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College of Veterinary Medicine

Keynote Speaker

Each year the Phi Zeta Research Day keynote address is sponsored by a generous endowment by Kenneth D. Olson and his family.

Kenneth Dell Olson was born August 18, 1919, in Frankfort, Kansas, the son of Dell and Gunhild Olson. He graduated from Frankfort High School, then attended Brown Mackie Business College in Salina and Kansas State University. He went on to become a respected and very successful Kansas businessman, and was a loyal K-State Alumnus and member of the President’s Club. In 1941, Kenneth married Marjorie Spiller, who was also a K-State graduate. Their son, Dr. Gary Olson graduated from Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1972. He spent two years in Elkhart, Indiana, before moving back to Lawrence in 1974 to establish the Clinton Parkway Animal Hospital. Dr. Olson has been a board member of the Kansas City Veterinary Medical Association, the Kansas Veterinary Medical Association, President of the Douglas County Veterinary Association, and area director for the American Animal Hospital Association.

This year’s invited keynote speaker is Dr. Dori Borjesson, DVM, PhD, MPVM, DAVP

Dr. Dori BorjessonDr. Borjesson is a Professor and Department Chair of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology at the University of California – Davis. A graduate of the same school, with a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine, PhD in Comparative Pathology, and Masters of Preventative Veterinary Medicine, as well as a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathology, Dr. Borjesson joined the faculty of the University of Minnesota as an Assistant Professor for 4 years before returning to UC Davis as an Associate Professor in 2006. Dr. Borjesson is also the Director of the recently conceived Veterinary Institute for Regenerative Cures at UC Davis. Dr. Borjesson has worked in the fields of inflammation, cell-pathogen interactions and hematopoietic progenitor cells, but mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been a particular research focus since 2007. Her laboratory has developed methods to collect, isolate, expand, freeze, thaw and administer equine, canine, ovine, porcine and feline MSCs, in order to evaluate their safety and efficacy as therapy for a spectrum of inflammatory and traumatic diseases.  Recent and ongoing areas of investigation include inflammatory bowel disease in dogs, gingivostomatitis in cats, spinal cord injury in dogs, and simian immunodeficiency virus, as translational models for the human equivalent conditions. Dr, Borjesson has been the primary investigator on several NIH grants, has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters, and received multiple industry awards, including the Zoetis Excellence in Research Award in 2014.


Phi Zeta Keynote - My Pathway From Bighorn Sheep and Helicopter Safety to Stem Cell Research and Leadership

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Previous keynote speakers have included;

Dr. Lisa Freeman, Executive Vice President and Provost Northern Illinois University.