Dr. Katie Sheats – Principal Investigator







Dr. Katie Sheats is an Assistant Professor of Equine Primary Care and a specialist in Equine Internal Medicine who works in the Department of Clinical Sciences at NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine. She completed her DVM, Internship, Large Animal Medicine Residency, and PhD at North Carolina State University and is board certified in Large Animal Internal Medicine. As both an equine clinician and veterinary educator, Katie has two main areas of research. One is focused on veterinary education, while the other is focused on equine and human health research. Her education research interests include curriculum development, competency assessment, communication and clinical reasoning. Her equine and human health research is focused on leveraging her understanding of immune cell function and response to improve the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment for inflammatory diseases ranging from asthma to sepsis.


Member, NC State Comparative Medicine Institute, Translational Physiology and Pharmacology
Member, Veterinary Comparative Thoracic Society
Member, Comparative Gastroenterology Society
Member, American Association of Equine Practitioners
Member, One Health Commission
Member, Society of Leukocyte Biology
Member, North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association
Member, American Society for Cell Biology


Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (LA)
Certificate of Reflective Teaching

  • Phone: (919) 608-3016


Dr. Kaori Davis – PhD Candidate (Graduated)


Haleigh Conley – PhD Student

Haleigh joined the Sheats lab as a PhD student from the Comparative Biomedical Sciences program in December 2018. She received her BS in Chemistry with a minor in Biology from Emory & Henry College. Before starting her PhD, she worked at the Duke Human Vaccine Institute as a research technician in an HIV and influenza vaccine research lab. Haleigh worked to characterize Fc gamma receptor genotypes in humans and rhesus macaques. In the Sheats lab, Haleigh is studying leukocyte receptor signaling in human and bovine neutrophils.


Rosemary Bayless – PhD Student

Rosemary began her PhD in Comparative Biomedical Sciences in fall 2018.  She is an equine internal medicine specialist, with BS degrees in Chemistry and Environmental Studies from the University of Kansas and a DVM from Kansas State University.  She completed an equine internship at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital prior to a three-year equine internal medicine residency at Colorado State University. During her residency, she also earned an MS, researching urinary biomarkers in horses and the equine gastrointestinal microbiome.  Rosemary is currently studying a novel approach to modulating equine neutrophil function with a plant-derived compound.  In addition, she collaborates with Katie Sheats on clinical projects investigating prognostic and diagnostic biomarkers in equine patients with systemic inflammation.


Jenna Schirmer – Research Specialist

Jenna joined the Sheats Lab as a research specialist in the winter of 2017.  She received her BS in Animal Science from the University of Vermont and her MBA from North Carolina State University.  She has 10+ years of experience working with horses and 6+ years of experience working in a research setting. Jenna is responsible for helping manage the research lab and helping coordinate the Equine Primary Care Program.

  • Phone: (919) 513-6396