Rebecca Christofferson

Rebecca Christofferson

Associate Professor

Department of Pathobiological Sciences

LSU School of Veterinary Medicine
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803


Dr. Christofferson's Lab


PhD, Louisiana State University, 2011

MApSt, Louisiana State University, 2005

BS, Louisiana State University, 2002

Research Interest

My lab researches the factors that drive patterns of emergence and transmission of viruses, especially zoonotic and/or arboviruses. A lot of our work revolves around mosquito-transmitted viruses.

Teaching Interest

I currently teach introduction to epidemiology and biostatistics, and I guest lecture in topics ranging from disease surveillance to virology to One Health. I firmly believe that community communication is an important and impactful part of teaching, so I participate in public-facing lectures and am active on social media.

Clinical Interest

I am interested in development of diagnostics for neglected tropical diseases and/or emergent viruses to enable surveillance and operational support for pandemic response. 

Awards & Honors

2021, American Council of Zoonotic and Arboviruses (ACAV), Chair

2021, Worley Professor of Excellence

2018, Zoetis Award for Veterinary Research Excellence

2018, TEDx Speaker 


Christofferson RC, O’Neal HR, Jagneaux T, et al.Reduced turnaround times through multi-sectoral community collaboration during the first surge of SARS-CoV-2 and associated effect on patient care and hospital operations. PLoS ONE.October 2021

Mayton EH,Hernandez HM, Vitek CJ, Christofferson RC. A Method for Repeated, Longitudinal Sampling of IndividualAedes aegyptifor Transmission Potential of Arboviruses.Insects. 2021; 12(4):292.

Mayton EH,...,Christofferson RC. Age-structured vectorial capacity reveals timing, not magnitude of within-mosquito dynamics is critical for arbovirus fitness assessment. Parasites & Vectors(13), June 2020.

Ward MJ, ..., Christofferson RC.Short Report: Asymptomatic Zika virus infections with low viral loads not likely to esablish transmission in New Orleans Aedes populations. PLoS One. May 2020.

Christofferson RC, et al. Current Vector Research Challenges in the Greater Mekong Subregion for Dengue, Malaria, and Other Vector-Borne Diseases: A report from a multi-sectoral workshop March 2019. PLoS Neg Trop Dis, July 2020.

Monath TP, et al.Theoretical Risk of Genetic Reassortment Should Not Impede Development of Live, Attenuated Rift Valley Fever (RVF) Vaccines Commentaryon the Draft WHO RVF Target Product Profile. Vaccine X(vol 5). April 2020.

McCracken MK, et al.Route of inoculation and mosquito vector exposure modulates dengue virus replication kinetics and immune responses in rhesus macaques. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. April 2020.

Dutuze MF, Ingabire A, Gafarasi I, Uwituze S, Nzayirambaho M, Christofferson RC. Identification of Orthobunyavirus infections and disease in cattle during a Rift Valley Fever outbreak in Rwanda in 2018. American Journal of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene. April 2020.

Pena-Garcia VH, Christofferson RC. Correlation of the basic reproduction number (R0) and eco-environmental variables in Colombian municipalities with chikungunya outbreaks during 2014-2016. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. November 2019.

Robert MA, Weber P, Christofferson RC, Wearing HJ.Temperature impacts on dengue emergence in the United States: investigating the role of seasonality and climate change. Epidemics. Epidemics. June 2019.

Grant Funding

Extra-cellular stability of Orthobunyavirusesand transovarial transmission in Ae. aegypti under relevant environmental conditions. RC –PI. USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (2021)

Targeting the viral and human host factors governing COVID19 disease to inform individual and populationbiomarkers of immunity and therapeutic development. RC –coPI; Merck Investigator Sponsored Program (2021)

RADX: Transforming Community Engagement to Increase SARS-CoV-2 Testing in Underserved Populations in Baton Rouge (TEST-UP Baton Rouge, PI: Kirwin, John). Increasing SARS-CoV-2 testing availability to underserved populations; RC–collaborator; NIH (2020)

Quantitative methods to understand biological processes of arbovirus transmission, Christofferson RC –PI; Burroughs WellcomeFund Collaborative Travel Grant (2019); $8,000

Characterization of temperature-driven heterogeneity in mosquito populations, the mosquito-arbovirus interaction and subsequent effects on transmission, RC Christofferson —PI, $1.19million (NIHR01); AwardedSept. 2016

Investigating the sylvatic transmission and reservoir potential of Zika, dengue, and chikungunya viruses of long-tailed macaques proximal to human populations of Thailand and Cambodia, Christofferson RC–co-PI; e-ASIA Joint Research Program (NIH NIAID/E-ASIA JRP); $99,950

Diagnostic testing for the detection of COVID19 in an elementary school setting, Christofferson RC –co-PI; Louisiana Department of Health (2020); $208,000

GeoHealth: A geospatial surveillance and response system resource for vector borne disease in the Americas(PI: John Malone) –Christofferson RC co-PI; NASA $463,468

Characterization of transmission and distribution factors of Bunyaviruses at Rwandan cattle farms,Christofferson RC –PI; LSU SVM USDA Corp Grant; $11,500

BHEARD Program -Rwanda (student training),RC Christofferson —PI, $211,776 (USAID); funded 2015

Characterization of the Infectious Causes of Acute Febrile Illness in Latin America.RC Christofferson –PI, $31,500 (contract with US Navy), funded Sept. 2016