Dr. Leticia Gutiérrez Jiménez
Senior Research Scientist
"One Health is fundamental to understanding the transmission of diseases and the risk factors that cause disease outbreaks. When epidemiology meets disease ecology, it is possible to understand the intricate matrix of interactions among all the players involved in a particular disease—environment, wildlife, domestic animals, and humans. Working with wildlife and local communities allows me to altogether improve their wellbeing and promote ecosystemic conservation."
Dr. Leticia (Leti) Gutiérrez Jiménez is a Senior Research Scientist, and serves as the EcoHealth Alliance Field Veterinarian and Training Coordinator for the USAID PREDICT-2 program. Leti implements field-based research under a variety of global programs related to emerging diseases, wildlife trade, and pandemic risk reduction. Her work directly tackles a paramount goal in public health: Zoonotic disease prevention through a holistic approach–One Health. She is devoted to wildlife surveillance of zoonoses and capacity building at the local level while securing the highest scientific rigor, biosafety, and animal welfare standards.
Leti earned a BS in Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences and a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) at the University of Chile. Leticia’s DVM thesis aimed to identify the vector of Hepatozoon spp. in the endemic marsupial “Monito del Monte” (Dromiciops gliroides) at Chiloé Island, Chile.
Immediately after receiving her veterinary degree, she received a Fulbright Scholarship to pursue a Ph.D. of Biology in Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics with an emphasis on infectious disease ecology at the University of Missouri – St. Louis. Leti’s doctorate dissertation focused on untangling the role of anthropogenic disturbance on mammal community diversity related to emerging infectious disease risk in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Her research has shed light on the underlying mechanisms that drive tick-borne pathogen risk. She integrated exhaustive hypothesis testing, innovative experimental design and developed advanced molecular pathogen diagnostics.
Leti’s current position under the PREDICT-2 umbrella provides the perfect global disease surveillance environment to apply, enhance, and contribute what she has learned in her journey into wildlife disease ecology and One Health. Leti strives to encourage deep involvement and engagement of local communities in the prevention of infectious disease emergence, long-term conservation of biodiversity, and promotion of a healthy sustainable ecosystem.