Animal Session Instructors

Robert P. Ellis – Course Director
Dr. Robert Ellis, CBSP (ABSA), DACVM, graduated from the University of Wyoming with a BS in Microbiology. Bob’s education continued with the MS and PhD degrees earned at Purdue University. He is currently the Director of Biosafety at Colorado State University (CSU). Bob joined the faculty at CSU in January 1978, and is Professor, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology. Bob was appointed to the CSU Biosafety Committee in 1978, and was Biosafety Officer 1986-1989, and 1997 to present. Dr. Ellis was awarded the Russian Academy of Agricultural Science, Division of Veterinary Medicine, Gold Medal of Achievement in the field of Veterinary Science, December 2008.

Bob is a Certified Biological Safety Professional (CBSP) and a Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Microbiologists (ACVM Honorary). He was elected to the American Biological Safety Association (ABSA) Council in October, 2004, and was elected President-Elect of ABSA for 2008. He served as the ABSA President in 2009. Bob is on the Editorial Board for Applied Biosafety. Bob has taught many pre-conference and summer session courses for ABSA, the Eagleson Institute, the ABSA/Emory Leadership Institute, and the ABSA/Behavioral Based Improvement Solutions Leadership Summit. Bob has served on the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) of the National Biosafety and Biocontainment Training Program (NBBTP) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD, and chaired the NBBTP Scientific Advisory Board 2009-2011. In addition to his CSU and ABSA activities, he has been the Executive Director of the Conference of Research Workers in Animal Diseases (CRWAD) 1987-2014, and was the Founding Editor-in-Chief of Animal Health Research Reviews (AHRR). Bob serves on the Biosafety Committees for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the National Wildlife Research Center. Bob has extensive experience in the design, construction, and operation of BSL–2 and BSL–3 facilities, and is recognized nationally and internationally for his knowledge and practical application of Biosafety practices and principles. Bob received the 2015 Everett Hanel, Jr. Presidential Award. The Everett Hanel, Jr. Presidential Award is given to a current ABSA (American Biological Safety Association) member for outstanding contributions to the American Biological Safety Association by promoting the field of biological safety and fostering, by example, the high professional standards of the Association’s membership.

In 2004, Bob founded and continues to direct the Biosafety and Biosecurity Training Course (BBTC) in Fort Collins, CO, USA. The BBTC is held each July and includes Animal, General, and Plant biosafety and biosecurity training sessions. Sixteen topic experts present and instruct the Animal, General, and Plant Sessions. For 2018 the BBTC transitioned to the Biosafety and Biosecurity Training Course-Global (BBTC-Global), a remote-based (on-line) interactive course presented through a Learning Management System. 2019 brought the Biosafety and Biosafety Training Course back to Fort Collins, CO, to be held on-site.


Candace Mathiason
Dr. Candace 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, Regional Biocontainment Laboratory (RBL), Colorado State University (CSU). 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 and is an active member of the Institutional Biosafety Committee. In 2012, Dr. Kendall became the Director of Laboratory Animal Resources.


Erin Smith
Ms. Erin Smith, MS, RBP, is currently a Biosafety Specialist at Kansas State University’s (KSU) Biosecurity Research Institute (BRI), as well as an Alternate Responsible Official (ARO) 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.