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College of Veterinary Medicine

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February 2015 - Vol. 10, No. 2

Top Stories

Under the Electron Microscope

transmission electron microscopyNanotechnology Innovation Center of Kansas State (NICKS) offers campuswide access to facility

The Nanotechnology Innovation Center of Kansas State (NICKS) hosts an electron microscopy (EM) facility located within the College of Veterinary Medicine on Denison Avenue. This facility can be used to help improve the scientific output of Kansas State University researchers, while providing faculty, students and staff with guidance for EM research.

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 transmission electron microscopy 
 TEM — transmission electron microscopy 

The facility can conduct both transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM).

• For TEM, there is a FEI Tecnai G2 Spirit BioTWIN that provides a 0.34 nm resolution, 120Kv and a GATAN digital imaging system with a HAADF detector for STEM imaging and an Oxford detector <135 eV for elemental analysis.

• For SEM, there is a Hitachi S-3500N scope that provides a 3.0 nm resolution and also equipped with an Oxford detector <135 eV for elemental analysis.

“Our new EM facility has all the necessary equipment for proper sample fixation, processing, sectioning and visualization for TEM and SEM,” said Dr. Nancy Monteiro-Riviere, university distinguished professor and director of NICKS. “The EM facility also offers analysis for a variety of samples from biological tissues, body fluid, bacteria, viruses and samples from other scientific fields.

Applications include cell biology, structural biology, soft matter and nanomaterials, nanoparticles and other fields of nanotechnology where one requires nano level imaging.”

Specific technical expertise is listed below:

• Study of morphological changes in cells and organelles under certain disease or experimental conditions. Viral and/or bacterial deposits under infectious conditions in animals and/or plant tissue, bacterial, fungal, algae, cultured cell lines, and artificial cell matrices.

• Subcellular localization of pathology related protein or interested biomolecules inside the cell using immunolabeling of ultrathin frozen and plastic embedded sections.

• Elemental analysis of metal accumulation inside cells using X-ray dispersive spectroscopy.

• Provides analytical support for characterization (DLS, Zeta measurements) and interaction of nanoparticles in cells, tissues and biological fluids for drug delivery. The NICKS Center has other specific centralized instrumentation needed for nano research which is also available.

• Protein dynamics such as protein miss-folding, aggregation, amyloid formation, protein corona complex and protein interactions with nanoparticles and other molecules, Liposomes and lipid self-assembled nanostructures and other biological material using negative staining.

• Nanocharacterization, an elemental analysis using STEM and X-ray dispersive spectroscopy of metallic nanoparticles, polymeric nanoparticles, core shell nanoparticles and soft polymer nanocomposites like soft polymer laced with nanostructures like carbon nanotubes, fullerenes, quantum dot nanoparticles and other nanostructured materials.

Dr. Monteiro-Riviere noted that the EM microscopy facility is scheduled to have the capability for cryo electron microscopy studies.

“The TEM is cryo-compatible and equipped with a low-dose mode for beam-sensitive vitrified sample observation at liquid nitrogen temperatures,” she said. “We still need a few more additional attachments before we can offer full cryo capabilities. If faculty are interested in using cryo for their research, please let us know so we can outfit the scope with the proper cryo attachments.”

NICKS offers consultation services concerning technical methods, budgeting, SOP preparation and equipment selection. Please contact the EM manager Ravi Thakkar, ravithakkar@vet.k-state.edu.


Video Feature

Lameness locator steps up equine capabilities

Horses can now get a leg up at the Veterinary Health Center (VHC) at Kansas State University. The VHC now offers a new, high-tech tool for diagnosing equine performance issues called the “Lameness Locator®.”

The Lameness Locator was purchased by the VHC in late 2014. See how it works in this month's special video report.

Watch the video at regular size ...


Video produced by Joseph Chapes and Kent Nelson, technology coordinators from
Computing and Technical Support (CATS). See more CVM videos at our YouTube site: youtube.com/KSUCVM



Dr. David Renter announces new Center for Outcomes Research and Education 

The College of Veterinary Medicine at is announcing the establishment of a new center of excellence thought to be the first of its kind in animal health. On Feb. 25, the Center for Outcomes Research and Education (CORE) will be publicly launched under the guidance of veterinary epidemiologist Dr. David Renter. With a goal of improving effectiveness and efficiency in animal health care and its associated impacts on human health, the CORE will focus on demonstrating the value of animal health interventions – including treatment, prevention or diagnostic activities intended to improve health.

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 CORE - feedlot analysis
 The new Center for Outcomes Research and Education will focus on demonstrating the value of animal health interventions including treatment, prevention or diagnostic activities intended to improve health.

“By providing structured, applied research and educational programs that explicitly define and incorporate the societal and economic values inherent to health interventions, the CORE will be a unique resource for the veterinary profession and others focused on enhancing animal health” said Dr. Renter, a professor in the Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology and director of CORE. “The CORE will provide leadership and infrastructure for effective collaboration among practicing veterinarians, industry partners, government agencies, and others in academia, so we can determine optimal animal health approaches for different situations. This type of outcomes research approach is already well-integrated into some human health programs, but a center like this is new in animal health.”

The discipline of outcomes research involves applied clinical- and population-based research that seeks to study and optimize the end results of health care practices and interventions in terms of benefits to the patient and society. Often there is a focus on the evaluation of economic factors, comparative clinical effectiveness, and health-related quality of life assessments. “We will generate and synthesize evidence on health interventions and train people on how to best utilize that evidence to influence health care decisions” Dr. Renter said.

The CORE will involve several faculty at Kansas State University with existing collaborative programs, as well as experts at other institutions. “We have some truly world-class faculty already working together on these types of issues” said Dr. Renter “The CORE will allow us to enhance that work, increase our visibility, provide more focused leadership, and be much more responsive to stakeholders in the animal health community.  

“Here at Kansas State University, we already have a number of flagship and well-established research and educational programs in this area, including veterinary medicine, public health, epidemiology, agricultural economics, infectious diseases and animal sciences,” Dr. Renter said. “Several of our existing centers and institutes have goals that align extremely well with the CORE.”

The CORE research and training activities will be funded through a variety of sources, including private sector support and federal grants through USDA as examples.  Developing and enhancing public-private partnerships is a key part of CORE’s strategic plan. As an example, Dr. Renter noted Kansas State University’s connections with the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor, a consortium of more than 200 animal health and nutrition companies whose leadership controls over one-third of the world’s animal health business.

Dr. Renter said CORE helps support Kansas State University’s 2025 Vision of becoming a top 50 public research university.


Hot Topic

Novel treatment promising for heart failure patients

More than six million Americans live with heart failure often as the consequence of a heart attack or myocardial infarction. A myocardial infarction occurs when an artery carrying oxygenated blood to the heart muscle becomes blocked. The victim suffers acute chest pain and the destruction of heart muscle. With rapid medical attention survival rates are high but the heart remains permanently damaged and unable to pump blood effectively.

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NO2 diagram

This compromises muscle oxygen delivery and initiates a cluster of responses that further reduces the ability to supply the leg and arm muscles with blood flow and oxygen. Often this means that the patient is unable to be physically active or mobile, enjoy social events with their family or continue their profession. Tragically, the physical activities demonstrated to improve their cardiovascular and muscle function are hampered by the inability to supply their contracting muscles with the necessary oxygen. A research team at the Clarenburg Cardiorespiratory Laboratory led by Drs. Timothy I. Musch and David C. Poole has been attacking this problem in the laboratory and now, just published in the prestigious American Heart Association journal Circulation, their discoveries employing beetroot juice have been shown to be of major benefit to heart failure patients.

Using experimental models of heart failure and exercise their work has revealed the crucial role played by nitric oxide in the provision of blood flow and oxygen delivery to skeletal muscles during exercise (see “Milestones of discovery” inset). In heart failure the enzyme systems (nitric oxide synthases, NOS) that produce endogenous nitric oxide are rendered dysfunctional. This situation occurs, in part, because the low oxygen conditions in patients suffering from heart failure reduce the function of these enzymes. Simply supplying massive amounts of nitric oxide or other vasodilator therapies would not be effective for these patients because this would lead to potentially catastrophic hypotension. What was needed was a strategy to supply nitric oxide selectively to the organs – skeletal muscles – during exercise when their demands for oxygen were the highest.

The beauty of inorganic nitrate supplementation via beetroot juice is that it is like a timed-release capsule. Nitrate is absorbed in the gut and then circulates back to the mouth where it is converted into nitrite by facultative bacteria in the mouth before being reabsorbed into the bloodstream. This nitrite then targets tissues – primarily contracting skeletal muscles with the greatest oxygen needs – because their very low oxygen pressure (hypoxia) is the precise environment where the nitrate is reduced to nitric oxide; promoting increased blood flow and also improving the way oxygen is used in the mitochondria. In this manner the working muscles function better, produce less lactic acid and exercise capacity is improved. Because the exercise feels easier it is hoped that this strategy will be employed in cardiac rehabilitation programs where patients often drop out because they either fatigue too easily or recover too slowly from their last session.

Drs. Poole and Musch with their team

Drs. David C. Poole and Timothy I. Musch with undergrad and grad students: (back row) Daniel M. Hirai, Hunter Jewett, Scott K. Ferguson, Steven W. Copp, Clark T. Holdsworth, (front row) Gabbi Simms and laboratory manager K. Sue Hageman.


KSVDL video: Bovine Clostridial Disease Part 1

Here's part 1 of a two-part video from the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory on a troublesome cattle disease.

Watch the helpful video at full size here ...



Focus on Teaching video: OpenLabyrinth

CVM faculty are not only excellent in research and service, but also innovative in teaching. A Focus on Teaching will feature faculty members who have adopted innovative instructional strategies to enhance student learning by engaging, motivating or challenging them in the learning process. In this video segment, Dr. Robert Larson, Professor of Production Medicine and Coleman Chair of Food Animal Production Medicine in the Department of Clinical Sciences, will share OpenLabyrinth, a tool he has been using to foster case-based learning and students’ critical thinking skills.

Watch the helpful video at full size here ...


More Headlines

Kansas State Postdoctoral Association presents grant-writing workshop

Mary Lou Marino presents workshopThe Kansas State Postdoctoral Association (KPA) recently held its first event, “Funding Opportunities: The Art of Grantsmanship” given by Mary Lou Marino, director of the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects at Kansas State University. The event was organized by Dr. Raghavendra Amachawadi, KPA’s chair of the Professional and Career Development Committee and Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology at the College of Veterinary Medicine.

See the full story below ...

Postdoc Association and guest speaker Marino
KPA committee members thank Mary Lou Marino for speaking at the grant-writing seminar. Back row: Drs. Amit Kumar (chair, website and communications), Tara Marriage (chair, membership committee), Karen Alviar (chair, KPA), Rachel Madera (membership committee) and Sergio Curto Ramos (chair, international committee). Front row: Drs. Pavan Rajanahalli, Raghavendra Amachawadi (chair, professional and career development committee), Mary Lou Marino (director of the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects, Raman Chandrasekar (secretary, KPA), Li Lei and William Rutter (co-chair, KPA).

The event was well attended with more than 80 graduate students and postdocs at the presentation. The seminar proceedings were recorded and shared with all the postdocs and faculties at K-State’s satellite campuses (Salina and Olathe).

The KPA was founded in October 2014 to promote a community among postdoctoral scholars at K-State. The KPA emphasizes the invaluable participation of postdocs in the university’s activities with faculty, staff, and students and encourages interdisciplinary collaborations in the generation of new knowledge and excellence in research. KPA works towards and supports K-State’s goal to be recognized as a top 50 public research university by 2025 and its thematic goal on research, scholarly and creative activities and discovery.

Mary Lou Marino presents workshop

Mary Lou Marino director of the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects at K-State, presents a workshop on grant writing in the Mara Conference Center at the College of Veterinary Medicine.


Breaking Video: Dr. Dan Thomson accepts BQA education award

The 2015 National BQA Educator Award was presented to Dr. Dan Thomson, director of the Beef Cattle Institute at Kansas State University. Dr. Thomson is also the Jones professor of epidemiology and production medicine in the Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology. Watch this video presentation from the award ceremony held on Feb. 6 in San Antonio.

Click for full-sized video ...



CVM announces faculty promotions and tenure

Six CVM faculty members were recognized at the January faculty meeting with promotion and tenure.

See a group picture of the five faculty members below ...

Faculty promotions

From left to right: Dr. Thomas Schermerhorn was promoted to professor in Clinical Sciences, Dr. Kyeong-Ok Chang - promoted to professor in Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology, Dr. S. Butch KuKanich - promoted to professor in Anatomy and Physiology, Dr. Katherine Stenske KuKanich - promoted to associate professor with tenure in Clinical Sciences, Dr. Mary Lynn Higginbotham - promoted to associate professor with tenure in Clinical Sciences, and Dr. Chris Blevins - promoted to clinical associate professor in Clinical Sciences.



Regular features

Alumni Events and Continuing Education

Check the upcoming schedule for activities and events ...

VMAA logo

Western Veterinary Conference - K-State alumni reception

Feb. 16, from 7:30-9:30 pm at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, South Seas CD & 2, Level 3, in conjunction with the 87th Annual Western Veterinary Conference being held Feb. 15-19 in Las Vegas.

Dr. Dennis Hausmann, DVM ‘71, will be receiving the K-State College of Veterinary Medicine and VMAA 2015 Alumni Recognition Award at the reception. You can find out more information on Dr. Hausmann by visiting: http://www.vet.k-state.edu/alumni/awards/recognition/hausmann.html

32nd Annual Frank W Jordan Seminar


Dr. Darren BergerDr. Darren Berger, DVM, DACVD
Assistant Professor - Dermatology
Iowa State University, Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center

March 29, 2015
9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Frick Auditorium - Mosier Hall

Questions about Alumni or CE events?


Ashley McCowan PhotoAshley McCowan
Alumni and Events Coordinator


Dana ParkerDana Parker
Program Assistant


Pet Friendly License Plate program in Kansas

The College of Veterinary Medicine has a new way to support shelter medicine in Kansas. The Pet Friendly license plate is available to Kansas residents statewide. For information, see http://www.vet.k-state.edu/development/pet-friendly.html, call 1-855-269-7387 or e-mail: petplate@vet.k-state.edu.

See what the Pet Friendly plate looks like ...

Pet Friendly license plate


News Ticker

More activities and accomplishments in the College of Veterinary Medicine:

Dr. Warren Beard delivered a presentation to the Winter Park Equine Science Retreat in Winter Park, Colorado, on the topic: "Comparison of arthroscopic and needle lavage for the equine tarsocrural joint."

Dr. Susan Nelson was featured in the media educating the public about three different topics: holiday hazards, distemper and "winter brings new challenges to man’s best friends." The first two stories have aired on television channels. The third topic was published in the Manhattan Mercury.

Drs. Elizabeth Davis and Liz Santschi delivered presentations to the KVMA district meeting in Topeka. Dr. Davis discussed current and new faculty, CT table update, lameness locator, EPTC as well as informed them of the Dean search. Dr. Santschi presented the topic of equine stifle disease.

Dr. Mike Apley delivered a presentation to the 2015 Legislative Agriculture Chairs Summit in Tampa, Forida. The seminar title was "Veterinary legal and Legislative Issues - State Agriculture rural leaders."

Dr. Brad White delivered a presentation to the Calf Health BI Meeting in Denver, Colorado. His topic was "Optimizing calf health prior to weaning."  

Dr. Bob Larson delivered presentations to the Western Canadian Association of Bovine Practitioners in Saskatoon, Canada. Topics: "Using the Producers’ Data to Make Decisions," "Developing an Overall Plan for Delivering Veterinary Services to Your Producers," "What is the Impact of BVD to Cow-Calf and Feedlot Producers." He also delivered presentations to the Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association meeting in Norman on the topics:  "Role of momentum in herd fertility – importance of heifer development," "Bulls and other things that can go wrong in beef herd reproduction," "BSE of bulls – considerations for yearlings and mature bulls," "BVD CONSULT – designing herd-specific BVD control programs" and "BRD in stocker and feedlot cattle."

Congratulations to Dean Ralph Richardson, who was recognized by the K-State athletic department as the "Professor of the Week" at the K-State men's basketball game on Jan. 24 vs. Oklahoma State.

A 1966 K-State DVM alumnus, Dr. Max Moss, was featured in Part 2 of a story about former head basketball coach Tex Winter. Dr. Moss played for K-State from 1960-1964.

AVMA presents 2014 Advocacy Award to Kansas Senator Jerry Moran

Click to see a picture of the presentation ...

 AVMA advocacy award - Jerry Moran
Kansas Senator Jerry Moran, second from left, accepts the AVMA's 2014 Advocacy Award from AVMA president-elect Dr. Joseph Kinnarney, outgoing AVMA president Dr. Theodore Cohn and AVMA Board Member Dr. V Hugh “Chip” Price Jr.


U.S.-China Center for Animal Health posts new video about its international symposium held in China

A mutual interest in improving animal health and veterinary education is helping the U.S.-China Center for Animal Health at Kansas State University bring new global partners together in China. In October 2014, the Center partnered with the Chinese Veterinary Medical Association and Zoetis, a globe animal health company to host an International Symposium on Veterinary Education in Qingdao, China.

Watch the video at full size here ...



Click here to see the New Arrivals/Recent Departures at the CVM ...

Welcome to:

Lauren Hernandez, Veterinary Technician, VHC
Dr. Robert Crauer, Assistant Professor, Clinical Sciences
Dr. Yanhua Li, Postdoctoral Fellow, DM/P
Dr. Qiangde Duan, Postdoctoral Fellow, DM/P
Tamar Williams, Senior Administrative Assistant, VHC
Dr. Parwathy Chandran, Postdoctoral Fellow,, A&P
Dr. Binod Rizal, Postdoctoral Fellow,, A&P
Erin Wilson, Human Resource Professional, Dean's Office

Farewell to:

Dr. Lindsey Blevins, Assistant Professor, VHC
Dr. Shelie Laflin
, Clinical Associate Professor, VHC
Mandy Meindel
, Medical Resident, DM/P
Kandice Harkrader, Veterinary Technician, VHC



Lifelines is published each month by the Development Office at the College of Veterinary Medicine. The editor is Joe Montgomery, jmontgom@vet.k-state.edu.

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