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Will Sander

Profile picture for Will Sander

Contact Information

1008 West Hazelwood Drive
235 LAC
1008 W Hazelwood Dr
M/C 004
Urbana, IL 61802
Assistant Professor, Preventive Medicine and Public Health
Director, DVM/MPH Joint Degree Program


Dr. Will Sander joined the Veterinary Clincal Medicine Department in the College of Veterinary Medicine in August 2018. He is an assitant professor for preventive medicine and public health teaching students in all four years of the veterinary curriculum. He is the director of the DVM/MPH joint degree program with 10-15 students at any time pursuing both degrees under his guidance. In addition to teaching and research, Dr. Sander is a clinical faculty member at the Wildlife Medical Clinic assiting house officers and students with case managment, triage, and rehabilitation of native wildlfie species.

After receiving a B.A. in biology from the Colby College in 2004, Dr. Sander received a one year post-baccaluareate Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA) to work in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at National Institutes of Health. He received his DVM from University of Wisconsin-School of Veterinary Medicine in 2009. He went on to do a small animal rotating internship at VCA Aurora and Berwyn Animal Hospitals outside of Chicago. He received his Master in Public Health in Global Health from Yale University in 2011. While spending 6 years in Washington, DC, Dr. Sander spent two years as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellow at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Water. While there, he focused on pharmaceuticals in water and potential health impacts. Subsequently, he spent three years working for Booz Allen Hamilton as an Advisory and Assistance Support (A&AS) contractor for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency's Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (DTRA CBEP). DTRA CBEP builds better capabilities and capacities in human and animal health through partnernships with countries around the world. 

Research Interests

International: At the interface of wildlife, domestic livestock, and humans, one finds a hot spot for emerging infectious diseases. My research interests are the characterization and epidemiology of emerging infectious diseases in developing countries while improving human and animal health capacities and capabilities for improved outcomes across species.

Local: All global efforts start local and that includes the health of the environment, humans, and animals – One Health. Looking at both mental and physical health indicators, my research looks at interactions between the three spheres of One Health within Illinois, especially in Champaign county.


  • Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, 2014
  • MPH, Global Health, Yale University, 2011
  • DVM, University of Wisconsin, 2009
  • Global Health Certiciate, University of Wisconsin, 2008
  • BA, Biology, Colby College, 2004

Courses Taught

  • Global One Health
  • One Health, One Policy: Emerging Disease and Public Policy
  • Conservation and Ecosystem Health
  • Emergency Preparedness and Response to Foreign Animal Diseases
  • Epidemiology and Public Health
  • Public Health Directed Elective Rotation
  • Medicine and Surgery II
  • Clinical Practice I
  • Interprofessional Education: Colleges of Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, and Social Work

professional certifications

  • Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, 2014
  • Project Management Professional, 2016

academic interests

  • One Health interface (human, animal, and environmental health)
  • Infectious disease emergence in local and international settings
  • Environmental contamination and health effects for humans and animals
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration and strengthening within the College of Veterinary Medicine and across the University of Illinois System


professional affiliations

  • American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)
  • American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine (ACVPM)
  • American Public Health Association (APHA)
  • National Institute of Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Education (NIAMRRE)
  • Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association (ISVMA)
  • United States Animal Health Association (USAHA)
  • American Association of Food Safety and Public Health Veterinarians (AAFSPHV)
  • American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians (AAWV)
  • National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association (NWRA)

leadership positions

  • Chair, Council on Public Health, American Veterinary Medical Association, 2019-current
  • Councilor, Executive Board for American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, 2020-current
  • Chair, Student Engagement Working Group, Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association, 2019-current
  • Chair, AMR One Health Learning Outcomes, NIAMRRE, 2021-current
  • Scientific Programming Committee, International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases (ICEID) 2022, 2021-current
  • Co-Director, Organization of Zoonotic Diseases Awareness and Control (OZDAC), 2021-current
  • Delegate, DC Veterinary Medical Association, 2017-2019
  • Membership and Outreach Committee (Chair), American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, 2015-2020
  • Committee on Environmental Issues, American Veterinary Medical Association, 2015-2018
  • Director, One Health Academy, 2015-2018
  • Future Leaders Program, American Veterinary Medical Association, 2015-2016