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Lifelines

The official newsletter of the College of Veterinary Medicine

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February 2010 - Vol. 5, No. 2

Top Stories

Dr. Timothy MuschStudy looks at antioxidants

Drs. David Poole and Timothy Musch examine impact of antioxidants in the Cardiorespiratory Exercise Laboratory.
More isn't always better

Highly awarded

Veterinary faculty and alumni receive a variety of unique awards in January.
Dr. Nagaraja gets Karuna Award
Dr. Tamura receives KTEC Award
Dr. Harvey accepts Morris Lifetime Award

Ph.D. students recognized at CRWAD

Dr. Charles Dodd and Gregory Peterson find success at Conference for Research Workers in Animal Disease.
What did they do?

SCAVMA Talent Shows gets heartbeats going

Big dollars raised for CVM at Telefund



Regular features

Dr. Lisa PohlmanUnder the Microscope
Dr. Lisa Pohlman, Assistant Professor - Clinical Pathology, Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology

Check it Out at the Library
Research genealogy through the library

News Ticker

Calendar of events

New Arrivals/Recent Departures

Lifelines back issues

Hard copy version of Lifelines (printable)
Note: File is in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format.
Some documents are in PDF format.
Click here to get Acrobat Reader

Study shows potential negative effect from antioxidants

One Health: Research results have relevance to both animals and humans

You’ve probably heard on TV about the benefits of products ‘rich with antioxidants’ in commercials and infomercials. While there may be some positive effects that could help ameliorate the predations of disease and aging, recent interdepartmental studies at K-State have shown that high levels of antioxidants can cause harm.

Dr. David Poole and Dr. Timothy Musch who share appointments in the Departments of Anatomy and Physiology and Kinesiology have been working on projects that measure the effects of antioxidants at the CVM’s Cardiorespiratory Exercise Laboratory. They have been studying how to improve oxygen delivery to the skeletal muscle during physical activity by using antioxidants, which are nutrients in foods that can prevent or slow the oxidative damage to the body. Their findings show that sometimes antioxidants can impair muscle function, which is an important consideration in performance animals such as greyhounds and race horses or in humans.

“Antioxidant is one of those buzz words right now,” said Steven Copp, a doctoral student in Anatomy and Physiology and a researcher in the lab. “Walking around grocery stores you see things advertised that are loaded with antioxidants. I think what a lot of people don’t realize is that the antioxidant and ­­pro-oxidant balance is really delicate. One of the things we’ve seen in our research is that you can’t just give a larger dose of antioxidants and presume that there will be some sort of beneficial effect. In fact, you can actually make a problem worse.”

Copp and Daniel Hirai, also a doctoral student in Anatomy and Physiology, have conducted various studies associated with how muscles control blood flow and the effects of different doses and types of antioxidants.

Abnormalities in the circulatory system, such as those that result from aging or a disease like chronic heart failure, can impair oxygen delivery to the skeletal muscle and increase fatigability during physical activity, Copp said.

Dr. Timothy Musch reviews a readout with his lab team (standing, from left) Daniel Hirai, Peter Schwagerl, Sue Hageman and (seated) Steven Copp
Dr. Timothy Musch reviews a readout with his lab team (standing, from left) Daniel Hirai, Peter Schwagerl, Sue Hageman and (seated) Steven Copp

 

Peter Schwagerl, Daniel Hirai, Steven Copp, Dr. David Poole, Sue Hageman and Dr. Timothy Musch.
Peter Schwagerl, Daniel Hirai, Steven Copp, Dr. David Poole, Sue Hageman and Dr. Timothy Musch.

“If you have a person trying to recover from a heart attack and you put them in cardiac rehab, when they walk on a treadmill they might say it’s difficult,” Dr. Poole said. “Their muscles get sore and stiff. We try to understand why the blood cells aren’t flowing properly and why they can't get oxygen to the muscles, as happens in healthy individuals.”

Copp said there is a potential for antioxidants to reverse or partially reverse some of those changes that result from aging or disease. However, K-State’s studies amongst others have shown that some of the oxidants in our body, such as hydrogen peroxide, are helpful to increase blood flow.

“We’re now learning that if antioxidant therapy takes away hydrogen peroxide – or other naturally occurring vasodilators, which are compounds that help open blood vessels – you impair the body’s ability to deliver oxygen to the muscle so that it doesn't work properly,” Dr. Poole said.

Dr. Poole said antioxidants are largely thought to produce better health, but their studies have shown that antioxidants can actually suppress key signaling mechanisms that are necessary for muscle to function effectively.

"It's really a cautionary note that before we start recommending people get more antioxidants, we need to understand more about how they function in physiological systems and circumstances like exercise," Dr. Poole said.

Hirai said the researchers will continue to explore antioxidants and the effects of exercise training. Their studies are looking at how these can help individuals combat the decreased mobility and muscle function that comes with advancing age and diseases like heart failure.

The researchers have published their recent findings in several journals, including the Journal of Applied Physiology, Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology, Microvascular Research, The American Journal of Physiology and Experimental Physiology.

The Cardiorespiratory Exercise Laboratory has been funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, American Heart Association and intramural awards from the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Copp added, “The research we do here is very mechanistic in nature, and down the road our aim is to take our findings and make recommendations for diseased and aging populations.”

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Dr. Nagaraja receives the Karuna award in India

The College of Veterinary Medicine can now boast of two winners of the prestigious Karuna Award — both from the same academic department. Dr. T.G. Nagaraja recently traveled to Bangalore, India, with his wife and daughter, where he was given the 2009 award in recognition of his research and education work. In 2007, Dr. M.M. Chengappa, head of the Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology was also honored by the Karuna Trust for National Progress.

“I felt honored and humbled to have received the award,” Dr. Nagaraja said. “What made it special was that my family members in India were able to attend the ceremony to see me receive the award.”

The Karuna Trust (karuna means “kindness”) is a nonprofit organization in the state of Karnataka that takes care of stray, abandoned or abused animals.

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Dr. B.C. Ramakrishna (left), chairman and managing trustee of the Karuna Trust for National Progress, decorates Dr. T.G. Nagaraja as part of the 
ceremony for the Karuna Award.
Dr. B.C. Ramakrishna (left), chairman and managing trustee of the Karuna Trust for National Progress, decorates Dr. T.G. Nagaraja as part of the ceremony for the Karuna Award.

KTEC Award of Excellence goes to Dr. Tamura

Dr. Masaaki Tamura was recently acknowledged for his research work with a $40,000 award from the Kansas Technology Enterprise Corporation (KTEC). The KTEC Award for Excellence was presented as part of a symposium sponsored by the Kansas Idea Network for Biomedical Research Excellence (K-INBRE). The award was for Dr. Tamura’s proposal, "Targeted gene therapy with AT2 receptor nanoparticles for lung adenocarcinoma.”

“Our proposal describes the development of a lung cancer-targeted, very effective and safe gene therapy using biodegradable nanoparticles,” Dr. Tamura said. “The most unique part of this research is the intent to develop safe, effective gene expression vectors using nanotechnology.”

KTEC annually selects two eminent scholars for research consistent with the KTEC mission to drive Kansas economic development through bioscience technology. This year’s other recipient was Melissa Larson of the KU Medical Center.

Dr. Masaaki Tamura, center, receives the KTEC Award of Excellence from Dr. Joan Hunt, K-INBRE Principal Investigator and KU Medical Center University Distinguished Professor, left, and Dr. Dale 
Abrahamson, KU Medical Center University Distinguished Professor and chair of the K-INBRE Incentives and Awards Committee.
Dr. Masaaki Tamura, center, receives the KTEC Award of Excellence from Dr. Joan Hunt, K-INBRE Principal Investigator and KU Medical Center University Distinguished Professor, left, and Dr. Dale Abrahamson, KU Medical Center University Distinguished Professor and chair of the K-INBRE Incentives and Awards Committee.

“It is an honor to be recognized by KTEC and K-INBRE for our hard work,” Dr. Tamura said. “I am representing my present and former post-docs, graduate students and assistants, my colleagues in the K-State stem cell research group and my collaborator at the University of Kansas, Dr. Cory Berkland (who is in the pharmaceutical chemistry department). We could not do this research without their participation.”

K-INBRE and its symposium are funded through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Center for Research Resources. Its purpose is to improve the competitiveness of Kansas biomedical researchers for NIH support. K-INBRE funds are available to support students, faculty development and retention, and cutting-edge research.

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Alumni spotlight: Dr. Harvey receives Morris award

Because of his outstanding contributions to veterinary medicine, Hill’s Pet Nutrition Inc. named Dr. John W. Harvey, DVM (K-State class of 1970), Ph.D., professor and executive associate dean and award-winning professor at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, as the recipient of its prestigious Mark L. Morris Sr. Lifetime Achievement Award for 2010. This award is presented annually at the opening ceremony of the North American Veterinary Conference. It goes to a veterinarian who has made significant contributions to the welfare of companion animals through a lifetime of professional work. Dr. Harvey received the award for his lifelong work in clinical pathology and physiology with his expertise in hematology.

 

Dr. Daniel Aja, DVM, director of professional affairs at Hill's, and Paul Raybould, executive vice president of the Morris Animal Foundation, present a $20,000 check to Dr. John Harvey, class of 1970 and faculty member at the University of Florida.
Dr. Daniel Aja, DVM, director of professional affairs at Hill's, and Paul Raybould, executive vice president of the Morris Animal Foundation, present a $20,000 check to Dr. John Harvey, K-State class of 1970 and faculty member at the University of Florida.

“This year we had many outstanding nominees for this prestigious award. Dr. Harvey is a highly dedicated and world renowned educator, and his accomplishments make him very deserving of this Lifetime Achievement Award,” said Daniel Aja, DVM, director of professional affairs at Hill’s.

Dr. Harvey has many scholastic accomplishments which include 113 refereed papers in both veterinary and human medicine journals (many describing syndromes not previously recognized), three books, 46 book chapters, 56 proceedings papers, 65 abstracts and 31 research grants. He is an accomplished lecturer both nationally and internationally with more than 250 major seminar engagements throughout the world.

A member of numerous veterinary associations, Dr. Harvey has served in many leadership roles, including President and Board Member of the American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology and President and Treasurer of the International Society for Animal Clinical Pathology. Dr. Harvey is board certified by the American College of Veterinary Pathologists (Clinical Pathology) and has served as a member of their examination committee. His other memberships include the American Veterinary Medical Association, Florida Veterinary Medical Association and the American Society of Hematology.

Previous awards for Dr. Harvey include the Norden Distinguished Teaching Award, the American Association of Feline Practitioners Research Award and the Alumni Recognition Award from Kansas State University. In 2007, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology.

In recognition of Dr. Harvey’s lifetime of service, Hill’s will donate $20,000 to the Morris Animal Foundation (MAF) in his name. MAF, founded in 1948, is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of companion animals and wildlife by funding humane health studies and disseminating information about these studies.

Hill’s Pet Nutrition Inc. manufactures Hill’s® Prescription Diet® brand pet foods, therapeutic pet foods available only through veterinarians, and Hill’s® Science Diet® brand pet foods sold through veterinarians and finer pet specialty stores. Founded more than 60 years ago with a unique commitment to pet nutrition and well-being, Hill’s is committed to its mission to help enrich and lengthen the special relationships between people and their pets. Hill’s produces high-quality, great-tasting pet foods owners can trust and give to their canine and feline companions as part of a veterinary health care team recommendation. This ultimately improves patient health and the health of the practice. For more information about Hill’s Pet Nutrition Inc. and Hill’s Evidence-Based Clinical NutritionTM visit HillsVet.com.

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Centennial Plaza bricks ad

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SCAVMA Talent Show gets heartbeats going

Dr. Howard Erickson
Dr. Howard Erickson pantomimes a cardiac arrhythmia for the audience to identify. He won the faculty division of the talent show with his creative body language.
The "777 Blues"
Third-year students Vanessa Emming and Stephanie Burbach dance to Dr. Lisa Pohlman's rendition of "The 777 Blues." See Dr. Pohlman profiled in this month's Under the Microscope.
First-year student Russ Baxley
First-year student Russ Baxley performs a Pat Green tune.
Third-year student Stephanie Schneider
Third-year student Stephanie Schneider wows the crowd with an impassioned recital of "O del mio dolce ardor." She won the "true talent" division.
Third-year students Mike Gamble, James Fukuda, Shane Terrell and A.J. Domek
In the top prize for funniest performance, third-year students Mike Gamble, James Fukuda, Shane Terrell and A.J. Domek deliver an udderly unique take on a Toby Keith song, asking "How Do You Milk a Cow?" to the tune of "How Do You Like Me Now?"
EXTRA: Lifelines editor Joe Montgomery performed the song "Lovely Lady" written by his friend (and K-State alumnus) Brent Dungan. A video clip shot by his wife Stacey is posted at YouTube.

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Doc students earn props at CRWAD

A pair of CVM graduate students were cited for excellence in their respective research projects at the annual Conference of Research Workers of Animal Disease held at Chicago in December.

Dr. Chuck Dodd, Ph.D. student in the pathobiology graduate program, received an oral presentation award in the Epidemiology and Animal Health Economics category, which was given by the Association for Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine (AVEPM). The title of the presentation was “Prevalence and persistence of Salmonella within pens of feedlot cattle.” Co-authors of the presentation included Drs. Dave Renter, T.G. Nagaraja and Xiaorong Shi.

Dr. Charles Dodd and Gregory Peterson
Dr. Charles Dodd and Gregory Peterson, both doctoral students in pathobiology, were cited for excellence in their respective research projects at the annual Conference of Research Workers of Animal Disease held December in Chicago.

Greg Peterson, Ph.D. student in patholobiology, won for his poster presentation: “Diagnostic Microarray for Human and Animal Bacterial Diseases.” The co-authors were Drs. Jianfa Bai, T.G. Nagaraja, John Patton and Sanjeev Narayanan.

“My committee members and fellow grad students helped me prepare the presentation,” Dr. Dodd said. “The study I presented involved looking at associations with Salmonella in commercial feedlot cattle, as well as the persistence of specific strains within pens over time. We found that the pen prevalence of Salmonella at feedlot arrival was not correlated with the prevalence of Salmonella immediately prior to harvest, yet some strains of Salmonella (identified by genetic typing) persist during the feeding period.”

Peterson said his poster was about working to develop a diagnostic microarray that was capable of detecting 40 bacterial pathogens of medical, veterinary and zoonotic importance (including 14 Group I, II, and III pathogens); associated genes that encode resistance for antimicrobial and metal resistance; and DNA elements that are important for horizontal gene transfer among bacteria (489 probes total).

“We developed a novel internal control for the system (also published last year), and some computer software to aid in streamlining the data analysis,” Peterson said. Finally, we tested it on a variety of bacteria, as well as some environmental samples (fecal and soil). Around the same time I found out about CRWAD award, I also found out that the paper we wrote about the study was accepted for publication. In grad school there isn't a better way to end the year, with the exception of ending the year with your Ph.D.”

 

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Big dollars raised at Telefund

Telefund 2010 was a successful event this year for the College of Veterinary Medicine. The two-day calling total for the College of Veterinary Medicine was $84,740, beating last year’s fundraising total by $7,000. The overall number of pledges also surpassed last year: 703 to 661. Congratulations CVM Telefund volunteers!

Telefund is the KSU Foundation's volunteer calling program to raise support for scholarships and other college funding priorities. Telefund 2008 and 2009 raised more than $1 million each year for all colleges at K-State and is expected to do the same this year.

Rachel Parris and Dr. Melinda Wilkerson
Rachel Parris, class of 2011, thanks Dr. Melinda Wilkerson for a backpack given as a prize for calling efforts during Telefund 2010.
Extra photos from Telefund 2010

Telefund 2010

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CVM Callers at Telefund 2010

 

Under the Microscope

Dr. Lisa Pohlman, Assistant Professor - Clinical Pathology, Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology

Dr. Lisa Pohlman

Place of birth: Toronto, Canada

Family Information: My husband, Dave, and I got married last July after dating for 15 years. We had a very small wedding (just family) in a tiny, very old, country church — the church where my grandparents were married and many relatives, including my great grandparents, are buried. Dave and I are both Canadian, so we spend most of our holidays visiting friends and family in Canada, just north of Ottawa where we have a hobby farm and a cottage on a lake.

Pets: Five dogs (two perfect toy poodles, two naughty but lovable beagles I adopted when I was a veterinary student at the University of Guelph, and one collie/shepherd cross that is 17 years old) as well as one somewhat disgruntled three-legged cat.

Under the Microscope logoWhat is your favorite season and why? My favorite season is spring. That comes from growing up in Canada where the winters are very cold and harsh (unlike here). When spring arrives, the sun is shining, the days are getting longer, the flowers start to bloom and the birds are singing — just waking up every day is wonderful. Everyone is always so happy and appreciative when the weather is finally so beautiful after the long, cold winter!

If you could take a week vacation anywhere in the world where would you go? We would take a Mediterranean cruise so we could see as much as possible in the week.

Tell us about us about any current projects: My biggest ongoing projects are associated with my research which is focused on the evaluation and characterization/classification of feline gastrointestinal lymphoma. Briefly, this project includes identification of the morphologic variants, evaluation of cellular proliferation in the various tumor types and assessment of the available B-cell markers used for histopathological identification.

 

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Check it Out at the Library

Web sites we recommend

by Carol Elmore

Carol Elmore Because the Internet is frequently consulted for information, I asked members of our staff at the Veterinary Medical Library for some of the favorite Web sites they use on the job. Many sites were mentioned without hesitation, several that covered topics comprehensively were mentioned, such as wikipedia.org, which is a good starting place for basic information. Although Wikipedia is no longer editing its entries, definitions and overview articles are still quite valuable. A Web site that answers questions is www.about.com which utilizes a variety of experts for information. Independent verification of the information from both of these sites is recommended, but they are great places to begin locating information. Another mentioned site with more technical information was techrepublic.com, which is useful for information technology help. The white papers section of this Web site has interesting articles on popular topics such as electronic conferencing and cloud computing.

Veterinary and medical Web sites were also mentioned. One of my favorite sites is www.ivis.org, the International Veterinary Information Service, because it has a link to many difficult to find foreign and U.S. full-text proceedings. Another staff member likes to use www.clinicaltrials.gov, which is a registry of federally and privately supported clinical trials conducted in the United States and around the world. It is searchable by condition, drug intervention, sponsor and location.

For journal location, www.doaj.org, the Directory of Open Access Journals, was mentioned as a valuable source for scientific and scholarly peer reviewed, full-text, free journals. Another staff member suggested a Web site that pronounced medical terminology had been useful. After checking out several possible Web sites, I found one of my new favorite sites, www.forvo.com, which will actually speak words. It covers many different subjects including medical terminology and gives examples from as many as 231 languages. These are just a few of our recommendations so don’t hesitate to come to the Veterinary Medical Library for help with and recommendations of other Internet Web sites.
Please visit the Veterinary Medical Library Web site: www.vet.k-state.edu/depts/library/ for help on this and other subjects.

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News Ticker

Dr. Hans Coetzee presented at the North American Veterinary Conference in Orlando, Fla., Jan. 18 and 19, 2010. Topic: “Antimicrobial Therapy of Bovine Respiratory Disease.”

Dr. Mike Apley presented at the Nebraska VMA on Jan. 21. His topics included: “What antibiotics do in cattle: Clinical effects of antibiotics (what difference do you really make), post-treatment intervals, time to effect, adverse and synergistic interactions”; “Antibiotic resistance, your practice, and public perception: Does it affect how you should be doing things in mid-America?”; and “Cowside diagnosis and prognostication: Discarded, available, and in-development.” Dr. Apley also presented at the Missouri VMA on Jan. 30 on the topics of: “Susceptibility testing and antibiotic selection; What do antibiotics do?”; “Pain in food animals - research and applications”; and “Regulations and legislation affecting your food animal practice.”

Dr. Greg Grauer presented at the American Medical Association meeting in Austin, Texas, on Feb. 9. His topic was “Renoprotective therapies for chronic kidney disease.”

Dr. Dan Thomson presented at the Kansas Farm Bureau in Manhattan on Jan. 25 on the topic: “An update on animal welfare.” He presented at the Kansas Cattlemen’s Association in Salina, Kan., on Jan. 29 on the top: “Raising cattle for a 1st World Country.” He presented at the Kansas Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers Conference in Wichita on Jan. 30. Topic: "Animal welfare: Its your business."

Dr. Thomson was also featured in a couple of newspaper articles: "New vaccines for cattle could cut risk from deadly bacteria – but who will pay for it" in the Kansas City Star on Feb. 7, and "New methods aim to keep E. coli in beef lower all year" in USA Today on Feb. 8 (also featuring Dr. James Marsden).

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Calendar of events

Feb. 25: Alumni Fellow Seminar: Dr. Steven C. Henry, Frick Auditorium, Mosier Hall

Feb. 27: Small Animal Emergency Medicine Conference*

March 2: Phi Zeta Research Day

April 16: Kind Hearts/Caring Hands Celebration

* More information about Veterinary Medical Continuing Education events can be found at the VMCE Web site.

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New Arrivals/Recent Departures

Welcome to:

Amy Gormley - KSVDL
Mingguang Zhou - A&P

Farewell to

Rodger Belyea - VMTH
Kelly Jones - VMTH
Sally Pipes - VMTH
Yuwen Zhang - A&P

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Lifelines is published each month by the Development and Alumni Affairs Office at the College of Veterinary Medicine.
The editor is Joe Montgomery, jmontgom@vet.k-state.edu.