(with bonus pictures)
One thousand dollars a day over five years — this is the breakdown of a new
research grant for Dr. Roman Ganta, professor in diagnostic
medicine and pathobiology. News came this month that the
National Institutes of Health had approved $1.825 million
for Dr. Ganta’s continuing research on tick-borne bacteria —
The bacteria affect people and animals primarily in the
southeastern and south central regions of the United States.
It is transmitted by the lone star tick. The resulting
sickness, Ehrlichiosis, is hard to diagnose because its
symptoms — headache, fever, malaise and muscle aches — are
similar to other, more minor infections. For those with
compromised immune systems, the bacterial infection could be
This particular tick-borne pathogen is also unique because
it circumvents the initial defenses of the immune system of
the animal or human the tick bites, according to Dr. Ganta.
“It’s like the enemy entering into a battlefield and knowing
exactly where the landmines are and diffusing them all,” Dr.
Dr. Ganta said that tick-borne pathogens like Ehrlichia
chaffeensis have long been recognized as a persistent
concern for the health of several companion animals and
livestock. The number of cases in humans has also risen in
recent years, increasing the threat to public health.
“Understanding the molecular basis for persistence by these
bacteria has been critical in developing effective methods
to control this and other tick-borne pathogens,” Dr. Ganta
said. “Our research is focused on understanding the pathogen
evasion mechanisms, and then using those to defeat it.”
Though very few cases are reported — around 1,500 since
being listed by the CDC as a disease of concern in the late
1980s. Dr. Ganta estimates that as many as 50,000 people
have actually contracted Ehrlichia chaffeensis each year. As
many as half of patients diagnosed with Ehrlichiosis may
This is the second grant of roughly the same size Dr. Ganta
has received for this research. Over the last five years,
his research team has been working under a previous federal
grant, also from the National Institutes of Health, to
uncover exactly how the bacterium works. They re-created the
conditions for the bacteria to simulate the growth in vivo
using in vitro cultured cells from canine macrophages and
ticks. The current study revealed that the tick cells are
what made the difference, and that the tick’s ecology
changes the bacteria by changing protein expression,
enabling bacteria to slip by the immune system.
The hope is that once Dr. Ganta comes up with a way to fight
off the bacteria, that will pave the way for solutions to
other forms of Ehrlichia and closely related tick-borne
pathogens, some of which are devastating for companion
animals, cattle and other food animals.
Dr. Roman Ganta checks in with Feng Pan, research assistant;
Dr. Gwi-Moon Seo postdoctoral associate; and Kendra Siebert,
a Ph.D. student in his lab.
Dr. Gwi-Moon Seo consults with Dr. Ganta while Kendra
Dr. Ganta reviews one of the reports for accuracy.
(with bonus pictures)
There are definitely two sides to Dr. Brandon Reinbold,
graduate student in pharmacology. One is a researcher
dedicated to taking down the disease of bovine anaplasmosis.
The other side is involves taking down opponents inside the
octagonal fighting ring of mixed martial arts.
This month, Dr. Reinbold received the Society for Tropical
Veterinary Medicine Award at the Conference of Research
Workers in Animal Disease meeting in Chicago. He won for his
presentation, “Diagnosis of bovine anaplasmosis following
“The goal of our research is to be able to identify and
distinguish between Anaplasma marginale and Anaplasma
phagocytophilum infections,” he said.
While grappling with this complex research, Dr. Reinbold also
finds time for mixed martial arts. He has an undefeated
record as an amateur fighter and utilizes the skills he
developed as a two-time state wrestling champion in high
school to defeat his opponents.
“I became fascinated with the sport in 2005,” Dr. Reinbold
said. “I never thought much of it until I watched the first
Ultimate Fighter series. I realized there is so much more to
the sport than two guys trying to beat each other up. There
is a strategy and only the most well-rounded fighters end up
in the UFC to compete.
“The other thing is the inner strength that you discover of
yourself. When I was on my knees with Natu Visinia teeing
off on me, all I could think at the time was ‘how am I going
to beat this guy?’ Well, I had to dig deep and keep coming
at him. He had me down at first, but I ended up on top. The
thing I am most proud of is not simply winning. I am most
proud of my perseverance and ‘winning is the only option’
Dr. Reinbold’s specialty is an arm bar hold, which forces
his opponents into submission. In November, he won the Elite Fight League heavyweight
title belt with a first round TKO to improve his overall
record to 4-0.
Dr. Hans Coetzee, assistant professor in Clinical
Pharmacology, oversees the anaplasmosis research. He has
also watched Dr. Reinbold compete in the ring.
“I don’t believe there is another veterinarian, let alone a
future Ph.D. candidate competing in Ultimate Fighting in the
world today,” Dr. Coetzee said. “Brandon’s competitive
nature is part of what makes him an outstanding graduate
student. Fighting and research both require perseverance,
determination, hard work and attention to detail. Having
that kind of athletic ability also comes in useful when it
comes to lifting heavy objects or working 1,000 pound
Ultimately, Dr. Reinbold plans to go pro as a fighter.
“It makes sense to go up to the pro ranks,” Dr. Reinbold
said. “It’s a hobby, but it would be great to be able to
earn money for competing.”
He also plans to go pro in the veterinary ranks.
“I will probably try to work in the pharmaceutical industry
after I finish my degree,” Dr. Reinbold said.
If his other skills are any indication, taking down a good
job will be easy.
You should see the other guy! Dr.
after defeating Natu Visinia in June.
Dr. Brandon Reinbold, right, and Dr. Hans Coetzee at the
ASR meeting in Colorado Springs.
Dr. Reinbold, in the blue trunks,
makes quick work of an opponent.
Dr. Reinbold with Dr. Bill Stich
associate professor of
pathobiology at the University of Missouri and CRWAD
representative, and E. Cobo of UC Davis, the other
award recipient in the Vector-Borne and Parasitic
Diseases Sections of the 2007 graduate student awards.
Dr. Reinbold with Amanda Sherck, class of 2009,
collecting blood samples from research calves.
(with extended photo gallery)
Ag practices took first place in
this year’s competition. The recent ice storm was a common
theme among several of the entries. Here are
several photos from this year’s competition.
Some CVM family members were
brought in to view the spectacular and
Dr. Renberg was questioned about
possible gingerbread tampering by an officer.
Powdered sugar was used to dust for fingerprints!
Dr. Anderson points out the finer
Holy cow! Santa performs an AI!
A winning creation from the Ag Practices team.
A fallen power line puts this
gingerbread man in great peril.
The judges review each entry
Cotton candy creates the perfect
illusion of snow on a rooftop.
(with extended photo gallery)
The annual holiday
open house was held Dec. 17. Faculty staff and invited
guests were treated to a wide assortment of holiday fare in
the development, business and dean’s offices.
A line of attendees winds through
the dean’s office.
Veggies help counterbalance all
the sweet treats!
Decision time for these folks
checking out the food in the business office.
Dean Richardson shares some
holiday spirit with
Dr. Howard Erickson.
The dean’s lobby becomes a
temporary dining room.
A table full of holiday fare.
A reception was held this month for the December master’s and doctoral graduates.
From left to
right: Dean Ralph
Richardson; Robin Craig, Ph.D. in
Dana Townsend, Ph.D. in
veterinary physiology; Megan Jacobs, master’s in veterinary
sciences; Trent Fox, Ph.D. in
pathobiology; Callie Walker, master’s in veterinary
sciences; and Dr. Lisa Freeman, associate
dean for research programs.
Not pictured: Ashley Thornton, master’s in veterinary
The World Rabies Day events held in Manhattan raised
$5,000 this year for the Alliance for Rabies Control — more
than any other veterinary school in the country! The Center
for Disease Control gratefully acknowledged K-State as the
first veterinary school to initiate plans for the events of
World Rabies Day.
The World Rabies Day initiative was created by the
Alliance for Rabies Control to raise global awareness about
rabies and rabies prevention. The Alliance for Rabies
Control is a nonprofit organization made up of expert
rabies researchers and public health professionals. Local
World Rabies Day events were held at CICO park on Sept.
9, 2007. Events included a 5K run, guest speakers and
children’s activities. Twenty-four veterinary schools and
over 70 countries held events for the first annual
celebration of World Rabies Day.
In recognition for the efforts put forth by veterinary schools during World
Rabies Day, the Center for Disease Control is awarding a university and an
individual student for their participation. Tuskegee University was awarded a
full-day rabies symposium to be held at their school for having the greatest
percentage of student participation. A two-week internship at a rabies field
site in Africa will be awarded to an individual veterinary student selected by
the Alliance for Rabies Control. Interested students can submit an essay on the
role veterinarians play in public health and zoonotic disease prevention and
control, the reason for their interest in this area and this internship, why the
inaugural World Rabies Day is important and what it means to them, any related
activities or formal instruction that the student has completed in the areas of
public health and/or infectious diseases, as well as any other aspects of
him/herself the student would like the review committee to take into
consideration. Entries must be postmarked by Jan. 1, and the winner will be
announced by Feb. 1.
Thanks to all who helped to make World Rabies Day a huge
Buttons help commemorate World
Rabies Day in Manhattan.
Prizes are prepared for the
conclusion of the 5K run.
No, these aren’t presents, just
Paul Wagoner’s desk in Large Animal Care as he found it on
Place of birth: Ulysses, Kan.
Family Information: Parents:
Jake L. and Cindy Siebert. Siblings: one sister, Prudence
Siebert. Offspring: I have a son, Javin, who is 10 years old
and in the 4th grade. Background: Grew up on the family
farm/ranch out in Southwest Kansas. We raise wheat, grain
sorghum, corn and sunflower crops and have a herd of
Simmental cross (cow/calf operation).
Pets: I have a German
Shepherd, Tanja, and a Chaco Golden Knee tarantula, Nestle.
My son has a polydactyl cat, Herby, and a hedgehog, Harley.
Our fish (guppies) didn't survive the power outage. :(
Favorite holiday movie: A
Christmas Story (“You’ll shoot your eye out!!”
— too funny.)
Describe a perfect weekend:
It would be nice to have someone clean my house for me so I
could just relax.
What was the strangest job you ever held?
Well, I farmed for three
years after my bachelor’s degree (animal science), not so
much strange as just a long way from science.
What was the most enjoyable class you’ve had in college or
high school? I really enjoyed
my high school genetics class. We had Drosophila that we
used for our experiments and being amateurs, let a lot of
them loose in the school (the cooks just loved that).
Least favorite time of year?
Any time it snows!
What car would you buy if you won the lottery?
Bright red 1969 Corvette
Describe a time you surprised yourself at being able to do
something: During my master’s
in entomology, I attended a national meeting and gave my
first oral presentation. I was very surprised when I
actually won the student competition in my section.
If you could be someone else in history, who would you
choose and why? I’m content
with who I am.
What is your New Year’s resolution?
To get in shape (ha ha).
the beginning of a new year, many of us start thinking
about making resolutions to improve our personal health, our
relationships, our environment or other aspects of our
Here at the Veterinary Medical
Library, we each probably have such resolutions, but as a
group, we resolved to improve the lives of animals and staff
at the T. Russell Reitz Animal Shelter in Manhattan by
contributing some items to the shelter from their wish list.
Recently we visited the shelter
and took cleaning supplies, bedding, toys and food. We
learned about these needs from a bookmark that the shelter
gives to its visitors. The list has interesting requests
such as toilet lid covers so cats will have something to
snuggle up in as well as the more traditional requests for food,
treats and toys. Cleaning supplies are especially requested,
as well as monetary donations.
Shelters are an important and
necessary part of community life all over the United States.
The Veterinary Medical Library recognizes this importance by
including books that discuss shelter history and medicine in
our library’s print collection.
A few selections in our library collection are “One at
a Time: a Week in an American Animal Shelter” by Diane
Leigh, “Shelter Dogs” by Traer Scott, and “Shelter Medicine
for Veterinarians” edited by Lila Miller. We also have
Shelter Veterinarian, a journal
published by the Association of Animal Shelter
Resolutions do not always have to be many or large in
scope but we here at the Veterinary Medical Library hope our
small resolution will inspire others to make similar
Dave Adams, Gina Scott, Susie
Larson, Carol Elmore, Mary Girard, Mal Hoover and Cindy
T. Russell Reitz Animal Shelter
staff Kevin, Barb, Hally and Angela welcome
the VML’s donations.
Dr. Mike Apley presented on Nov. 18 at the Global
Animal Health Conference in London. The topic was “A
veterinarians viewpoint on managing antimicrobial resistance
Dr. Robert Larson spoke at an Intervet meeting in
Montgomery, Ala., on Nov. 26. Topic: Evidence Based
Dr. Dan Thomson presented at the Kansas Livestock
Association Convention in Wichita Kansas on Nov. 30. Topic:
Thinking outside the shots: Managing High Risk Cattle.
Dr. Greg Grauer spoke Dec. 3 at the Vetoquinol
State of the Art Renal Conference in Nice, France. Topics:
1) Update on the current theories of progression of chronic
kidney disease by proteinuria and 2) Early diagnosis of
kidney disease - Microalbuminuria and other possible
Dr. Mike Sanderson presented at a USDA Training
Conference in Fort Collins, Colo. Dec. 4-6. Topic: Bovine
Conrad gave birth Dec. 10 to Kendra Elizabeth Conrad,
who weighed in at 9 pounds 12 ounces.
Barrett, fourth-year student from
Escondido, Calif., was selected to be the 2008 recipient of
the National Simmons Educational Fund (SEF) Business
Aptitude Award. She will receive $10,000 and a trip to the
2008 Western Veterinary Conference in Las Vegas where the
award will be presented in February.
The SEF awards $1,500 to one veterinary student at each
participating school in the nation through its Business
Aptitude Award Program. From these winners, one student is
chosen to receive a $10,000 award based on their solution to
the SEF Case Study submitted.
Barrett was selected from among a broad pool of national
candidates, based upon her resume and her well-crafted
solutions to the e SEF Business Case Study.
“Natalie’s essay is really on point and specifically
addresses the issues clearly with excellent insight,” said
Dave Gerber, DVM, a Simmons professional and SEF
trustee. “She really gets it. Her presentation is clear and
concise with exceptional ideas and follow through.”
“It is a great honor to receive this award,” Barrett
said. “I have learned that medical knowledge is only half of
what you need in order to be a successful veterinarian. The
other half is made up of interpersonal and business skills
that are crucial to becoming both successful and happy in
life. The Veterinary Business Management Association (VBMA)
chapters at veterinary schools across the country are
helping to raise awareness of how to become successful in
both a career and in life, which will in turn advance the
Dr. Ralph Richardson, dean of K-State’s College of
Veterinary Medicine said, “We congratulate Natalie on
winning this prestigious award. It is a testament to her
determination and ability to fully prepare herself to become
a successful veterinary practitioner.”
The SEF is an educational foundation created by Simmons &
Associates to educate practitioners and students about the
business of veterinary medicine. To get the word out, the
SEF reaches veterinarians through its various speaking
engagements, seminars, newsletters, and other communication
Kramer’s wife gave birth Dec. 11 to son Kas Martin Kramer
who was 7 pounds 13 ounces.
Dr. Bonnie Rush participated in the Kester News
Hour, which was a review of the clinically relevant
literature from the previous year at the 53rd AAEP
Convention in Orlando, Fla., Dec. 1-5. She also presented
Influenza in Australia
Methicillin-resistant Staph aureus
Cervical Stenotic Myelopathy in Older Horses
The Horse Slaughter Protection Act
Prevention of Rhodococcus equi
British Emergency Services Protocol and Fund
Neuropathic Equine Herpesvirus
Dr. Bonnie Rush, right, gives a
live broadcast with Dr. Margo Macpherson, University of Florida,
Dr. Scott Palmer, New Jersey Equine Clinic.
Jenny Cain - A&P
Janel L. Crisler - DM/P - VDL
Yunjeong Kim - DM/P
Hiromitsu Miyazaki - A&P
Shannon J. Warton - Animal Resource Facility
Bryan Helwig - A&P
Nithyanandhin Raveendran - A&P
Lifelines is published each month by the
Development and Alumni
Office at the College of Veterinary Medicine
Editors are Joe
Montgomery and Amy Jo Wright, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Note: Files are in
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