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Lauren Howard Member Spotlight

Lauren Howard has to remind herself not to shout herpes in a crowded room

It’s not easy to do, having spent so much of her time discussing EEHV, or elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus. Lauren recently spearheaded an international workshop on elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus, a virus that causes fatal hemorrhagic disease in elephants. Over 70 participants from 6 countries, including veterinarians, elephant care specialists, virologists, immunologists, and administrators, traveled to Houston for a 2 day workshop focused on better understanding, diagnosing and treating EEHV, which is the single greatest cause of death in young Asian elephants in North America.

Lauren has attended and actively participated in all but one of the nine international EEHV workshops held in the past decade (having been grounded for pregnancy during the one she missed), and her son carried on the tradition by attending his first workshop when he was only 11 weeks old. Lauren is an associate veterinarian at the Houston zoo, an institution dedicated to winning the fight against EEHV. Prior to her 8 years at Houston, Lauren completed a zoo medicine residency through the joint program of UC Davis and the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park. She became a diplomat of the American College of Zoological Medicine in 2005. When Lauren is not doing her part to help stomp out EEHV, she spends her time on clinical duties at the Houston Zoo and working on another pet project that is equally inappropriate for dinnertime conversation, chlamydia in Houston toads.

Above Lauren is pictured at the yearly Surin elephant festival in Thailand in 2008.