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Katherine Cupo

Graduate Research Assistant

Graduate Students

Area(s) of Expertise

Katherine Cupo’s current research focuses on characterizing the immune responses of the chicken and turkey to Histomonas meleagridis infection, identifying the main genuses comprising the microbiome of the parasitic nematode Heterakis gallinarum, and investigating the life cycle of H. gallinarum and identifying potential paratenic hosts.

Some of Katherine’s other projects include adapting polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for diagnosis of protozoan infections and running in vitro assays for screening compounds capable of inhibiting H. meleagridis growth. Her past research focused on developing molecular diagnostics for H. gallinarum and designing an in vitro assay to screen for compounds capable of rendering H. gallinarum ova non-viable.


  • Embrex Award for Excellence (2020-21)
  • SPSS Student Award in Pathology (2020)
  • Student Research Paper Certificate of Excellence (2018)
  • SPSS Student Award in Pathology (2018)
  • Student Research Paper Certificate of Excellence (2017)
  • Sigma Xi NC State Chapter Undergrad Research Award (2016)
  • College of Sciences Honors Certificate (2016)
  • University Scholars Program Certificate (2016)
  • Outstanding Academic Achievement Award (2013)
  • Outstanding Science Student Award (2012)

Career Goals

Katherine is interested in pursuing a career in research and development of biotechnologies that may be used to diagnose, treat or prevent zoonotic diseases, especially those that pose a risk to large human populations.


Katherine Cupo is a Ph.D. student in the Beckstead lab pursuing a career in emergent and zoonotic disease diagnostics and prevention.

View Katherine’s LinkedIn profile.

View Katherine’s ORCiD profile.


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B.S., Zoology, NC State University (2016)
M.S., Poultry Science (Minor in Biotechnology), NC State University (2018)