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Kansas State University


The official newsletter of the College of Veterinary Medicine

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August 2011 - Vol. 6, No. 8

Top Stories

Summer schoolingLaura Schaefer takes a sample in a feedlot.

Veterinary scholars share results of research projects.
What did they do?

The doctor is in

VMTH Pet Health Center offers owners routine pet care.
What can the Pet Health Center do for you?

Oxygen support

Copp studies delivery of oxygen in skeletal muscles.
Who might be helped?

Alumni and friends contribute to new record

VMTH brings in new residents

150 Years of Kansas Beef: The books have arrived

Dr. Carleton receives alumni award at AVMA reception

New course to look at key animal welfare issues

Regular features

Christie GabelUnder the Microscope
Christie Gabel, Development Officer, Alumni & Development Office

Check it Out at the Library
Reading the Human-Animal Bond

News Ticker

Calendar of events

New Arrivals/Recent Departures

Lifelines back issues

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Summer Schooling

Veterinary scholars share results of research projects

Story by Dana Avery

Every summer, a select group of students participates in the Veterinary Research Scholars Program. The program carefully matches each student with a mentor for a specific research project. In addition to working with mentors, students attended weekly workshops, participated in a poster presentation and will attend the Merial National Institutes of Health Veterinary Scholars Symposium in Orlando, Fla. Students become eligible for the program after completing their first or second year at the CVM. Research projects can vary from clinical to biological. This year, 15 students completed the program.

Laura Schaefer, second-year student, worked with Dr. Dave Renter on examining the Shiga Toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), which is generally a cause for food-borne illness in humans. The STEC bacteria has been known to originate in cattle feces. The objective of the research was to study the relevance between the STEC bacteria and cattle. Laura said she thought it was a good learning experience to help discover research career options.

“The opportunity to participate in the Veterinary Research Scholars Program and spend the summer in Dr. Renter’s lab has allowed me to gain first hand research experience and mentorship in the field of veterinary public health and epidemiology,” she said. “It has given me insight into the types of research careers that are possible with a DVM.”

Philip Allen, third-year student, worked with Dr. Butch KuKanich. His research focused on the potential for the development of an opioid patch that is both dosable and has a built in antagonist. Philip would assist in the experiments where they would either give an intravenous injection of the drug or apply transermal patches and take regular blood samples. He said he felt the opportunity allowed him to learn more about how veterinary medicine ties in with research.

“Before this program I assumed a lot of research was simply for academic purposes and had little true application,” Philip said. “After working with Dr. KuKanich and hearing from other labs involved in the program, I realize now how critical research is for the progress of veterinary medicine.”

Students who participated in the program:

Philip Allen – third-year student – Mentor: Dr. Butch KuKanich

Amanda Ball – second-year student – Mentor: Dr. Lynn Hancock

Allison Jordan Bryan- third-year student – Mentor: Drs. Beth Davis and Melinda Wilkerson

Adelaide Delahaye – visiting student from the National School of Veterinary Medicine in Lyon, France – Mentor: Dr. Annelise Nguyen

Jenna Dockweiler – second-year student – Mentor: Dr. Luciana Bergamasco

Crystal Drakes – third-year student – Mentor: Dr. T.G. Nagaraja

Katelyn Fentiman – third-year student – Mentor: Dr. Tom Schermerhorn

Jessica Klotzer – second-year student- Mentor: Dr. Tona Melgarejo

Megan Lawrence – second-year student – Mentor: Drs. Kate KuKanich and Sanjeev Narayanan

Jamila McKenzie – second-year student – Mentor: Dr. Deryl Troyer

Allison Melia – second-year student – Mentor: Dr. Jürgen Richt

Melanie Ray – second-year student – Mentor: Drs. David Poole and Tim Musch

Laura Schaefer – second-year student – Mentor: Dr. David Renter

Kelsey Schroeder – second-year student – Mentor: Dr. Sam Wisely

Kristina Wert – second-year student –Mentor: Dr. Cathleen Hanlon

Laura Schaefer takes a sample in a feedlot.
Laura Schaefer, second-year student, collects samples for her research. The program started in 1998.
Philip Allen, third-year student, works in Dr. Butch KuKanich's lab
Philip Allen, third-year student, works in Dr. Butch KuKanich's lab.

Scholars present research posters in the Mara Conference Center.
Scholars present research posters in the Mara Conference Center.





Video Feature

The doctor is in

VMTH Pet Health Center offers routine pet care

Pet owners needing routine check-ups for their cats or dogs can find great care at the Pet Health Center located in the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.

“The Pet Health Center is a primary care facility where anybody can come have care for their pets,” said Dr. Marjory Artzer.

Described as the “family doctor” within the hospital, the Pet Health Center provides preventive and wellness care for all dogs and cats, whether they be puppies or kittens, adult pets or senior members of the family.

“We do wellness exams, vaccines, heartworm checking, everything that your primary care physician outside of here would do,” said Dr. Susan Nelson. “We just do these procedures within the confines of the hospital.”

By replicating the experience of a small-animal clinic, the Pet Health Center fulfills a vital role at the teaching hospital. Learn more about it by watching the video below:


Dr. Sue Nelson and Rachel Wright
Dr. Susan Nelson, right, leads an examination with help from veterinary technician Rachel Wright. Dr. Nelson is one of four clinicians at the Pet Health Center.

Video produced by Joseph Chapes and Kent Nelson, technology coordinators from
Veterinary Medical Continuing Education.


Copp studies delivery of oxygen in skeletal muscles

  Steven Copp  
Steven Copp, doctoral candidate in anatomy and physiology.

Though rats, fish oil and beetroot juice read like ingredients in a witch’s brew, to a Kansas State University research team information from this combination could lead to health breakthroughs for aging populations and people suffering from heart failure and diabetes.

Steven Copp, a doctoral candidate in anatomy and physiology, is one of the researchers in K-State’s Cardiorespiratory Exercise Physiology Laboratory who’s studying the delivery and use of oxygen within the microvasculature of the skeletal muscles.

According to Copp, altered control of the peripheral blood vessels — which results from aging or diseases like diabetes and congestive heart failure — creates abnormalities in the circulatory system. This, in turn, causes dysfunction in oxygen delivery to the skeletal muscles and consequently, premature fatigue during exercise and normal daily activities.

By identifying what’s responsible for the oxygen delivery and use increases during contractions in healthy skeletal muscles, Copp and colleagues could pinpoint how these processes become distorted in people during the onset of diabetes and chronic heart failure and with advancing age. Eventually these dysfunctions could be corrected while still in the early stages by new therapeutic treatments, pharmaceuticals, exercise regimes or even nutritional supplements like fish oil and beetroot juice.

“The overall goal is to be able to take someone who gets exhausted from doing things in daily life, like walking across a room, and allow that person to take a walk or play nine holes of golf — just have a dramatically improved overall quality of life,” Copp said.

Copp works on the study with Drs. David Poole and Tim Musch, professors of kinesiology and anatomy and physiology, who both direct the Cardiorespiratory Exercise Physiology Laboratory. They previously found that it’s also the peripheral blood vessels — not just the heart as once believed — that develop dysfunction and result in poor skeletal muscle performance.

To gather information, the team observes the treadmill workouts of rats and studies the data from it. Though pint-sized, rats share similar physiology and morphology to people, making it possible to easily translate findings to the human body.

Most recently the team has been investigating the role of altered nitric oxide function in older rats or rats that are diabetic or have heart failure.



Alumni and friends contribute to $107 million record

  Dr. Jessica Harrison and Dr. Emily Klocke  
Dr. Jessica Harrison, DVM 2011, is presented the Dr. William and Dr. Helen (Richt) Irwin scholarship by Dr. Emily Klocke. This scholarship and others are created through generous donations from alumni and friends.

In the midst of a down economy and challenging fiscal times, alumni, friends and corporate partners of Kansas State University have demonstrated their commitment and escalated their philanthropic support of K-State to new heights, contributing $107 million to the university through the KSU Foundation during the fiscal year that ended June 30. The College of Veterinary Medicine contributed around $5 million to the final total.

This figure sets a new record in fundraising activity in the 67-year history of the foundation, surpassing the previous record of $99.5 million in fiscal year 2008.

“We’re proud to say the university has donors from every county in Kansas, all 50 states and the District of Columbia,” said Fred Cholick, president and CEO of the KSU Foundation. “We’re also grateful for our supporters abroad. K-State received contributions from people in 16 other countries — including Canada, Japan, Turkey, Germany and the United Kingdom — which illustrates the impact the university has across the globe.”

Of the $107 million total, $67 million was received in cash, real estate or appreciated securities, and $40 million was committed through pledges and deferred gifts, which will come to the university at a later date. These figures represent a total increase of $17 million from the previous year. Also of note are four gifts of $5 million or more and nine gifts between $1 million and $5 million the university received in fiscal year 2011.

“This is a new milestone for Kansas State University, one that illustrates the outstanding collaborative efforts of the donors, university staff and the foundation staff,” said Kirk Schulz, K-State president.

"Just 16 percent of the CVM’s budget now comes from the state,” Dean Ralph Richardson said. “The remainder of the budget comes from four sources: grants and contracts - 38 percent, tuition - 23 percent, revenue -20 percent, and private philanthropic support given through the KSU Foundation - 3 percent.” 

The CVM appreciates the donations provided through alumni and friends.




Centennial Plaza bricks ad



VMTH brings in new residents

The VMTH's new residents
Say “hello” to the new residents. Back row (left to right): Sonya Wesselowski, Elizabeth Taylor, Matt Sherwood, Jennifer Reinhart, Cameon Childers and Gretchen Grissett. Front row: Melina Zimmerman, Ellie Nuth, Marian Benitez and Jane Ashley Stuckey.



150 Years of Kansas Beef: The books have arrived

Order your '150 Year of Kansas Beef' commemorative book!

"150 Years of Kansas Beef" celebrates the people and institutions that have made Kansas beef what it is today. The historical and photograph-rich book takes readers through the hardships, changes, and triumphs of the Kansas beef industry over the last century and a half.

The book can be ordered online at


Dr. Justin Kastner and Blair Tenhouse show off the new "150 Years of Kansas Beef" book.
Dr. Justin Kastner and research assistant Blair Tenhouse show off a newly arrived copy of "150 Years of Kansas Beef," which was just published this summer. Dr. Kastner was the director of the book project, which was put together in part to help celebrate Kansas' sesquicentennial.  


Dr. Carleton receives alumni award at AVMA reception

  Dr. Carla Carleton, Dr. Jody Johnson, Dr. Barbara Wensel and Dr. Beverly Roeder.  
Dr. Carla Carleton, left, the 2011 recipient of the CVM's AVMA Alumni Recognition Award, catches up with college mates
Dr. Jody Johnson (DVM 1976) and Dr. Barbara Wensel (DVM 1977). Standing is Dr. Beverly Roeder, who was a fourth-year student at Ohio State University when Dr. Carleton was beginning a residency (incidentally, Dr. Roeder did her food-animlal residency at the K-State CVM).

Dr. Carla L. Carleton, Mason, Mich., is the recipient of the 2011 Alumni Recognition Award for the annual convention of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) held in St. Louis, Mo., July 18. The award is given to veterinarians whose career has served as an exemplary role model for future alumni in a professional and community setting.

Dr. Carleton earned her bachelor’s degree in animal sciences and industry and DVM, both in 1977, from K-State. After graduation, she went to work at a large animal practice in Guymon, Okla., for four years before returning to school. In 1981, Dr. Carleton attended The Ohio State University as a resident and graduate student. She earned her master’s degree in 1984. Dr. Carleton then went to work at Michigan State University as an assistant professor and became an associate professor of theriogenology in large animal clinical sciences in 1989, a position she still holds.

“I knew I would receive a solid foundation from the Kansas State College of Veterinary Medicine that would serve me well in practice, but I was particularly blessed at a time when it was uncommon, by Drs. Noordsy, Schoneweis, Ames, and other large animal faculty, to fulfill my goal of service in production animal medicine – feedlot, cow-calf, and working quarter horses in Oklahoma – and since then in theriogenology, equine and large exotic species,” Dr. Carleton said. “My large animal mentors and Dr. Jacob Mosier were also stellar representatives of community and professional service to organized veterinary medicine – great teachers and my veterinary medicine heroes. I shall always be grateful to Kansas State for giving me the opportunities to fulfill my dreams.”

“We’re very proud of Dr. Carleton’s accomplishments since earning her DVM degree at Kansas State,” said Ralph Richardson, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. “She is a great role model for aspiring veterinarians and a great ambassador for veterinary education on both a national and international level.”

Dr. Carleton has been active in many professional organizations including: AVMA, Michigan Veterinary Medical Association, Kansas Veterinary Medical Association, Society for Theriogenology, American College of Theriogenologists (ACT), American College of Animal Welfare (ACAW), Sigma Xi, Alpha Zeta and Phi Zeta. During her membership in these organizations, Dr. Carleton has served in several leadership positions including: ACT president (2000-2001), American Board of Veterinary Specialists chairperson (2003-2004) and executive board member (2001-2004), AVMA House of Delegates (1993-present) and ACAW Certifying Examination Committee (2008-present).

Dr. Carleton has been recognized for her accomplishments with the awards: Excellence in Teaching Awards from the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine and Outstanding Woman Veterinarian of the Year Award from the Association of Women Veterinarian’s Foundation. She is also board certified by the ACT and ACAW. Dr. Carleton has edited two books and has been an invited adviser for several national events. Dr. Carleton is well-known for her international involvement. Dr. Carleton was the main instigator, co-chairperson, lab instructor and lecturer for the first Indian Association of Equine Practitioners weeklong conference in 2003. Since 1992, she has partnered with equine veterinary practitioners in India, Thailand, Cambodia and Morocco in continuing education and research projects that remain active. Of greatest importance to her are the pony health clinics in northern Thailand and Phnom Penh, Cambodia that serve rural villagers who are otherwise unable to obtain medical care for their working equids.



New course to look at key animal welfare issues

Caring for the health of animals large and small is the No. 1 priority for veterinarians, but it's also important to combine the science of their craft with an understanding of socially sensitive issues, according to a Kansas State University veterinarian.

A new course this fall at K-State's College of Veterinary Medicine will focus on this combination. Dr. Dan Thomson, Jones professor of production medicine and epidemiology and associate professor of clinical sciences, will teach Contemporary Issues in Veterinary Medicine. The elective course will feature veterinary students teaming up to debate various issues. These debates will be an opportunity for the public to participate as well.

"There are issues and questions in the veterinary world that people have an interest in," said Dr. Thomson, who is also director of K-State's Beef Cattle Institute. "As we move forward in the profession, we have to make sure we have the data to back up any opinions while being socially responsible."

Balancing science with social acceptance is part of the art of the veterinary practice, Dr. Thomson said. Issues in the news that warrant this kind of attention include tail docking on cows, gestation crates for sows, battery cages for laying hens, cropping dogs' ears, declawing cats, grain-fed cattle and other issues concerning animal health and well-being.

When studying to become a veterinarian, Dr. Thomson said it's important to not only learn the issues, but also to learn how to keep an open mind and think critically.

"We're met by consumers and pet owners, and they have questions that we have to answer. It's not a matter of right or wrong — we're just working on increasing the tie between science, data and social responsibility," Dr. Thomson said.

When it comes to animals, their treatment and their food safety, Dr. Thomson said veterinary professionals are the most highly regarded experts by U.S. consumers, and that is a relationship that carries a lot of responsibility and an expectation of sensitivity to these issues.

"Making educated decisions and providing them to consumers are vitally important," he said. "The goal is to add to the education of tomorrow's veterinarians."

In addition to providing future veterinarians the opportunity to debate veterinary-related social issues, Dr. Thomson said he also hopes that the public, faculty, staff and students attend to better understand these issues.

"I wouldn't be surprised if faculty, staff and students started to attend these debates. They're going to be very interesting and informative," he said. "They're going to be digging through tough issues, but they're issues in the news that may be familiar to a lot of people.


Under the Microscope

Christie Gabel, Development Officer, Alumni and Development Office


Christie Gabel What is your hometown? My hometown is Eaton, Colo. (God's country).

Family information: My Parents, Steve and Audrey, own/operate Magnum Feedyard in Wiggins, Colo. My brother Case and his wife, Kelsi, live in O'Neill, Neb. Case manages HerdCo Feedlot in Bartlett, Neb., and Kelsi is a wonderful mommy to my nephew Stetson.  

Pets: I have a chocolate lab, Mollie, and lots of cows.

What is something you would like to do before the summer is over? My first nephew was just born, so I'd like to take a much time as possible to spend in Nebraska with him.

What inspires you about visiting with alumni and friends who are interested in supporting the veterinary college with a philanthropic gift? It's an honor to work with other passionate alumni and friends, creating opportunities for students and ensuring the long-term prosperity of the university. I find satisfaction knowing that, through supporting K-State students, faculty and research projects, we're working to advance the animal agriculture and veterinary industries.

What is your favorite place to visit? My favorite place to visit is the world-famous Colorado State Fair. I grew up showing cattle, and the state fair was always our family "vacation." I have so many fun and special memories of the CSF, and I love watching the steer show and drinking a milkshake from the dairy barn with my Dad.

What would be the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?A ranch in the Flint Hills has been a dream of mine since I first set eyes on the Flint Hills. Great cow-calf and stocker country. My own little slice of Heaven!

What little things always make you feel better? Listening to old-school George Strait on the radio and singing a long ... I'm a terrible singer!!

What song best represents you? There are probably a handful that represent me, but I will say "How 'bout them Cowgirls" by George Strait.

What is your favorite restaurant? Anything that comes out of my Mom and Grandma's kitchen is so much better than anything I have ever found in a restaurant!



Check it Out at the Library

Reading the Human-Animal Bond

by Carol Elmore

Carol Elmore The human-animal bond evokes strong feelings in people during good times but presents even stronger emotions during times of disaster. One book, “Zeitoun,” by Dave Eggers (F379.N553 Z454 2009 Hale Library) vividly portrays some of these emotions when Abdulrahman Zeitoun, is faced with the needs of abandoned animals after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. This book was chosen for the reading program for this year’s incoming freshmen at Kansas State University, and all current faculty, staff and students are encouraged to read and discuss it. Zeitoun, a Syrian-American contractor who chose to stay in New Orleans after Katrina, saved people as well as pets and faced almost unbearable challenges because of this choice.

The College of Veterinary Medicine and Kansas State Research and Extension are jointly sponsoring a Human-Animal Bond Conference “Natural Disasters….What about the Animals?” on Sat. Sept. 24. Dr. Greg Eiselein, professor, English department, Kansas State University, will present a book review of “Zeitoun.” Other speakers who have had experience dealing with animals and disasters will also give presentations. The conference is free but advance registration is encouraged to guarantee conference materials and refreshments. Register at

The Veterinary Medical Library has other books that deal with animals and disasters such as “Rescued: Saving Animals from Disaster” by Allen Anderson (HV4765.L8 A63 2006), “Orphans of Katrina” by Karen O’Toole (HV4765.L8 O86 2010), “Animal Disaster Preparedness for Pet Owners and Pet Professionals” by Diana Guerrero (HV551.3.G84 2007), and “Pawprints of Katrina” by Cathy Scott (HV4765.L8 S26 2008) as well as other selections. Databases can also be searched for relevant journal citations on the topic. The staff at the Veterinary Medical Library will be happy to help you with your searches and requests.

Please visit the Veterinary Medical Library Web site: for help on this and other subjects.1104



News Ticker



Dr. Heather Towle received the Excellence in Resident Mentoring Award. She was nominated by Drs. Marcos Unis and Steven Baker.

Dr. Emily Klocke received the Excellence in Faculty Mentoring Award. She was nominated by Dr. Heather Towle. “Her (Dr. Klocke) patience, tireless efforts, creation of a positive learning atmosphere, enthusiasm and surgical expertise extends not only to students, interns and residents, but also to young faculty,” said Dr. Towle.

Congratulations to Dr. Brian Lubbers for becoming board certified by the American College of Veterinary Clinical Pharmacologists! There are currently only 55 members of the ACVCP and five are presently at the CVM. Topics covered by the Phase II exam included the following areas: Therapeutic Management of Disease; Pharmacokinetics and Therapeutic Drug Monitoring; Experimental Design, Statistics and Analytical Methods; and Regulatory Pharmacology.

Dr. Meena Kumari gave a talk at the annual meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism in Atlanta.

Dr. Judy Klimek has a photograph entered in the Area Photographers exhibit at the Manhattan Arts Center. The exhibit starts Friday July 22, and runs through August.

Dr. Heather Towle
Dr. Heather Towle

Grant AdamsGrant Adams, son of Carol and Dave Adams, participated in the USA National Championships, July 1-9, 2011, at Fort Benning, Ga. During this national match Grant shot men’s 10 meter air pistol and men’s 50 meter free pistol. He earned a bronze medal in men’s 10 meter air pistol and the silver medal in men’s 50 meter free pistol. Grant’s second place rank in men’s free pistol also earned him a spot on the Men’s Jr. National Development Team.


Wayne and Wren MichaelsThe  Manhattan Optimist Laser (U18) softball team won the Kansas World Series second year in a row. The team received an 8th ranking nationally by the USSSA, who ranked more than 400 teams. Pictured is Wayne Michaels and Wren (daughter to Wayne and Wendy Michaels), winning the USSSA B-State Tournament in Basehor, Kan., the weekend prior to the World Series. Wren has been with the Lasers for two years as a short stop and catcher. 

Wendy Michaels also shares that both of her daughters graduated with honors in May, and spent the summer employed here at the CVM. Whitney Michaels graduated from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and worked on a research project for Dr. Thu Annelise Nguyen. She is enrolled at University of Kansas Medical School as of July 25. Wren Michaels graduated from Manhattan High School and is currently a student worker in the Computing and Technical Support department. She begins at K-State this fall in Biology.    

Wren and Whitney Michaels




Calendar of events


Continuing Education events

Aug. 19: 5th Annual Conference for Care of Llamas and Alpacas (focused for veterinarians and breeders)*

Aug. 27: Central Veterinary Conference in Kansas City, Mo.

Sept. 24: SCAAEP Fall Equine Conference: A Focus on Reproduction*.

Sept. 24: Human-Animal Bond Conference*

Oct. 14: Ophthalmology Conference and Wet Lab*

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



New Arrivals/Recent Departures

Welcome to:

Chelsey Hutton, Senior Administrative Asst. - VMTH
Landa Colvin-Marion, Pharmacist, VMTH
Christine Hackworth,
Veterinary Technician, VMTH
Dr. Mandy Meindel,
Medical Resident, DM/P
Dr. Madhusudan Goravanahally,
Medical Resident, DM/P
Aranthy Nair,
Research Associate, DM/P
Dr. Sabarinath Gopalakrishnan Ponnamma,
Post Doc Fellow, KSVDL
Michelle Zajac,
Research Assistant - KSVDL

Thanks and Goodbye to:

Gary Griffith, Research Assistant - Clinical Sciences
Emily Mahan-Riggs, Research Assistant - KSVDL
Janet Crisler, Research Assistant - KSVDL
Dr. Katrin Reimann, Post Doc Fellow - A&P
Dr. Kalidou Ndiaye, Assistant Scientist - A&P
Kealan Schroeder,
Agricultural Technician - VMTH
Carrie Davidson, Veterinary Technician, VMTH
Leann Klenda,
Veterinary Technician, VMTH
Hera Wu,
Temporary Research Assistant, Clinical Sciences
Kathleen Emig,
Administrative Assistant, Dean's Office


Lifelines is published each month by the Development and Alumni Affairs Office at the College of Veterinary Medicine.
The editors are Joe Montgomery,, and Dana Avery,