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Katie Sheats, DVM, Ph.D, DACVIM

Assistant Professor Equine Primary Care

Office: 919.608.3016

Dr. Mary Katherine Sheats (nickname: "Katie") is an Assistant Professor of Equine Primary Care at NC State. Her research focus is on neutrophil mediated diseases that affect horses and humans, including asthma. Dr. Sheats is a native North Carolinian and grew up riding and showing hunter jumpers in the Triad region. She now lives in New Hill, NC with her husband, 2 boys, 10 chickens and 2 retired pleasure horses.
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
Biological Barriers, Global Health, Immunology, Infectious Diseases, Spontaneous Animal Disease Models
Dr. Sheats's research focuses on the innate immune system and the role neutrophils play in host defense and host injury. Her long term research goal is to identify regulators of the innate immune response and neutrophil function that could serve as targets for new types of anti-inflammatory therapies. Dr. Sheats is currently conducting research to determine whether a host protein known to regulate neutrophil functions is a viable therapeutic target for combating neutrophil-mediated tissue damage during diseases such as asthma and salmonella gastroenteritis. Dr. Sheats's goal is that one day her translational research will benefit both humans and horses.
As a clinician scientist and large animal internal medicine specialist, Dr. Sheats is also interested in clinical research that can help diagnose, treat and prevent disease in horses. Her current clinical interest is to identify new biomarkers of intestinal ischemia in horses with colic. The goal of this research would be to develop a diagnostic tool that could one day help veterinarians accurately identify which horses with colic have intestinal strangulation.
As coordinator of the Equine Primary Care Program, Dr. Sheats is working with equine private practice veterinarians to establish "best practices" for training equine focused veterinary students through a university-private practice partnership. Dr. Sheats is conducting educational studies relevant to veterinary student communication training and competency tracking during distributive preceptorships.

  • Katie Sheats NCBI Publications
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  • (2017) Misoprostol Inhibits LPS–Induced Pro–Inflammatory Cytokine Production by Equine Leukocytes.Martin EG, Messenger KM, Sheats MK, Jones SL. | Front Vet Sci. 4:160. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2017.00160.
  • (2017) Misoprostol Inhibits Equine Neutrophil Adhesion, Migration and Respiratory Burst in an in vitro model of Inflammation.Martin EG, Till R, Sheats MK, Jones SL. | Front Vet Sci. 4:159. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2017.00159.
  • (2017) Identifying novel innate immune response targets to alter Salmonella Typhimurium pathogenesis.Cruz E, Westerman T, Elfenbein J, Sheats MK. | Poster, Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium, Office of Undergraduate Research, NCSU, Raleigh, NC.
  • (2017) Investigating the MARCKS protein as a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of equine asthma.Bowyer, A, Davis, K, Sheats, MK. | Poster, Merial National Veterinary Research Scholars Symposium, National Institutes of Health, Bethesa, MD.
  • (2017) Identification of Salmonella Typhimurium genes essential to induce the neutrophil oxidative burst.Westerman TL, Sheats MK, Jones SL, Elfenbein JR. | Poster, Mid-Atlantic Microbial Pathogenesis Meeting
  • (2016) Development of a neutrophil-Salmonella co-culture system to study Salmonella genes that alter the neutrophil respiratory burst.Westerman TL, Sheats MK, Jones SL, Elfenbein JR. | Oral Presentation, Duke Innate Immunity Group Symposium
  • (2016) A high-throughput in vitro system to study Salmonella-neutrophil interactions.Westerman TL, Sheats MK, Jones SL, Elfenbein JR. | Poster, 5th ASM Conference on Salmonella
  • (2016) Student Perspectives on a Newly Implemented Community-Based Model of Clinical Training in Equine Primary Care: “What’s Workings and What Could be Better?”Sheats MK, Fogle C. | Veterinary Educators Collaborative, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
  • (2016) Student Perspectives on a Newly Implemented Community-Based Model of Clinical Training in Equine Primary Care: “What’s Workings and What Could be Better?”Sheats MK, Fogle C. | Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Symposium, NC State, Raleigh, NC.
  • (2016) Development of a Capstone Assessment Instrument for Evaluation of Fourth Year Veterinary Student History and Examination Skills.Fogle C, Sheats MK. | Veterinary Educators Collaborative, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
  • (2016) MARCKS protein as a therapeutic target in the treatment of recurrent airway obstruction in horses.Johnson, C, Sheats, MK. | Poster, Merial National Veterinary Research Scholars Symposium.
  • (2015) In vitro neutrophil migration requires protein kinase c-delta (δ-PKC)-mediated Myristoylated Alanine-Rich C-Kinase Substrate (MARCKS) phosphorylation.Sheats MK, Sung EJ, Adler KB, Jones SL. | Inflammation. 38(3):1126-41.
  • (2014) Myristoylated Alanine Rich C Kinase Substrate (MARCKS) is essential to β2-integrin - dependent responses of equine neutrophils.Sheats MK, Pescosolido KC, Ethan M. Hefner, Sung EJ, Adler KB, Jones SL. | Vet Imm and Immunopath. 10.1016/j.vetimm.2014.04.009.
  • (2013) Fibroblast Migration Is Regulated by Myristoylated Alanine-Rich C-Kinase Substrate (MARCKS) Protein.Ott LE, Sung EJ, Melvin AT, Sheats MK, Haugh JM, et al. | PLoS ONE 8(6): e66512.
  • (2010) Use of ultrasound to evaluate outcome following colic surgery for equine large colon volvulus.Sheats MK, Cook VL, Jones SL, Blikslager AT, Pease AP. | Equine Veterinary Journal. Vol. 42, No. 1, 47-52.
  • (2010) Disseminated large granular lymphoma in a horse.Sheats MK, Van Wetter AJNJ, Snyder LA, Jones SL. | Equine Veterinary Education. Vol. 20, No. 9, 459-463.
  • (2009) Outbreak of lawsonia intracellularis on a standardbred breeding farm in North Carolina.Merlo J L, Sheats MK, Elce Y, Hunter S, Breuhaus BA. | Equine Veterinary Education. Vol. 21, No. 4, 179-182.
  • (2004) Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of furosemide after oral administration to horses.Johansson AM, Gardner SY, Levine JF, Papich MG, LaFevers DH, Goldmann RB, Sheats MK, Atkins CE. | Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine Vol. 18, No. 5, 739-743.