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Before joining Duquesne, Dr. Prater spent 20 years at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM), Blacksburg Campus. She started in 2002 as Assistant Professor of Pathology, then served as chair of Microbiology, chair of Immunology, and associate dean for Curriculum, Assessment and Medical Education as she was promoted to full professor.

After beginning her research career at the University of Virginia, Dr. Prater led a federally funded, strong and interdisciplinary team of researchers in the field of developmental biology at Virginia Tech, where they investigated the role of nutrition and environmental exposures on fetal development and long-term metabolic health. She also taught a number of courses including microbiology, immunology, physiology, pathology, and clinical medicine in the preclinical curriculum at VCOM and in the Master's of Arts in Biomedical Sciences at Bluefield College.

Dr. Prater also served her community by participating in a number of committees within Bluefield College, at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, and with the Scientific Research Institute at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Salem, Virginia.

She earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master of Science in Physiology from the University of Akron. After gaining important experience in the pharmaceutical industry with the Upjohn Company and research experience at the University of Virginia, Dr. Prater completed her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine with honors at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. She continued at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine to complete her residency in clinical pathology and her doctoral degree  in immunotoxicology.

Dr. Prater is presently studying the role of human-animal relationships in mental and physical wellness.  

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