Susan Appt, DVM, researches the effects of diet and reproductive hormones on chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease. She works with nonhuman primate animal models of menopause to study risk factors in women across the transition from premenopause to postmenopause.
Susan Appt, DVM, pictured in the Diet Lab at the Wake Forest Primate Center
Susan Appt, DVM, associate professor of pathology in comparative medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine, researches the influences of diet and reproductive hormones on chronic diseases affecting postmenopausal women, such as cardiovascular disease. She is also the scientific director of the Diet Laboratory and the associate director of Preclinical Translational Services.
Appt earned her veterinary degree from Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of Prince Edward Island in 1994, after which she completed a large animal veterinary internship at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 1995. She spent seven years in clinical practice as a large animal veterinarian before completing a research fellowship in comparative medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine, where she joined the faculty in 2004.
Appt conducts preclinical research using nonhuman primates to explore the effects of nutrition and reproductive hormones on chronic diseases during perimenopause and postmenopause. She developed a nonhuman primate model of reduced ovarian reserve to examine the risk factors for women during the transition from the premenopausal phase to the postmenopausal phase, particularly the effects of the transition on cardiovascular disease. Appt’s research interests also include testing novel therapeutic agents, studying the effects of obesity on reproduction and investigating metabolic disease and bone loss. New research directions include exploration of the nonhuman primate model for investigations of the effects of diet and atherosclerosis on brain histologic markers associated with dementia.
As scientific director of the Diet Laboratory, Susan Appt oversees the creation of custom-made, semi-purified diets used in preclinical research to study the effects of nutrition on disease. She assists investigators in developing diets tailored to meet their particular research needs. In her capacity as associate director of Preclinical Translational Services, Appt assists with the management and coordination of the surgical technical team of Preclinical Translational Services and facilitates interactions among faculty, researchers, human resources and various laboratories.
Appt works with her industry partners to design investigator-initiated studies and conduct contract research studies. These studies include investigating and testing therapeutics in nonhuman primate populations to improve drugs that prevent or treat diseases like atherosclerosis.
Susan Appt, DVM, is a preclinical researcher with experience in:
- Nutrition and diet
- Reproductive hormones
- Aging and menopause
- Cardiovascular disease
- Women’s health issues
- Custom diet formulation
- Large animal veterinary care
- Preclinical research
- Therapeutic testing