Brian Vander Ley

Dr. Brian Vander Ley
Associate Professor
Veterinary Epidemiologist

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Faculty Profile


Dr. Brian Vander Ley is an associate professor of veterinary epidemiology and the assistant director of the Great Plains Veterinary Educational Center (GPVEC) within the School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Dr. Vander Ley has previously served at the University of Missouri in the Veterinary Clinical Sciences department as an assistant professor of Food Animal Medicine and Surgery. Dr. Vander Ley’s professional interests center on agricultural livestock production systems. Dr. Vander Ley conducts research in partnership with collaborators at several institutions to address health concerns important to livestock production including genetic risk factors for disease, infectious disease management and mitigation, and environmental/management risk factors for disease. Dr. Vander Ley plays and active role in Nebraska Extension and leads efforts to use education and service to Nebraskans to build resilience into livestock production systems. Dr. Vander Ley also contributes to the teaching mission of GPVEC through participation in delivery of clinical training to veterinary students and by offering courses in epidemiology to graduate students.


  • Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventative Medicine, 2013
  • Ph.D. in Veterinary Microbiology and Preventive Medicine, Iowa State University, 2012
  • D.V.M., Iowa State University, 2008
  • B.A. in Independent Studies: Veterinary Studies, Dordt University, 2005

Professional Responsibilities and Activities

  • My responsibilities include engaging in research and extension outreach activities to benefit livestock producers and veterinarians as well as veterinary student education.


Larson-Peine JM, Heller MC, Rather-Williams AR, Pearl KA, Duncan NB, Vander Ley BL, Meyer AM. Blood chemistry and rectal temperature changes in a population of health, fall-born, suckling beef calves from birth to 72h of age. Theriogenology. 2022.

Heaton MP, Harhay GP, Bassett AS, Clark HJ, Carlson JM, Jobman EJ, Sadd HR, Pelster MC, Workman AM, Kuehn LA, Kalbfleisch TS, Piscatelli H, Carrie M, Krafsur GM, Grotelueschen DM, Vander Ley BL*. Association of ARRDC3 and NFIA variants with bovine congestive heart failure in feedlot cattle. F1000Research 2022, 11:385 (

Oppenheimer J, Rosen B, Heaton M, Bickhart D, Vander Ley B, Shafer W, Schuetze F, Stroud B, Kuehn L, McClure J, Barfield J, Blackburn H, Kalbfleisch T, Davenport K, Kuhn K, Green R, Shapiro B, Smith T. A reference genome assembly of American bison, Bison bison bison. Journal of Heredity. 112(2) 174-183. March 2021.

Heaton MP, Smith TPL, Bickhart D, Vander Ley BL, Kuehn LA, Oppenheimer J, Shafer WR, Schuetze FT, Stroud B, McClure JC, Barfield JP, Blackburn HD, Kalbfleisch TS, Davenport KM, Green RE, Shapiro B, Rosen BD. A reference genome assembly of Simmental cattle, Bos taurus taurus. Journal of Heredity. 112(2) 184-191. March 2021.

Rice ES, Koren S, Rhie A, Heaton MP, Kalbfleisch TS, Hardy T, Hackett PH, Bickhart DM, Rosen BD, Vander Ley BL, Maurer NW, Green RE, Phillippy AM, Petersen JL, Smith TPL. Chromosome length haplotigs for yak and cattle from trio binning assembly of an F1 Hybrid. GigaScience. 9 (4). 03 April 2020.

Gamsjaeger L, Vander Ley BL, Kynch H, MacArthur G, Heller M. Sodium Iodide as a preventative strategy against respiratory disease in pre-weaned dairy calves. American Journal of Veterinary Research. 81 (8), 670-680. 2020.

Carlson JM, Vander Ley BL, Lee SI, Grotelueschen DM, Walz PM, Workman AM, Boxler DJ. Detection of Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus in stable flies (Stomoxys calcitrans) following consumption of blood from persistently infected cattle. J Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation. 32 (1), 108-111. 2020.

Reed SK, Vander Ley BL, Bell RP, Wilson DA, Wilborn E, Keegan KG. Survey on Thoroughbred use, health, and owner satisfaction following retirement from racing. Equine Veterinary Education. 27 September 2019. doi:10.1111/eve.13185

Awards and Honors

  • Cattle Business Weekly “Top 10 Under 40.” 2019
  • Nebraska Cattlemen’s Foundation “Nebraska Beef Industry Endowment.” 2018.


Great Plains Veterinary Educational Center (GPVEC)
P.O. Box 148
820 Road 313
Clay Center, NE 68933


50% Research, 20% Teaching, 30% Extension

Research Areas

  • Beef Cattle Research
  • Epidemiology

Professional Interests

  • Enhance beef cattle production sustainability by improving animal health and performance at all levels of production
  • Research focus is on bovine respiratory disease, developmental programming, and preventative health measures in beef cattle.

Professional Society Memberships

  • American College of Veterinary Preventative Medicine
  • Nebraska Veterinary Medical Association
  • Academy of Veterinary Consultants
  • American Association of Bovine Practitioners