Scientist receives 1st place in EPI’s early-stage investigator poster competition

Dr. Jeff Gruntmeier, an assistant scientist in the college’s department of infectious diseases and immunology, won first place in the early-stage investigator poster competition at the UF Emerging Pathogens Institute’s annual Research Day.

Dr. Jeff Gruntmeier with his poster at EPI early stage investigator competition.

Dr. Jeff Gruntmeier with his poster at the early-stage investigator competition.

In just eight months of a project funded by the USDA, Gruntmeier and his team collected a total of 333 samples from 131 individual mammals that comprise 20 different species from 19 states in the United States.

The native, non-endangered mammals were from wildlife rehabilitation facilities across the U.S., including national territories and American Indian reservations.

“The sample testing looks for the molecular detection of the SARSCoV2 virus in swabs taken from those animals,” Gruntmeier said. “At the end of this study, there may be other questions that remain or opportunities to further leverage this network of a really devoted and hardworking group of individuals in this wildlife rehab community.”

His role is serving as a scientific coordinator for the project, creating contacts with collaborators, managing the permits, enrolling different facilities and more. Once collected, the facilities ship the animal samples to the Translational Genomics Research Institute for testing and reporting the results.

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Dr. Jeff Gruntmeier with his poster at EPI early stage investigator competition.

Scientist receives 1st place in EPI poster competition

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