Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine


Lifelines Header
The official newsletter for the faculty, staff and students of
K-State’s College of Veterinary Medicine


April 2009 - Vol. 4 No. 4


Top Stories Dr. Kyeong-Ok Chang

Dr. Chang earns grant
Norovirus research snags this scientist $5.1 Million
Check it out here

New vaccine for E-coli
CVM faculty team up on first U.S. vaccine against E. coli O157 in beef cattle.
Who was the corporate partner?

Pet Tribute makes connections
Pizza lunch for third-year students emphasizes human-animal bond and a special letter arrives.
A presidential contact?

Kane claims scholarship
Second-year student Erin Kane receives $2,500 AASV scholarship for swine presentation.
What did she present?

A Bonnie farewell

Regular Features

Chris StephensUnder the Microscope:
Meet Chris Stephens

Development Officer

Check it Out at the Library
A view to behold!

Calendar Of Events

CVM News Ticker

New Arrivals/Recent Departures

Lifelines back issues


  Car decorated for birthday

Bonus logobonus stories and photos*    

New plaques for Dykstra and Burt Halls
(named for former CVM faculty)

Dog and Jog hits the road

You say it's your birthday?


Printable PDF Version of this Issue


Norovirus research merits $5.1 million grant for
Dr. Chang

Noroviruses make most people sick to the stomach, but not Dr. Kyeong-Ok Chang. Instead, the study of noroviruses has become his career focus and has now resulted in a $5.1 million NIH cooperative research grant for his project.

Originally from Korea, Dr. Chang earned his DVM in 1989 and a master’s degree in 1991, both from Seoul National University. He then earned a doctorate from The Ohio State University in 1999. While working on his Ph.D., Dr. Chang became interested in noroviruses, and has continued to pursue this line of research while working as a research fellow at National Institutes of Health and as an assistant professor in veterinary virology in the Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology at K-State’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

“Human noroviruses are the leading cause of food- or water-borne gastroenteritis illnesses responsible for more than 60 percent of outbreaks,” Dr. Chang said. “These outbreaks can occur in humans and animals, including pigs, cattle and minks. There are no commercially available vaccines or antivirals against noroviruses, despite an estimated 23 million cases of illness, 50,000 hospitalizations and 300 deaths each year in the United States alone.”

Dr. M.M. Chengappa, University Distinguished Professor and head of the Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology, added, “Noroviruses are a major problem in humans, particularly on cruise ships or with military units – anywhere people are contained in a small area – and it’s highly contagious. Dr. Chang is a very hard-working, energetic and productive young scientist who is well-equipped and trained to handle the challenges in this field of research. He has an excellent research and graduate training program, fits well with our other faculty and is an excellent team player. We are fortunate to have a person of his caliber in the department.”

While Dr. Chang is the principle investigator of the norovirus research project at K-State, his co-principle investigators are Dr. Linda Saif from Ohio State, Dr. William Groutas at Wichita State University and Dr. Duy Hua, a University Distinguished Professor in the chemistry department at K-State.

While it’s a massive project, the $5.1 million grant will provide support for the next five years.

“This is my first major grant as a principle investigator and it allows me to continue to study norovirus replication and antiviral drug development, which I have studied for the last 10 years,” Dr. Chang said.

“We established a comprehensive plan aimed at developing anti-noroviral therapeutics in cooperation with medicinal chemists and virologists from various institutions,” Dr. Chang said. “We have identified two classes of hit compounds that have significantly reduced virus replication with distinct mechanisms. This project aims to develop novel small molecule therapeutics against human noroviruses by advancing the hit compounds through the stage prior to filing an investigational new drug application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.”


Dr. Kyeong-Ok Chang
Dr. Kyeong-Ok Chang is an assistant professor in veterinary virology in the Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology at K-State's College of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Kyeong-Ok Chang
Dr. Chang spends about half of his time in the lab.

  CVM faculty team up on first vaccine against E. coli O157 in beef cattle
Dr. Dan Thompson
Dr. Dan Thomson
Dr. T.G. Nagaraja
Dr. T.G. Nagaraja

Drs. Dan Thomson and T.G. Nagaraja, from the CVM, have collaborated with Epitopix LLC, on a project resulting in the United States’ first vaccine against E. coli O157 in beef cattle.

“Researchers have done so much to focus on the post-harvest food safety aspect, whether it’s E. coli or salmonella,” said Dr. Thomson, Jones Professor of Production Medicine and Epidemiology in the Department of Clinical Sciences.

Dr. Thomson led both challenge studies and field studies to help the vaccine garner approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It was developed by researchers Dr. Daryll Emery, Darren Straub and Doug Burkhardt of Epitopix LLC in Willmar, Minn. Dr. Thomson collaborated with Dr. T.G. Nagaraja, University Distinguished Professor from the CVM’s Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology, and Dr. Guy Loneragan of West Texas A&M University.

“We have been a research collaborator for Epitopix to conduct the work that lead to this conditional approval,” Dr. Thomson said. “Epitopix will now be able to offer this pre-harvest food safety tool to beef producers.”

The researchers conducted a challenge study at K-State and studies of commercial feed yards in Nebraska and Great Bend in 2007 and 2008.

Dr. Thomson said K-State appreciates the research partnership with Epitopix on this important pre-harvest food safety tool and that the partnership allowed several K-State graduate students to participate in the study. They included Trent Fox, a December 2007 doctoral graduate in pathobiology and now a third-year veterinary medicine student; Ashley Thornton, a December 2007 master’s degree graduate in biomedical science; and Dr. Ben Wileman, a doctoral student in pathobiology.



Pet Tribute makes connections; near and far

The connections people make with each other over a lifetime are priceless, and the connections made with animals are no different. The CVM’s Pet Trib­ute program helps to make both possible.


Sharon Greene shows her presidential correspondence
Sharon Greene shows a letter and pictures she received from the White House. Shown in the pictures are the Bush’s former cat and dog: India (aka Willie) and Spotty. Sharon honored both pets in the CVM’s Whispering Garden.

Dr. Emily Klocke, Sharon Greene and Dr. Mac Hafen
Dr. Emily Klocke, Sharon Greene and Dr. Mac Hafen smile after the annual Pet Tribute pizza meet-and-greet held for third-year students. Dr. Klocke, a Pet Tribute board member, discussed the importance of Pet Tribute and “Clay Paws,” while Dr. Hafen explained his clinical-student video evaluations. These evaluations are designed to help students enhance the human-animal bond through their interactions with clients.



  Erin Kane’s AASV presentation earns $2,500 scholarship

Second-year student, Erin Kane, recently earned a $2,500 scholarship for her presentation on the effects of vaccination timing and diet source on the growth performance of nursery pigs in the Student Seminar Competition at the annual meeting of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV). Her abstract and presentation were among the top five out of 45 submissions.

“Prior to the summer of 2008, I had never even touched a live pig,” Erin said. “However, because I was interested in gaining experience with swine, I began working with Dr. Steve Dritz as a swine research assistant. After learning a bit about swine management, medicine, and research, I was able to take the lead on this research project.”

“Erin’s project has major significance because it addressed widespread reports from swine producers and veterinarians indicating an increased number of failures-to-thrive pigs in the early period immediately after weaning,” said Dr. Dritz, swine specialist in the Department of Diagnostic Medicine/ Pathobiology. “We identified two major factors that could be involved: nursery diet and vaccination. Erin’s project indicated both factors can have negative influences on feed intake in the period immediately after weaning and that they are additive. This means if you have poor diet and vaccination, the impact is larger than if you have either alone. Thus, her data demonstrated that either or both of these stressors alone could be involved in the increase in failure-to-thrive pigs noted in the field.”


Erin Kane, class of 2011
Erin Kane, class of 2011, won a $2,500 scholarship for her presentation on the effects of vaccination timing and diet source on the growth performance of nursery pigs at the annual AASV meeting. Shown below are some of the animals she worked with.

Nursery pigs

  Calendar Of Events

April 10th: Kind Hearts Caring Hands/White Coat Ceremony

Mosier and Trotter Halls/ K-State Student Union, Main Ballroom

Click here for more about Kind Hearts, Caring Hands Day


April 24: Pet Tribute Ice-Cream Social

3:00-4:30 p.m., Trotter Room 2



May 27-29: International conference on the use of antimicrobials in cattle production

K-State Student Union

Click here for more info about the conference


June 7-10: 71st Annual Conference for Veterinarians

K-State Student Union

Click here for more info about the conference

  A Bonnie Farewell

Bonnie Thompson celebrates her retirement at a reception held in her honor April 3. Dr. Frank Blecha, Department Head for Anatomy and Physiology, thanks her for 26 years of service at the CVM.



Bonnie Thompson with Dr. Frank Blecha
Bonnie Thompson and Dr. Frank Blecha.
  Bonus logo*bonus photos

New plaques for Dykstra and Burt Halls (named for former CVM faculty)

Two new plaques will be mounted later this spring in recognition of two
former CVM faculty members for whom the buildings are named. In all,
there are seven major facilities on campus bearing the names of CVM
faculty members. Look for a follow-up story in Lifelines after the plaques
are mounted. Dr. Howard Erickson helped write the biographies for the
plaques and the designs were created by Mal Hoover in the DISC department.

Dykstra Hall plaque
Named in honor of Dr. Ralph R. Dykstra, the first dean of
Veterinary Medicine at K-State. Dykstra Hall was used as
the veterinary teaching hospital before Mosier Hall.


Burt Hall plaque
Named in honor of Dr. James H. Burt, former head of the
Department of Anatomy and Physiology. Burt Hall was built in 1923 for clinical research, instruction and surgery on large animals.
  Bonus logo*bonus photos

Dog and Jog 2009 took place April 4. See more photos online:


Dog and Jog - purple sweater


Running down the street



  Bonus logo*bonus photos

So you say it's your birthday?

Imagine thinking your friends forgot your birthday and
then find out later — they didn't forget at all! Note
these recently decorated vehicles. The 'post it' car belongs
to Theresa Lamontagne, class of 2012. According to the
message on the windshield, it was a belated birthday greeting.
The culprits were Laura Koslosky, Katy Cockerill and
Shelby Kooser, who used about 3,000 'post its' at a cost
of approximately $14. Aren't birthday cards cheaper and
easier to deliver?

Happy Birthday face on car

This car belongs to Becca Pheasant, also class of 2012
(What is it about those first-year students?) whose birthday
was in early March. The decorations committee has not
been identified. Thank goodness the cake and ice cream
didn't come with the package!

A well-decorated present?


Front view of post-it car



Smiley balloon on car

  Check it out at the Library: A view to behold
written by Carol Elmore

Carol Elmore

A popular movie from the 1960’s, “A View from the Bridge,” was based on the Arthur Miller play of the same name. One of the film’s perspectives was based on what a viewer might observe of life in Manhattan, New York from the Brooklyn Bridge.

At the library, we have a perspective of life in our own Manhattan that can be viewed from our fourth-floor windows. As employees, we have come to really appreciate our unique environment. Students and other library users can also benefit from our windows by taking a break from the stresses of studying, research or writing. Get mentally refreshed by enjoying some relaxing and breathtaking views of this part of the K-State campus.

The most spectacular and panoramic northern view is from our Instruction Room windows where one can observe the Snyder Family Stadium as well as Denison and Kimball streets. In the distance, the hills near Tuttle Creek Reservoir and Dam can be seen as well as the university’s beef and sheep barns. A southern view can be experienced from the windows in the library’s Quiet Room. When the University Gardens are one day completed, this view will be one of the prettiest views in town.

One can also observe a great variety of weather events and sky patterns that occur throughout the season. You might see leaves swirling, snowflakes falling, birds flying, rooftop experiments being conducted, lightning during a spring storm or even the effects of a light pole falling on a car (yes, this has happened once).

The library is truly the penthouse of the college, so please take advantage of our services and feel free to visit on other occasions too. Come and share in our spectacular views of Manhattan.

North view from library windows
Looking north from the CVM Library on the fourth floor of Trotter Hall.

South view from fourth-floor Trotter Hall
The view from the south windows in Trotter Hall.




  Under the Microscope: Chris Stephens, Development Officer, Alumni and Development Office

Chris StephensPlace of birth: Wesson, Mississippi

Family Information: My parents are Mark and Ann Stephens, and I have a sister Erica, who is currently completing her Registered Nurse (RN) degree.

Pets: I grew up on a farm where our family bred Registered Hereford Cattle and my family has owned and bred Registered Labrador Retrievers for more than 20 years. My current lab is named Zoey. She is a 3-year-old yellow English Labrador Retriever.

What is your favorite way to spend free time? I love to travel, watch sporting events, spend time cooking for friends and reading.

If you could spend a day with anyone from the past or present who would you choose? beaker graphicMy grandfather.

Where was the last place that you visited? Oklahoma.

Who is someone that you admire? My parents — for their work ethic, high morals, strong character and unwavering support of their children.

What music would be playing in your car if it was on right now? Country 106.9, Legendary Country Radio — the best radio station I have found.



CVM News Ticker

On March 27, Dr. Mike Apley presented at the Keseca Veterinary Clinic in Geneva, N.Y. He spoke to around 100 clients on prudent drug use.

On April 2, Dr. Bonnie Rush presented at the AAVC Department Head Meeting in Atlanta. Her topic was “Tracking Students Clinical Competencies through the One45 system.”

On April 17, Dr. Robert Larson will speak at the American Board of Vet Practitioners in Austin, Texas. Topics are as follows: Selection and Evaluation of Beef Heifers; Nutritional Development of Beef Heifers; Case Studies: Heifer Development and Reproduction Failures; Bovine Reproductive Disease (Abortion): Neosporosis, Leptospirosis, and BVD; Bovine Reproductive Disease (Infertility): Trichomoniasis and Vibriosis, Biosecurity to Control Reproductive Disease.


  New Arrivals

Jennifer Zeliff - VMTH
Mira Bendevis - VDL
Rebecca Eaves - DM/P
Rodger Belyea - VMTH

  Recent Departures

Sung Hun Kim - A&P
Debra Wilcox - DM/P
Hiromitsu Miyazaki - A&P
Leslie Sargeant - VMTH



Lifelines is published each month by the Development and Alumni Office at the College of Veterinary Medicine

Editors are Joe Montgomery, jmontgom@vet.k-state.edu, Brandee M. Werth, bwerth@vet.k-state.edu, and Dusty Dhuyvetter, ddhuyvet@vet.k-state.edu 

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This section was last updated on:Friday April 10 2009

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