Animal Session Instructors

Robert Ellis
Dr. Bob Ellis is the BBTC Course Director and Founder. Access his biography at General Session Instructors.

Sara Cope
Dr. Sara Cope is currently an Assistant Biosafety Officer at Colorado State University, as well as an Alternate Responsible Official for CSU’s Select Agent program. At CSU, Sara has primary responsibility over the Diagnostic Medicine Center (DMC) on CSU’s South Campus. The DMC includes biosafety level-2 and biosafety level- 3 laboratory suites that serve to offer timely and accurate testing services to identify animal disease. The DMC also has a unique role in global disease surveillance, collaborating with public and private partners to track significant diseases in Colorado, across the nation and around the world.

Sara’s other responsibilities as part of the Biosafety team at CSU include: assisting with Mock Bsl-3 training, biosafety cabinet training, Bsl-2 and Bsl-3 laboratory audits, Select Agent inventory audits and performing respiratory fit tests for personnel at CSU’s Infectious Disease Research Center and Diagnostic Medicine Center. Prior to her time at CSU, Sara was a fellow with the National Biosafety and Biocontainment Training Program (NBBTP) at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland; where she had to opportunity to receive professional training in biosafety and biocontainment at one of the foremost biomedical research centers in the world.

Sara studied at the University of North Texas in Denton, TX, where she focused on Biology and Chemistry as an undergraduate and Molecular Biology and Microbiology as a graduate student. While at UNT, Sara served as the founding vice-president for the Society for Microbiology at UNT. As a graduate teaching assistant, she taught both Microbiology and Medical Bacteriology Lab courses throughout her graduate career and served as the Microbiology instructor and mentor for the Upward Bound Math and Science summer program for high school students interested in the science disciplines.


Candace Mathiason
Candace Mathiason, PhD: Dr. Mathiason’s research focuses on the transmission, shedding and detection of prions— in particular chronic wasting disease (CWD) —the fatal neurodegenerative transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) of cervid. Investigation of prion diseases in domestic (scrapie in sheep and bovine spongiform encephalopathy in cattle) and wildlife (CWD in deer, elk and moose) species provides models for their human counterparts (kuru and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease). The Mathiason lab seeks to better understand how prion diseases are acquired, traffic within their host, and are subsequently shed to their next host. Areas of active research include: 1) the mechanisms associated with mother to offspring prion transmission, 2) the cells and mechanisms associated with hematogenous infectivity of prion diseases, and 3) the potential for cross-species prion transmission.

Dr. Mathiason received her BS degree in Microbiology, 1983, and MS degree in Parasitology, 1987, from the University of Wyoming. She received her PhD degree in Prion Pathobiology, from the Colorado State University in 2010.


Lon V. Kendall
Dr. Lon Kendall is the Director for Laboratory Animal Resources, RBL, Colorado State University. He received his veterinary degree from Colorado State University. Upon completing his residency in Laboratory Animal Medicine and receiving his PhD in Veterinary Pathobiology from the University of Missouri, he took a position at University of California-Davis where he directed the laboratory animal care program for five years. He returned to Colorado State as the Associate Director of Laboratory Animal Resources where he was involved in the management of the animal care program at the Rocky Mountain Regional Biocontainment Laboratory (RBL) and is an active member of the Institutional Biosafety Committee. In 2012, Dr. Kendall became the Director of Laboratory Animal Resources.


Paul S. Morley
Paul S. Morley, DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVIM, is an Associate Professor and active member of the Animal Population Health Institute at Colorado State University. He serves as Director of Biosecurity for the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital, and has academic appointments in the Clinical Sciences Dept. and the Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences Dept. in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. He teaches epidemiology and infection control in the undergraduate, veterinary, and graduate programs at CSU, and maintains an active research program.

Major focuses for his professional and research activities include promoting solutions for biosecurity issues important to agriculture and veterinary medicine, identifying effective pre-harvest approaches for food-safety, and investigating the ecology of antimicrobial resistance in animals. Dr. Morley is an active member of several professional organizations, including the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, the Association for Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, the Veterinary Infection Control Society, and the Academy of Veterinary Consultants.

Dr. Morley served on the faculty at The Ohio State University for three years before joining the faculty at Colorado State University. He is a native of Nevada and received baccalaureate degrees and his veterinary medical degree from Washington State University. After graduating from WSU, he served as an intern and resident in the area of large animal internal medicine at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He received his doctorate from that institution studying the epidemiology of infectious respiratory disease in horses. He is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. Dr. Morley is a recognized authority on epidemiology and infection control in animal populations and has consulted on infection control and biosecurity issues at several veterinary colleges in North America as well as for several intensive animal production facilities.


Erin Smith
Ms. Erin Smith, MS, RBP, is currently a Biosafety Specialist at Kansas State University’s Biosecurity Research Institute (BRI), as well as an Alternate Responsible Official for KSU’s Select Agent Program. The BRI includes BSL-2 and BSL-3 laboratories as well an ABSL-3 vivarium, an ACL-3 insectary and BSL-3Ag rooms. The BRI supports comprehensive multidisciplinary research, education and training programs that address threats to plant, animal, and human health, including food-borne pathogens. The BRI is one of fewer than six high containment facilities in the United States that can conduct research on livestock experimentally infected with a broad range of highly pathogenic organisms. As part of the biosafety team at the BRI Erin’s responsibilities include: assisting with the high containment training that all researchers must take, inspecting laboratories and animal rooms, reviewing select agent inventory, submitting select agent documents, and running the BRI occupational medicine program and respiratory protection program.