Lifelines - October 2012

The official newsletter of the College of Veterinary Medicine

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October 2012 - Vol. 7, No. 10

Top Stories

Research in pain treatment for canines may help benefit humans as well.A Healthy Bond

Dr. James Roush's pain-treatment research for canines may impact human health.
What led to this discovery?

Vaccine shows promise

Drs. David Renter and T.G. Nagaraja battle E. coli 0157:H7.

Learn about super shedders!

New Test gets Results

Dr. Deryl Troyer helps develop blood test for cancer detection.
How many kinds of cancers does the test detect?

Fourth-year student receives large-animal scholarship

Jenna Dockweiler attends BioCamp in Switzerland

CVM welcomes the 2012 early admissions class

CVM unveils new 'Pet Friendly' license plate

VHC staff receives years of service awards

State of the University address spotlights Lesa Reves

New classrooms and technology provide benefits to students

Dean Richardson meets with KSU Foundation Trustees

Frontier program works with National Drovers Hall of Fame

Regular features

Amy BruskUnder the Microscope
Amy Brusk, Grants Specialist, Clinical Sciences

News Ticker

Calendar of events

New Arrivals/Recent Departures

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Canine pain-treatment research could impact humans

  Canine research project could impact human health
  A research project in pain treatment for canines, led by Dr. James Roush, may help benefit humans as well.

A CVM professor's research improving post-surgery pain treatment and osteoarthritis therapy in dogs may help develop better ways to treat humans for various medical conditions.

From the use of hot and cold packs to new forms of narcotics, Dr. James Roush, professor of clinical sciences, is studying ways to lessen pain after surgery and improve care for small animals, particularly dogs. He is working with the clinical patients who come to the College of Veterinary Medicine's Veterinary Health Center.

Because humans and dogs experience some diseases in similar ways, his research may improve how doctors and physicians understand human health, too.

"Several of our projects have human applications, particularly one involving intra-articular prolotherapy," Dr. Roush said.

Here's a closer look at three of Dr. Roush's current projects:

* A recent project with Dr. Ralph Millard, former Veterinary Health Center resident, focuses on ways that hot packing and cold packing affect tissue temperature in beagles and beagle-sized dogs after surgery.

After surgery in both humans and dogs it is common to put a cold pack or hot pack on tissue to prevent and reduce swelling. How long the pack is used and what type of cold or hot pack is used depends on the type of injury and surgery. Roush said that no studies have looked at how deep in the tissue the packs affect temperature and how long the packs must be applied so that the tissue reaches a desired temperature.

The researchers studied the temperature and tissue depth that hot and cold packing affected and the time it took to reach that temperature.

"We found that you don't really need to cold pack anything longer than 10 minutes because there is not a great change in temperature after that," Dr. Roush said.

When tissue is cold packed, it will stay cold for a while after the ice pack is removed. But when tissue is hot packed and the pack is removed, the tissue temperature will return to normal much more quickly. Leaving the hot or cold pack on the tissue longer than 10 minutes will extend the time that the tissue stays at the same hot or cold temperature, Roush said. There just will not be a great change in temperature after 10 minutes.

The same technique of hot and cold packing after surgery is also used in humans. Although more research in humans is needed, Roush said there is a strong possibility that a similar 10-minute time frame for hot and cold packing may apply to humans as well.

The research appears in two upcoming publications in the Journal of Veterinary Research.

* For another project, Dr. Roush and Dr. Matt Sherwood, Veterinary Health Center resident, are using a mat system to study lameness and osteoarthritis in dogs. When dogs step on the mat, it measures the pressure in their step.

The mat system is a useful clinical tool for evaluating and developing treatment of lameness, Roush said. Roush and Sherwood are using the mat for measuring lameness and determining in which leg the lameness is worse.

"We've designed the study to help improve osteoarthritis treatment," Dr. Roush said. "We will also use it to measure clinical patients when they come in for regular checkups. We can measure their recovery and a variety of other aspects: how they respond to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, how they respond to narcotics or how they respond to a surgical procedure that is designed to take that pressure off the joint."

* Dr. Roush also is working with Dr. Marian Benitez, Veterinary Health Center resident, on an analgesic pharmacology study. Dr. Rose McMurphy, professor of clinical sciences, and Dr. Butch KuKanich, associate professor of anatomy and physiology, are also involved.

The researchers are studying the effectiveness of a painkiller used to treat dogs and researching potential alternatives to the drug. The same drug also is commonly used to treat pain in humans.

"To achieve the drug's effect, the dosage in dogs is much higher than in people," Dr. Roush said. "It also may not be a very good analgesic in dogs. We want to see if there is an alternative that requires smaller doses and does not have not as much of a discrepancy for patients."


Video Report - Controlling E. coli O157.H7



New research offers hope in controlling a deadly pathogen: E. coli O157.H7. This bacteria, carried by cattle, is a dangerous source of food poisoning and a major concern for those who work in cattle production and food safety. Researchers at the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine have completed a study demonstrating the efficacy of a vaccine for this type of E. coli in commercial feedlots. Watch the full report in the video below:

Drs. TG Nagaraja and David Renter

Drs. T.G. Nagaraja and David Renter (standing) are leading a project to evaluate the effectiveness of a vaccine to control E. coli 0157:H7 in cattle.

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


New blood test able to detect some cancers in humans

  Dr. Deryl Troyer conducts promising cancer research  
Dr. Deryl Troyer stores a culture while working in his lab. He is currently collaborating on a cancer research project with Dr. Stefan Bossmann, a professor of chemistry at K-State.

Researchers at Kansas State University have developed a simple blood test that can accurately detect the beginning stages of cancer.

In less than an hour, the test can detect breast cancer and non-small cell lung cancer — the most common type of lung cancer — before symptoms like coughing and weight loss start. The researchers anticipate testing for the early stages of pancreatic cancer shortly.

The test was developed by Dr. Stefan Bossmann, professor of chemistry, and Dr. Deryl Troyer, professor of anatomy and physiology. Both are also researchers affiliated with Kansas State University's Johnson Cancer Research Center and the University of Kansas Cancer Center. Dr. Gary Gadbury, professor of statistics at Kansas State University, helped analyze the data from tests with lung and breast cancer patients. The results, data and analysis were recently submitted to the Kansas Bio Authority for accelerated testing.

"We see this as the first step into a new arena of investigation that could eventually lead to improved early detection of human cancers," Dr. Troyer said. "Right now the people who could benefit the most are those classified as at-risk for cancer, such as heavy smokers and people who have a family history of cancer. The idea is these at-risk groups could go to their physician's office quarterly or once a year, take an easy-to-do, noninvasive test, and be told early on whether cancer has possibly developed."

The researchers say the test would be repeated a short time later. If cancer is confirmed, diagnostic imaging could begin that would otherwise not be routinely pursued.

According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 39,920 breast cancer deaths and 160,340 lung cancer deaths are expected in the U.S. in 2012.

With the exception of breast cancer, most types of cancer can be categorized in four stages based on tumor growth and the spread of cancer cells throughout the body. Breast and lung cancer are typically found and diagnosed in stage 2, the stage when people often begin exhibiting symptoms such as pain, fatigue and coughing. Numerous studies show that the earlier cancer is detected, the greater chance a person has against the disease.

"The problem, though, is that nobody knows they're in stage 1," Dr. Bossmann said. "There is often not a red flag to warn that something is wrong. Meanwhile, the person is losing critical time."

The test developed by Kansas State University's Drs. Bossmann and Troyer works by detecting increased enzyme activity in the body. Iron nanoparticles coated with amino acids and a dye are introduced to small amounts of blood or urine from a patient. The amino acids and dye interact with enzymes in the patient's urine or blood sample. Each type of cancer produces a specific enzyme pattern, or signature, that can be identified by doctors.

"These enzyme patterns can also help distinguish between cancer and an infection or other diseases that commonly occur in the human body," Dr. Bossmann said. "For example, a person who smokes a lot of cigars may develop an inflammation in their lungs. That will drive up some of the markers in the test but not all of them. Doctors will be able to see whether there was too much smoke inhalation or if there is something more serious going on. False-positives are something that we really want to avoid."

Once the test is administered, comprehensive results — which include enzyme patterns — are produced in roughly 60 minutes.

Drs. Bossmann and Troyer have designed a second testing method that is anticipated to produce the same results in about five minutes. The team recently received $305,000 in funding for this project from the National Science Foundation's Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental and Transport Systems.

In addition to early detection, researchers say the test can be tweaked to monitor cancer. For example, patients being treated with drugs can be observed for drug effectiveness. Similarly, doctors can use the dye in the test to determine if the entirety of a tumor has been successfully removed from a patient after surgery.

Researchers evaluated the test's accuracy on 32 separate participants in various stages of breast or lung cancer. Data was collected from 20 people with breast cancer — ranging in age from 36 to 81 years old — and 12 people with lung cancer — ranging in age from 27 to 63 years old.

Twelve people without cancer were also tested as a control group. This group ranged in age from 26 to 62 years old.

A blood sample from each participant was tested three times. Analysis of the data showed a 95 percent success rate in detecting cancer in participants, including those with breast cancer in stages 0 and 1 and those with lung cancer in stages 1 and 2.

Tests detecting for pancreatic cancer are anticipated to begin in October as part of Drs, Bossmann and Troyer's collaboration with Dr. Stephen Williamson at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Blood samples from triple-negative breast cancer patients will be tested this fall in collaboration with Dr. Priyanka Sharma, who is also at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Funding for the study — titled "Functionalized Bimagnetic Core/Shell Fe/FE3O4 Stealth Nanoparticles for Diag & Treatment Cancer" — was originally provided through a subcontract of a National Institutes of Health phase II Small Business Innovation Research grant to NanoScale Corp., a Manhattan-based company that manufactures, markets and commercializes advanced products and technologies, and by the Johnson Cancer Research Center at Kansas State University. A Small Business Innovation Research grant is awarded to small businesses with a university partner for the purpose of accelerating research to enter the commercial marketplace.



Fourth-year student receives large-animal scholarship

  Brooks Butler  
  Fourth-year student Brooks Bulter won a $5,000 scholarship from the AABP Foundation — Pfizer Animal Health Veterinary Student Scholarship Fund.  

Fourth-year student Brooks Butler is the new recipient of a scholarship from a program that has only existed for about as long as he has been in veterinary college.

For the fourth year, Pfizer Animal Health and the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) Foundation have joined forces to provide financial support to veterinary students pursuing careers in large-animal veterinary medicine.

“In the past four years, the AABP Foundation — Pfizer Animal Health Veterinary Student Scholarship Fund has awarded $385,000 in scholarships to 77 veterinary students. That’s an incredible amount of support for our future generation of veterinarians,” said Dr. M. Gatz Riddell Jr., executive vice president of the AABP and a 1977 DVM graduate of Kansas State University. “Our continued partnership with Pfizer Animal Health on this program is helping make a difference for our young veterinary students.”

Brooks was one of fifteen veterinary students from across the United States who were recognized as 2012 recipients of the AABP Foundation — Pfizer Animal Health Veterinary Student Scholarship Fund at the AABP Annual Conference held Sept. 19 to 22 in Montreal, Quebec. Each student received a $5,000 scholarship and many attended the conference with paid travel and lodging. Brooks was unable to attend the conference.

The other 2012 scholarship recipients were: Travis Allen, Washington State University; Kathryn Bach, University of Pennsylvania; Rebecca Domenigoni, Western University of Health Sciences; Dallas A. Duncan, University of Illinois; Jacob Geis, Iowa State University; Tim R. Gibbs, Washington State University; J. Oliver Irons, Auburn University; Caleb Jenkin, Auburn University; Jonathan Klemme, Texas A&M University; Lindley Reilly, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Eric J. Rooker, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Judd Sims, University of Florida; Emily Waggoner, University of Georgia; and Amanda Wagner, The Ohio State University.

Supporting large-animal veterinarians from the beginning

Dr. Claire McPhee received an AABP Foundation — Pfizer Animal Health Veterinary Student Scholarship in 2011. The 2012 graduate of North Carolina State University focuses on milk quality and large-animal medicine at Udder Health Systems in Bellingham, Wash. The scholarship and the support of Pfizer Animal Health and AABP have helped advance her career, McPhee says.

“Receiving the scholarship decreased my financial debt and provided greater flexibility in finding a job that was a good fit for me,” McPhee says. “Pfizer Animal Health also helped my career by offering externships and educational resources that wouldn’t have otherwise been available to me.”

“Pfizer Animal Health supports future veterinarians at every stage. Externships provide students with hands-on experiences that can’t be taught in the classroom,” says Doug Braun, veterinary segment manager, Pfizer Animal Health Strategic Initiatives.

“In addition to financial support, we also make sure students have access to educational resources and are given the opportunity to network with other veterinarians. We feel these can be key to a successful career in veterinary medicine,” Braun says.

Pfizer Animal Health supports the scholarships through its FFA and AABP Foundation Support Program, a unique partnership with veterinarians, animal health suppliers and dealers. The program offered a 1% rebate on Pfizer Animal Health cattle products from Jan. 1 to March 31, 2012. Participating partners were able to direct funds to any local FFA chapter(s) or the AABP Foundation — Pfizer Animal Health Veterinary Student Scholarship Fund.

The AABP Foundation — Pfizer Animal Health Veterinary Student Scholarship Fund is a component of Pfizer Animal Health’s Commitment to Veterinarians™ platform, which offers support through training and education, research and development, investing in the future of the veterinary profession, and philanthropy.





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K-State Day at the State Fair

The College of Veterinary Medicine managed a tent during K-State Day at the State Fair in Hutchinson. Passers-by were encouraged to sign a “Pet Friendly” banner with the names of their pets. Staff and students from the college answered general questions from the public.

Dr. Dan Thomson and Scooby Doo.
Dr. Dan Thomson makes sure Scooby Doo is healthy and happy.


First-year student Jen McGrady
First-year student Jen McGrady answers some questions about the veterinary college.

Second-year student Tracey Stonebridge
Second-year student Tracey Stonebridge attends the CVM's booth at the State Fair.


First-year student Jen McGrady with Dr. Dan Thomson
First-year student Jen McGrady with Dr. Dan Thomson. They helped get people to sign a petition for the new Pet Friendly license plate in Kansas.

Second-year student Bailey Davis
Second-year student Bailey Davis watches as some fairgoers sign their pets' names on the Pet Friendly banner.


Jenna Dockweiler attends BioCamp in Switzerland

Third-year student Jenna DockweilerNovartis Animal Health recently sponsored K-State student Jenna Dockweiler as the company candidate for the Novartis International Biotechnology Leadership Camp (BioCamp) that took place at the Novartis International Headquarters in Basel, Switzerland, during the last week of August. She was one of 60 students from 21 different countries who attended the BioCamp, a three-day biotechnology seminar for top graduate and postgraduate students who are interested in careers in biotechnology.

Jenna and the other students who took part in BioCamp had a chance to interact with key Novartis scientists who lead the company’s unique approach to drug discovery; learn about breakthrough new medicines to address patients’ unmet medical needs; and explore trends and challenges in the bio-technology sector.

“Overall, it was an amazing experience,” Jenna said of BioCamp. “I was really struck by how happy all the employees here seem to be. It is evident from the way they speak that they are very passionate about their work and Novartis.”

Jenna, who is pursuing her doctorate of veterinary medicine at K-State’s College of Veterinary Medicine, was selected based on her academic record, professional experience and extra-curricular activities.

Dr. Jason Drake, Senior Manager of Professional Services at Novartis Animal Health said BioCamp is an important annual event for future industry leaders.

“The team at Novartis Animal Health is thrilled that we were able to provide another veterinary student with the opportunity to interact with our colleagues in Novartis R&D at BioCamp,” he said. “We continue to demonstrate benefits of collaboration between Novartis business units and also promote the benefits of academia and industry working together.”


CVM welcomes the 2012 early admissions class

Twenty-five undergraduates students at Kansas State University have been formally accepted into the 2012 class of the College of Veterinary Medicine's Early Admission Scholars program.

Since it was established in 1999, the program has recruited academically qualified undergraduate students who want to study veterinary medicine. After acceptance into the program, completion of 64 hours of pre-professional requirements, and completion of three years of undergraduate work or completion of a bachelor's degree, the scholars are admitted into the College of Veterinary Medicine.

"This is the top 5 percent of K-State students according to their college acceptance test scores," said Dr. Ronnie Elmore, associate dean for academic programs, admissions and diversity at the College of Veterinary Medicine. "Qualifying for this program is valuable because we have hundreds of applicants each year for a limited number of positions. This program allows these students to know early in their undergraduate programs that they have a place in the veterinary college. Each veterinary class is only 112 students, but more than 1,200 apply each academic year."

Successful candidates in the Early Admission Scholars program must maintain at least a 3.4 grade point average during completion of the pre-professional requirements. By their third year of undergraduate studies, the scholars may petition for enrollment in the first year of the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree program.

The College of Veterinary Medicine assigns each scholar a student mentor to stimulate career and academic development and to provide orientation and access to college activities. The pre-veterinary students attend regular meetings during the academic year to develop a sense of community and share their progress.

The 2012 class of Early Admission Scholars includes:

Laura Erbe, freshman in animal sciences and industry,  Altoona; Sara Teague, freshman in animal sciences and industry,  Cheney.

From  Greater Kansas City:  Jordan Green, freshman in animal sciences and industry,  Kansas City, Mo.; Emily Mast, freshman in pre-veterinary medicine, and Morgan Shmidl, freshman in animal sciences and industry, both from  Lenexa; Stephen Mercer, freshman in animal sciences and industry,  Olathe; and Mallory Fleenor, freshman in animal sciences and industry,  Shawnee.

Callie Weibert, freshman in animal sciences and industry,  Gypsum; Jason Banning, freshman in animal sciences and industry, and Abigail Lechtenberg, freshman in biochemistry, both from  Hutchinson; Lauren Barlow, freshman in pre-veterinary medicine,  Inman; Elizabeth Wilk, sophomore in animal sciences and industry,Osage City; Megan Ewell, sophomore in animal sciences and industry,  Randolph; Elsie Suhr, junior in pre-veterinary medicine,  Sabetha; Savannah Stewart, freshman in pre-veterinary medicine,  Valley Center; Bailey Spencer, freshman in pre-veterinary medicine,  Wichita; and Carlee Wollard, freshman in pre-veterinary medicine,  Winfield.

From out of state:

Tess Rychener, sophomore in animal sciences and industry,  Colorado Springs, Colo.; Amanda Dainton, sophomore in feed science and management,Mansfield Center, Conn.; Samantha Bolen, sophomore in animal sciences and industry,  Carrollton, Ill.; Jared Bourek, freshman in animal sciences and industry,  Dodge, Neb.; Taylor Papstein-Novak, freshman in animal sciences and industry,  York, Neb.; Rachel Eisen-McGinn, freshman in animal sciences and industry,  Haworth, N.J.; William Mischnick, freshman in animal sciences and industry,  Arlington, Texas; and Katelyn Comstock, freshman in animal sciences and industry,  Weatherford, Texas.

Early Admission Scholars class of 2012
Welcome to the 2012 class of Early Admission Scholars. Back row (left to right): Jared Bourek, Elsie Suhr, William Mischnick, Mallory Fleenor, Samantha Bolen, Bailey Spencer, Katelyn Comstock, Amanda Dainton, Morgan Schmidl, Stephen Mercer. Middle row: Sara Teague, Jason Banning, Laure Erbe, Tess Rychener, Taylor Papstein-Novick, Emily Mast, Carlee Wollard. Front row: Savannah Stewart, Megan Ewell, Elizabeth Wilk, Jordan Green, Abigail Lechtenberg, Rachel Eisen-McGinn, Lauren Barlow, Callie Weibert


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. For information, see, call 1-855-269-7387 or e-mail:

Pet Friendly license plate



VHC staff receives years of service awards

Years of Service Awards
The Veterinary Health Center recognizes some of its employees for their years of service. From left to right: Robert Lundblade (10 years), Shirley Arck, hospital administrator, Beth Galligan (10 years), Ruth Berggren (20 years) and Dean Ralph Richardson.



State of the University address spotlights Lesa Reves

President Kirk Schulz gave his State of the University address in September and showed this video featuring Lesa Reves, agricultural technician in the Veterinary Health Center.


New classrooms/technology provide benefits to students

  One of the new classrooms in Trotter Hall.  
  Dr. Mike Apley leads a session on feedlots in one of the new classrooms in Trotter Hall.  
  New monitors allow a better view for students.  
  New monitors in the second-floor lab in Trotter Hall allow students a better view at material being projected from a microscope.  

While there’s always excitement about a new school year, this year features some highly visible enhancements to the learning environment in Trotter Hall. Three new classrooms were added on the first floor for teaching elective classes, and upgrades were made to the microscopes, monitors and public address systems in the second- and third-floor laboratories.

“We had a significant need in the college for small classrooms, meaning places where we can teach groups of 10 to 20 students,” said Dr. Roger Fingland, Executive Associate Dean and Director of the Veterinary Health Center. “That has come about in part because of the increased number of electives offered to our students. Most of our conference rooms are consistently in use, so we didn’t have adequate space.”

Of the three rooms that were recently added to the college, two are medium-sized with conference-room tables and the third is larger with tables that can be configured in several different ways. The rooms were also designed to meet modern classroom standards.

“The most exciting thing about the three new classrooms is that they utilize the latest available technology,” Dr. Fingland said. “They have 80-inch LCD monitors on the wall rather than projectors. We put hardwire Internet connections in the rooms, upgraded the wireless network and provided the students places to plug-in their laptops.”

Image quality has been one of the drawbacks with the old microscope and monitor system in the second- and third-floor labs. With the upgrades that were made, students now have access to high-quality images and the ability to hear the instructors from any part of the labs.

“We removed all of the old monitors and put in 54-inch flat screen monitors – there are 26 in each lab, and we upgraded the microscopes and the cameras on the microscopes to include video technology, so now the students have exceptional quality images to learn from,” Dr. Fingland said.

The lab upgrades cost about $100,000 per lab, and the microscopes were about $20,000.

“We used instructional fee money to pay for these upgrades,” Dr. Fingland said. “The students are charged an instructional fee per credit hour. Our college is committed to returning those dollars back to projects that have a direct, positive impact on the students, and the students told us that this project was very important to them.”

Dr. Mosier uses the new microscope.
Dr. Derek Mosier utilizes the new microscope in the second-floor lab in Trotter Hall. Notice that the image from the microscope is displayed on the 26 monitors strategically located throughout the lab.



Dean Richardson meets with KSU Foundation Trustees

Dean Richardson meets with trustees

Dean Ralph Richardson gives an update on CVM activities at the annual meeting of the KSU Foundation Board of Trustees held in September.




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Frontier program works with National Drovers Hall of Fame

Ellsworth’s National Drover’s Hall of Fame, in partnership with an historical-studies group at Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, the Frontier program, announces plans to celebrate the Chisholm Trail, the Great Western Trail, and other “north-south” cattle trails that fuelled the economic and social healing of post-Civil War America.

The National Drovers Hall of Fame (NDHF), a Kansas-based organization formed in 2003, seeks to establish in Ellsworth a museum honoring the drovers, cattle and horses, men and women, railroads, and cowtowns that accompanied the cattle drive era—arguably one of the key periods in American history.

“We have a vision to celebrate the cattle trade’s role in healing a divided nation wounded by the pains of Civil War,” says Jeanne Plett, chair of the Board for the NDHF.

The National Drovers Hall of Fame will partner with the Frontier program, an historical-studies unit based in the Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology in Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Led by Dr. Justin Kastner, an associate professor at K-State, the Frontier program recently superintended a book project (150 Years of Kansas Beef, Donning Company Publishers, 2011), which featured chapters on the cattle drive era, cowboy culture, and the beef trade.

With a view to promote heritage appreciation, the NDHF and the Frontier program envision the creation of a travelling exhibit devoted to the economic, social, and cultural history of the cattle drive era. The exhibit, still to be developed, would “travel” during 2015-2017, appearing in multiple museums and public settings along the Texas-Kansas “cattle trail corridors,” including the Texas cattle trails that fed into the Chisholm Trail and the Great Western Trail. The travelling exhibit would then be permanently housed in the NDHF’s Ellsworth-based museum in 2017. The year 2017 is significant, for it marks the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Chisholm Trail.

The NDHF is eager to partner with a wide range of museums and historical societies—inside and outside of Kansas—located along the Chisholm and Great Western Trail corridors. Those interested in participating should contact Jeanne Plett or Ken Wasserman (see below for contact information).

Involving historical museums in the project will help leverage local interest in the travelling exhibit, and inspire additional educational and heritage-appreciation activities during 2015-2017. One such example, Dr. Kastner says, is found in Hobart, Oklahoma; the Kiowa County Historical Museum in Hobart is situated along the Great Western Trail and will be one of the “host sites” for the eventual travelling exhibit.

“The cattle-drive era is truly an American story, and there is much to celebrate—particularly in the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska, all of which were economically and socially invested in the life and story of the cattle trails,” Dr. Kastner says.


Under the Microscope

Amy Brusk, Grants Specialist, Clinical Sciences

Amy BruskHometown: Bucyrus, Kan.

Family Information: Husband, Richard, and 2-year-old son Joshua

Pets: Three dogs – Chase (9-year-old German shepherd), Mogly (8-year-old Siberian husky), and Nugget (5-year-old Jack Russell terrier)

What is one of your favorite quotes? “He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader.  He will be yours faithful and true to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.”  – Anonymous

What is your favorite season? The holidays: Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thanksgiving because it means extended family getting together for a great meal and reflecting on how blessed we are. Christmas because it means Christmas music on the radio, holiday decorating, gingerbread house making and Christmas cookie baking with my son, and time at home with my son and husband on Christmas morning to bless each other with gifts and remember the reason for the season.

If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet? My husband’s mother. She passed away shortly before I started dating my husband when I was 16 years old, so I never got to meet her. 

If you had time to start a new hobby, what would it be? I have two hobbies which I greatly enjoy, sewing and running. I don’t think I’d want to start a new hobby, I would just like more time to spend on those two. I love sewing because it enables you to take an idea and a bolt of fabric and bring it to life while creating something unique. I love running because of the challenge, the level of fitness it’s brought me, and the feeling of accomplishment I get when I cross the finish line or reach a goal. My husband is a runner as well, so it has brought us closer together.

What is the farthest you have been from Kansas? Newport, R.I., and San Diego, Calif. (they’re about the same distance from Kansas).

What is the best Halloween costume you’ve ever worn? When I was a kid I was Tinkerbell one year. My Mom made it herself, complete with wings, a green outfit with bells, and a little drawstring bag of fairy dust. It was one of my favorites because of the time and effort my Mom put into it. She started a tradition of sewing all of our Halloween costumes and I have carried on that tradition. For the past two Halloweens I have sewed my son’s costumes.


News Ticker

Dr. Frank Blecha, professor and associate dean for research in the College of Veterinary Medicine, and Dr. H. Morgan Scott, professor of epidemiology, spoke at the International Symposium on Alternatives to Antibiotics: Challenges and Solutions in Animal Production.

Dr. Tim Musch was recently named as a recipient of the 2013 American College of Sports Medicine Citation Award.

Dr. Bob Rowland, professor in the Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology has been selected to receive the Distinguished Graduate Faculty award at Kansas State University for 2012-13.

Congratulations to the veterinary staff and students who ran as a team in the Apple to Capital Relay.


Calendar of events

General College/Alumni Events

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

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


Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

Feb. 9: 2nd Annual Conference on Animal Diagnostics and Field Applications: Food Animal Medicine, Frick Auditorium,


New Arrivals/Recent Departures

Welcome to:

Dr. Bo Chen, Post-doctoral fellow, A&P

Thanks and Goodbye to:

Geralyn Tracz, Research Assistant, KSVDL


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,