Disease Investigations offer two postgraduate training opportunities and a veterinary student training program in pathology.

Jane and Marshall Steel Residency Program
Jane and Marshall Steel Pathology Fellowship
Veterinary Externships in Pathology

Training Facilities

San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance’s total collection inventory includes over 8,300 mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, many of which are endangered species. Pathology case material derives from this extensive collection, as well as our field conservation programs. Archival histopathology and cytology slides, blood films, paraffin blocks, formalin fixed tissues, frozen tissues, and serum collected over 30 years are available for retrospective studies. Pathology reports and animal records from 1983 to the present comprise an extensive computer database.

An extensive zoological library and the nearby University of California at San Diego Medical Library supplement an excellent in-house veterinary medical library. Disease Investigations participates in the Joint Pathology Center’s Wednesday Slide Conference and is a C.L. Davis Foundation Study Site. Training and consultation are facilitated by three 3-headed microscopes, one equipped with a video monitor. We also have a fully equipped molecular diagnostic laboratory.

We work in close cooperation with 15 clinical veterinarians and three nutritionists, as well as curators and animal care staff. Collaboration with other scientists at San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance provides expertise in behavior, ecology, endocrinology, molecular genetics, cytogenetics, and reproductive physiology.


San Diego, California offers an excellent climate, year-round outdoor activities combined with many cultural, recreational, and educational opportunities and easy access to beaches, mountains, and the desert. Close ties with the University of California at San Diego, The Scripps Research Institute, San Diego State University, Sea World San Diego, and Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute provide access to seminars, lectures, and workshops. Colleagues from many of these institutions participate in weekly histopathology seminars held at the San Diego Zoo.


Bruce Rideout, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVP; Director, Disease Investigations
Avian embryo and neonatal pathology, disease risk assessment for endangered species recovery programs, marsupial pathology, infectious diseases, epidemiology

Rachel Burns, DVM, Dipl. ACVP; Senior Scientist, Head of Anatomic Pathology Service
Diagnostic pathology of wildlife species, particularly infectious and depositional diseases

Josephine Braun, DVM, PhD; Senior Scientist, Head of Molecular Diagnostics 
Infectious disease impacts on population health and sustainability, pathogen discovery and characterization, molecular epidemiology

Steven Kubiski, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVP; Senior Scientist
Zoo and wildlife pathology, infectious diseases, molecular diagnostics, viral discovery

Arely Rosas Rosas, MVZ, MSc, Dipl. ACVP; Scientist
Diagnostic pathology of zoo and aquatic species, particularly non-mammalian, infectious diseases

Carmel Witte, MS, PhD; Scientist
​Analytical epidemiology, statistical modeling, spatial analysis, network analysis