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College of Veterinary Medicine

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December 2014 - Vol. 9, No. 12

Top Stories

Partnering on a Patent

Dr. Annelise NguyenDr. Annelise Nguyen helps develop cancer-fighting compounds

A patent has been issued for a series of synthetic compounds developed at Kansas State University that have applications for treating cancer and other diseases that affect cell communication. The compounds, called quinolines, can restart communication between adjacent cells in the body if those communication channels have become closed from a disease. U.S. Patent 8,809,368, “Compounds Affecting Gap Junction Activity,” was recently awarded to the Kansas State University Research Foundation, a nonprofit corporation responsible for managing technology transfer activities at the university.

Read more ...

 Dr. Annelise Nguyen in her lab 
 Dr. Annelise Nguyen helps to synthesize quinoline compounds, which could be a resource for fighting cancer. 

The patent is for research conducted by Dr. Duy Hua, university distinguished professor of chemistry; Dr. Thu “Annelise” Nguyen, associate professor of toxicology; and Dr. Dolores Takemoto, professor emeritus of biochemistry.

In 2007, Dr. Hua developed several new quinolines — colorless, pungent, oily liquids that are naturally found in coal tar.

Based on computational modeling with the quinolines, Dr. Hua believed the compounds could affect gap junction activity in cells. Gap junctions are “doorways” or channels between adjacent cells that allow small molecules, ions and the body’s electrical signals to move from one cell to a neighboring cell.

Dr. Hua turned the quinolines over to Dr. Nguyen and Dr. Takemoto to study their effectiveness in real cells. The researchers looked at whether the quinolines could restore gap junction activity, and thus communication, in cell clusters that no longer had gap junction activity.

Researchers found that the quinolines developed by Hua reopened the closed channels in the cells.

“By reopening these channels, we can once again have cells functioning normally,” Dr. Nguyen said. “The cells are able to regulate themselves once again with biological markers that tell cells when to die. This function is necessary for the body to function normally.”

The quinolines’ ability to restore lost gap junction activity may make the synthetic compounds a new resource in the fight against cancer, Dr. Nguyen said.

“In cancer cells, gap junction activity is low compared to normal cells because cancer cells have a low expression of the protein that makes up the gap junction channels,” Dr. Nguyen said. “The protein is either not able to make gap junctions or the gap junctions are made closed. Here we have compounds that can restore that gap junction activity to normal.”

The Kansas State University developed quinolines are currently the only gap junction enhancer in existence.


Video Feature

Annual Teaching Awards Honor Pre-Clinical Instructors

Congratulations to Drs. Judy Klimek, Sanjeev Narayanan and Justin Thomason, picked respectively for the top teaching awards in the first, second and third years. The secret to creating a successful new veterinarian is a quality teacher. As a way to recognize the importance of pre-clinical education, the Kansas State University College of Veterinary presented the fall teaching awards on Nov. 17. What drives the faculty members to be the best teachers they can be? Find out in this month’s Lifelines video feature:

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



Study models impact of potential FMD outbreaks

A research project in the  CVM presents the largest model to date for evaluating the impact and control of a potential outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in livestock. Dr. Mike Sanderson and his former graduate student, Dr. Sara McReynolds, published their results in the December issue of the journal, Preventive Veterinary Medicine.

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The Kansas State University researchers developed simulation models to assess the impact of livestock herd types and vaccination on FMD outbreaks using the North American Animal Disease Spread Model. In this study, potential FMD virus outbreaks in the central region of the U.S. were simulated to compare different vaccination strategies to a depopulation-only scenario. Based on data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service, a simulated population of 151,620 livestock operations characterized by latitude and longitude, production type and herd size was generated. Data for the study was generated by surveying livestock producers in Kansas and Colorado in order to determine the rate of contact between herd populations.

“The results of this study will provide information about the impacts of disease-control protocols, which may be useful in choosing the optimal control methods to be used by the livestock industry and animal-health professionals to meet the goal of rapid effective control and eradication,” Dr. Sanderson said. “The challenge behind this project is that you don’t want to destroy the livestock industry in the process of trying to destroy the virus. You have to control the virus in a way that allows the industry to survive as effectively as possible.”

Dr. Sanderson, an epidemiologist in the Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology, explained how the modeling study will serve as a component of a larger overall project.

“We have more work under way in what is called a ‘Secure Beef Supply Plan,’ which is a project in collaboration with Iowa State University,” Dr. Sanderson said. “Our work is also being used here at K-State for an economic model being developed by Ted Schroeder, a professor in livestock marketing.”  

Dr. McReynolds graduated from K-State with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Master of Public Health in 2008 and a doctorate in pathobiology in 2013. She is currently the assistant state veterinarian in North Dakota.

“Our results only give an indication of what could happen in the livestock industry when following specific control protocols,” Dr. McReynolds said. “Livestock movement control and good biosecurity to limit disease transmission between farms will be very important. More research would be needed to better understand the optimal response to an FMD outbreak in the central U.S as well as in livestock operations in other parts of the country."

Cattle (stock photo)
“... (Y)ou don’t want to destroy the livestock industry in the process of trying to destroy the (FMD) virus,” said Dr. Mike Sanderson, an epidemiologist in the Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology.


Hot Topic

VHC oncologist says cancer is prevalent in pets, but treatable

About 50 percent of dogs and 33 percent of cats age 10 years and older will develop cancer. Although it is very prevalent in these animals, an oncologoist in the Veterinary Health Center said, depending upon the type of cancer, it may be very treatable and doesn’t have to be a life-limiting disease.

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 Dr. Mary Lynn Higginboth 
 Dr. Mary Lynn Higginbotham is an oncologist at the VHC. 

Dr. Mary Lynn Higginbotham, assistant professor of oncology, said any breed is at risk of developing cancer. Common types of cancer found in pets are also common in humans: lymphoma, melanoma and osteosarcoma, for example.

"There are certainly some dog breeds that the Veterinary Health Center has noticed have a tendency to develop tumors, but it varies from tumor to tumor," Dr. Higginbotham said. "Osteosarcomas are the primary bone tumors we see in the limbs, most commonly in the front legs of large dog breeds like Great Danes, mastiffs, Labrador retrievers and rottweilers."

An overall change in the behavior of your animal could be an indication of cancer. Symptoms to watch for include:

• Lumps or bumps that grow or change.

• Wounds that won't heal, such as on the skin of the face or the toe.

• Lameness that is persistent or recurrent.

• Unexplained weight loss.

• Lack of appetite.

• Difficulty eating or swallowing.

• Bleeding from a body opening such as the mouth, nose or rectum.

• Offensive odor, particularly from the mouth.

• Difficulty breathing or going to the bathroom, such as straining to urinate or to have a bowel movement.

• Lethargy or loss of stamina.

Treatment options for dogs and cats are similar to what humans receive. Dr. Higginbotham says veterinarians will consider surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy or immunotherapy, but that these therapies usually have fewer side effects in the animals than in humans.

"The majority of our drugs used for chemotherapy are the same drugs used in people, but we are very careful about the dose," Dr. Higginbotham said. "We use the amount of dose needed to maximize the response, yet limit the dose so we can diminish the potential for side effects as much as possible. Overall, less than 20 percent of our patients actually need supportive therapy because of a side effect from the treatment. The majority of animals we treat with chemotherapy or radiation therapy have very minimal side effects and those are usually short term."

If you notice a change in your pet's behavior, contact a veterinarian. You can also contact the Veterinary Health Center at 785-532-5690.


CVM hosts international symposium in China; Signs agreement with Zoetis Animal Health and Chinese Veterinary Medical Association

A mutual interest in improving animal health and veterinary education is helping the CVM bring new global partners together in China. The college’s U.S.-China Center for Animal Health partnered with the Chinese Veterinary Medical Association and Zoetis, a global animal health company, to host an International Symposium of Veterinary Education in Qingdao, China, in late October.

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The symposium was attended by senior executives of the Chinese Veterinary Medical Association, American Veterinary Medical Association, China Scholarship Council, Zoetis, and deans from more than 25 Chinese, American, and European veterinary colleges. The meeting provided insights into the education systems of China, U.S. and Europe, invited discussions of the directions and strategies to improve China’s veterinary education, and unveiled the achievements made so far in the U.S.-China Joint Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) Program lead by K-State’s U.S.-China Center for Animal Health since its launch in 2012. The symposium also gave an opportunity for the American Veterinary Medical Association to present how it regulates the veterinary profession in the U.S. and how regulation impacts veterinary education.

“The comparison between the U.S. and China will help Chinese senior administrators learn how to improve veterinary education and meet the increased demand for advanced animal health care in China,” said Dr. Ralph Richardson, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. “From our perspective, we have learned about the challenges and opportunities facing our international colleagues.”

“According to our experience in China, we understand that veterinary education is an important piece of China’s animal care,” said Michelle Haven, senior vice-president of Zoetis. “We are more than willing to give full assistance to help boost the quality of veterinary education by taking advantage of our resources and expertise in the area.”

The U.S.-China Joint DVM Program is a K-State scholarship program co-sponsored by the China Scholarship Council, Zoetis, Kansas State University, the Chinese Veterinary Medical Association and Banfield Pet Hospital. So far, 12 students from China have been admitted to K-State for pre-veterinary studies, and six of those students are now in the first or second year of their DVM programs. Four students are at K-State and two are at the University of Minnesota. Another six students are at K-State for pre-veterinary studies.

The meeting concluded with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Zoetis, Kansas State University, and the Chinese Veterinary Medical Association to pave the way for future cooperation. Thus far, Zoetis has provided more than $260,000 as the Phase I funding to the U.S.-China Center for Animal Health to support the joint DVM program for Chinese students. Based on this MOU, Zoetis will continue to support the program with a Phase II funding of $600,000 in 2014.

A group photo from the symposium in China

On October 27, the U.S.-China Center for Animal Health co-hosts an International Symposium for Veterinary Education in Qingdao, China, with Zoetis and the Chinese Veterinary Medical Association. Senior executives of the Chinese Veterinary Medical Association, American Veterinary Medical Association, China Scholarship Council, and Zoetis, and deans from more than 25 Chinese, American, and European veterinary colleges attended.


KSVDL video: Alpaca Handling

Are you and your  comfortable handling ? The Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory has a new video that shows you how.

Watch the helpful video at full size here ...



More Headlines

Winning Willie’s Pet of the Week

Willie's Pet of the Week winnersCongratulations to Jodi and Sophie Schendel, Cheney, Kansas, and their dog, Ruby, on being chosen as the winner of Willie’s Pet of the Week in a season-long contest sponsored by the Veterinary Health Center and Kansas State University Athletics. Thanks to all the contestants and all who voted in the contest. Check out the Willie's Pet of the Week calendar in the photo and link below:

See photos below ...

K-State President Kirk Schulz and Dr. Roger Fingland with Jodie and Sophie
Jodi and Sophie are pictured with two of the celebrity judges, K-State President Kirk Schulz and VHC Director Dr. Roger Fingland.The second- and third-place winners were, respectively, Jackie Burden, Benton, Kansas for her dog, Bruno Mars, and Andrea Beyer, Ft. Worth, Texas, for her dog, Frisco.

Top 10 winners from Willie's Pet of the Week

The Top 10 pictures were determined by a fan-voted contest provided by K-State Athletics. Celebrity judges included Willie the Wildcat, head football coach Bill Snyder, President Kirk Schulz and Dr. Roger Fingland, who then decided the top three winning photos. See all entries at the K-State Athletics Facebook page:

Willie's Pet of the Week Calendar

A 2015 calendar featuring a variety of pictures from the contest is available at Varney’s Book Store in Manhattan. Proceeds go to the Miles Fund.


20 Years of Service for VHC's Amy Juracek

Amy Juracek, veterinary technician in anesthesia in the Veterinary Health Center, was recognized for 20 years of service. She was presented a pin by Dean Ralph Richardson and VHC administrator Shirley Arck.

See the photo below ...

 Amy Juracek with Dean Richardson and Shirley Arck


Check it Out at the Library

Carol ElmoreSearching the Cochrane Library by Carol Elmore

Last month, an overview of The Cochrane Library http://www.thecochranelibrary.com/view/0/index.html was discussed as having helpful healthcare information. There are various ways to search Cochrane so by using the topic, “treating asthma with acupuncture”, examples of how to find helpful information will be discussed. One way to search for information is to use the Browse by Topic links on the left hand side of the Cochrane page. If complementary & alternative medicine is selected, a list of conditions will be displayed. Selecting lungs & airways will open a list.

Read more ...

Selecting asthma (chronic) and clicking on it will show a list of systematic reviews on this topic. The first one given is about using acupuncture to treat asthma.

Another way to search for information is to use the Special Collections section in the middle of the opening page of Cochrane. Clicking on the "view all" link brings up a list of topics. As the end of the list on the fourth page is the topic –“Acupuncture: ancient tradition meets modern science” which is a comprehensive discussion of the topic.

A final way to search is by typing “asthma acupuncture” in the Search the Cochrane Library search line on the left hand side of the opening screen. This lists two systematic reviews on the topic.

Feel free to call or e-mail the Veterinary Medical Library, if you would like to schedule an individual session with me on using The Cochrane Library.

Staff at the Veterinary Medical Library can help with questions about using either of these resources as well as provide help with any of other many resources on human and animal health available through the library.

Regular features

Alumni Events and Continuing Education

Check the upcoming schedule for activities and events ...

VMAA logo

North American Veterinary Conference - K-State alumni reception

Jan 17, Orlando World Center Marriott 8701 World Center Drive, Orlando, Florida

Nebraska Veterinary Medical Association winter meeting - K-State alumni reception

Jan. 22, DoubleTree Omaha Downtown 1616 Dodge Street Omaha, Nebraska, 68102

Dr. Larry Bramlage recognized at AAEP conference

Dr. Larry Bramlage

Dr. Larry Bramlage, Georgetown, Kentucky, has been selected to receive a 2014 Alumni Recognition Award at the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) annual conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Dec. 8.

Dr. Bramlage was born in Marysville, Kansas. He graduated with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Kansas State University in 1975 and a master’s degree from the Ohio State University in 1978. After graduation he worked in academia at Ohio State and as a surgeon to the Sterlingbrook Equine Center in Pittstown, New Jersey. Since 1989, Dr. Bramlage has been a partner, co-owner and surgeon for the Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. He has been the on-call veterinarian for the AAEP at the Kentucky Derby and a television media consultant during the Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup. In 2001, Dr. Bramlage was recognized by K-State as an Alumni Fellow for the College of Veterinary Medicine.

See Dr. Bramlage's full bio.

LATE BREAKING NEWS: While at the AAEP conference, Dr. Bramlage was awarded with the AAEP's Distinguished Service Award for his work with the AAEP's On Call program. A story is posted here:


Rich Meinert Compassion in Action Memorial Award to honor 4-H achievement. Contact Darcy Hanson at the Lassen County 4-H office at 530-251-8285 for more information. - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/rgj/obituary.aspx?n=richard-joseph-meinert&pid=171681853#sthash.mJnPxpCD.dpuf
Rich Meinert Compassion in Action Memorial Award to honor 4-H achievement. Contact Darcy Hanson at the Lassen County 4-H office at 530-251-8285 for more information. - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/rgj/obituary.aspx?n=richard-joseph-meinert&pid=171681853#sthash.mJnPxpCD.dpuf

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. Ken Harkin was selected to receive the Steven and Colleen Hodes Faculty of Distinction Professorship in honor of his outstanding faculty performance and national/international reputation by his peers. 

Dr. Michael Apley was selected to receive the Dr. Edwin J. Frick Professorship. This appointment recognizes a faculty member with a national and international reputation.

Dr. Elizabeth Davis delivered a presentation to Kansas City area high school students at the Olathe campus in the Careers in Veterinary Medicine Lecture Series. The seminar title was "Equine Veterinary Medicine."

Drs. Liz Santschi and Elizabeth Davis traveled to Cherryvale, Kansas, to meet with regional veterinarians. Dr. Santschi presented a talk on “Equine Stifle Lameness” and Dr. Davis provided an update on the Equine Performance Testing Center.

Dr. Tom Schermerhorn provided five lectures at the Oklahoma State Conference for Veterinarians in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Topics: “Diabetes - easy to diagnose; Diabetes - hard to treat”; “Cushing’s - hard to diagnose; Cushing’s - easy to treat”; and “Can we screen for endocrine disorders?”

Dr. David Eshar presented a talk to the Exotics Club at UC Davis. Title: “Exotic small mammal urolithiasis - more common than we think.”

Dr. Mary Lynn Higginbotham, received a Morris Animal Foundation award of $15,897 for her project, “COTC020: Evaluation of Orally Administered mTOR inhibitor Rapamycin in Dogs with Osteosarcoma.”

Dr. Jim Carpenter provided three lectures at the Brown Mackie Tech College in Salina, Kansas. Topics: "Companion Birds: Introduction and Physical Diagnosis for the Veterinary Technician"; "Clinical Skills in Companion Bird Medicine"; and "Handling, Clinical Techniques, and Comparative Anatomy of Reptiles."

The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) has collaborated with the American Live Stock to offer the Markel AAEP Foundation scholarship.  This scholarship is awarded to veterinary students who plan to pursue a career in equine veterinary practice, excel academically, as well as exhibit leadership activities that benefit the welfare and health of horses. The recipients receive a $2500 scholarship each from Markel and the AAEP foundation in addition to a $300 travel stipend to attend the AAEP Annual Convention. Eight fourth-year veterinary students are selected each year. Dr. Beth Davis nominated Rebecca (Becky) Legere this year and she won the scholarship. Kansas State University students have won three years in a row. Rosemary (Mare) Bayless won in 2013 and Christine Fosnacht won in 2012. 

Sarah McConnell, a freshman undergraduate student working with Dr. Antje Anji in the Department of Anatomy and Physiology has received the Johnson Cancer Research Center Award for her project entitled, "Expression of Integrins in Esophageal Cancer -potential for new treatment options."

The Kansas Livestock Foundation (KLF) honored 22 students during the Cattlemen's Banquet at the KLA Convention in Wichita. These high-achieving youth were awarded a total of $24,700 for excelling scholastically, in their communities and in livestock industry endeavors. Among these students were third-year veterinary students Jacob Hagenmaier and Stetson Schmutz. Congratulations!

Debbie KirchhoffThe development office welcomes a new director of development, Debbie Kirchhoff. Her office is in 103 Trotter Hall. Prior to joining the College of Veterinary Medicine, Debbie was the director of corporate and foundation relations for K-State Olathe. She holds the Certified Fundraising Executive designation from CFRE International. Debbie is active in a number of professional organizations including the Association of Fundraising Professionals, where she serves on the board of directors as President. She earned her undergraduate degree in business from Kansas State University in 1986 and her Master of Business Administration from Mid-America Nazarene University. Prior to coming to K-State, Debbie served as Major Gift Director for the University of Missouri-Kansas City's College of Arts and Sciences. Prior to that, she held Development Director and Executive Director Positions at not-for-profit organizations in the Greater Kansas City area, including the Kansas Children's Service League, Sunshine Center School, and Safehome.


Courtney MarshallThe development office also announces that development officer Courtney Marshall has accepted a position as the new president and CEO of the Wichita State University Alumni Association. Prior to working in the College of Veterinary Medicine, she worked as director of membership and student alumni adviser at the Texas Tech Alumni Association, where she directed the annual membership dues program and created annual corporate membership levels. From 2007 through 2010, she was director of alumni relations at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. Her last day with the College of Veterinary Medicine will be Dec. 23, so we wish her farewell and good luck in her new role.

Dr. Abhilash Sasidharan

Dr. Pavan Rajanahalli was selected to serve as a judge at the 12th Annual America Medical Association (AMA) Research Symposium to advance the work of next generation physicians held on Nov 7, 2014 in Dallas. Research presented included Cancer Biology, Clinical Outcomes and Health care improvement, Biochemistry/Cell Biology, Immunology/Infectious diseases/inflammation, Neurobiology, Public health and Epidemiology, Radiology and Imaging and Surgery/Biomedical Engineering. The presenters included medical residents, fellows and certified members of the educational commission for the foreign medical graduates.


Champagne, KSDS service dogDr. Patricia Payne reports that Champagne, which she helped train, has graduated from the KSDS Service Dog Program and has gone to work in Austin Texas, with his new partner.

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

Welcome to:

Dr. Robert DeLong, Associate Professor, A&P
Dr. Raelene Wouda
, Assistant Professor, Clinical Sciences
Dr. Hitesh Pawar
, Postdoctoral fellwo, A&P
Georgina Perez-Duboy
, Senior Admin Assistant, VHC
Tina Anderson
, Senior Admin Assistant, VHC
Patrick Beuhler
, Research Assistant, VHC

Farewell to:

Kelsey Donnelly, Veterinary Technician, VHC
Mary Cross, Senior Administrative Assistant, VHC
Debra Russell, Senior Administrative Assistant, VHC
Dr. Madhusudan Goravanahally, Research Assistant Professor, KSVDL


Dr. Vijay Kumar EedunuriDr. Vijay Kumar Eedunuri isa new postdoctoral fellow in Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology. His publication record includes PNAS, cancer research, biotechnology advances, process biochemistry, bioprocess bio systems engineering, Indian Journal Of Biotechnology.  Before joining K-State Dr. Eedunuri worked as postdoctoral fellow at the Baylor University College Of Medicine. He will work in Dr. Roman Ganta’s lab to study the genes involved in pathogenesis and vaccine development for Human Monocytic Ehrlichiosis caused by an obligate intracellular gram-negative bacterium Ehrlichia chaffeensis. (Submitted by Dr. Eedunuri)


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

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