Annette M O'Connor

BVSc, MVSc, DVSc, FANZCVS (Epidemiology)
Education & Certifications  

BVSc, University of Sydney, 1993
MVSc, University of Queensland, 1997
DVSc, University of Guelph, 2000
Member of Australian College of Veterinary Scientists (Epidemiology), 2003
Fellow of Australian College of Veterinary Scientists (Epidemiology), 2009


Dr O'Connor teaches primarily in the graduate curriculum. She teaches an introductory course for epidemiologists, and a course in applied logistic regression methods. Dr. O'Connor is also the Director of a Graduate Certificate in Veterinary Preventive Medicine. This 15 credit academic program is designed to be taken by distance for professionals working in livetsock health and food safety. Students who complete the certifiacte may also be able to transfer to the Masters program.

Research Focus & Interests  

Dr. O’Connor is a veterinary epidemiologist, and she has applied the principles of that discipline to a diverse set of fields, including livestock diseases, food-borne pathogens of animal proteins and veterinary public health. The main area of focus of Dr. O’Connor’s research has been to understand how researchers can use study design and research synthesis methodologies to translate primary research findings into decision support tools for agencies. Dr. O’Connor was been funded for this work by groups such as USDA, the National Pork Board and the European Union Food Safety Authority. Topic’s evaluated include pre-harvest food safety interventions, post harvest interventions, zoonotic pathogens and the impact of proximity to confined animal operations on community health. This work includes understanding how standards of evidence translate from human medicine to food safety. Primarily this work has focused on how to adopt and adapt the systematic review methodology and meta-analysis used in clinical medicine to veterinary science and food safety.  This area has resulted in several papers about how to review observational studies and randomized controlled trials in veterinary science and food safety. Further, this body of work has resulted in the production of the REFLECT statement (  Reporting guidelinEs For randomized controlLed trials for livEstoCk and food safeTy.) The REFLECT statement is guide for authors, reviewers and editors on how to report intervention studies in a manner that increases their utility to end users including practitioners and risk assessors.  The acronym REFLECT incorporates the aim of the reporting guideline i.e., the publication should reflect what was done.

In the area of work that relates to the epidemiology of infectious disease that affect livestock populations, Dr. O’Connors work relates primarily  to 1) understanding causes of disease and 2) comparative effectiveness of interventions.  Dr. O'Connor has focused on understanding the epidemiology and control of Pinkeye in beef cattle. Studies have included observational studies that evaluate the role of putative causal organism in Pinkeye and randomized field trials that evaluate the efficacy of vaccine designed to prevent Pinkeye occurrence.  Consistent with the theme of increasing translation of primary research for decision makers Dr O'Connor has also co-authored several reviews evaluating the treatment and control of Pinkeye. Another organism of focus for Dr O'Connor has been the epidemiology of Salmonella in pork with emphasis on understanding pre-harvest control approaches.   Dr O'Connor has worked on several primary research studies that have evaluated the methods of detecting farms with a high risk of carrying Salmonella spp. into the slaughterhouse. Again, Dr O'Connor has also co-authored several reviews evaluating the treatment and control of Salmonella in the pre-harvest environment. Dr. O’Connor also has many collaborative projects such as projects on MRSA, PCV2, and PRRS in swine, campylobacter in poultry, and brucellosis in sheep.  The combined impact of this work has been to provide producers, veterinarians, government agencies and industry groups with independent advice about the efficacy of relevant interventions.

Dr. O’Connor received a Bachelor Of Veterinary Science (BVSc) from the University of Sydney in 1993, a Masters of Veterinary Science (MVSc) from the University of Queensland in 1997 and a Doctoral of Veterinary Science (DVSc) from the University of Guelph in 2001.  In  2009, Dr. O’Connor was admitted as a Fellow of Epidemiology to the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists. Dr. O’Connor is Professor of Epidemiology at Iowa State University. Dr. O’Connor teaches epidemiology methods and inference in the Preventive Veterinary Medicine Program at Iowa State University the MPH program at the College of Public Health at the University of Iowa.  Dr. O’Connor frequently teaches workshops of review methodologies or approaches to outcomes research and comparative effectiveness.

Honors & Awards  

Pfizer Research Excellence Award 2008.

Selected Publications