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The official newsletter of the College of Veterinary Medicine

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September 2012 - Vol. 7, No. 9

Top Stories

Drs. Deryl Troyer and Bob RowlandDuo makes Dual Discoveries

Breakthrough swine discoveries could impact human cancer research.
Who teamed up?

Cat Town USA

Find fellowship and fun before home football games.

What's cooking this year?

Mentorship in India

Two second-year students share their worldly experiences from a summer mentorship program.
What did they learn?

Dr. James Carpenter receives avian practitioner award

Frontier Program gets firsthand look at border security

Helping out at Dodge City’s Roundup Rodeo

CVM unveils new 'Pet Friendly' license plate

Recognition for CVM faculty and Staff

AVMA activities highlight K-Staters

CVM lecture series to start at K-State Olathe campus

Pet-sitting becoming option of choice for owners

Regular features

Dr. Pradeep MalreddyUnder the Microscope
Dr. Pradeep Malreddy, Anatomy & Physiology Instructor

Check it out at the Library
Meet Library Assistant Miranda Schremmer

News Ticker

Calendar of events

New Arrivals/Recent Departures

Lifelines back issues

Hard copy version of Lifelines (printable)
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Duo makes Dual Discoveries

Researchers announce 'game-changing' breakthroughs

  Drs. Deryl Troyer and Bob Rowland
  Dr. Deryl Troyer and Dr. Bob Rowland join forces on cancer research described as a possible “game changer.” (Photos courtesy of K-State Photo Services. Photo illustration by Rebecca Martineau.)

While researching ways to improve animal health Dr. Bob Rowland, a virologist and professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology, and Dr. Deryl Troyer, professor of anatomy and physiology, have made two important discoveries that can also improve human health. Not only have they found pigs with severe combined immunodeficiency, or SCID, but they are also the first to discover the connection with human cancer, particularly melanomas and pancreatic cancers.

It began with Dr. Rowland’s research with controlling and eliminating porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, or PRRS. The work led to a fortuitous discovery: a naturally occurring line of immunodeficient pigs.

“Pigs are closely related to humans anatomically and physiologically,” Dr. Rowland said. “This can have huge potential for human cancer research.”

After the discovery of SCID pigs, Dr. Rowland turned to Dr. Troyer, who performs cancer research. Their collaborative work not only enables researchers to better study SCID pigs, but they can also apply their research to the study of human cancer and anti-cancer drugs.

“This is a great example of collaborative and interdisciplinary research,” Dr. Troyer said. “With two perspectives, there is often a synergy that evolves because of different ways of thinking.”

The research opens a variety of doors for both animal and human health research. It may now be easier for scientists to improve strategies for bone marrow transplants. They also have a better way to detect cancer drug side effects and test surgical interventions, Dr. Troyer said.

“The potential is a little daunting because it is as if there is no horizon limiting possible ways to utilize this model,” Dr. Troyer said. “It is an opportunity for Kansas State University to be a leader in the field and to become a center for large animal biomedical research.”

The scientists see possibilities for new, large scale research with the Kansas State University Johnson Cancer Research Center as well as cancer research partnerships and collaborations with the University of Kansas Cancer Center, especially with its recent National Cancer Institute designation.

“Agriculture benefits the people of the state in so many ways,” Dr. Rowland said. “While it includes jobs and exports, there is a human element that we sometimes forget. This is a good example of how we can take animal health research and all of a sudden it has the potential to help cure human cancer.”



Video Report

Cat Town USA brings alumni and friends together

A new football season at Kansas State University means fun, friends and food at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. It also means a new season of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cat Town USA.

“Cat Town is a large tailgating area where friends, family, corporations and colleges can set up a large tent and then invite their special guests to the game,” said Chris Gruber, director of development for the CVM. “In our instance, what we use it as is as an alumni relations event, so we invite all animal lovers, anyone who is a friend of the college, whether you’re an alumni or client, everyone’s invited.”

Offering food and a place to relax, the College of Veterinary Medicine tent in Cat Town can be found south of the west stadium parking lot two hours before every home football game.

Watch the full report in the video below:


Getting food at Cat Town.
A sold-out game makes for a lively atmosphere among the veterinary family who attended Cat Town at the first home football game. The Wildcats defeated Missouri State 51-9.

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



Students assist animals abroad in India

  Second-year students Andrea Dugan and Caitlin Sullivan  
Second-year students Andrea Dugan and Caitlin Sullivan pose next to a medical-supplies table outside an animal shelter in India, where they held a mentorship with the program, Trees of Life for Animals.
  Caitlin Sullivan holds a dog for a blood sample  
  Caitlin helps local shelter staff in India in drawing a blood sample from a sick dog.  

By Rebecca Martineau

Not everyone would jump at the idea of an unpaid mentorship in a third world country, but for second-year students Caitlin Sullivan and Andrea Dugan, the opportunity was irresistible. Caitlin first heard of the small, nonprofit clinic, Tree of Life for Animals (TOLFA), through the Student Chapter of American Veterinary Medical Association and encouraged Andrea to join her for the program in Rajasthan, India.

The TOLFA program consisted of three rotations: a week each of surgery, treatments and large animal volunteering. The students had the opportunity to work with veterinarians and animal care staff to learn more about the daily struggles faced by shelters in developing countries.

“The biggest thing I took away was seeing the differences in practicing animal medicine in a third world country,” Caitlin said “The staff was extremely competent but they didn’t always understand the medical basis for why they do specific things.”

Both Caitlin and Andrea felt the cultural differences heavily in the clinic. Because Indian culture does not believe in the concept of euthanasia, sick animals are more prevalent than what they were used to seeing back home. The clinic provided a permanent home for any animal that couldn’t return to the environment it had come from, whether the animal was a dog, cat, monkey or even a buffalo.

“Often, much of the day would be spent with sick dogs just sitting with them and making them comfortable — it made us think about what we’ve been taught in school about the quality of life and how quickly it could deteriorate in time,” Andrea explained. “We had to consider what we would do at home versus what we would do in India.”

Both women affirmed that the experience increased their desire to someday participate full time in a program such as Veterinarians without Borders, or simply travel the world and help other people and animals.

“Volunteering with TOLFA was an unparalleled personal and professional experience that we will embrace for years to come,” Andrea said.




Dr. James Carpenter receives avian practitioner award

  Dr. Carpenter accepts the T. J. Lafeber Avian Practitioner of the Year Award from Dr. Ted Lafeber, president and CEO of the Lafeber Company.  
  Dr. Carpenter accepts the T. J. Lafeber Avian Practitioner of the Year Award from Dr. Ted Lafeber, president and CEO of the Lafeber Company.  
  Lafeber bronze award  
  The Lafeber Award is a bronze casting of Dr. Lafeber's hands.  

Dr. James Carpenter, professor in zoological medicine, recently received the T.J. Lafeber Avian Practitioner Award, an honor presented yearly to an outstanding practitioner who is advancing the quality of health care for companion birds. Award recipients are selected by an independent committee of members from the Association of Avian Veterinarians. Criteria for this award include: clinical excellence, innovation, promotion of the profession, contributions to the knowledge base, and caring and compassion to their avian patients and clients.

The award was established in honor of Dr. T.J. Lafeber Sr., a pioneer in companion bird medicine and the human-companion bird bond.

Dr. Carpenter completed his bachelor’s degree in wildlife conservation at Cornell University before earning a DVM and a master’s degree in wildlife ecology from Oklahoma State University. He is a Diplomate of the American College of Zoological Medicine, and he has been a clinical and research veterinarian for 36 years in the field of avian, exotic animal, wildlife, and zoo animal medicine.

Since joining K-State in 1990, Dr. Carpenter has assisted in developing an internationally recognized training program in zoological medicine, training 34 interns and residents while inspiring and motivating countless veterinary medical students. He was named Exotic DVM of the Year in 2000, and he also received the Emil Dolensek Award (AAZV, 2004), for exceptional contributions to the conservation, care, and understanding of zoo and free-ranging wildlife. Dr. Carpenter was also awarded the Edwin J. Frick Professorship in Veterinary Medicine in 2002.






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Frontier Program gets firsthand look at border security

Frontier students get firsthand look at border security At the Santa Teresa, N.M., port of entry, about 300,000 cattle a year imported from Mexico pass through the national security checkpoint.

This summer, students from Kansas State University, as well as other universities, traveled to the New Mexico entry port to observe the intricate process of maintaining secure borders.

"We take students on field trips to learn about the complexity of the food system, to see firsthand why it's important to have an interdisciplinary approach to studying trade issues that relate to the food system and security," said Dr. Justin Kastner, co-director of the Frontier Program and an associate professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology at the university's College of Veterinary Medicine.

The Frontier program is a cooperative educational program between Kansas State University and New Mexico State University that focuses on border security, food security and trade policy. The program is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Center for Food Protection and Defense, which has headquarters at the University of Minnesota.

Thirteen students from Kansas State University went on the recent six-day field trip. Danny Unruh, a May 2012 bachelor's graduate in food science and political science from Manhattan, was amazed by the protocols in place.

"Something that would seem simple on the surface is actually quite complex," Unruh said.

The students split into two groups and spent half a day at the cattle crossing and the other half at a citizen crossing.

Preston Lagemann, a junior in food science and agricultural international economics from Olathe, was impressed by the efficiency conducted by the border officials.

"The process has to continue to be fluent because if cross-border trade of livestock and food stops, people don't eat," he said.

Being able to watch border security agents and other professionals in action and talk to them about their jobs helps students like Lagemann decide their future careers and build excitement for their prospects, according to Kastner and Steve Toburen, Frontier Interdisciplinary eXperiences, or FIX, program coordinator.

"The instructors can only persuade the student so much," Dr. Kastner said. "At some point there has to be an external force that motivates them. I believe the field trips help provide that motivating external force."

Other Frontier faculty members include Dr. Abbey Nutsch, assistant professor of animal sciences and industry at Kansas State University, and Dr. Jason Ackleson, associate professor of government at New Mexico State University and an adjunct professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology at Kansas State University.

Frontier program faculty teach the students the importance of skills like critical thinking, writing, and communication and interdisciplinary thought. The Frontier field trip is a way to show the students how to put these skills to use.

"When we go on field trips, students get to see immediately why they are so important," Dr. Kastner said. "We have an obligation to do all that we can to creatively enrich the educational experience of students, and I believe the field trips are a great way to do that."

Along with Unruh and Lagemann, other Kansas State University students on the trip included:

Kassie Curran, senior in food science and industry, Farlington; Amy Sents, master's student in public health, McPherson.

From Manhattan: Sean Cochran, senior in English; Thomas Regier, third-year veterinary medicine student; and Eric Zeak, junior in food science and industry.

Heather Chance, a December 2011 master's graduate in public health, Miltonvale; Jennifer Engel, master's student in public health, Overland Park; and Nick Sevart, December 2011 bachelor's graduate in food science and industry, Wichita.

From out of state: Ryan Fuerte, master's student in food science, Fontana, Calif.

From out of country: Venkata Pasupulleti, master's student in biomedical sciences, Manuguru, India.

Students from New Mexico State University, the University of Minnesota and the Georgia Institute of Technology also attended.




Helping out at Dodge City’s Roundup Rodeo

The Veterinary Health Center at Kansas State University partnered with Dr. David Ripple as the official veterinarians for the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo. They were available for any emergencies during and after the rodeo performance held each night.

CVM flag at the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo
The College of Veterinary Medicine’s flag is presented during the parade prior to the start of the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo.


Fourth-year students Victoria Countner and Lauren England with Darlo
Fourth-year students Victoria Countner and Lauren England say "hi," to Darlo, a grounds steward for the rodeo.


New ‘Pet Friendly’ License Plate

The College of Veterinary Medicine has unveiled a new way to support Kansas Shelter Medicine. The Pet Friendly license plate will be made available to Kansas residents early/mid summer 2012. For information, see, call 1-855-269-7387 or e-mail:

Pet Friendly license plate



Recognition for CVM faculty and Staff

Susan Ekstrum with Dean Richardson and Priscilla Roddy
Dean Ralph Richardson and Assistant Dean for Administration and Finance Priscilla Roddy present Susan Ekstrum with a pin in recognition of 30 years of service as a classified state of Kansas employees.

Chuanmin Cheng with Dean Richardson and Dr. M.M. Chengappa
Chuanmin Cheng is recognized for 10 years of service with Dean Richardson and DM/P Department Head Dr. M.M. Chengappa.



Dr. Bonnie Rush presents excellence in mentoring award to Dr. Amy Rankin
Dr. Bonnie Rush (left), head of Clinical Sciences, presents the 2012 Award for Excellence in Residence Mentoring, to Dr. Amy Rankin, assistant professor in ophthalmology, who was nominated for the award by Dr. Jonathan Pucket.


AVMA activities highlight K-Staters

Michael White with Dr. Howard Erickson and Dr. Alice Villalobos.

Second-year student Michael White receives a certificate for winning the Waltham Essay Contest from the Society of Veterinary Medical Ethics. He presented his work at the AVMA Convention in San Diego. Here he is joined by Dr. Howard Erickson, K-State professor emeritus, and Dr. Alice Villalobos, SVME president. The award also includes a $1,000 cash prize.

Dr. Sara Emanuel receives the Exceptional Veterinary Corps Officer of the Year Award
Dr. Sara Emanuel, DVM 2005, receives the Exceptional Veterinary Corps Officer of the Year Award from Brigadier General John L. Poppe. The award was presented Aug. 6 in San Diego during the annual AVMA Convention.


CVM lecture series to start at K-State Olathe campus

  Dr. Ronnie Elmore  
Dr. Ronnie Elmore, associate dean for academic programs, admissions and diversity, will deliver a lecture on careers in veterinary medicine at K-State's Olathe campus Sept. 19.

The Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine will offer a fall lecture series on the Olathe campus, 22201 W. Innovation Drive, with the first lecture to be at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19, in Forum Hall at the International Animal Health and Food Safety Institute.

The presentation by Dr. Ronnie Elmore, "Careers and Cases in Veterinary Medicine," will cover career opportunities in the field and how to be a successful applicant to veterinary college. Dr. Elmore is associate dean for academic programs, admissions and diversity at the College of Veterinary Medicine. A veterinarian for more than 40 years, he has been in private practice and has taught at three colleges of veterinary medicine. He has more than 20 years of experience in administering admissions to veterinary colleges in the United States.

The Greater Kansas City area is the national leader in the animal health and nutrition industry. The Kansas City Animal Health Corridor, which stretches from Manhattan, Kan., to Columbia, Mo., accounts for one-third of the nation's $19-billion global animal health market. Companies and universities in this area lead the nation in animal health and nutrition research, innovation, business functions and production.

"Training the future workforce for this industry begins with our students," said Micheal Strohschein, director of K-12 science education partnerships at Kansas State University Olathe. "Years from now, they will be ensuring the continued growth of the success in the corridor and in this field overall."

The lecture series is geared to high school students, but parents, teachers and the general public are invited to attend. College of Veterinary Medicine faculty will be available the day of each lecture to meet with interested students and their families.

Additional lectures will be offered Oct. 3 and 17 and Nov. 14 and 28 on a variety of topics.

For more information, contact Strohschein at or 913-307-7342. More information and registration is also available on the Olathe campus website at

Kansas State University Olathe advances the mission of Kansas State University by integrating education, research and entrepreneurship focused on animal health, food safety and security.





10th Annual Samuel Kelsall III Memorial Hunt


Please join us for this special event planned just for you — our valued alumni and friends

Hosted by Ralph Richardson, DVM, Dean of the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine
Oct. 7–8, 2012, Before, during and after the K-State vs. Kansas home football game
Ringneck Ranch, Tipton, Kansas

Get ready for upland bird season with this exclusive opportunity to benefit the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Samuel Kelsall III Memorial Scholarship. Plans include a trap shooting competition, country gourmet meals, a guided hunt and a chance to win a shotgun.

Cost per person is $725. This includes all hunting fees, professional guides with dogs, overnight lodge accommodations, meals, refreshments during the hunt, field transportation, processed and packaged game with free cooler, and a Ringneck Ranch cap.

Cost also includes a $230 tax-deductible contribution to support scholarships for students interested in food safety/inspection.

Act fast — space is limited! To reserve your spot, please complete and return the attached reservation form. A confirmation and detailed schedule will be sent to you.

Deadline to register is September 26.






Pet-sitting becoming option of choice for owners

Many traveling pet owners board their animals at a kennel while they are gone. But some pet owners are now opting for pet-sitting, an alternative that appears to be growing, according to a Kansas State University veterinarian.

"A lot of people like the thought of their pets being at home and perceive it as being less stressful for them versus being away from home and near strange barking dogs, noisy cats and the business of a kennel," said Dr. Susan Nelson, clinical associate professor at the university's Veterinary Health Center, a part of the College of Veterinary Medicine. "This can be especially so for nervous or cage-phobic dogs and cats that typically prefer the stable, predictable routine at home."

Websites such as or provide databases of pet-sitting jobs and prospective sitters readily available for perusal. Similar sites have proliferated recently with the increase in pet owners opening their homes to pet sitters.

Choosing to have pets remain at home rather than boarding at a kennel is also reflective of a pet's status in a family, Dr. Nelson said.

"Pets in our society are like members of the family for many people," she said. "Pet owners want to do what's best for them."

Pet-sitting jobs typically are not the primary form of employment for many sitters, but professional pet-sitting services exist throughout the U.S. Some pet owners may elect to have neighbors, family or friends check up on their animals during their travels.

"When using professional services, it is recommended to use one that is bonded and insured," Dr. Nelson said.

Kennels have also responded to the changing preferences of pet owners. Playtime and optional interaction with pets by staff has increased at many kennels, according to Nelson. Similarly, kennels have started offering day care-style programs where workers can leave their pets during the day.

"Kennels are seeing that people want this extra care for their pets and are responding," Dr. Nelson said. "You definitely see a trend here."






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Under the Microscope

Dr. Pradeep Malreddy, Anatomy & Physiology Instructor


Dr. Pradeep Malreddy Hometown:  Manhattan, Kan.

Hometown: Hyderabad, India

Family Information: Dad, mom, sister, a niece and a nephew.

What do you miss most about India? The street food.

If you were an animal what would you be? I’d be a cat because they are awesome, not to mention they have nine lives.

Who has been a hero in your life? My family, especially my parents. They have been there for me all through my life.

What was the highlight of your summer? Getting an instructor position.

If you had the opportunity to be on a game show, which would you choose? Jeopardy!



Check it Out at the Library

Meet Library Assistant Miranda Schremmer

Miranda SchremmerWe are happy to introduce our newest Veterinary Medical Library staff member, Miranda Schremmer. Her face is probably familiar to many of you because she has worked at the library for four years while she was getting her degree in sociology from Kansas State University. Miranda worked with Susie Larson in the graphic arts/print area of the library for several years and then assumed other library duties in addition to these duties. Because of her experience and qualifications we did not hesitate to hire her when our newest position opened up.

Miranda grew up in Maple Hill, Kansas and graduated from St. Mary’s High School. She was an athlete in high school as a member of the St. Mary’s women’s basketball and softball teams. Her team won the state 2A softball championship her senior year and Miranda went on to become a member of the state women’s all-state team. She still participates in coed sports and also loves to do scrapbooking for herself and others. Miranda also likes to read novels on her Nook and said that the Stephanie Plumb series by Janet Evanovich is one of her favorite things to read. One thing that people may not know about her is that she married her high school sweetheart last year. She has two dogs, a black lab-boxer mix and a “Heinz 57” mix that looks like a German shepherd.

One of Miranda’s jobs at the library is working in the technical service areas of the library to keep our print and online services working and organized. In addition to that she works with our service oriented areas providing help to people who come to the information desk. She also supervises all of the students who work in the library. Miranda says that balancing all of these current duties is a challenge and that answering questions from students, faculty, staff, and student workers keeps her on her toes. As a plus she has beautiful handwriting and is truly an asset to our busy library. Be sure to introduce yourself to Miranda the next time you visit the library.

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




News Ticker

Dr. Sureemas Nitikanchana, a doctoral student under Dr. Steve Dritz, was recognized with the “Best Production Abstract Presentation” award at the 2012 International Pig Veterinary Society Meeting for her meta-analysis comparing dry and wet-dry feeders. Dr. Nitikanchana’s paper was selected from 122 submitted abstracts. Congratulations!

Congratulations to Kim Malo, agricultural tech in the Comparative Medicine Group, who gave birth to baby Abigail on Aug. 21.

Dr. Howard Erickson gave a presentation on the “History of the American Veterinary Medical Association” at the 40th International Congress of the World Association for the History of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. William Fortney was the guest editor and one of 13 authors of the “2012 Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice: Geriatric Edition (vol. 42 # 4, 2012),” published by Elsevier/Saunders. This publication replaces his 2005 edition.

At the 33rd Annual Association of Avian Veterinarians Conference in Louisville, Ky., Aug. 11-15, Dr. James W. Carpenter presented “Pharmacokinetics of Increased-dose Meloxicam Administered Orally in the Rabbit” (co-authored with Drs. D. Fredholm, B. KuKanich, and M. Kohles), chaired a session on “Disease Syndromes”, and Chaired the Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery Editorial Board Meeting.




Calendar of events

General College/Alumni Events

Sept. 15: Cat Town - K-State vs. North Texas, 4:00 p.m.

Oct. 6: Cat Town - K-State vs. Kansas, TBA

Oct. 7-8: 10th Annual Samuel Kelsall III Memorial Hunt, Contact Cheri Ubel to register: 785-532-4043

Oct. 27: Cat Town - K-State vs. Texas Tech, TBA

Nov. 3: Cat Town - K-State vs. Oklahoma State, TBA


Continuing Education events

Oct. 13: SCAAEP Fall Conference, Guest Speaker - Brad Jackman, DVM, MS, ACVS, Pioneer Equine Hospital

Nov.10: KVMA Fall Conference

Nov. 17: Inaugural Kansas Horse Council Equine Clinic: Horse Care 101

Nov. 29-30: International PRRS Symposium & National Swine Improvement Federation Conference Kansas City, MO


A&P Seminar Series

Seminars start at 3:30P.M. in the Mara Conference Center, 4th Floor, Trotter Hall, Phone: 532-5666 for more information

Sept. 20: Dr. Charles Elson, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Clarenburg Lecturer

Sept. 24: Dr. William P. Schiemann, Case Western Reserve University

Oct. 1: Steven Copp, Kansas State University

Oct. 8: Dr. Fernando Alves, Kansas State University

Oct. 15: Dr. William F. Jackson, Michigan State University

Oct. 22: Dr. Tom Barstow, Kansas State University

Oct. 29: Dr. Russell Richardson, The University of Utah

Nov. 5: Dr. Cory J. Berkland, University of Kansas

Nov. 12: Dr. Michael J. Davis, University of Missouri

Nov. 26: Katrina Fox, Kansas State University

Dec. 3: John Hirt, Kansas State University



New Arrivals/Recent Departures

Welcome to:

Dr. Jessica Slack, Assistant Professor, Clinical Sciences
Dr. David Eshar, Assistant Professor, Clinical Sciences
Dr. April Durant Assistant Professor, Clinical Sciences
Ana Rita Rebelo, Research Assistant, KSVDL
Hollie Wells, Client Care Representative, KSVDL
Lina Nemeth, Accounting Specialist, DM/P

Thanks and Goodbye to:

Dr. Rachel White, Post Doc Fellow, DM/P
Dr. Atushi Kawabata, Post Doc Fellow, A&P
AshleyLikes, Administrative Assistant, A&P
Dr. Lane Anderson, Instructor, A&P
James Hartigan,
Staff Assistant, KSVDL
Dr. Sanjeev Gumber, Assistant Professor, KSVDL
Trent Armbrust, Project Coordinator, VHC


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