Dr. Lathrop received a BS in Animal Science from Colorado State University (1989) and earned her DVM from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine in 1993. She practiced veterinary medicine in Cortez, Colorado, and then completed a PhD in veterinary preventive medicine at Ohio State University in 1999. Dr. Lathrop served a two-year post-doctoral fellowship at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer, studying vector-borne infectious diseases such as plague, tularemia, and dengue.

After a brief stint in industry overseeing clinical vaccine trials, Dr. Lathrop joined OMI in 2003 to conduct epidemiological studies using medical examiner data. She also serves as the Principal Investigator for the Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) portion of New Mexico's Emerging Infections Program, funded by the CDC. Research interests include the intersection of forensic pathology and epidemiology, infectious disease epidemiology, vector-borne infectious diseases, One Health, public health topics such as trends in violent deaths and sudden unexpected infant death investigation, as well as investigation of foodborne infections.

Personal Statement

Since arriving at UNM in 2003, I have worked to establish strong collaborative relationships between OMI and other agencies, developing those relationships into successful, externally-funded research projects and numerous peer-reviewed publications, while mentoring a future generation of health professionals in research. Working within a statewide medical examiner's office allows our team to utilize medicolegal death investigation data to study public health challenges, from unintentional overdose deaths to youth suicides, with an aim to informing public health policy. Since 2006 I have been the Principal Investigator for the CDC's Emerging Infections Program (EIP) Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet), working closely with epidemiologists at UNM, New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) and CDC to better understand the burden of foodborne illness in our state and nationally. New Mexico faces many public health challenges, and my position as an epidemiologist at UNM HSC provides me with the ideal opportunity to continue to address those challenges with relevant yet innovative research.

Areas of Specialty

Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Injury Epidemiology
Intersection of Medicolegal Death Investigation and Public Health
Foodborne Diseases
Zoonotic Diseases and One Health Initiatives


Doctor of Philosophy
The Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio
Veterinary Preventive Medicine

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
University of Minnesota
St. Paul, Minnesota

Bachelor of Science
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, Colorado
Highest honors and completion of University Honors Program
Animal Science


Veterinary license, Colorado (active)
Veterinary license, Minnesota (active)

Achievements & Awards

Office of the Medical Investigator Faculty Member of the Year, 2019
UNM Health Sciences Center Excellence in Research Award, Population Science, 2012
UNM Regents’ Lecturer Award, 2007-2009




  • English

Courses Taught

“Statistics: A Pathologic Overview,” UNM SOM Pathology Residents

“From Bees to Bears to Bulls: Animal-Caused Fatalities in New Mexico” OMI Field Investigators Certification

EMS 398.003 Epidemiology and Statistics: "Epidemiology and Forensic Pathology: Using Medical Examiner Data in Epidemiologic Studies"

PH 560.022: Emerging Infectious Diseases in New Mexico, UNM Shiprock Masters of Public Health Program

PH 560: Epidemiology of Zoonotic Diseases, UNM Masters of Public Health curriculum, 2012

Research and Scholarship

Consensus Study Report: Necessity, Use and Care of Laboratory Dogs at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. July 1, 2020

Mahdi I, Tomedi LE, Gerrard CY, Lathrop S, Landen M. Excessive alcohol use and drug overdose deaths, New Mexico, 2015-2016. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 2020 July 10

Hadler JL, Clogher P, Libby T, Wilson E, Oosmanally N, Ryan P, Magnuson L, Lathrop S, McGuire S, Cieslak P, Fankhauser M, Ray L, Geissler A, Hurd S. The Relationship between Census Tract-level Poverty and Domestically-Acquired Salmonella Incidence, Analysis of FoodNet Data 2010-2016. Journal of Infectious Diseases, November 23 2019

Singh VD and Lathrop SL. Role of the medical examiner in Zika virus and other emerging infections. Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, 2017 Jan;141(1):82-84.

LeBlanc MR, Clifford CP, Lathrop SL. Evaluation of Non-Natural Deaths among Veterans: New Mexico Medical Examiner-Investigated deaths, 2002-2011. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 2017 May; 62(3):668-673.