Serving as the senior field veterinarian for EcoHealth Alliance, Dr. Marc Valitutto focuses on pandemic preparedness in Southeast Asia and China. His work involves collaborative research investigating wildlife as a disease reservoir while he and his teams also seek to identify ways of protecting endangered species in their natural habitats. In the past, Dr. Valitutto also served as global lead for the USAID Emerging Pandemic Threats PREDICT project in Myanmar, working extensively to implement this highly successful international One Health program focused on zoonotic viral disease surveillance in wildlife and humans, and on building the necessary capacity to prevent and respond to future outbreaks. Through the PREDICT project, Dr. Valitutto and his Myanmar colleagues have detected novel coronaviruses in endemic bat populations.
Dr. Valitutto’s 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. His past projects have taken him all over Asia, where he has evaluated takin and tiger health in Bhutan, responded to big-headed turtle confiscations in Myanmar, and developed clinical research studies on pangolins in Vietnam. Most recently, Dr. Valitutto embarked on a long-term project offering a valuable exchange of medical knowledge for the advancement of giant panda clinical care and research in Chengdu, China.
Dr. Valitutto received his doctorate of veterinary medicine (VMD) from the University of Pennsylvania in 2006 and completed a four-year residency in zoological medicine and surgery at the Wildlife Conservation Society and Cornell University. Prior to joining EcoHealth Alliance, Dr. Valitutto served as emerging infectious disease research director and Asia wildlife health project manager for the Smithsonian’s Global Health Program, director of animal health for the Pinola Conservancy, and finally the general curator/ head veterinarian for the Staten Island Zoo. His work has been featured on CBS’s 60 Minutes, NBC’s Today Show, Fox’s Good Day NY and in several publications including the New York Times, Newsweek, the Washington Post, Smithsonian Magazine, and Fast Company. However, Dr. Valitutto credits his time on Sesame Street as the most pivotal in his career!