NATALIA A. PRADO-OVIEDO, PH.D.
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
I was born in Medellin, Colombia and immigrated to the United States when I was 3 years old. I received my bachelor’s degree from New York University in 2004, my master’s degree from American University in 2010, and my Ph.D. from George Mason University in 2015. My doctoral dissertation, “Hyperprolactinemia and Ovarian Acyclicity in Captive African Elephants”, aimed to understand a health and reproductive disorder (chronically elevated prolactin concentrations) affecting a large proportion of female African elephants in North American Zoos. For my post-doc research, I am establishing personalized heath care approaches for elephants using genetic markers. These data are important because zoo elephants exhibit numerous conditions that could be modulated by genetic factors, such as infertility, reproductive tract pathologies (leiomyomas and cysts), foot and joint problems, arthritis and susceptibility to a number of clinical diseases, such as elephant endothelial herpes virus (EEHV) and tuberculosis.