The official newsletter of the College of Veterinary Medicine
August 2010 - Vol. 5, No. 8
Dr. Nguyen secures NIH grant
Promising breast cancer research project nets $370,000 grant for Dr. Annelise Nguyen.
VTPRK students have busy summer
What looked like a 'FAD' was really training about foreign animal disease preparedness and emergency responses.
CEEZAD kicks off
K-State's new Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases hosts event with experts in zoonotic diseases from around the world.
A woman’s body may be its own worst enemy. Early onset of puberty and delay of pregnancy as well as other factors have been shown to increase risks of developing breast cancer.
Dr. Annelise Nguyen, a K-State researcher who also sees herself as being at risk, has recently conducted promising research in trying to understand how cancer cells communicate with each other and how to enhance the receptiveness of cancer cells to drug treatments. The National Institutes of Health agreed that her research has potential, so she was awarded with a $370,000 grant as of the first of August.
“For the past five years, I’ve focused on cell communication and understand the pathways between cells,” said Dr. Nguyen, assistant professor of toxicology in the Department of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology. “The idea that I came up with is ‘What if giving a patient drugs, including chemotherapeutic drugs and pain relievers, actually shuts down cell communication, preventing the drug to pass from one cell to the next?’ If so, the drug is not very effective, and that’s why you have to increase dosages to reach most cells. Increasing the drug levels makes you resistant to the drug itself; thus, drug resistance is one of the challenges in the treatment of cancer.”
“Dr. Nguyen brings a very unique dimension to research and graduate training programs in the college,” said Dr. M.M. Chengappa, University Distinguished Professor and department head. “She’s a very hard working and very ambitious young faculty member with tremendous skills in cancer biology.”
Compound enhances efficacy of antineoplastic drugs
As the principal investigator, Dr. Nguyen worked with Dr. Duy Hua, University Distinguished Professor in the chemistry department at
“What I demonstrate with this compound is that it enhances cell communication in breast cancer cells,” Dr. Nguyen said. “What if we re-open the channels where cancer cells have low cell communication activity? In conjunction with existing chemotherapeutic drugs, can we reduce the concentration of these drugs by treating the patient with our cell communication enhancer? If so, the toxicity of these drugs will pass from cell to cell much more efficiently than previously. That is what this grant is all about.”
The compound has been successful enough that Drs. Hua and Nguyen have applied for a patent. Dr. Nguyen said her work may have potential on more than just breast cancer treatments.
“Colon cancer cells behave very similarly to breast cancer cells in which the loss of cell communication is also observed, so I’ve applied this concept for colon cancer as well,” she said. “I originally pursued breast cancer research because it affects a lot of people there is currently more funding for breast cancer than for colon cancer. Regardless, my lab is working on colon cancer as well. We have also been working to see if this work will apply to prostate cancer.”
Dr. Nguyen’s lab utilizes two graduate students, three undergraduates and a veterinary research scholar, who help test her research using both human and animal models.
Discovering her ambition to be a researcher
Dr. Nguyen’s journey to becoming a toxicologist has had plenty of challenges. She was born in Vietnam at the end of the Vietnam War. Her father, who was in the South Vietnam Air Force, fled to the United States in 1975. It took him nine years to get U.S. citizenship and permission from the new government in Vietnam to bring his family to the United States.
“I did not start school until I was almost 11 years old – I did not know how to read and write,” Dr. Nguyen said. “My mom didn’t want me to enroll in communist school in Vietnam, so she kept me at home. Then we came to the United States and I started school.”
Being a quick learner, Dr. Nguyen had to play catch-up in her studies. She was successful and went on to attend Texas A&M University.
“My sophomore year in college I took a biochemistry class and it came to the topic of hormonal regulation and how estrogen is made and synthesized and I fell in love,” she said. “When I had the opportunity to go to graduate school I picked a professor that studied on estrogen receptor; really not understanding the disease of breast cancer. Interestingly the No. 1 known risk factor for breast cancer is lifetime exposure to estrogen. So that was the beginning of my journey to this kind of research, particularly breast cancer.”
Dr. Nguyen eventually earned a doctorate in toxicology through the veterinary college at Texas A&M.
“That’s why I fit very nicely here at K-State,” she said. “Even though I’m conducting breast cancer project which applies to humans, we use animal models to test our hypothesis.”
“Dr. Nguyen has an amazing story,” Dr. Chengappa said. “When I first met her, she was telling me about her life and what she went through to get her education in the United States. It really says a lot about her character and determination to become a productive member of the community. She’s also an excellent role model to young women in both professional and graduate curriculum. We are very proud of her accomplishments as a faculty of this college.”
A diverse lab and philosophy
As an Asian-American faculty member, Dr. Nguyen embraces a responsibility to be a role model and mentor for minority students at K-State. In her lab, she utilizes students through the Developing Scholars Program, an initiative at K-State that matches historically underrepresented students, students of color and first-generation college students in research projects with faculty members when students first come to K-State. She currently has students in her lab with Hispanic and Asian backgrounds.
“I really want to reach out to all these students,” she said. “I feel I can relate to those who are struggling with bilingual communication, being first-generation college students or being from traditional families who have different standards for their daughters than they do for their sons. I have been there and now I’m in a career where I do the work I love. I hope I can help others do the same.”
by Kayla Chrisman
Summer is often a time for lounging, unless you are a member of the Veterinary Training Program for Rural Kansas (VTPRK). As a part of VTPRK training, students spent their summer learning. Four students took part in two different preparedness programs this summer: the USDA Foreign Animal Disease (FAD) Practitioner’s training course and Agriculture Emergency Response Training (AgERT). These programs train veterinarians to aid in relief efforts and protect the public in case of a hazardous situation.
Tiffany Moses and Jodi Wright, third-year students, traveled to the National Animal Disease Center in Ames, Iowa, to take part in the USDA FAD Practitioner’s course. They participated in interactive lecture sessions on foreign animal diseases that are a potential threat to the United States. Some of the speakers were webcasted from the Plum Island Animal Disease Center in New York, while others were live in Ames. Hands-on labs included necropsies, blood draws and pro bang testing on calves, sheep and chickens. The final day was spent participating in a mock FAD outbreak in which all the proper measures were taken to handle the emergency.
“It was a good refresher course on the different FAD viruses after just completing a semester of virology,” Jodi said. “It also gave us a look into what the state and federal veterinarians do, how to respond in an outbreak and what role the local veterinarian can play.”
Michelle Colgan, second-year student, and Amy Gerhardt, third-year student, visited the Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, Ala., to participate in the AgERT program. The students learned about how agroterrorism and chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives (CBRNE) hazards can potentially affect agricultural resources and the community. Lecture subjects included disease surveillance, prevention, control and eradication, FAD, response actions, animal restraint and euthanasia, and animal carcass disposal. The hands-on training provided them with knowledge on proper usage of personal protective equipment (PPE), surveying and monitoring tools and crime scene preservation. To conclude the week, the students went to Auburn University where they put their new knowledge to work drawing blood from a bull and a goat, and performing a necropsy on a goat, all while dressed head to toe in Level C PPE, which includes three pairs of gloves!
Since Kansas has so many feedlots, it is a prime target for agroterrorism. AgERT helped these students to develop skills to be effective helpers in case of an incident – accidental or intentional.
“As veterinarians, it will be our responsibility to diagnose the first case so that we can control the agent, rather than let it take control of the food supply and of Kansas’ economy,” Michelle said. “The training I received will help me be a better veterinarian in Kansas and a better responder in case of any agroterrorism or agricultural emergency.”
Amidst all the training, students enjoyed networking the most. They worked with veterinarians, veterinary technicians and law enforcement officials from across the United States.
“All of the veterinarians, even those who were there to learn, took time to teach us and help us during the wet labs,” Jodi said. “The two state veterinarians from Kansas who attended were wonderful to us.”
The students said the connections made and training received from these programs will be useful in their future careers.
“I learned more information from that one day than any books or classes could have taught me,” Michelle said. “You never know when these services will be needed right here Kansas, the heartland of the United States.”
Dr. William "Bill" White, director of the Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center, New York, said he hopes one of the outcomes from the National Bio- and Agro-defense Facility at Kansas State University will be to perfect pen-side tests that would allow medical professionals to determine if farm animals are susceptible to foot-and-mouth disease.
"We want to continue to develop and validate new diagnostic tests that will allow us to maintain a cutting-edge profile," Dr. White said at Monday's kick-off for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases, or CEEZAD, at K-State.
The meeting included presentations by top experts in zoonotic diseases from around the world, including White and
The Department of Homeland Security is replacing the Plum Island facility with the National Bio- and Agro-defense Facility, or NBAF, at K-State.
At the Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, White leads a team of nearly 50 employees at the only facility in the United States allowed to work with the foot-and-mouth disease virus. His team diagnoses foreign animal diseases both domestically and internationally. The facility’s collaborations include working with medical officials in the Philippines on the Ebola-Reston virus; the Porcine teschovirus and new disease outbreaks in Haiti; lumpy skin disease in Afghanistan and Pakistan; as well as partnerships with Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Dominican Republic, Congo and Mongolia. White also has worked on bioforensics with the FBI.
Videos of presentations from the meeting will be available online at http://www.vet.k-state.edu/CE/2010/ei.htm
Forget surgery. One team of Kansas State University researchers is exploring nanoparticle-induced hyperthermia in the battle against cancer.
Since 2007, the team of Dr. Deryl Troyer, professor of anatomy and physiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine;
The team is partnered with NanoScale Corporation, a Manhattan company that develops and commercializes advanced materials, products and applications.
Their research, which was explored in mouse models, is currently being reviewed for pre-clinical trials. If accepted, Dr. Bossmann said he's optimistic about what it could mean for people with cancer.
"It means within the next decade there is a chance to have an inexpensive cancer treatment with a higher probability of success than chemotherapy," he said. "We have so many drug systems that are outrageously expensive. The typical cancer patient has a million dollars in costs just from the drugs, and this method can be done for about a tenth of the cost.
"Also, our methods are physical methods; cancer cells cannot develop a resistance against physical methods,"
While overheating or boring into cancerous cells may sound extreme, the nanoparticles act with orchestrated precision once ingested by the cancer cells, Dr. Bossmann said.
Getting the nanoparticles into the cancerous tissue is a lot like fishing, he said.
"We have our fishing pole with the nanoparticles as a very attractive bait that the cancer wants to gobble up -- like a worm is for a fish," he said.
In this case, the bait is a layer of organic material that attracts the cancer to the nanoparticles. The cancer wants the coating for its metabolism. In addition to serving as bait, the organic layer also serves as a cloaking mechanism from the body's defenses, which would otherwise destroy the foreign objects.
Once inside, the nanoparticles -- made with a metal iron core and layered with iron oxide and an organic coating -- go to work. An alternating magnetic field causes the particles to produce friction heat, which is transferred to the cancer cells' surrounding proteins, lipids and water, creating little hotspots. With enough hotspots the tumor cells are heated to death, preserving the healthy tissue, Dr. Bossmann said. If the hotspots are not concentrated, the heat destroys the cell's proteins or lipid structures, dissolving the cell membrane. This creates a hole in the tumor and essentially stresses it to death.
"A little stress can push a tumor over the edge," Dr. Bossmann said.
The dye within each nanoparticle's electronic sphere is then severed by enzymes and used to check for cancerous masses within the body.
"In the future, someone might be able to develop a blood test because part of these enzymes escape into the bloodsteam. In five years or so, we may be able to draw a blood sample from the patient to see if the patient has cancer, and from the distribution of cancer-related enzymes, what cancer they most likely have," Dr. Bossmann said.
While the team has tested the platform only on melanoma and on pancreatic and breast cancer, Dr. Bossmann said their technique can be applied to any type of cancer.
The team filed a patent in 2008.
The group's research has been funded by grants from the National Science Foundation, K-State's Terry C. Johnson Center for Basic Cancer Research and the National Institutes of Health/Small Business Innovation Research.
The Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital recognized two of its faculty members this summer with its excellence in mentoring awards. Below are the recipients and why they were nominated.
Excellence in Resident Mentoring:
- nominated by Dr. Kit Kelly
“I have witnessed her time and again teach through scenarios with students over difficult cases. Her ability to correct misunderstandings and by guiding students with a push of the mind or a well-chosen phrase, so that the student is not left feeling incompetent or foolish, merely that there is still much to learn and that her experience can be greatly beneficial. I know this because I have been the subject of this correction with consideration.
“It was through her that I came into an area of interest within my field regarding a commonly used pharmaceutical with little information known in the veterinary field. Following her leading enthusiasm, I designed and undertook a study into its veterinary properties.
“She has also shared her family with mine. She has included or invited us to participate in many Kansas State functions or Manhattan area activities. In doing so she has made my wife and I to be part of the community, rather than a student or just passing through.”
Excellence in Faculty Mentoring:
- nominated by Dr. Meredyth Jones
“His willingness to 'endorse' me as a CE provider has allowed me to discover this as an area of interest for me, pushed me to make myself proficient in the latest methods in the field, and improve my communication and presentation skills.“He has been very encouraging to me as I have developed my research interests, mentoring me in all aspects of study design, proposal and budget development — I simply could not have asked for a better person with whom to work. On the busiest of days, he takes time to discuss case management, clinic scheduling and any other matter that I feel is important.
“I still remember him calling me during my residency the week prior to taking my ACVIM Certifying Exam to wish me luck as I took the exam. We had never even met at that point and I remain amazed that my exam was even on his radar. He has been the perfect professional mentor for me by his willingness to allow me to find my niche, work in my own way, gently suggesting new approaches and encouraging small steps out of my comfort zone where he feels I have potential.”
Dr. John Barnes, Raleigh, N.C., is the 2010 recipient of the Alumni Recognition Award for the American Veterinary Medical Association Convention. The award is in recognition of Dr. Barnes’ work with avian pathology, his studies with ovarian cancer and his revamping of the senior microbiology clinic at North Carolina State University, Raleigh, which is one of the top rated clinics in the nation.
The alumni award was presented Aug. 2 at the annual convention of the American Veterinary Medical Association in Atlanta.
“My time at K-State in the veterinary college was one of the best times of my life, so it’s a tremendous honor to be recognized with this award so many years later,” Dr. Barnes said. “I tell my students that my wish for them is that they have a future in veterinary medicine that is as fulfilling and rewarding as mine has been.”
“We are extremely pleased to recognize Dr. John Barnes for an extraordinary career,” Dean Richardson said. “He is a top expert in poultry medicine, which reflects very well on the quality of veterinary education at K-State. We also honor his dedication in educating future veterinarians and his service to the animal health industry.”
Dr. Barnes graduated from K-State with his DVM in 1970 and a doctorate from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria, in 1976. His early career started at
After seven years in Iowa, an opportunity to develop a poultry medicine program arose at North Carolina State’s new College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Barnes put together the teaching, service, extension, and research programs in poultry medicine. Dr. Barnes’ team of six faculty members maintains one of the few poultry programs remaining in veterinary colleges in the United States. Forty-nine veterinarians have completed postgraduate internships, residencies, or graduate degrees in the Poultry Health Management program. Many of them now hold key positions in the poultry industry, government agencies, or academic institutions. In addition, over 26 graduates from NCSU's College of Veterinary Medicine have either specialized or plan to specialize in poultry medicine.
Dr. Barnes served as the president of the American Association of Avian Pathologists. He is a member of the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association and American Veterinary Medical Association. Dr. Barnes is a contributor to the past five editions of Diseases of Poultry and co-editor for four of the five editions, in addition to being author or co-author of numerous chapters and publications. He has been recognized with numerous other awards including the North Carolina State University 1985 Outstanding Teacher Award, Phibro Animal Health Excellence in Poultry Award and Outstanding Extension Service Award from the North Carolina State University Office of Extension and Engagement.
Dr. Barnes and his wife, Nona, have two children: Valerie and Melissa, and two grandchildren – one of whom arrived at the end of May.
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Hometown: Olsburg/Westmoreland area
Family Information: My husband’s name is Fred and my two grown children are Ashley and Cody.
Pets:Two dogs, Buddy (golden retriever) and Lucy (a Bishon-Frise)
What would you like to do before the summer is over? I would love to be able to get on the lake with the boat. All of the lakes in the surrounding areas have been flooded and inaccessible almost all summer.
What’s the first thing you think about everyday? Is it really time to wake up?
Best investment you have made? Besides the obvious answers such as my children or my house, one of my best investments has been the purchase of my long-arm quilting machine which is where I spend most of my free time when I’m not camping with friends, sewing or boating.
What’s a subject you have always wanted to learn more about? I have an interest in textiles/fabric.
What is your least favorite season? Winter (actually it is the snow and sleet and lack of sun that I don’t like).
What do you enjoy more watching a movie, or reading a book? I’m embarrassed to say neither unless it pertains to quilting. I will watch videos and read books about quilting though – all with equal pleasure.
Pets are such close companions to many people that there is no other alternative than to include them in family trips. The Veterinary Medical Library (VML) has several excellent books that can make travel planning much easier for one’s personal travel with a pet as well as being excellent books to recommend to clients who are traveling with their pets.
“Vacationing with Your Pet: Over 25,000 Listing of Hotels, Motels, Inns, Ranches and B & B’s that Welcome Guests with Pets” (TX907.2 .B38 2007) includes tips for traveling with both cats and dogs as well as a comprehensive listing by state of pet-friendly lodgings. Another helpful book, “Travel With or Without Pets: 25,000 Pets-R-Permitted Accommodations, Pet-sitters, Kennels & More” (TX907.2 .T73 1998) is helpful because it also includes resources to consider if one decides not to take a pet on the family trip. Another helpful book “No Pet Left Behind: The Sherpa Guide for Traveling with Your Best Friend” (SF415.45 .M37 2008) has lots of travel tips and listings of state and national parks that welcome pets, boat charters, and other information on topics including international travel.
In addition to the above titles, we have books such as – “A Member of the Family: Cesar Millan’s Guide to a Lifetime of Fulfillment with Your Dog” (SF426 .M555 2009 — Animals in Society Collection) and “Happy Dog: How Busy People Care for Their Dogs” (SF426 .M677 2003 — Animals in Society Collection) that include chapters on traveling with animals. Another valuable resource book is “Pet E. R. Guide: A Directory of 24-Hour and After-Hour Veterinary Facilities in the United States” (SF778 .L67 2007) which is useful for finding veterinary help if an animal becomes ill on a trip.
All of these books are available at the Veterinary Medical Library. If you need assistance locating these books or other information in the Veterinary Medical Library, any of our staff will be happy to assist you.
Dr. Nancy Zimmerman, class of 1995,
has accepted a position as director of professional marketing at Putney Inc, a pet pharmaceutical company.
Congratulations to Dr. Dean Henricks, class of 1969. He is the new president of the California Veterinary Medical Association.
Dr. Greg Grauer spoke at the AVMA convention in Atlanta on the topics of Azotemia in Small Animals, Proteinuria in Small Animals, Chronic Kidney Disease in Two Cats, Proteinuria, Hypertension and CKD, Hyperthyroidism and the Urinary Tract, NSAIDs in Dogs with Liver & Kidney Disease Acute Kidney Injury Cats, and Calcium and Kidneys.
Congratulations to Megan Kilgore, development officer in the Alumni & Development Office. She and her husband Tim have a new son Gage Martin Kilgore, born Aug. 5, 8 pounds, 2 ounces.
Dr. James W. Carpenter presented “Efficacy and Pharmacokinetics of Selamectin in the Pet Rabbit” (in collaboration with Drs. Michael Dryden and Butch KuKanich) at the 31 st Annual Conference of the Association of Avian Veterinarians /Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians on Aug. 2 in San Diego. At the same conference,
K-Staters in the AVMA Daily News at the AVMA Convention in Atlanta:
Dr. Eugene W. Adams, class of 1944, and Dr. Ronnie Elmore, associate dean of academic programs, admissions and diversity: Symposium looks at evolution of diversity among veterinarians; Speakers share strategies to increase diversity
Dr. Phil Lukert, class of 1960, MS 1961: Golf & Guns
Dr. David Granstrom, class of 1978, Ph.D., 1988: HOD forgoes analysis of COE foreign accreditation function
Congratulations to Director of Development Chris Gruber for running and finishing in the Trails for Tails 5k race in hot and humid Atlanta during the AVMA Convention.
K-State Olathe names Dr. John Pascarella associate dean for academic and research programs
The K-State Olathe Innovation Campus is announcing the hire of Dr. John B. Pascarella as its associate dean for academic and research programs.
"K-State Olathe is fortunate to have someone of Dr. Pascarella's caliber. His background in academic program development, linking research with external groups, and being a native of Johnson County makes him the right person for this position," Richardson said.
K-State Olathe is the academic research presence in the Kansas Bioscience Park. The campus provides a direct link to K-State's many resources while also giving the university greater visibility and access to the heart of the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor. The campus' first building, the International Animal Health and Food Safety Institute, is under construction. The $28-million facility will house educational and laboratory spaces for research, education and technology commercialization in animal health and food safety. The 108,000-square-foot facility is expected to be complete by February 2011.
At K-State Olathe, Dr. Pascarella will be responsible for planning, promoting and administering the campus academic programs; building, facilitating and managing the campus research initiatives, along with their associated training and commercialization opportunities; and contributing to strategic and fiscal planning.
His responsibilities also include student recruitment and the establishment of effective program linkages with local businesses and industry partners in the Kansas City region. In addition, he will be the primary coordinator between the Olathe campus and the academic units and research centers on K-State's main campus in Manhattan. Dr. Pascarella will serve on the K-State Associate Deans Council, and he will support fund raising and external relations efforts related to K-State Olathe.
Dr. P ascarella grew up in Prairie Village, Kan., and graduated from Shawnee Mission East High School. He earned bachelor's degrees in biology and Latin American studies from the University of Kansas, and a doctorate in biology from the University of Miami.
Aug. 18: First-year class orientation
Aug. 23: Classes begin for first-, second- and third-year students.
Aug. 27: 4th Annual Conference for Care of Llamas and Alpacas, Mara Conference Center*, Trotter Hall
Nov. 18: Swine Industry Day, K-State Alumni Center
* More information about Veterinary Medical Continuing Education events can be found at the VMCE Web site.
Dr. Chandrasekar Raman
Hattie Hartschuh - KSVDL
Jonathan Masse - KSVDL
Emily Mahan-Riggs - KSVDL
Geralyn Tracz - KSVDL
Ryan Engel - VMTH
Dr. Dongseob Tark - DM/P
Dr. Raja Rachakatla - A&P
Dr. Jun Yang - A&P
Dr. Christopher Kelly - VMTH
Dr. Andrew Hanzlicek - VMTH
Dr. Kimberly Reeds - VMTH
Dr. Jennifer Johnson-Neitman - VMTH
Dr. Jose Bras - VMTH
Crystal Hammond - VMTH
Heather Orina - VMTH
Harry Williamson - VMTH
Mindy Strick - VMTH
Amy McBride - DM/P
Danielle Miller Boster - DM/P
Brittany Borger - DM/P
Lifelines is published each month by the Development and Alumni Affairs Office at the College of Veterinary Medicine.
Editors are Tyler Nelssen, firstname.lastname@example.org and Joe Montgomery, email@example.com.