Lifelines - May 2014 The official newsletter of the College of Veterinary Medicine
May 2014 - Vol. 9, No. 5
Researching Down Under
Dr. Michelle Mazur trains in infectious disease research for Ph.D.
A Fine Fellow
CVM honors Dr. Jim Coffman as 2014 Alumni Fellow.
Four students take advantage of special grant.
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A Talented Teacher
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Dr. Michelle Mazur trains in infectious disease research for Ph.D.
“If you would have told me one year ago today that I would end up studying high-containment infectious diseases at a world-class laboratory in Australia, I would have called you crazy,” Dr. Michelle Mazur wrote via e-mail from Geelong, Victoria.
Dr. Mazur already earned a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University in May 2013 and then decided to continue her education through the DVM-Ph.D. program in the College of Veterinary Medicine. She is working on her Ph.D. under Dr. Bob Rowland, a renowned swine-disease researcher and professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology in the college.
For the past six months, Dr. Mazur has been working at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation’s Australian Animal Health Laboratory, more commonly known here as CSIRO’s AAHL.
“My program of study is constantly evolving, but I’ve begun my Ph.D. in Australia through training in the laboratory,” Dr. Mazur said. “I work in a biosecurity-level 3 environment, which means you change all your clothes to enter the lab – nothing leaves – and I take a shower on the way out. I have always been interested in high-containment laboratories, so I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to train in this environment.”
While a DVM is already considered to be a graduate degree, the College of Veterinary Medicine offers additional graduate-level programs that allow students to earn a master’s degree in veterinary biomedical sciences, a master of public health degree in infectious diseases and zoonoses, and a Ph.D. in either pathobiology or physiology. These advanced degrees provide training for careers in research laboratories and public health institutions.
“Veterinarians are fortunate to have many career options and a career in research is a path that many of our DVM students and graduates are eager to pursue,” said Dr. Frank Blecha, associate dean for research in the College of Veterinary Medicine. “It’s hard to imagine a more exciting Ph.D. program than the one that Michelle is pursuing. The collaborative project on African swine fever that Drs. Mazur and Rowland are conducting with our Australian colleagues at the AAHL in Geelong is an important part of our efforts to assist with workforce development for the National Bio and Agro-Defense facility that is being built next to our college.”
“Through K-State’s collaboration with the Australian Animal Health Laboratory, I have had the wonderful opportunity to study and train with world-class virologists and veterinarians,” Dr. Mazur said. “Though I work hard during the week, I have also made a conscious effort to get out and explore Australia! After all, living in a foreign country is a chance of a lifetime."
Dr. Mazur said she has been fascinated by some of the local wildlife, referring not to kangaroos or koalas, but bats.
“There is a large flying fox colony in the park nearby my house,” Dr. Mazur said. “The bats sleep all day in a cluster of trees, and around 8 p.m. they start to wake up and fly out to hunt for the night. It was very shocking to see bats as large as crows flying around, but now it’s become a familiar sight.”
She said that Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, is only an hour away by train, which helps her experience some of the local culture.
“The wineries of the region have been fun to explore, and I’ve been able to see quite a few “natural” Australian animals as well,” Dr. Mazur said. “I’ve attended a few events in Melbourne and attended a derby here in Geelong. I plan to continue to make the most of my time here in Australia – both through training in the lab and experiencing a new country.”
Dr. Mazur will finish her Australian training in May and then she will return to K-State to continue working on her Ph.D.
The K-State Alumni Fellows Program, sponsored by the Dean's Council, the President's Office and the Alumni Association, recognizes alumni who have distinguished themselves in their careers.
A Kansas native, Dr. Jim Coffman is retired from a career as an educator and veterinarian. He earned a bachelor’s degree in 1960, DVM in 1962 and master’s degree in pathology in 1969, all from K-State. After earning his DVM, he operated a private equine practice in Wichita from 1962-1965. He served on the faculty of the department of surgery and medicine from 1965-1969. After two years in private practice in Oklahoma City, Dr. Coffman served as professor of equine medicine at the University of Missouri from 1971-1981. He also was director of the Equine Center there from 1973-1977. Dr. Coffman returned to K-State in 1981 as the head of the Department of Surgery and Medicine. This marked the beginning of his 28 year tenure at K-State where he has served as dean of the college of veterinary medicine from 1984-1987 and provost from 1987-2004.
This month's Lifelines video features an excerpt from the traditional Alumni Fellow interview. A full version will be posted at the KSUCVM YouTube site.
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A little dog has given veterinary students at Kansas State University an opportunity to learn about shelter medicine from New York to California. As of this school year, the Clinical Sciences department in the College of Veterinary Medicine is taking advantage of a grant offered through a family foundation called Maddie’s Fund.
“There are many benefits for students completing externships at high-quality, large-scale, adoption-guarantee shelter environments,” explained Dr. Bonnie Rush, head of Clinical Sciences. “Externship training at a Maddie’s Fund approved site creates opportunities for students to learn about community-based, non-profit organizations, small animal population medicine, and individual care for special needs animals. Students submit a brief essay outlining their understanding of an adoption-guarantee shelter program and their career goals in shelter medicine. If selected, the students complete their externships at an approved shelter.”
Maddie’s Fund was endowed by Dave and Cheryl Duffield in Pleasanton, California, after the family's beloved Miniature Schnauzer passed away in 1997. Their goal was to help provide support for animal welfare and no-kill shelters through grant giving, hands-on animal care, and research and education.
Fourth-year student Allison Nelson completed her externship at the New York ASPCA last December. Three third-year students, Caitlin Sullivan, Bailey Davis and Tracey Stonebridge, will complete their externships at different shelters in California in May, July and August, respectively.
“My externship experience at the ASPCA has shown me that a key to no-kill shelters’ success is community support,” Allison said. “Each community must focus on which issues are contributing to the euthanasia rates in their area. Shelter euthanasia rates can be decreased by addressing the issue before it starts with spay neuter programs or allowing animals that previously were viewed as unadoptable a chance for adoption with behavioral intervention.”
Caitlin explained how the grant from Maddie’s Fund will be used toward completing her externship at the Helen Woodward Animal Center, in Rancho Santa Fe, California. “The funds are helpful in assisting us with travel and living expenses during the two-week off-campus experience,” she said. “I was interested in completing an elective rotation in shelter medicine to gain experience with spays and neuters and to understand the intricacies and challenges of practicing veterinary medicine in a shelter setting.”
Bailey said, “One of my best experiences during my undergraduate degree was getting the opportunity to intern alongside a shelter veterinarian. Shelter medicine is often an overlooked area of veterinary medicine and few veterinary schools incorporate it into the curriculum at all. I had planned on pursuing an externship at a shelter my fourth year, so I was very excited to learn about Maddie’s Fund. I normally would not be able to travel due to the financial limitations of flying and finding a place to stay. I am looking forward to completing my shelter externship at Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation in Walnut Creek, California.”
“I am grateful for the opportunity that this scholarship has afforded me to expand my veterinary knowledge by completing an externship,” said Tracey, who will be at Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation. “The skills and knowledge that I will gain by assisting with the scheduled surgeries, sick visits and behavior consults will greatly benefit me as a new graduate. I have always been interested in Shelter Medicine, and was an officer in the Shelter Medicine Club here at Kansas State. I hope that my experience will only add to my desire to work within the field of shelter medicine in some capacity in the future.”
This year an unusual “family reunion” was held on the K-State campus, and it included several members of the CVM family. The reunion was part of the annual “Relay For Life” event sponsored by the American Cancer Society to provide cancer research and relief. The relay took place April 25 at Memorial Stadium and consisted of games, activities, entertainment, food, fundraising and ceremonies.
This year’s family reunion theme was especially poignant for many participants. Mal Hoover, the CVM’s certified medical illustrator, helped organize a team from the college.
“The event is K-Staters helping K-Staters,” Mal said. “I am a cancer survivor. I was diagnosed with Stage 3 colorectal cancer in 2003 and I underwent several surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy. The CVM family was amazing, and folks from all over the college helped me with shared leave, helped me with recovery and kept my spirits up! Dani Goodband and Lisa Duer were instrumental with helping with meals, arranging to have my house cleaned (yowza!) etc., during my illness.”
Kelly Ingalsbe, senior administrative specialist in the Veterinary Medical Library, had several reasons for participating.
“I got involved with the Relay because that dang cancer – I usually call it worse – has touched too many folks in my life,” Kelly said. “My Dad fought colon cancer and is still going strong 20 years later. My sister-in-law is a breast cancer survivor. I lost my father-in-law to lung cancer in 2004 and my husband to adrenal cortical carcinoma in 2011. The Relay brings awareness of how many people have fought and survived and unfortunately how many have lost the fight.”
Kelly added that she has developed a new perspective in how she regards the deadly disease of cancer.
“Since losing my husband, I’ve tried to be more involved with the ‘caregiver’ aspect of the Relay, as I realized now what they go through,” she said. “The caregiver’s life changes from a routine 8-to-5 work day to maintaining a busy calendar of doctor’s appointments, packing a bag in the car just in case there’s another overnight stay in the hospital, cooking bland meals so your loved one doesn’t get ill from the smell of food and sleeping on the floor beside the hospital bed so you are there when they need you.”
Because of the passion of all involved, this year’s Relay has been very successful. The event website reports that the 36 teams and 291 participants were able to raise $27,253.47.
“Funds collected via the Relay for Life go towards not only research, but towards assisting patients with transportation costs to treatment centers, hotel expenses, beauty supplies (wigs, skin care, etc.) and many other services for the patients and their families,” Kelly said.
Mal thanked those who contributed. “Folks at the CVM have been extremely generous in helping me meet my fund raising goal. I know that cancer impacts all of us (most recently, Joe Nisil [the CVM webmaster]) and I wanted to give back by raising funds for the American Cancer Society.”
Warning horse owners about a dangerous virus - EHV-1
A Kansas State University equine specialist is warning horse owners of a highly contagious virus recently identified in Kansas and Wisconsin.
The Kansas Department of Agriculture reports that a horse in northeast Kansas has been confirmed positive with a wild type of non-neurotropic case of equine herpes virus, or EHV-1. The agriculture department says the horse was previously at a large barrel-racing event in Lincoln, Nebraska, and that another horse from Wisconsin, which was at the same barrel-racing event, has been confirmed positive with EHV-1.
EHV-1 is a respiratory disease that is spread through the air, through horse-to-horse contact and by contact with nasal secretions on equipment, track, feed and other surfaces. Humans cannot get equine herpes virus, but they can spread the disease to other horses if the virus is on their hands, clothing, shoes or vehicle.
Dr. Beth Davis, professor and section head of equine medicine and surgery at Kansas State University's Veterinary Health Center, says horse owners need to check their horses for symptoms, especially if they have recently been to an equine event.
"If a horse has been at an event where there are a large number of horses and there was a case of equine herpes myelitis, keep an eye on that horse to make sure it is doing what it normally does," Dr. Davis said. "Take its temperature twice a day to make sure it has a normal temperature, which is around 100 degrees Fahrenheit."
Dr. Davis said the first sign of the virus is a fever greater than 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
"The horse may then resolve that fever, but in another day or two the horse will have another fever spike," Dr. Davis said. "Those may be the only clinical signs that the horse shows."
The horse may also develop signs of neurological disease, which are weakness, paralysis of the hind end, urinary dysfunction and the inability to stand.
"If you've been to one of these events where there has been a case of equine herpes myelitis, those horses that have been in contact with cases need to be quarantined for a period of 28 days," Dr. Davis said.
Most horses are latently affected, which means the virus is present in the horse's system and is associated with the neurological system. Dr. Davis says the immune system regulates control of the disease and horses that develop symptoms of the virus are typically immunosuppressed.
No vaccine is available for this form of equine herpes, but there are vaccines that can boost the horse's immune system to help fight the virus. It's important for horse owners to monitor their animals and notify their veterinarian with any concerns.
"Unfortunately, we can have extremely serious consequences and so we want to identify any at risk individuals," Dr. Davis said. "We want to minimize the spread because it is highly contagious and we want to try to avoid other horses getting sick."
For more information, contact the VHC at 785-532-5700.
Two CVM students have each been awarded $1,000 in scholarships as a part of the Academy of Veterinary Consultants (AVC) awards: Aaron Schaffer and Tera Barnhardt, who are both active in the Beef Cattle Institute.
Dr. David Sjeklocha, class of 1994 and staff veterinarian for Cattle Empire LLC, in Satanta, Kansas, was named 2013 AVC Consultant of the Year. Sponsored by Zoetis, Dr. Sjeklocha is the 28th AVC Consultant of the Year and the 7th K-Stater to receive the award since it began in 1986. Zoetis donated $2,000 in Dr. Sjeklocha’s name to the CVM to assist two students who are pursuing a career in bovine veterinary medicine.
Story by Hannah Leventhal
A group of 25 veterinary students (first year to third year) traveled to Colorado for the annual SAVMA Symposium held in Ft. Collins and hosted by Colorado State University during this semester’s spring break. While in Ft. Collins, students had a wide array of activities to partake in, sights to see, and networking opportunities galore. Our K-State students took part in various academic competitions, such as bovine palpation. We also had students participate in athletic competitions such as the well-loved tug-of-war tournament. Our students also had opportunities to attend lectures from renowned professors such as Dr. Temple Grandin, in addition to educational veterinary lectures, veterinary business lectures, leadership lectures and more.
Each day also presented the students with wet labs to participate in at Colorado State University’s veterinary facilities and teaching hospital. There were multiple opportunities to enjoy the colorful Colorado scenery and mountainside with trips to the local ski slopes and foothills for a day hike. Finally, students were able to enjoy the local historic downtown with brewery tours, a game night at the local arts center and a closing gala that featured surgical oncologist Dr. Stephen Withrow with CSU’s Flint Animal Cancer Center.
While 20 of our students enjoyed daytime lectures, wet labs, competitions and trips, five represented K-State at the SAVMA House of Delegates and SCAVMA presidents’ meetings. Delegates Mikaela Vetters (second year) and Erin Jobman (first year) did a phenomenal job serving as the K-State students’ voice at the House of Delegates meetings while also serving on their SAVMA committees. Mikaela Vetters was also nominated to serve as the SAVMA international exchange officer-elect. After a successful speech and campaign, she was voted upon by all of the delegates to serve in the International Exchange Officer-elect position for the next year, and will officially take her role as the international exchange officer at SAVMA Symposium 2015. After serving as the SAVMA secretary-elect since the 2013 AVMA Convention, second-year student Hannah Leventhal officially became the national SAVMA secretary at the House of Delegates meetings at the symposium. Throughout the next year, Hannah and Mikaela will participate in conference calls, travel to meetings, and represent Kansas State on a national level while serving as officers on the executive board.
Current K-State SCAVMA President Kyle Clymer (third year) and SCAVMA President-elect Bruce Figger (second year) spent one morning at the SCAVMA presidents’ meeting gaining new insight and sharing ideas with presidents at other schools.
SAVMA Symposium 2014 was a great event for all who attended, and we look forward to taking another group of students up to the University of Minnesota for the next SAVMA Symposium in the spring of 2015!
Upcoming Class Reunions
To our graduates of 1954, 1959, 1964, 1974, 1979, 1984, 1989, 1994, 1999, 2004, and 2009, we look forward to seeing you at the end of the month.
76th Annual Conference for Veterinarians
The 76th Annual Conference for Veterinarians will be held May 31-June 3, 2014. A Continuing Education Program will be e-mailed or mailed to each alumnus invited to their Five-Year Reunion. For more information about CE e-mail: VMCE@vet.k-state.edu or check out the web site for continuing education at http://www.vet.k-state.edu/education/continuing/index.html.
Alumni and Conference Brunch
Sunday, 11:30 am - Hilton Garden Inn and Manhattan Conference Center
Join us as we celebrate the veterinary profession and honor three individuals for their contributions to veterinary medicine. The event will be Sunday, June 1 at 11:30 a.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn and Manhattan Conference Center. Tickets are available for $18 per person.
2014 Distinguished Alumnus Award – Dr. David Granstrom, 1978
20th Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament
Join fellow alumni and friends for the 20th Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament. The four-person, scramble-style tournament will be held Monday, June 2, 2014, with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m.. The tournament will be at the legendary Colbert Hills Golf Course in Manhattan.
The 14th Annual White Coat Ceremony was held April 18, and this year it was in a new location at the Hilton Garden Inn. Congratulations to the class of 2015 and good luck on your clinical rotations!
Library moves to Mara Conference Center during renovations
Please visit the Veterinary Medical Library Web site: www.vet.k-state.edu/depts/library/ for help on this and other subjects.
Several CVMers were recently published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association: Nuth EK, Armbrust LJ, Roush JK, Biller DS. Identification and effects of common errors and artifacts on the perceived quality of radiographs. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2014;244:961-67.
Eight graduating Kansas State University students have been recognized by the K-State Alumni Association for their outstanding academics, leadership, inspiration and service. Among those students was Raghavendra Amachawadi, doctoral graduate in pathobiology, Mysore, India, who was presented with the K-State Alumni Association's Graduate Student Award for Outstanding Academics. He served as the president for the Graduate Student Association in the College of Veterinary Medicine.
Phi Kappa Phi presented its 2014 Scholar Award to Dr. Deryl Troyer, who they cited for his career work in stem-cell and cancer biology and the use of stem cells as delivery vehicles for cancer therapy. The use of umbilical-cord stem cells was part of the research to supply an inexhaustible source of stem cells. Dr. Troyer and chemist Dr. Bossmann have engineered stem cells to deliver cytokines to breast, melanoma, and pancreatic cancers in rodents. They are currently testing stem cells to deliver therapeutic molecules in nanoparticles and superparamagnetic nanoparticles for magnetic hyperthermia and imaging. He has also focused on the development of new animal models of cancer. Dr. Troyer has received recognition for his research and teaching. His vita contains more than 50 pages of refereed articles, presentations, successful grant results, and patents. In his teaching, he has focused on enhancing student learning by using innovative approaches to encourage critical thinking through active student involvement. He has also directed masters, doctoral, and post-doctoral students who have won numerous awards for their work.
Phi Kappa Phi presented its 2014 Meritorious Service Award to Professor Gayle Willard, director the Veterinary Medical Library. The Meritorious Service Award is given to individuals who have given outstanding service to K-State's Phi Kappa Phi chapter. She is a recognized scholar with a good record of scholarly publication, and has a significant 30-year record of grants received from the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services to enhance access to biomedical information. She has been recognized in the state and nation for her creative work. Professor Willard is honored for more than 25 years of service to the Phi Kappa Phi chapter, having served on the undergraduate selection committee, as its public relations officer, and as both vice president and president, and is now serving on the initiation committee.
Congratulations to the newest ACVIM Diplomate: Dr. Brandon Fraser.
Our newly elected university faculty senator is Dr. Mary Lynn Higginbotham.
In early April, Dr. Amy Rankin was asked to be the Co-Chair of the ACVO Exam committee.
Dr. Chris Blevins will be on the May 22, "Horsing Around" episode of "AG am in Kansas," where he interviews fourth-year student Matt Wimer. Matt is graduating this month and shows how he has earned extra money along the way by creating forged works of art. While in veterinary college, Matt became a journeyman farrier and plans on specializing in equine podiatry as a DVM.
Dr. Mike Apley presented a webinar via GlobalVetLink on the topic of "Veterinarian Feed Directive Guidance for Industry 209 and Digital Documentation." Due to concerns over antibiotic resistance in recent years, Dr. Apley says the industry has seen an accelerated rate of change in antimicrobial regulations.
Second-year student Taylor Boles and and first-year student Kaitlin Foley both received notification of being selected as recipients of the Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) for the Army Veterinary Corps. Congratulations to both.
Ice Cream Social is a sweet success for Pet Tribute program
Stem cell study - call for patients
Drs. Walter Renberg, James Roush and David Upchurch would like to announce that the enrollment period is still open for an IACUC approved clinical study evaluating the use of injectable stem cells for treatment of osteoarthritis. Stem cells derived from the patient’s own fat have been used for years in human and veterinary medicine and initial reports seems promising. Potential candidates should be dogs with lameness due to arthritis of the hip joints without other confounding sources of lameness (knee disease or neurologic issues that affect the hind limbs). Candidates will need to have an initial screening by the doctors to ensure that they qualify. The study has been generously funded, and all candidate dogs will have their initial exam and subsequent procedures and visits fully funded.
If you are interested or have further questions please email Dr. Upchurch (email@example.com).
David Upchurch, DVM
May 16: CVM Commencement Exercises, 3:30 p.m, McCain Auditorium
May 31-June 3: 76th Annual Conference for Veterinarians, Hilton Garden Inn and Conference Center
Lifelines is published each month by the Development and Alumni Affairs Office at the College of Veterinary Medicine. The editors are Joe Montgomery, firstname.lastname@example.org.