MacNeill Lab

The MacNeill Lab studies poxvirus pathogenesis and genetically engineers poxviruses to use as vaccines and oncolytic viruses. The lab is particularly interested in understanding molecular interactions between poxviruses and immune responses. In collaboration with the Flint Animal Cancer Center, recombinant poxviruses created in the lab are used in clinical trials to treat canine cancer patients.

research project

Oncolytic Poxviruses

The MacNeill Lab develops recombinant poxviruses for use as oncolytic agents. Clinical trials using oncolytic virotherapy in dogs and cats advance treatment options for dogs with cancer and may better predict human response to virotherapy than murine cancer models do.

research project

Poxviruses Vaccines

We genetically modify poxviruses in hopes of creating safe, effective vaccines that prevent poxvirus infections and protect against other diseases (including COVID-19). These projects help us understand poxvirus immunopathology and how the route of vaccination affects the host response to infection.

research project

Emerging Infectious Diseases

Emerging infectious diseases are a concern in both human and veterinary medicine. Our work produces thorough pathologic descriptions of disease caused by pathogens identified in species they have not previously been detected in.

research project

Veterinary Clinical Pathology

The MacNeill Lab strives to develop immunocytochemical panels that detect specific cellular proteins and combine them with knowledge of cell morphology to enhance our ability to properly diagnose and treat disease in veterinary patients.

research project

Diagnostic Test Validation

It is extremely important to critically evaluate diagnostic tests in each species that they are used in. These projects aim to provide diagnostic validation of tests for immunomodulators and other clinical pathology parameters in veterinary species.


Comparative Pathology of Zoonotic Orthopoxviruses
MacNeill AL.
Pathogens. 2022; 11(8):892.

Treatment of an Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma Allograft with Recombinant Myxoma Virus and Oclacitinib.
Ashton LV, Graham B, Afzali MF, Gustafson D, MacNeill AL.
Oncolytic Virother. 2020 May 26;9:17-29. doi: 10.2147/OV.S252727. eCollection 2020. PMID: 32548076

Recombinant Myxoma Virus Expressing Walleye Dermal Sarcoma Virus orfC Is Attenuated in Rabbits.
Ashton LV, Quackenbush SL, Castle J, Wilson G, McCoy J, Jordan M, MacNeill AL.
Viruses. 2020 May 8;12(5):517. doi: 10.3390/v12050517. PMID: 32397134

The potential of the combined use of targeted type I interferon pathway inhibitors and oncolytic viruses to treat sarcomas.
MacNeill AL.
Vet Comp Oncol. 2020 Mar;18(1):36-42. doi: 10.1111/vco.12547. Epub 2019 Nov 5. PMID: 31618515

Safety of an Oncolytic Myxoma Virus in Dogs with Soft Tissue Sarcoma.
MacNeill AL, Weishaar KM, S├ęguin B, Powers BE.
Viruses. 2018 Jul 28;10(8):398. doi: 10.3390/v10080398. PMID: 30060548

more publications


Amy MacNeill, D.V.M., Ph.D., D.A.C.V.P.

Associate Professor
Veterinary Residency Program Coordinator

Laura Ashton, M.S.

Research Associate II
Lab Manager

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contact information

Office: Diagnostic Medicine Center room 110

Lab: Diagnostic Medicine Center room 140

(970) 297-5112