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College of Veterinary Medicine

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March 2015 - Vol. 10, No. 3

Top Stories

Zoetis gift is solid to the CORE

Zoetis supports CORECenter of Outcomes Research and Education receives $250,000 from Zoetis

A $250,000 gift from Zoetis to the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University helps establish the new Center for Outcomes Research and Education (CORE). The center is an interdisciplinary research and training center focused on the application and extension of outcomes research in animal health both in the U.S. and from a global perspective.

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Zoetis supports CORE
CORE celebrate the gift from Zoetis. From left: Dr. Annette Bouwer, associate director, outcomes research, Zoetis; Dean Ralph Richardson; Sabina Gasper, senior director, outcomes research, Zoetis, Dr. David Renter, director of the CORE; Dr. Rob Holland, director of outcomes research, Zoetis; and Dr. Frank Blecha, associate dean of research.


“We are extremely grateful to Zoetis for supporting the CORE and for sharing our vision for enhancing the implementation of outcomes research for animal health,” said Dr. David Renter, professor of epidemiology and director of the center. “Our CORE group has been very fortunate to have developed partnerships and support through a variety of private and public sources.

However, this foundational support from Zoetis is remarkable as it enables us to really enhance the leadership and infrastructure for outcomes research, and thus be a unique resource for the veterinary profession and others focused on enhancing animal health.”

With a goal of improving effectiveness and efficiency in animal health care and its associated impacts on human health, CORE activities will demonstrate the value of animal health interventions – including treatment, prevention or diagnostic activities that are intended to improve health. The CORE will generate and synthesize evidence on health interventions and train animal health professionals on how to best utilize that evidence to influence health care decisions.

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. Evaluation of economic factors, comparative clinical effectiveness, risk analysis, and health-related quality of life assessments are key areas of focus.

“Zoetis has been a leader in the field of outcomes research and their support of this Center is critical for its development,” said Dr. Ralph Richardson, dean of the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine. “By providing this gift and becoming the first founding partner of CORE, Zoetis has again demonstrated their commitment to veterinary medicine and the greater animal health community”.

“Supporting CORE aligns with our vision and strategy for Outcomes Research,” said Clint Lewis, executive vice president and president of the U.S. business for Zoetis. “As the leading animal health company, we are committed to demonstrating both the clinical and economic value of therapies and services to veterinarians, producers and pet owners.

“This is an exciting opportunity to expand Outcomes Research to the global animal health community,” Gasper said. “By supporting the creation of CORE, K-State has clearly demonstrated their commitment to veterinary medicine and animal health and we are pleased to be at the forefront of this effort. The center will focus on the projects that have U.S. and global reach to strengthen the impact of Outcomes Research in animal health.”


Dr. Dan Thomson Receives 2015 National BQA Educator of the Year Award

Dr. Dan Thomson, Jones Professor of Veterinary Medicine and director of the Beef Cattle Institute for the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University, was recently honored as the 2015 National Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Educator of the Year.

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 Josh White, NCBA executive director of producer education, presents the BQA Educator of the Year Award to Dr. Dan Thomson.
 Josh White, NCBA executive director of producer education, presents the BQA Educator of the Year Award to Dr. Dan Thomson.

Dr. Thomson has worked throughout his professional career as a practicing veterinarian and as an educator, to deliver the BQA message to beef producers throughout Kansas and the entire United States. Through hundreds of personal presentations to ranchers, cattle feeders, beef processors, retailers and restaurateurs, Dr. Thomson has certainly amplified the BQA message within the beef producer community, but he has also communicated the effectiveness of the BQA program to the processing and retail sectors as a means of ensuring the production of wholesome, sustainable beef.

“Dr. Dan Thomson is a leader amongst leaders and is devoted not only to redefining his profession as a veterinarian, but to improving the reputation of the beef cattle industry through the training offered via BCI, one producer, one chef, one extension agent and one retailer at a time,” said Bruce Feinberg, global animal health and welfare officer for McDonald’s Corporation. “I can’t think of anyone more deserving of the National BQA Educator Award.”

In addition to personally delivering the BQA message to all segments throughout the beef production and distribution chain, Dr. Thomson has overseen and managed the development of a system for delivering online BQA training and certification at animalcaretraining.org. Through this digital, web-based medium, Dr. Thomson has contributed to a dramatic increase in industry wide awareness, acceptance and adoption of BQA as the training tool of choice for ensuring the safety and wholesomeness of beef and the health and welfare of beef animals. This has been considered to be especially effective in areas of the U.S. where logistics, geographic isolation or lack of resources, have made in-person BQA training difficult.

Dr. Thomson has been involved in development of other new tools for dissemination of BQA training, including the BQA self-assessment guides for cow/calf, stocker and feedlot producers.

Dr. Mike Siemens, leader in animal welfare and husbandry for Cargill, commented on Dr. Thomson’s commitment to BQA.

“As a fortunate peer of Dr. Thomson I can absolutely say that he has made a significant difference and continues to do so in a very meaningful way,” he said. “Almost everything that he has done in his professional career has been for the betterment of the beef industry and in lock step with the mission that has been set forth in the National BQA efforts."

Selected by a committee of representatives from universities, state beef councils and affiliated groups, the National BQA Educator Award recognizes key cattle industry influencers who promote BQA principles on a daily basis. Started in 2009, the award is sponsored in part by The Beef Checkoff program with additional financial support provided by Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc.

Professional colleagues and peers of Dr. Thomson had generous comments in regards to his work with BQA.

“Dr. Thomson has a genuine interest in helping the beef industry advance and succeed in meeting consumer demands,” said Stephen Russell, director of industry relations for the Kansas Beef Council.  “His common-sense and practical teaching method of BQA principles and best management practices allow farmers, ranchers, dairy producers veterinarians and students to connect the dots easily.”

"Dan Thomson is an amazing educator. Whether he is working with students in agriculture or veterinary medicine, livestock producers, professors, corporate executives, cowboys, school children or the general public, he has an amazing ability to communicate,” said Dr. Ralph C. Richardson, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. “He is equally comfortable with face-to-face interactions or online electronic media training. His passion is contagious."


CEEZAD Director Dr. Jürgen Richt helps organize upcoming Washington, D.C., conference to review updates on the West African Ebola virus

Ebola virusA faculty member from Kansas State University is one of four organizers of a national conference to review the status of Ebola viruses and potential vaccines in Washington, D.C., from March 25-29. Dr. Jürgen Richt, the Regents Distinguished Professor and an Eminent Scholar of Kansas Bioscience Authority (KBA), is the director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases (CEEZAD). Officially entitled, “The 7th International Symposium on Filoviruses,” the conference will focus on issues related to the West Ebola virus following a deadly outbreak in Sierra Leone and Liberia in the late summer and early fall of 2014.

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Ebola virus“We are interested in discussing the lessons that have been learned and discussing mitigation strategies for any future outbreaks,” Dr. Richt said. “As the director of a center of excellence at Kansas State University, we have to be aware of what’s happening in the world with diseases that may transmit from animals to humans.”

Dr. Richt said the conference will include scientific presentations on outbreak overviews and responses, while there will also be participants from government agencies responsible for public health, industry representatives working in vaccine development and scientific funding agencies that can talk about funding opportunities for researchers.

“Eventually the National Bio- and Agro Defense Facility (NBAF), a biosafety level-4 laboratory, will be built in Manhattan where this type of research will be conducted on a regular basis,” Dr. Richt said. “It is good for us to learn about the research that is being done, as well as the level and status of science, by being involved in this conference.”

Dr. Richt said he has been working on a relevant vaccinology project that will be published soon. “We tested a vesicular stomatitis virus vector expressing Ebola virus glycoprotein for safety in pigs,” Dr. Richt said. “We can do work like that here without the need of a biosafety level-4 facility.”

In addition to Dr. Richt helping to organize the conference, Kansas State University and CEEZAD will have a scientist presenting her research. Caterina Scoglio, professor of electrical and computer engineering, is the principal investigator on the project, "Effectiveness of contact tracing for detection of Ebola risk during early introduction of the virus within the USA." Her work is funded by a National Science Foundation RAPID grant.

Dr. Richt added that CEEZAD is helping to sponsor some of the participants in the conference.

“Our sponsorship will be used to bring in doctors, caretakers and scientists from West Africa,” Dr. Richt said. “We hope this forum will help people understand the status quo of the science and where West Africa is at the moment — what went wrong and how to prevent it the next time. We will also have an update on mitigation strategies, diagnostics, therapeutics, and where are we with vaccines and clinical trials.”

To learn more about the 7th International Symposium on Filoviruses, visit the conference website: http://www.filovirus2015.com/


Hot Topic

CEEZAD researchers monitor for next novel influenza strain

As seasonal influenza cases decrease across the United States, Kansas State University researchers are preparing for the next potential virulent strain of flu. The work is starting with swine in the field. Dr. Jügen Richt, Regents distinguished professor of veterinary medicine and director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases, and Dr. Wenjun Ma, assistant professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology, are surveying for swine influenza viruses as part of a $1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

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"Swine influenza are constantly changing," Dr. Richt said. "There's a constant mutational rate, and sometimes they're changing very rapidly using a mechanism called reassortment — gene segments from one influenza virus are mixed with gene segments from a different influenza virus. We are very concerned about these genes coming together to create new surface proteins that have not been seen in the human population."

The researchers are collecting samples from diseased pig populations recorded by the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and the Abilene Animal Hospital. These samples are analyzed to determine if the swine influenza could be a danger to humans.

"Swine influenza viruses infect swine and cause a respiratory disease in pigs, but they sometimes have the ability to transmit from pigs to humans," Dr. Richt said. "We hope that we are early enough in discovering these novel swine influenza viruses so that we can isolate and characterize these viruses and alert the respective authorities to control and eradicate them as soon as possible."

The Kansas State University research team has been working on this project for six years. It previously discovered a novel influenza subtype in swine from Missouri. Dr. Richt says this novel H2N3 virus was created through a reassortment from a duck influenza virus and an endemic swine influenza virus, which could have been very dangerous to human health. As the team monitored the influenza, the virus died out before it could spread.

"I think it is very important work because influenza is a threat to public health and animal health. We are providing very important information for the industry and for public health," Dr. Ma said.

The project is part of the Center of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance and is in collaboration with Dr. Richard Webby in the infectious diseases department at St. Jude Children's Hospital.


influenza-infected human tracheaDr. A. Sally Davis validates human tracheal/bronchial-cell model for influenza A infections of the trachea

A recently hired veterinary pathologist is bringing multiple skills to her new position in the College of Veterinary Medicine, including experience with a human primary cell line used for modeling human influenza infections.  Dr. A. Sally Davis, is an assistant professor of experimental pathology in the Department of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology. Part of her appointment at Kansas State University is to provide pathology support to the Center of Excellence for Emerging Zoonotic Animal Diseases.

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 Dr. A. Sally Davis
 Dr. A. Sally Davis is a new assistant professor of experimental pathology in the Department of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology. Part of her appointment at Kansas State University is to provide pathology support to the Center of Excellence for Emerging Zoonotic Animal Diseases.
 influenza-infected human trachea
 Immunofluorescence labeled Influenza A infected human trachea, influenza virus (green), various respiratory epithelial cell types (magenta, blue and red) and co-localization of influenza in a cell (white and yellow).

Dr. Davis graduated in 2014 from the National Institutes of Health Comparative Biomedical Scientist Training Program in partnership with North Carolina State University. At the NIH, she conducted her doctoral research under Dr. Jeffery K. Taubenberger in the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Her work was funded through the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Health, and she has a paper focused on an in vitro model for influenza infections being published in the May 2015 Journal of Histochemistry & Cytochemistry.

“This is a human cell line that has been in use for quite a while in respiratory research,” Dr. Davis explained. “However, there was no detailed comparison of the epithelium that these cells can form in the laboratory to their source tissue, human trachea. Therefore, the idea was to perform morphological comparisons as well as study differences in response to influenza infection of the ‘pseudo’ trachea versus human trachea sampled from autopsy material, including individuals who died from an influenza infection. We found that the model was particularly strong at early infection time-points but has limitations at later time-points.  The results will enable respiratory virus researchers to better interpret data generated with this system.  Additionally, this type of research provides an approach to validation of other in vitro models derived from other animal species.  It is important to know both the strengths and limitations of these models so that scientific findings may be accurately interpreted.”

Part of the research utilized electron microscopy and immunofluorescence confocal microscopy, which are areas of expertise Dr. Davis will use at K-State. She said she will present guest lectures and assist in collaborative research projects using the microscopy facilities.

Additionally, Dr. Davis will be presenting a paper on 1918 pandemic influenza (Spanish Flu) at the Experimental Biology conference in Boston at the end of March. For this work, Dr. Davis has won the Histochemical Society-sponsored American Society of Investigative Pathology travel award and has been invited to co-chair the “Microbial Interactions with the Host" mini symposium while there.

In her research, Dr. Davis said she enjoys working with and mentoring students. At K-State she anticipates working with both undergraduate and DVM students, including publishing with students on future research papers.

“I was originally a high school biology teacher, so I’ve always had a strong interest in working with students” Dr. Davis said. “Even while I was working on my own DVM degree at North Carolina State University, I formally tutored some of my classmates. During, my residency training, I mentored DVM students in pathology and research projects.“

While much of her recently published work has involved primarily human applications, Dr. Davis chose to return to a veterinary medicine environment so that she could better focus on the animal-human interface of infectious diseases.  She looks forward to working on non-human projects, such as vaccine-efficacy studies in swine and sheep, and building new collaborations here at K-State while she continues her previous collaborations with the NIH.



More Headlines

USDA-NIFA and British research council award more than $1.4 million for joint project between K-State and University of Glasgow

Kansas State University was included in a special jointly funded research program sponsored through a collaboration of the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and the United Kingdom’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). Five awards were announced with a total of more than $2.3 million from NIFA and £2.3 million British pounds ($3,502,683 equivalent) from the BBSRC for the US-UK Collaborative Animal Health and Disease and Veterinary Immune Reagents program. This US-UK partnership addresses high impact diseases and animal health issues relevant to both countries.

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Global food supply and food security are directly affected by animal production and health. They play an important role in the economy, but also in the sustainability and growth of agriculture worldwide. Research funded through this program will look at the biological and physiological mechanisms in relation to disease prevention in ruminants (cattle, goat, sheep), swine, poultry, equine, and aquaculture species.

The fiscal year 2014 award for Kansas State University, supported by USDA, is for $499,995 for the control of emerging bunyaviruses, collaborative with the University of Glasgow. The fiscal year 2014 award supported by BBSRC will be £597,187 (approx. $917,638) for the same project.

“As a leading livestock producing nation, the health of the people in the United States and around the world depends on the safety, security, and quality of the livestock we produce,” said Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy, NIFA director. “These grants enable an international research partnership that looks to control the spread of pathogens, ensuring we can effectively reduce the health risks and environmental impacts of food production worldwide.”

Steve Visscher, BBSRC deputy chief executive - international, said: "A growing world population means that safe and secure food supplies are going to become more and more important in the years to come. The scale of such challenges require increased international collaboration, and this partnership of co-investment between BBSRC and NIFA will allow world-leading researchers in both countries to work together to combat livestock diseases and safeguard food supplies."

Specifically, the projects will address the development of immune reagents, breeding for genetic resistance to disease, studying the ecology of diseases spread by vector insects, and developing improved vaccines. The discoveries made through these projects will improve animal health and well-being, enhance production efficiency, and support the safety of animal products by addressing challenges facing animal agriculture.

More information on the BBSRC grants can be found on their website. Enter the project title into the search function.


CVM hosts candidates for dean

The search committee for a new dean announced four candidates to interview on campus. So far, three of the four have made public presentations.

See a list of the candidates below ...

Dr. Tammy BeckhamDr. Tammy Beckham, DVM, PhD

Director, Department of Homeland Security's Center for Excellence for Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Diseases
Texas A&M University
March 3-4, 2015

Dr. David BristolDr. David Bristol, DVM

Professor of Surgery and Senior Associate Dean for Administration
College of Sciences
North Carolina State University
March 5-6, 2015

Dr. Douglas FreemanDr. Douglas Freeman, DVM, PhD

Professor and Dean
Western College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
March 9-10, 2015

Dr. Spencer Johnston, VMD

Department Head
James and Marjorie Waggoner Professor of Orthopedic Surgery
Small Animal Medicine & Surgery
University of Georgia
March 11-12, 2015



Regular features

Alumni Events and Continuing Education

Check the upcoming schedule for activities and events ...

VMAA logo32nd 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


June Conference Ad

Golf Tournament

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:

The overall pass rate for K-State students for the 2014 fall sitting of the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination was 94 percent, which is three percentage points higher than the average for North American CVMs. Students scored higher than the national average in food animal and equine, health maintenance and problem management, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, special senses, reproductive and multiple organ systems.

Drs. Nathan Canada and Patrick Loftin, equine residents/graduate students, both received travel support to attend the AO North American Advanced Equine Techniques of Fracture Management course in April 2015. 

Dr. Bob Larson delivered a presentation to the NCBA meeting in San Antonio, Texas. The title of his presentation was, “TrichCONSULT – a tool to develop ranch-specific control for trichomoniasis.” He spoke at veterinary clinics in three different cities in South Dakota. The title of his presentation was: “Beef Cattle Reproduction: Reproductive Efficiency and Calf Health as Key Drivers in Cow Herd Profitability.”

Dr. Mike Apley delivered presentations to the Minnesota VMA in Minneapolis. Topics included: “Regulatory and legislative changes in food animals with an emphasis on antimicrobials in feed and water”; “Residues: What are tolerances and how are they applied; Antimicrobials in cattle – Some examples of the difference they make and a review of our choices for therapy of infectious disease”; and “Antimicrobial resistance challenges in human and veterinary medicine.” He delivered presentations to the Mississippi Cattlemen in Jackson and NCBA Cowboy College in San Antonio, Texas. Topics included “Upcoming regulatory changes in the way we use antibiotics in cattle.” At San Antonio, he participated in a meeting on antimicrobial resistance research and chaired a committee on antibiotic issues in cattle. In addition, he taught in the executive veterinary program (swine) at the University of Illinois. 

Dr. Jim Carpenter was a guest lecturer to the Exotic Animal Medicine Club at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln School of Veterinary Medicine and Biological Sciences. Topics included: “Intro to Exotics,”  “Wildlife” and “Zoo Animal Medicine: Opportunities.”

Dr. David Biller delivered presentations at the 87th Annual Western Veterinarian Conference in Las Vegas. His topics were: “Clinical Challenges: Chronic Vomiting in Cats: The What, Why, and How” and “The Acute Abdomen: To Cut or Not to Cut.”

CVM team wins volleyball tourney

Click to see a picture of the winning team ...

 CVM volleyball team
Congrats to the CVM vollegyball team for winning the Manhattan Parks and Rec Co-Rec Volleyball tournament in February: Back row left to right: Travis Bowers, Andrea Lee and Patrick Loftin. Front Row: Brandi Laverty, Michael White and Laura Armbrust


Lesbian and Gay Veterinary Medical Association hosts filmmaker and showing of “Bridegroom” documentary film

Shane Bitney CroneThe K-State Lesbian & Gay Veterinary Medical Association (LGVMA) has invited Shane Bitney Crone from the powerful documentary “Bridegroom” to visit Kansas State University. The event will include a showing of the film followed by a candid and interactive discussion with the audience. The event is scheduled for Sunday, March 29 at 2 p.m. in Forum Hall located in the lower level of the Student Union.

Read more here ...

Bridegroom poster This event is free and open to the public. Seating will be on a first-come, first-serve basis with the doors opening at 1 p.m. "Bridegroom" was directed by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason and examines the relationship between Crone and Tom Bridegroom, who died when he fell off a rooftop while taking photos of a friend in 2011.

“If you have not seen this film, it is an extremely powerful and emotional tale of what can happen when marriage is denied between two people in love,” said Cory Haigh, second-year veterinary student and vice-president of LGVMA.  “We feel this will be an incredible experience to promote equality among all people.”

Following the event, the audience will be invited to Aggie Station at 1119 Moro Street in Aggieville for a greeting session with Croon.

A bio for Shane Bitney Crone is posted online at: http://shanebitneycrone.com/bio/


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

Welcome to:

Dr. Natalia Cernicchiaro, Assistant Professor, DM/P
Courtney Sobba, Research Assistant, DM/P
Mary Cross, Administrative Specialist, VHC
Stephanie Gatrell, Research Assistant, KSVDL
Dr. Vinay Shivanna, Postdoctoral Fellow, DM/P
Gregory Blackwell, Accountant, Dean's Office

Farewell to:

Juraj  Koci, Postdoctoral Fellow, A&P
Samantha McCool
, Accountant, Dean's Office
Zhen Li
, Research Technician, DM/P
Francisco Velazquez, Research Technician, KSVDL
Kiley Ulses, Veterinary Technician, VHC
Julia Ryseff, Instructor, KSVDL
Dr. Pavan Rajanahalli Krishnamurthy, Postdoctoral Fellow, A&P



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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