Where are they now: Steven Bradfute

Editor’s note: Where are they now is a periodical feature on former Eastern New Mmexico University students:

Eastern New Mexico University graduate and former Portales resident
Steven Bradfute was recently published for his scientific studies in
the Journal of Infectious Diseases. He graduated from ENMU in 1998.

He is currently working as a postdoctoral fellow at the U.S. Army
Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in Maryland.

Scientific research: Bradfute said he is currently studying
how immune systems respond to the Ebola and Marburg virus infection.
“These are two viruses that can be lethal in up to 90 percent of
infected patients. It’s my job to understand how these viruses bypass
the immune (system) response,” he said.

Excitement of research: “Be careful — once you ask a scientist about his/her work, you may never get them to stop,” Bradfute said.

A good educational foundation: Bradfute said, “I received a great
education from ENMU. It is usual to be able to stay in contact with
your professors long after you graduate and have them actually remember
who you are.”

Notable professors from ENMU: Bradfute said he had many great
science professors at ENMU, but two in particular stood out from the
rest. “Dr. (Gary) Pfaffenberger was the type of person who commanded
your respect because he demanded the best from you while simultaneously
showing great interest in the lives of his students.”

Bradfute also said Manuel Varela was the first professor to teach
him immunology. “(Varela) has a rare a profound ability to be able to
… teach well in the classroom and to train students how to do
research in the laboratory,” he said.

Family is a special achievement: Bradfute has been married to
his wife Jennifer for six years, and the two have a 5-month-old
daughter, Ava. He said, “Our daughter Ava is a very laid back and happy
baby who has recently decided to start sleeping through the night.”

Growing up the Portales way: Bradfute said that he still
loves the Portales area, and he was glad that he had the opportunity to
grow up here. “From being a paperboy to mowing lawns, I really got to
know the people of Portales and I’m a better person for it,” he

My brothers are my heroes: Bradfute has two older brothers, Richard
and David. Richard is the vice president of Portales National Bank.
David is working for the Kirby Co. in Roswell. He said, “Both my
brothers are natural leaders and are in high positions in their jobs —
they will always be my heroes.”

— Compiled by PNT Staff Writer Celena Cordova