a novel molecular assay for the differentiation between Brucella abortus and Brucella suis.  This second year will allow for the final analysis of all samples collected to establish this assay for dissemination in peer-reviewed literature and stakeholders around the country.


Uganda Flag

May 23, 2018:
I.D.E.A. Lab Planning Trip to Uganda


The I.D.E.A. Lab is in the midst of planning a trip to Uganda to assess how Dr. Stella Atim has implemented the training she received with the lab. Training in Uganda will tentatively include a wet-bench workshop on how to process samples for molecular detection of Brucella. Additionally, a hands on field necropsy workshop will be completed with funding from the University of Wyoming Center for Global Engagement. Four members of the I.D.E.A. lab (Dr. Brant Schumaker, Ashley Smith, Sierra Amundson, and Meagan Soehn) and Dr. Noah Hull from the Wyoming Department of Health will be traveling for these trainings in August.


Dr. Atim

December 4, 2017:
I.D.E.A. Lab to Host Ugandan Fellow for Training on Molecular Diagnostics for Brucellosis

The I.D.E.A. Lab has been selected by the United States Department of Agriculture – Foreign Agriculture Service via the Borlaug Fellowship to host a Ugandan fellow for brucellosis training.  Atim Stella Acaye is a Senior Veterinary Officer in charge of the molecular diagnostics division of the National Animal Disease Diagnostics and Epidemiology Center for the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries for the Ugandan government. She will spend three months at the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory / University of Wyoming to learn about the novel molecular assay that was developed  by the I.D.E.A. Lab. She will be country-side at the beginning of January and will receive three months of training. A reciprocal trip is planned with members of the I.D.E.A. Lab traveling to Entebbe, Uganda to see how Dr. Atim has implemented what she learned at the lab. This is the second time USDA-FAS has sent East African fellows to WSVL/UW for brucellosis training.

University of Wyoming College of Agriculture and Natural Resources – State of Wyoming Brucellosis Funds

December 4, 2017:
I.D.E.A. Lab Awarded Two Grants from the University of Wyoming

The I.D.E.A. Lab was awarded a grant from the University of Wyoming – College of Agriculture and Natural Resources – Global Perspectives Grant program and the University of Wyoming – Global Engagement Office . These grants were drafted by Ms. Ashley Smith, Dr. Noah Hull, and Dr. Brant Schumaker. These funds will allow for the travel of these laboratory members to Uganda and help supplement funds from the USDA-FAS Borlaug Fellowship. The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources  program is funded by a generous donor to the College . The trip is set for May/June of 2018.


October 19, 2017:
Hull awarded the J. Lindsay Oaks Bacteriology Award at AAVLD/USAHA Conference

Noah Hull was awarded the J. Lindsay Oaks Bacteriology Award for best bacteriology presentation at the 60th annual  American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians and the 121st annual United States Animal Health Association meeting held this past week in San Diego, California. Hull presented a talk on the use of a novel molecular assay to investigate the epidemiology of brucellosis in the Yellowstone National Park bison herd. This is the second year in a row that Hull was selected for this award. The award was created to honor Dr. Lindsay Oaks.


October 6, 2017:
Noah Hull to present on behalf of the I.D.E.A. Lab at National Conference

Noah Hull, MPH, PhD has been selected to provide a talk at the 60th annual American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians. His talk is entitled Using a Novel Real-Time qPCR Assay to Investigate the Epidemiology of Brucellosis in the Yellowstone Bison Herd. Authored by: Noah Hull, Suelee Robbe-Austerman, Jacob Berg, Sierra Amundson, Ashley Smith, Callie Klinghagen, Will Laegreid, Christine Quance, and Brant Schumaker. The talk will be provided at the Epidemiology Scientific Session.

Additionally, Noah Hull has been invited to provide a research talk to the Brucellosis Subcommittee at the 121st annual meeting of the United States Animal Health Association. Both meeting will be held in San Diego, CA in mid-October.

Celebration of a successful defense

October 4, 2017:
Noah Hull successfully defends his dissertation to complete his PhD

Noah Hull successfully defended his dissertation, entitled Epidemiology of Brucellosis in the Greater Yellowstone Area Utilizing a Novel Diagnostic Assay. He will stay on with the I.D.E.A. Lab to be the Co-Principal Investigator on the ongoing Brucella suis project taking place with University of Wyoming and Texas A&M University. Picture: Members of the I.D.E.A. Lab, Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory, and the Department of Veterinary Sciences at the University of Wyoming at a celebratory dinner for Noah.


August 28, 2017:
I.D.E.A. Lab Research Featured on Wyoming National Public Radio

A newly funded project that leverages diagnostic expertise from the I.D.E.A. Lab with researchers at Texas A&M University was featured on Wyoming National Public Radio. The research looks at addressing a gap in diagnostics for brucellosis. Currently, diagnostics are not ideal for the differentiation of Brucella abortus and Brucella suis. With an award from the Foundation of Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), the I.D.E.A. Lab looks to fill this gap. This issue was similarity highlighted by Bob Stallman at producer from Texas who is also a board member of FFAR.

Jessica Copeland

July 11, 2017:
I.D.E.A. Lab has new Master of Science student joining the lab

Starting in August, Jessica Copeland will be joining the I.D.E.A. Lab to complete her Master of Science degree in the Department of Veterinary Sciences at the University of Wyoming. Her project will address wildlife and livestock interactions and looking at disease transmission between the groups. This research will be useful in modeling disease outbreaks, specifically it will inform current disease issues in the state of Wyoming and abroad. Jessica comes to the I.D.E.A. Lab with a background in Animal Sciences from California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo. She has previously completed research as a research volunteer for Sea Otter Savvy, an organization that is looking at how sea otters behaviors change when in close proximity to humans.

Ashley Smith

June 29, 2017:
Ashley Smith to present at the Society for the Study of Reproduction

Ashley Smith, a post-graduate researchers with the I.D.E.A. Lab, has been selected to present  at the 50th annual meeting for the Society for the Study of Reproduction to be held July 13-16 in Washington, D.C. Her research talk is titled:  Maternal Nutrient Restriction During the First Half of Gestation Elevates Newborn Lamb Plasma Cortisol Concentrations and Eliminates the Neonatal Leptin Surge. This is research that Ashley completed during her Master of Science degree at the University of Wyoming.


June 26, 2017:
I.D.E.A. Lab member responds to moose at Denver area mall with Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Sierra Amundson, an undergraduate researcher in the I.D.E.A. Lab is completing an internship with Colorado Parks and Wildlife. She was part of a response team that was called in when a 2 year old, 700 lbs moose was wandering around the Flatirons Crossing Mall in Broomfield, Colorado. The moose will be relocated to South Park, Colorado. Details on the story:

Noah Hull

June 1, 2017:
Western Farmer-Stockman Magazine: New test for brucellosis

The I.D.E.A. Lab was featured on the cover of Western Farmer-Stockman magazine. The article details the work done by the lab on a novel diagnostic for bovine brucellosis. The article and associated pictures can be found:


May 20, 2017:
I.D.E.A. Lab has opening for Master of Science student

Applications are invited for a MS-lvel graduate student position at the Infectious Disease Epidemiology of Animals Laboratory at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. Expected start date is Fall semester 2017. Those interested should apply as soon as possible for a August 2017 start date. For more information, please see:


May 18, 2017:
Grant awarded to I.D.E.A. lab and consortium to study swine brucellosis

The I.D.E.A. Lab has been awarded a grant from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research through the Rapid Outcomes of Agricultural Research program to design and validate a novel molecular assay for swine brucellosis (Brucella suis). The study created the Consortium for Animal Disease Diagnostic Innovation (CADDI). CADDI is lead by Dr. Brant Schumaker and Noah Hull from the University of Wyoming, and Dr. Walt Cook from Texas A&M University. Additionally, members include stakeholders representing: United States Department of Agriculture – Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, University of Wyoming – College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory, Montana Department of Livestock, Wyoming Livestock Board, Wyoming Stock Growers Association, Wyoming Department of Public Health, USDA – National Animal Disease Laboratory, USDA – Agricultural Research Service – Northern Plains Climate Hub, USDA – National Veterinary Services Laboratories, Texas Animal Health Commission, University of Wyoming Extension Office, and Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center. The project is expected to begin in June 2017.

Sierra Amundson

April 15, 2017:
Sierra Amundson takes first place award at conference

Sierra Amundson presented an update to the brucellosis PCR at the American Society of Microbiology – Rocky Mountain Branch Conference. The conference was held at Allosource in Centennial, Colorado. The meeting was well attended. At the end of the meeting Sierra was selected by judges as the most outstanding undergraduate oral presentation.


April 11, 2017:
Jacob Berg successfully completes his thesis and is then commissioned in the United States Navy

Graduate technician, Jacob Berg, successfully defended his thesis, “Monocyte Derived Dendritic Cells and the Recall Response of Bovine T-cells to B. abortus RB51 and a DC Cell Line”.  After his defense he received a courtesy commission from his major advisor, US Army Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Dr. Jeff Adamovicz into the United States Navy (Picture). Jacob has been awarded the Health Professions Scholarship from the US Navy for his continued education  at A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona while he works on a Doctorate of Osteopathic Medical degree.


April 6, 2017:
Two students from the I.D.E.A. Lab obtain NASA Fellowship funding

Noah Hull, MPH was awarded a Graduate Fellowship through the Wyoming NASA Space Grant Consortium for the application of a novel PCR for brucellosis in order to ensure that food products used for space travel are safe for human consumption. Sierra Amundson, an undergraduate researcher in the lab, also was awarded an Undergraduate Fellowship on the same project. This marks the second year of funding for the lab from WSGC.  For information on the Wyoming NASA Space Grant Consortium and other programs they support, visit Wyoming NASA Space Grant Consortium.

Ashley & Callie Merge

April 5, 2017:
Two new additions to the lab

The IDEA Lab has hired two researchers to work on the validation of the bovine brucellosis PCR.  Ashley Smith, MS has been hired as a post-graduate researcher and will apply her molecular biology and animal science skills in the lab. She comes from University of Wyoming Department of Animal Science and completed her MS degree in reproductive biology. Also newly hired is Callie Klinghagen, an incoming sophomore student at the University of Wyoming Department of Veterinary Sciences.  She has a background in working in veterinary medicine, particularly with brucellosis quarantined herds. We are very excited about these additions to the lab and look forward to their start date of May 22.