Dr. Straeter (Sträter) was born and raised in northwestern Germany, in a small town called Osnabrueck. Her dream since she was 8 years old, was to one day be a veterinarian. She attended the Tieraerztliche Hochschule (Veterinary School) in Hannover, Germany, where she graduated in 1991.
After several externships (preceptorships) in France and America, Dr. Straeter found that she really enjoyed the incredible opportunities offered veterinarians here in the States. She applied for and was accepted to an internship program in small animal medicine and surgery at Washington State University, Pullman, WA (July 1991 – July 1992).
After graduating from the internship, Dr. Straeter was offered a position as a fellow in cardiology at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, Birmingham, AL. She joined the faculty of the Department of Medicine (Cardiology) one year later and benefited from the challenges and joys of research in human cardiology, linking a lot of the relevant research to veterinary medicine. At the same time, Dr. Straeter accepted a non-traditional residency in veterinary cardiology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN. She received her certificate for the successfully completed residency program in 1999, making her “board-eligible”.
Dr. Straeter is married to the architect Christopher Giattina. They have 4 children together, born between 1997 and 2003. They live in Homewood and share their house with 2 beautiful Labrador mutts, one exuberant pitbull mix, and 3 cats. In her free time, Dr. Straeter enjoys being active by riding horses, playing tennis, and running. She also likes to read and knit. She speaks German, French and English fluently and currently learns to speak Spanish in order to keep up with her children’s language skills.