Tracey MacNamara '76, a veterinary pathologist at the New York Wildlife Conservation Society, became suspicious about the high death rate of crows in the vicinity of the Bronx Zoo. Her investigations led to the discovery of a new variant of the encephalitis virus in New York.

Duane J. Gubler, head of the Centers for Disease Control's virus field station in Colorado has said his institute could not have made the diagnosis of the West Nile virus as quickly "without McNamara's persistent sleuthing."

Her discovery has led to a tremendous amount of interest from the news media, including CBS News, The New York Times, National Public Radio, USA Today and others.

McNamara majored in psychology at St. Lawrence, and studied in France during her junior year, through the University's International Education Program. She has said that it was during this year of study that she decided to become a veterinarian.

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