Dr. Candace Mathiason is an associate professor of pathobiology; director of the Infectious Disease and Rapid Response Network, a Program for Research and Scholarly Excellence designated by the Office of the Vice President for Research; and co-founder/director of the Women in Science Network.
Dr. Mathiason’s research focuses on the role blood and maternal infections play in disease pathogenesis and transmission dynamics. Her laboratory combines use of native and rodent in vivo hosts with highly sensitive in vitro assays to assimilate an understanding of the biological mechanisms associated with covert transmission of infectious agents. The intent of these works is to provide basic science principles for continued efforts to mitigate infectious agents via preventative, therapeutic and vaccine therapies.
Tied closely to the successes her laboratory has enjoyed is the pursuit of strategies to improve science communication and efforts to impact the role of women in science. The goal of this work is to improve and support the diversity of voices present in STEAM leadership roles.
Detection and Characterization of Blood-borne Prions
No practical noninvasive antemortem test exists to detect cervid, human, or any prion disease. We have developed simple, rapid, specific and highly sensitive in vitro assays to detect blood-borne prions. Combining these assays with innovative tools developed by collaborators, we are quantitating the temporal distribution and specific blood cell phenotypes critical to human and cervid prionemia.
Chronic Wasting Disease Vaccines
No prophylactic or therapeutic regimen is known for any prion disease. With our collaborators, we have developed novel vaccine strategies, a carefully graded chronic wasting disease challenge, and a longitudinal monitoring system using ultrasensitive chronic wasting disease detection methods in white-tailed deer permitting vaccine assessment in the native host.
Mechanisms of prion spread and establishment of infection
Prion diseases are inevitably fatal neurodegenerative disorders with no known treatment or cure. Little is known about the site(s) of initial establishment of infection, clearance of inoculum, and whether replication of agent is required for neuroinvasion. The long-term goal of these studies is to identify the sites of initial prion replication and to identify new routes of neuroinvasion.
Cross-scale dynamics of multi-host vector-borne pathogens at the wildlife-domestic interface in ruminant communities
Our study system is uniquely valuable for investigating the dynamics between invertebrate (midges) and vertebrate (wild and domestic ruminant) hosts across regions with wide ecological gradients to assess the roles of each in the emergence of pervasive genetic viral variants.
Exploring the potential for in utero transmission of chronic wasting disease prions in white-tailed deer
The presence of prion deposition has been identified in the reproductive tissues and milieu of several cervid species. Our ongoing studies are aimed to determine the biological relevance of this deposition in maternal, paternal and fetal tissues of free-range cervids naturally exposed to chronic wasting disease.
Front Vet Sci. 2020 Apr 17;7:186. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2020.00186. eCollection 2020.PMID: 32426376
In vitro detection of haematogenous prions in white-tailed deer orally dosed with low concentrations of chronic wasting disease.
J Gen Virol. 2020 Mar;101(3):347-361. doi: 10.1099/jgv.0.001367.PMID: 31846418
PLoS One. 2020 Aug 20;15(8):e0237410. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0237410. eCollection 2020.PMID: 32817706more publications
Lab Principal Investigator
Director, Infectious Disease Research and Response Network
Research Associate III
Research Associate II
Research Associate II
news and updates
On International Women’s Day, we celebrate the contributions and impact from women everywhere, including all of the CSU scientists and researchers who have led in the fight against COVID-19
Infectious disease scientists across Colorado State University are focused on fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
Candace Mathiason, IDRRN director, discusses COVID-19 research and how the university has responded to the pandemic.
Office: Pathology room 229
Lab: Pathology rooms 223A, 225