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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. Luis J. Montaner, DVM, MSc, DPhil

Dr. Luis Montaner is a renowned human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) researcher at the Wistar Institute, in Philadelphia. We are extremely proud that Dr. Montaner obtained his DVM from Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, in 1989. He then received a Doctor of Philosophy, in Experimental Pathology, from the University of Oxford, in 1995.   

Dr. Montaner joined The Wistar Institute in 1995, as an Assistant Professor, and was promoted to full Professor in 2007. At the Wistar Institute, Dr. Montaner currently holds a multitude of esteemed positions, including Vice President of Scientific Operations, the Herbert Kean, MD, Family Endowed Chair, Director of the HIV-1 Immunopathogenesis Laboratory, Professor in the Immunology, Microenvironment and Metastasis Program, Associate Director for Shared Facilities, and Scientific Director of both the Biomedical Research Support and Flow Cytometry Facilities. 

Dr. Luis Montaner’s research focuses on the mechanisms of disease in HIV-1 infection, and explores new ways to boost the natural function of the immune system, in order to combat infection or viral-associated diseases. At the Wistar Institute, the Montaner laboratory emphasizes immune system-based research, using laboratory models of virus infection, animal models of infection and/or cancer, and clinical cohort studies to provide a clinic-to-bench research program that informs new strategies to combat HIV and/or cancer. The laboratory’s clinical patient, and animal-based collaborative studies, extend worldwide, from Philadelphia to multiple US states, to Puerto Rico, Mexico, South America, and South Africa.

The Montaner laboratory is also a leading center for a Martin Delaney Collaboratory focused on HIV cure-directed research (see beat-hiv.org). Dr. Montaner’s research groups have received several NIH RO1 grants, as well as funding from other prestigious sources, and have published their ground-breaking research in >150 peer-reviewed papers.

Previous keynote speakers have included;

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

Dr. Dori Borgesson, Professor and Department Chair of Pathology at University of California, Davis