Dr. Marc Valitutto is a wildlife veterinarian for the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s Global Health Program. As the Asia field veterinary manager, Dr. Valitutto focuses on all aspects of clinical veterinary and conservation medicine throughout Asia, with active projects in more than 10 countries. He currently conducts primary field clinical research, responds to wildlife emergencies, leads invaluable field and captive wildlife clinical and research training, and is actively involved in global One Health studies.
His ongoing primary research interests include expanding clinical knowledge of pangolins, the world’s most trafficked mammal, as well as avian species, such as waterfowl, cassowary and the Chinese monal. Dr. Valitutto also participates in broader research projects, including providing veterinary insight for Asian elephant research in Myanmar, responding to clinical emergencies for takin and Bengal tigers in Bhutan, and rescuing big-headed turtles in Myanmar. Currently, Dr. Valitutto is conducting a unique capacity-building program in partnership with the Chengdu Research Base for Giant Panda Breeding. He is stationed long-term in Chengdu, China, to offer advanced exchange of medical knowledge for the care of captive and wild giant pandas, red pandas and Chinese monal.
Dr. Valitutto also serves as the Global Lead for the USAID PREDICT-Myanmar project. He worked extensively in Myanmar to implement this highly successful international One Health program, which seeks to conduct zoonotic viral disease surveillance in wildlife and humans, and to build the necessary capacity to prevent and respond to future outbreaks. Through the PREDICT project, Dr. Valitutto and his Myanmar colleagues have discovered novel viruses in endemic bat populations.
Dr. Valitutto received his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and completed a four-year residency in zoological medicine and surgery at the Wildlife Conservation Society and Cornell University. He was previously the recipient of the 2016 George E. Burch fellowship in Theoretic Medicine, a prestigious Smithsonian award designed for distinguished scholars whose research directly benefits health and medicine. In the past, he has held positions as the interim head veterinarian for SCBI, and as the general curator and head veterinarian for the Staten Island Zoo.