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Craig Thatcher

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Sr Assoc Dean & Professor
Faculty w/Admin Appointment, DTPHX Campus, Mailcode 3020
Sr Assoc Dean & Professor
Administrative, DTPHX Campus, Mailcode 3020
Sr Assoc Dean & Professor
Administrative, DTPHX Campus, Mailcode 3020

Craig D. Thatcher is a senior associate dean and professor in the Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation at Arizona State University and oversees Edson College's Global Health Collaboratory and the Edson College Learning Enterprise. He received his MS (Nutritional Physiology), DVM and PhD (Nutritional Physiology) from Iowa State University. He is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition. After graduation, he spent several years in private mixed-animal practice in north central Pennsylvania before joining the faculty of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). 

Professor Thatcher's research interest is in the area of comparative nutrition and the role of antioxidant nutrients in health and disease, particularly as it relates to obesity and insulin resistance. He was co-director of a multidisciplinary $3.25M NSF-IGERT award titled “Macromolecular Interfaces with Life Sciences: Oxidative Processes” at Virginia Tech. He has mentored more than 30 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, has been awarded research funding from a variety of sources during his career, and has published more than 125 peer-reviewed papers. He has been a frequent invited speaker at national and international professional conferences. He has co-authored and co-edited the textbook, "Small Animal Clinical Nutrition," which is the most widely used textbook to teach small animal clinical nutrition to practitioners and veterinary students worldwide. 

  • Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition 
  • Ph.D. Nutritional Physiology, Iowa State University
  • D.V.M. Iowa State University 
  • M.S. Iowa State University


Research Interests: 

His research has focused on using animal models to study important human and animal diseases, specifically the role that nutrition plays in disease processes. He has been involved in both basic and translational research and funding for his work has been from various sources including federal agencies, industry, and private foundations. Most recently, his research has focused on oxidative processes as it relates to obesity and asthma using an equine model.  


For a current list of publications and research activity visit

Recent Publications

  • Kagan, I.A., B.H. Kirch, C.D. Thatcher, C.D. Teutsch and R.S. Pleasant.  2014. Profiles of non-structural carbohydrates contributing to the colorimetrically determined fructan, ethanol-soluble, and water-soluble carbohydrate of five grasses, Animal Feed Science and Technology, 188:53-63.
  • Pleasant, R.S., J.K. Suagee, C.D. Thatcher, F. Elvinger, and R.J. Geor. 2013. Prevalence of elevated blood insulin in a population of mature light-breed horses:  Relationships to adiposity, Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 27(3):576-582.
  • Suagee, J.K., B.A. Corl, M.V. Crisman, R.S. Pleasant, C.D. Thatcher, and R.J. Geor. 2012. Relationships between body condition score and plasma inflammatory cytokines, insulin, and lipids in a mixed population of light-breed horses, Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 27:157-163.
  • Thatcher, C.D. , R.S. Pleasant, R.J. Geor, and F. Elvinger. 2012. Prevalence of over conditioning in mature horses:  An equine body condition study in southwest Virginia during the summer, Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 26:1413-1418.
  • Kagan, I.A., B.H. Kirch, C.D. Thatcher, C.D. Teutsch, F.C. Elvinger, D.M. Shepherdand R.S. Pleasant.  2011.  Seasonal and diurnal changes in starch content and sugar profiles of Bermudagrass in the Piedmont region of the United States, Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, 31, 521-529.
  • Kagan, I.A., B.H. Kirch, C.D. Thatcher, J.R. Strickland, C.D. Teutsch, F.C. Elvinger,and R.S. Pleasant.  2011.  Seasonal and diurnal variation in simple sugar and fructan composition of orchardgrass pasture and hay in the Piedmont region of the United States, Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, 31, 488-497.
  • Noschka, E., S.R. Were, M.V. Crisman, C.D. Thatcher, G.L. Milne, and L.A. Dahlgren. 2011. Implications of urine F2-isoprostane metabolite concentration in horses with colic and its potential use as a predictor for surgical intervention, Equine Vet J, 43:34-41.
  • Tan, R.H.H., C.D. Thatcher, V. Buechner-Maxwell, U. Christmann, M.V. Crisman, and S.R. Were. 2010.  Measurement of ascorbic acid and glutathione peroxidase activity in biological samples collected from recurrent airway obstruction affected horses and their controls, AJVR, 71(12):1500-1507.
  • Kasimanickam, R., V. Kasimanickam, Jacobo Rodriguez, K.D. Pelzer, P.D. Sponenberg, and C.D. Thatcher.  2010. Tocopherol Induced Angiogenesis in Placental Vascular Network in Late Pregnant Ewes, Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, 8:86-97.
  • Christmann, U., R.D. Hite, R.H. Tan, C.D. Thatcher, S.G. Witonsky, S.R. Were, V.A. Buechner-Maxwell. 2010. Surfactant alterations in horses with recurrent airway obstruction at various clinical stages. AJVR, 74(10):468-475.
Research Activity: 

Current/Recent Grants and Projects

  • Macromolecular Interfaces with Life Sciences (MILES): Oxidative Processes
    Co-Directors: Susan E. Duncan, Timothy E. Long, Craig D. Thatcher
    Source: NSF-IGERT Amount: $3,228,000 (funded 2004) Duration: 5 years
  • Evaluation of a Nanoscale Targeted Antioxidant Delivery System in an Equine Model for Human Asthma and Pulmonary Inflammation. Principal Investigators: Craig D. Thatcher and Ben Lepene. Co-Investigators: Virginia Buechner-Maxwell, Yong W. Lee, Timothy E. Long, and Maren Roman. Source: Institute for Critical Technologies and Applied Sciences, Virginia Tech Funded: $48,136 (funded 2007)
  • Insulin Sensitivity and Glucose Dynamics in Horses Fed Hay of Different Carbohydrate Composition During Obesity and Weight Reduction. Principal Investigator: Craig D. Thatcher. Co-Investigators: R. Scott Pleasant, Ray Geor, Chris Teutsh, Jill McCutcheon, Mark Crisman, and Francois Elvinger. Source: Center for Equine Research in Virginia, VMRCVM Funded:  $49,940 (funded 2007)
Fall 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
EXW 590Reading and Conference
Expertise Areas: