Hoover Lab

The Hoover laboratory has focused on the pathogenesis and prevention of retrovirus and prion infections of animals for over three decades in multiple native and model animal systems. Some of the most singular work has described the early pathogenesis and tissue tropism of the feline leukemia virus (FeLV), the feline immunodeficiency (FIV) virus, and development of the first successful FeLV vaccine now used worldwide.

Beginning in the late 1990’s the laboratory focus turned toward the mechanisms of transmission, trafficking, pathogenesis, and vaccination for the prion disease chronic wasting disease (CWD) of cervid, non-cervid species, transgenic murine models, and in vitro amplification systems. This research has included the first demonstration of infectious prions in saliva, blood, and urine of deer, providing an explanation for the uniquely facile transmission of CWD.

Hoover considers that the most important scientific accomplishment of the laboratory, however, has been the mentoring of 27 PhD’s (including 24 DVMs); 19 of whom are NIH K or F career development award recipients; 13 are current university faculty; 17 are board certified diplomats in pathology, microbiology, or internal medicine. Dr. Hoover also co-directs an NIH T32 training grants, one focused on post-DVM biomedical research training for veterinarians and the other a combined DM-PhD program both with the goal of producing DVM PhD scientists. The Hoover laboratory been supported by continuous NIH funding for over 30 years and has produced >250 peer-reviewed publications.

research project

Transmission and Pathogenesis of Chronic Wasting Disease in Cervid and Non-Cervid Species

Humans and animals share environments and food sources contaminated with prions shed by CWD-infected cervids. The goal of this research is to elucidate how and why CWD is transmitted so efficiently in nature and what factors facilitate this process or influence the zoonotic risk CWD may pose.

research project

CWD Prion Shedding and Environmental Contamination: Role in Transmission and Zoonotic Potential

This project will: (1) Enable more targeted strategies to mitigate the spread and potential risks of this emerging uncontrolled prion disease in free-ranging animals; (2) Provide insight regarding the interfaces wherein inter-species CWD prion transmission could occur; and (3) Determine the practical consequences of prion binding to environmental constituents.

research project

Seeded Amyloid Amplification to Assess Alzheimer’s Disease and TBI

The Hoover lab hypothesis is that pathologically misfolded amyloid tau is present both within and outside of the central nervous system and can be detected in the early asymptomatic stage of disease. Therefore, this project aims to develop an antemortem diagnostic assay based on tau amyloid amplification to detect the likelihood of progression from TBI to CTE or Alzheimer’s Disease.


Very low oral exposure to prions of brain or saliva origin can transmit chronic wasting disease.

Denkers ND, Hoover CE, Davenport KA, Henderson DM, McNulty EE, Nalls AV, Mathiason CK, Hoover EA.
PLoS One. 2020 Aug 20;15(8):e0237410. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0237410. eCollection 2020.

Shedding and stability of CWD prion seeding activity in cervid feces.

Tennant JM, Li M, Henderson DM, Tyer ML, Denkers ND, Haley NJ, Mathiason CK, Hoover EA.
PLoS One. 2020 Mar 3;15(3):e0227094. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0227094. eCollection 2020.

Progression of chronic wasting disease in white-tailed deer analyzed by serial biopsy RT-QuIC and immunohistochemistry.

Henderson DM, Denkers ND, Hoover CE, McNulty EE, Cooper SK, Bracchi LA, Mathiason CK, Hoover EA.
PLoS One. 2020 Feb 14;15(2):e0228327. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0228327. eCollection 2020.

Detection of CWD in cervids by RT-QuIC assay of third eyelids.

Cooper, Sarah K., Clare E. Hoover, Davin M. Henderson, Nicholas J. Haley, Candace K. Mathiason and Edward A. Hoover.
PLoS One. 2019 Aug 28;14(8):e0221654. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0221654. eCollection 2019.

In vitro detection of haematogenous prions in white-tailed deer orally dosed with low concentrations of chronic wasting disease.

McNulty EE, Nalls AV, Xun R, Denkers ND, Hoover EA, Mathiason CK.
J Gen Virol. 2019 Dec 17. doi: 10.1099/jgv.0.001367. [Epub ahead of print]

more publications


Ed Hoover, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Lab Principal Investigator (PI)
University Distinguished Professor

Nathaniel Denkers, Ph.D.

Research Scientist I

Lindsay Parrie, Ph.D.

Research Scientist I

Amy Nalls, M.S.

Research Associate III
Lab Manager

Caitlyn Kraft

Research Associate I

Parker Hogan

Student Researcher

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