KSUCVM • Development • Lifelines
Lifelines holiday logo
 The official newsletter for the faculty, staff and students of
K-State’s College of Veterinary Medicine
December 2007 - Vol. 2 No. 12
Top Stories

 Dr. Ganta secures $1.8 million grant

 Brain and brawn: Dr. Reinbold wins research prize
 — and fighting belt

 Sweet entries delight at 4th annual gingerbread
 house competition

 Holiday open house

 December master’s and doctoral grads

 Office under wraps

Regular Features

 Check it Out at the Library
 New Year's resolutions

 Under the Microscope:
 Kendra Siebert, Ph.D. student
 with Dr. Roman Ganta

 CVM News Ticker

 New Arrivals/Recent Departures

 Lifelines back issues

Lifelines bonus - Web site only Extra stories and photos*

 *Not included in the print or PDF versions of Lifelines.

PDF Version of this Issue

Lifelines bonus - Web site only

Dr. Ganta secures $1.8 million NIH research grant
(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 — Ehrlichia chaffeensis.

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 fatal.

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. Ganta said.

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 require hospitalization.

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, Ph.D. student in his lab.
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 Siebert observes.
Dr. Gwi-Moon Seo consults with Dr. Ganta while Kendra Siebert observes.

Dr. Ganta reviews one of the reports for accuracy.


Lifelines bonus - Web site only

Brains and brawn: Dr. Brandon Reinbold wins research prize — and fighting belt
(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 iatrogenic infection.”

“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’ attitude.”

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 steers!”

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. Reinbold “smiles”
after defeating Natu Visinia in June.

Dr. Brandon Reinbold, right, and
Dr. Brandon Reinbold, right, and Dr. Hans Coetzee at the ASR meeting in Colorado Springs.

Dr. Brandon Reinbold, in the blue trunks, makes quick work of his
Dr. Reinbold, in the blue trunks, makes quick work of an opponent.

Dr. Reinbold with Dr. Bill Stich (center), 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.


Lifelines bonus - Web site only
Sweet entries delight at 4th annual gingerbread house competition

(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.

Gingerbread house
Some CVM family members were brought in to view the spectacular and savory creations.

Dr. Renberg was questioned about possible gingerbread tampering by an officer.
Powdered sugar was used to dust for fingerprints!

Each display receive plenty of scrutiny.
Dr. Anderson points out the finer details.

Holy cow! Santa performs an AI!

Gingerbread house competition
A winning creation from the Ag Practices team.

Detail from one of the gingerbread houses
A fallen power line puts this gingerbread man in great peril.

The judges checked all the entries closely.
The judges review each entry carefully.

Cotton candy creates the perfect illusion of snow on a rooftop.


Lifelines bonus - Web site only
Holiday open house

(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.

The line in the dean's office.
A line of attendees winds through the dean’s office.

Line continues through the development office.
Veggies help counterbalance all the sweet treats!

The business office opens for business.
Decision time for these folks checking out the food in the business office.

Santa Ralph and Dr. Erickson
Dean Richardson shares some holiday spirit with
Dr. Howard Erickson.

Dean's lobby becomes dining room
The dean’s lobby becomes a temporary dining room.

A table full of goodies
A table full of holiday fare.


December master’s and doctoral grads

December master's and doctoral grads
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 veterinary physiology; Dana Townsend, Ph.D. in veterinary physiology; Megan Jacobs, master’s in veterinary biomedical sciences; Trent Fox, Ph.D. in pathobiology; Callie Walker, master’s in veterinary biomedical sciences; and Dr. Lisa Freeman, associate dean for research programs.

Not pictured: Ashley Thornton, master’s in veterinary biomedical sciences.


Lifelines bonus - Web site only

World Rabies Day update from Mylissia Stukey

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 success!

Buttons help commemorate World Rabies Day in Manhattan.

Prizes are prepared for the conclusion of the 5K run.

Office under wraps

Wagoner office

No, these aren’t presents, just Paul Wagoner’s desk in Large Animal Care as he found it on Dec. 21. 


Under the Microscope: Kendra Siebert, Ph.D. student with Dr. Roman Ganta

Kendra SiebertPlace 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).


Check it Out at the Library: New Year's resolutions

by Carol Elmore

Carol ElmoreWith 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 lives.

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 Veterinarians.

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 resolutions.

Dave Adams, Gina Scott, Susie Larson, Carol Elmore, Mary Girard, Mal Hoover and Cindy Logan.

T. Russell Reitz Animal Shelter staff Kevin, Barb, Hally and Angela welcome
the VML’s donations.


CVM News Ticker

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 in animals.”

Dr. Robert Larson spoke at an Intervet meeting in Montgomery, Ala., on Nov. 26. Topic: Evidence Based Veterinary Medicine.

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 markers.

Dr. Mike Sanderson presented at a USDA Training Conference in Fort Collins, Colo. Dec. 4-6. Topic: Bovine Viral Diarrhea.

Michelle Conrad and new daughter KendraMichelle Conrad gave birth Dec. 10 to Kendra Elizabeth Conrad, who weighed in at 9 pounds 12 ounces.


Natalie BarrettNatalie 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 profession.”

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 programs.

Marty 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 several topics:

  • Influenza in Australia

  • Methicillin-resistant Staph aureus

  • Cervical Stenotic Myelopathy in Older Horses

  • Immune-mediated Myositis

  • 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, and Dr. Scott Palmer, New Jersey Equine Clinic.


New Arrivals

Jenny Cain - A&P
Janel L. Crisler - DM/P - VDL
Yunjeong Kim - DM/P
Hiromitsu Miyazaki - A&P
Shannon J. Warton - Animal Resource Facility

Recent Departures

Kimberly Austin - A&P
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, jmontgom@vet.k-state.eduajwright@vet.k-state.edu

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