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Kansas State University


The official newsletter of the College of Veterinary Medicine

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February 2012 - Vol. 7, No. 2

Top Stories

K-State researchers join multiprong team to halt E-coli in beef. Improving Beef Safety

USDA Grant brings together top researchers from K-State and beyond.
What's the plan?

Chute-side diagnostics

Collaboration leads to new technology for detecting BVD.
How does it work?

Veterinary Student Day

CVM students journeyed to Atlanta to participate in event focused on One Health.
What did they do there?

Dr. Bruce Schultz investigates causes of male infertility

Kristin Clement to edit VMTH's Animal Life magazine

Alumnus recognized at NVMA reception

Students participate in Telefund



Regular features

Dr. Zsolt SzladovitsUnder the Microscope
Dr. Zsolt Szladovits, Instructor of Veterinary Anatomy, A&P

Check it Out at the Library
Eating healthy for you and your pet

News Ticker

Calendar of events

New Arrivals/Recent Departures

Lifelines back issues

Hard copy version of Lifelines (printable)
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Improving Beef Safety

Organizations team up in $25 million research effort

  K-State researchers join multiprong team to halt E-coli in beef.
  The Beef Cattle Institute will be establishing a holistic food safety culture across all sectors of the beef food chain throughout the beef-safety research effort.  

Seventeen Kansas State University scientists will join researchers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and other universities and government agencies in a coordinated, multi-pronged approach to improve the safety of beef.

The $25 million effort will focus on ways to reduce the occurrence and public health risks from Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), a serious threat to the food supply that results in more than 265,000 infections in the United States each year. Eating contaminated food or direct contact with fecal matter from infected cattle and other ruminants causes most of these illnesses.

Dr. Dan Thomson, Jones Professor of Production Medicine at K-State, feedlot veterinarian and director of the Beef Cattle Institute, will lead efforts establishing a holistic food safety culture across all sectors of the beef food chain.

"Cattle producers, feedlot operators, transporters, processors, retailers and consumers all must understand and execute their roles in beef safety," Dr. Thomson said. "The BCI will develop and offer training and outreach tools to enhance stakeholder knowledge for all sectors of the beef industry. This will result in a more knowledgeable beef industry workforce and an enhanced beef safety infrastructure."

The grant was awarded to UNL by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The team of 48 investigators will be led by UNL veterinary scientist Dr. Jim Keen.

“As a national leader in food safety research and education, Kansas State University is pleased to play a major role in a project so vital to the health of the American public,” said Kirk Schulz, K-State president. “As we work toward becoming a top 50 public research university, projects like these showcase our exceptional research track record in this area.”

Dr. Randy Phebus, K-State professor of animal sciences and industry will join UNL’s Dr. Keen and three others on the overall project’s executive management team. That team will oversee seven inter-related projects that span the five-year life of the grant.

“This USDA-NIFA coordinated agricultural program (CAP) grant shines the light on UNL, K-State and our other collaborators across the country to address one of the most important issues facing the beef industry, Shiga toxin-producing E. coli pathogens, from the calf to the beef consumer,” Dr. Phebus said. “STEC management profoundly impacts every beef producer, processor and retailer and it is one of the most relevant public health threats in the food system. The research and education group that we have assembled is world-class and we anticipate many successes during and after the life of this grant that can be practically applied for reducing STEC risks across the beef chain.”

In addition to his role on the management team, Phebus will lead a project focused on improving methods used to detect and control eight types of E. coli (STEC-8) that are most important to public health, including O157:H7, in post-harvest beef processing. The goal is to understand how STEC-8 behaves under different conditions in order to enhance beef processors’ food safety management systems. K-State’s unique Biosecurity Research Institute biocontainment research facility will provide the large-scale laboratory setting for much of this part of the project.




Video Feature

Chute-side diagnostics

Dr. Jianfa Bai collaborates with Integrated Nano-Technologies to detect BVDV

  BVDV detecting device prototype.  

The speed of science moves more quickly in today’s world thanks to partnerships with private industry. One example of this at the College of Veterinary Medicine is a collaboration between K-State’s Dr. Jianfa Bai and a company called Integrated Nano-Technologies, to improve its portable, “chute-side” diagnostic technology for detecting RNA viruses.

INT’s earlier prototypes were designed to detect bacterial pathogens such as anthrax. The company pushed it’s capability to use Bovine Virus Diarrhea Virus (BVDV) as a model for detecting RNA viruses. In 2007, the company approached the CVM because of its expertise with BVDV.

Watch the full video report below:


Video produced by Joseph Chapes and Kent Nelson, technology coordinators from
Computing and Technical Support (CATS).



Students journey to Veterinary Student Day

  Allison Nelson, second-year student, using aseptic technique to determine if she is an infected case or not.  

Allison Nelson, second-year student, and Nicholas Crossland, third-year student, learn about an aseptic technique to determine if a patient is an infected case.


Several veterinary students journeyed to Atlanta on Jan. 23 for the Veterinary Student Day. The event is designed to encourage veterinary students to explore different career opportunities through public health. The following students attended the event; first-year students: Bailey Davis, Kyle Clymer, Anna Altobelli and Audrey Wood; second-year students: Karin Moser, Izabela Ragan, Allison Bryan and Allison Nelson; and third-year student: Nicholas Crossland.

Approximately 400 students attended the event. Attendees came from several locations including the United States, Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean. Students participated in a series of lectures that covered the topics of “The culture of ‘One Health’: Humans, animals and emerging zoonotic diseases”, “Rolling up our sleeves to fight Rocky Mountain spotted fever in Arizona”, “Toxocara spp. in dogs and cats: Roundworms can cause human disease”, “Multistate Outbreak of Listeriosis linked to Whole Cantaloupes from a Colorado Farm”, “Rabid zebras and bats and deer! Oh my!” and “Work Shouldn’t Make you Sick: Occupational Exposures in Veterinary Medicine.”

A session was held to discuss the different opportunities available in public health. There was also a panel of professionals in the public health field available for discussion. Hands on activities were made available for students to participate in.

Diagnostic table

After performing your "diagnostic" test you answered a short survey, which asked the same questions that were asked at the diagnostic table. This data was compiled and later used in the Case Study to see where the source of the outbreak was. In this picture, first-year students Kyle Clymer and Bailey Davis.

Outbreak wet lab experiment
Bailey Davis and Anna Altobelli performing an outbreak wet-lab experiment. If their answer was yes to any of the questions on the table then they added a drop of liquid into a test tube and at the end the person running the station would add a reagent and if the color changed, you knew if you were infected or not. Questions were similar to: Did you stay at the Emory Conference Center? Did you attend the banquet held the night before? Did you have an alcoholic beverage the night before? Are you from a school East of the Mississippi River? Did you get a flu vaccine in 2011?


Dr. Bruce Schultz investigates causes of male infertility

  Bicarbonate secretion diagram  

“Our work shows that the machinery necessary for bicarbonate secretion is present in cells lining the vas deferens,” Dr. Bruce Schultz said.


Although a baby is born every eight seconds, approximately one in six couples is affected by infertility or subfertility. For a man living with cystic fibrosis, fatherhood is not an option. About 98 percent of male cystic fibrosis patients do not have a vas deferens, the tube that connects the testes and prostate gland making it impossible to have children naturally. At the Kansas State College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Bruce Schultz, professor, and his research team are investigating male infertility.

“I started my research about 14 years ago,” said Dr. Schultz. “There wasn’t much information about that part of the duct. If you were born without any part of the tube, you wouldn’t die from it so no one really researched it. I had to start my research from the basics and show that the cells that line the tube actually do something. Over the last 14 years, we’ve had several articles published that show the tube responding to hormones and signaling agents. The environment that sperm come through is far more dynamic than anyone ever thought.”

Infertility affects couples equally around the world regardless of location, race or socioeconomic status. About half of all cases include some male factor, which means that one in 12 men will be diagnosed with some form of infertility. In most of these cases, however, the underlying cause cannot be determined and there is no logical intervention.

“There are several factors that can cause male infertility,” said Dr. Schultz. “One reason we believe is due to the environment of the tube. The cells that line the tube respond to hormones and to nerves by changing the secretion of salts and fluid. During arousal these cells will raise the pH for the sperm cells, which will prepare them for fertilization. We believe that some forms of infertility can be linked to errors in the secretion of salts or the regulation of pH. In our research, we are using drugs to stimulate or modify these responses.”

Fifty percent of pregnancies in the United States are unplanned. For couples who are planning pregnancies and experiencing infertility, there are not many options. Through research, there is hope in targeting and managing the environment in the duct to increase fertility.

Dr. Schultz recently received year four of his NIH/NICHD grant for his research titled: “Neuroendocrine-modulated epithelial HC03-transport.” His research team includes: Dr. Fernando Piercucci-Alves, research assistant professor; Florence Wang, technician; graduate students, Qian Wong and Sheng Yi; and undergraduate students, Jacob Hull and Jimmie Stewart. Dr. Schultz’s work has collaborated with the Johnson Center for Basic Cancer Research and several veterinary students have worked in his laboratory through summer employment. Three undergraduates who have worked in his lab have been awarded Undergraduate Research Fellowships by the American Physiological Society.




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Kristin Clement to edit VMTH's Animal Life magazine

Kristin ClementKristin Clement is the newest addition to the K-State College of Veterinary Medicine Development and Alumni office. She will be responsible for the biannual production of the magazine AnimaLIFE and other hospital publications.

Kristin will also serve as an advocate for grateful clients for the KSU Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. Through these interactions, she will help identify and qualify clients of the teaching hospital for future philanthropic gifts.

She joins the college from Nanoscale Corporation, an organization based in Manhattan which specializes in chemical research and development, where she was the marketing coordinator. During her time there, Kristin designed and maintained two separate Internet marketing campaigns. She also helped establish a social media presence for the organization. Kristin designed and edited correspondence, reports and brochures for mass distribution to members, prospects, general public, volunteer support groups and special interest groups. She also assisted in the research and writing of government contract proposals for NIH, DOD, NASA and NSF. Kristin is currently working on a book chapter for the “Handbook of Industrial Chemistry and Biotechnology.”

Kristin is from Pawnee Rock, Kan., and has a strong agriculture background through active involvement with her family’s beef farm. She is a 2009 graduate of Kansas State University where she majored in finance. Kristin and her husband Matt have a chocolate lab named Jordy.

Temporarily, Kristin will be located in Mosier O-208 and will eventually move to Trotter 103 with the college’s development staff.



Alumnus recognized at NVMA reception

Dr. William RishelDr. William Rishel, of Plattsmouth, Neb., and Glenwood, Iowa, is the 2012 recipient of the Alumni Recognition Award for the winter meeting of the Nebraska Veterinary Medical Association held Friday, Jan. 27, in Omaha.

Dr. Rishel earned his DVM from K-State in 1973. After graduation, he went to work for a mixed animal practice in Plattsmouth, Neb. Shortly after Dr. Rishel was hired, the clinic added a satellite clinic in Glenwood, Iowa. He worked at both clinics until 1980. In 1980, Dr. Rishel purchased the Glenwood Clinic, where he was joined by partner, Dr. Darcey Butts, in 1984. He has practiced in Glenwood, Iowa, for 39 years. 

Dr. Rishel is well-known for his participation in Christian Veterinary Mission. He has done short term mission trips to Nepal, India, Uganda and Bolivia. U.S. short term trips include the Navajo, Apache and Lakota Sioux Reservations. Most of these trips have been with veterinary students. He has helped with veterinary student mentoring weekends through the Christian Veterinary Mission for the last 12 years. 

“I have always appreciated the education and mentoring I received while at Kansas State,”
Dr. Rishel said. “I have been blessed with opportunities to pass on a small portion of what was given to me.”

“Dr. Rishel’s lifelong commitment and dedication to veterinary medicine is quite extraordinary,” Dean Richardson said. “This is shown through his active volunteer efforts, particularly the missionary trips to countries with limited access to proper animal health practitioners. It is quite an honor to recognize Dr. Rishel with this alumni recognition award.”

Dr. Rishel is involved in several professional organizations, including: American Veterinary Medical Association, American Association of Equine Practitioners, Iowa Veterinary Medical Association and the Nebraska Veterinary Medical Association.

Dr. Rishel is married to Marilyn and they have two children: April and Andrew.


Students participate in Telefund

Annual event reaches out to alumni and friend for scholarship support

CVM students helped raise money at Telefund which was held Feb. 5 and 6. The students raised $56,950 with 482 pledges for the college.

Robert Munson
Second-year student Robert Munson follows his script while calling alumni for scholarship pledges.

Allison Ten
First-year student Allison Ten speaks to an alumnus.

Ashley Smit
Experience pays off for fourth-year student Ashley Smit, who is a returning Telefund participant. She was one of the first callers to obtain 10 pledges and among the first to receive a $100 pledge.


Hannah Leventhal
First-year student Hannah Leventhal wins a prize for completing 'bingo' squares from a pledge list.

Bridgette Sharpe
First-year student Bridgette Sharpe turns in a pledge sheet to one of the calling 'coaches.'

Sarah Behrens and Brandi Taul
Fourth-year student Sarah Behrens waits for an answer while first-year student Brandi Taul explains to an alumnus how Telefund pledges will increase the scholarship fund.


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Under the Microscope

Dr. Zsolt Szladovits, Instructor of Veterinary Anatomy, A&P


Dr. Zsolt Szladovits Hometown: Budapest, capital of Hungary.

Family Information: My Mom, Edit, food engineer; Dad, John, retired veterinary practitioner; and brother, Balázs, clinical pathologist at the Royal Veterinary College.

Pets: I had a Vizsla [similar to a pointer] in Budapest for 10 years.

What is a favorite childhood memory? I loved all of my summer family vacations at the Lake Balaton (the Hungarian sea).

What is your favorite thing about winter? Alpine skiing

If you could live anywhere, where would it be? In Kitzbuhel, which is one of the most beautiful places in the Alps. I love its charm, nice climate and beautiful scenery, and I like all of the outdoor activities I could do there throughout the whole year.

What is a hobby or talent that your friends or co-workers might not know about? Just upgraded my tennis to competition level by winning the 2011 Kansas Fall Classic Tournament in men's doubles.




Check it Out at the Library

Eating healthy for you and your pet

by Carol Elmore

Carol Elmore Maybe you resolved for 2012 to eat healthier and lose weight. Making this a goal for a family pet may also have been on your improvement list. The Veterinary Medical Library has lots of helpful books on this topic for both humans and animals.

One of our newer books, “The Life You Want: Get Motivated, Lose Weight” and “Be Happy” (RM222.2 .G7227 2011), has chapters such as barriers to weight loss success, overcoming emotional eating, and rewiring your sugar-, fat- and salt-loving brain. In the appendix section are helpful tips on body mass index, goal setting and exercise. If you watch "The Biggest Loser" on television, “The Biggest Loser Simple Swaps: 100 Easy Changes to Start Living a Healthier Lifestyle” (RM222.2 .F667 2009) might be helpful with its recipes, pictures and easy-to-read format. “The 7 Principles of Fat Burning: Get Healthy, Lose Weight and Keep It Off!” (RM222.2 .B4517 2010) or “Mayo Clinic on Healthy Weight” (RM222 .M39 2000) might be of interest, too.

If you included a family dog or cat in your healthy eating and dieting resolutions then several of our books will also be of interest to you. “Chow Hounds: Why Our Dogs Are Getting Fatter and a Vet’s Plan to Save Their Lives” (SF991 .W37 2010) could give guidance. “The Dog Ate It: Cooking for Yourself and Your Four-Legged Friends” (SF427.4 .E25 2006) has recipes and tips on healthy eating for people and animals. “Fat Cat Thin: How to Keep Your Cat Lean, Fit, Healthy and Happy” (SF447.6 .A43 2007) offers aid for the owner of a cat who needs to slim down. A new book in our collection that discusses animal nutrition on a more scholarly level, “Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals” (SF427.4 .C37 2011) will add additional information on your pet’s nutritional health requirements.

Exercising with your dog using tips from “The Simple Guide to Getting Active with Your Dog” (SF427.45 .B66 2002) or “150 Activities for Bored Dogs: Surefire Ways to Keep Your Dog Active and Happy” (SF427.45 .W75 2007) might be helpful. “50 Games to Play with Your Cat” (SF446.7 .S77 2007) might help your cat get a little exercise.

We have many other books on human and animal nutrition and dieting at the Veterinary Medical Library so don’t hesitate to come to the library to find books and articles that can help you achieve your healthy eating goals.


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


News Ticker

The CVM says "goodbye" to longtime employee, Pam Davis. She has worked at the CVM for 30 years in the Anatomy and Physiology department. Throughout Pam’s career, she has helped teach over 3,000 veterinary students in courses over microanatomy, veterinary physiology and the behavior of domestic animals. A reception was held for Pam at the CVM on Jan. 13.

Pam Davis

Alumnus Dr. Jack Ellithorpe, DVM 1970, shared a couple of photos on recent Christian Veterinary Mission to Honduras. Below is a recovery area and to the right, Dr. Ellithorpe performs surgery.

VASH recovery room

Dr. Ellithorpe performs surgery.
Class of 2015 embraces community involvement

The Class of 2015 participated in several events throughout the area to help those less fortunate in Manhattan and Riley County. During the holiday season, the students adopted a Wamego family of four and raised money for them. In the end, the class raised over $2,000 which was used to buy the family Christmas decorations and gifts.

“Though we’re certainly dedicated students, I think the characteristic that sets us apart is the desire to be responsible young adults that acknowledge the importance of civic involvement,” said Michael White, president of the Class of 2015.

In October, the Shelter Club organized a fundraising effort at Halloween where they sold balloons. The Class of 2015 donated approximately $100 and put the balloons outside Dr. Wally Cash’s office.

“We felt the activity would be a nice way to show our appreciation for our professors, but it also helped support the Shelter Club,” White said.

On November 11, the Class of 2015 organized a blood drive for the CVM. Often, students are unable to attend the drives on the K-State campus due to exam and class schedule conflicts.

Food collected by the Class of 2015
The Class of 2015 collects food donations as one of several community activities it is involved in.



Calendar of events

General events

Feb. 22-24 - Alumni Fellow recognition: Dr. Sara Mark, Littleton, Colo., DVM 1983
Mar. 6 - Phi Zeta Day — Speaker: Dr. Kevin Stafford from Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand. 

Continuing Education events

Feb. 25 - Veterinary Technician Conference*

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


A&P Seminar Series

Seminars start at 3:30P.M. in the Mara Conference Center, 4th Floor, Trotter Hall

Feb. 13: Dr. Zhogjie Sun, University of Oklahoma

Feb. 20: Dr. Jere Mitchell, Southwestern Medical Center

March 05: Yijing Li, Kansas State University

March 12: Daniel Hirai, Kansas State University

March 26: Nanhua Chen, Kansas State University

April 02: Dr. Eileen Hasser, Missouri State University

April 09: Dr. Annelise Nguyen, Kansas State University

April 16: Sheng Yi, Kansas State University

April 30: Naomi Ohta, Kansas State University



New Arrivals/Recent Departures

Welcome to:

Jacqueline Yingling, Accounting Specialist - DM/P
Rhonda Coffman, Administrative Assistant - KSVDL
Hanna Manning, Senior Administrative Assistant - VMTH

Thanks and Goodbye to:

Jennifer Zeliff, Senior Administrative Assistant - VMTH
Dr. Loretta Pappan, Post Doctoral Fellow - A&P
Dr. Chanran Ganta, Medical Resident - DM/P


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,