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College of Veterinary Medicine

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April 2018 - Vol. 13, No. 4

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Dr. Weiping Zhang honored for research excellence

Dr. Weiping ZhangThe CVM presented its highest research award during Phi Zeta Research Day in March: The 2018 Zoetis Animal Health Award for Research Excellence. Dr. Weiping Zhang was chosen as this year’s recipient. He is a professor in DMP.

Dr. Zhang’s research mainly focuses on enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) pathogenesis in diarrheal disease and vaccine development against ETEC associated diarrhea.

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Dr. Frank Blecha and Dr. Weiping Zhang
Dr. Frank Blecha presents the Zoetis Animal Health Award for Research Excellence to Dr. Weiping Zhang

His laboratory has applied the toxoid and toxoid fusion strategies and demonstrated for the first time that non-toxic STa molecules induced neutralizing antibodies against the key heat-stable toxin, invented the MEFA technology to develop structure-based vaccines against heterogeneous ETEC strains, and developed and applied a pig model to study human ETEC diarrhea disease.

“I am very honored to be the recipient of this prestigious research award,” Dr. Zhang said. “ETEC bacteria are a predominant cause of neonatal diarrhea and post-weaning diarrhea in pigs, and a top cause of diarrhea in young children in developing countries and international travelers. Currently there is no effective vaccine against ETEC diarrhea in pigs or humans.”

“Dr. Zhang is working at the cutting edge of vaccine technology – developing novel vaccines to combat diarrheal pathogens in both young pigs and children,” said Dr. Frank Blecha, associate dean for research. “He has supported his extensive research program at K-State with over $12 million of funding from several agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

"Dr. Zhang’s collaborative vaccine development strategy for enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) holds great promise for a new multiepitope vaccine that will limit diarrheal deaths in animals with high relevance for human health as well.”

Dr. Zhang’s most recent innovation is structure-based MEFA - multiepitope fusion antigen, a novel structural vaccinology technology for development of broadly protective multivalent ETEC vaccines. Different ETEC strains produce immunologically virulence factors. Virulence heterogeneity is a major challenge in vaccine development against infectious diseases. This versatile MEFA technology can be generally applied for vaccine development against other pathogens as well. Only broadly protective vaccines would be effective against ETEC and other heterogeneous pathogens.

Dr. Zhang He received his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree training in China. He earned a doctorate at Iowa State University in 1996. He has been teaching at K-State since 2013. Prior to that he was on the faculty at South Dakota State University.


Dr. Katie Reif gains $50K gift for tick-related disease research

Dr. Katie Reif

A small pest has inspired a very generous gift for Dr. Kathryn Reif, who studies ticks and tick-borne diseases in the CVM.

Joe Bisogno, who owns Timber Hills Lake Ranch near De Soto, Kansas, gave Dr. Reif a $50,000 gift to support the work in her laboratory.

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 Dr. Katie Reif
 Dr. Katie Reif examines a vial of lone star tick nymphs.

"It has always been my hope that ticks and tick-borne diseases could be eliminated from the Earth,” Bisogno said. “I have yet to meet someone who enjoys having a tick crawl up their leg, or enjoys finding a tick attached to their wildlife, pets and livestock.”

Bisogno’s property is populated with herds of bison, elk and deer. Dr. Reif noted how deer serve as excellent hosts for the tick species that inhabit Kansas. She said Bisogno’s gift will help generate critically needed preliminary data for larger extramural grant proposals to further her laboratory’s research programs.

“The overall goal of my laboratory is to identify novel solutions to reduce tick bites and tick-borne disease transmission” said Dr. Reif, assistant professor in DMP.

Dr. Reif had been invited to Bisogno’s ranch in March 2017 along with her CVM faculty mentor, Dr. Mike Dryden. While Dr. Dryden was unable to attend the meeting, Dr. Reif gave a presentation on ticks and her research work.

“I believe that her continued tick research will enable the world to one day not have to worry about being infected by a tick bite,” said Bisogno, who is also the founder of the Mr. Goodcents chain of sandwich shops.

Dr. Reif said that here in Kansas, people, pets, livestock and wildlife are all at risk for tick bites and tick-borne diseases, and that the best way to prevent tick-borne diseases is by preventing tick bites. For people, using DEET-based repellents or treating clothes with permethrin can help reduce the risk of tick bites. For pets, there are several excellent topical and systemic tick repellent products that owners can get from their pet’s veterinarian. 


Video Feature

Making progress on the CVM's Strategic Plan

In January 2017, the College of Veterinary Medicine unveiled a new Strategic Plan to guide the college’s mission, vision and priorities from 2017 to 2019. The college has worked collaboratively and cooperatively among all its units to advance each of seven identified priority areas. As of April 2018, several our faculty members share some key points of progress made on each of these priority areas.

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


Students receive $5,000 AAAP scholarships

Lisa Tenny and Jake Carlson

Two CVM students are among 10 veterinary students nationwide chosen for $5,000 scholarship awards from the American Association of Avian Pathologists Foundation (AAAP Foundation) and Merck Animal Health. The scholarships are open to veterinary students in their second and third year of study and are focused on poultry health.

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 Lisa Tenny and Jake Carlson
 Lisa Tenny and Jake Carlson

Jake Carlson, second-year student from Elk Grove, California, earned his bachelor’s degree in animal science from California State University – Fresno, and completed internships with Mitchell Farms, the National Turkey Federation and the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s Emergency Management and Health Team.

Lisa Tenny, third-year student from Leawood, Kansas, obtained her bachelor’s degree in animal science and industry from Kansas State University. She has interned with Butterball LLC, Nelson’s Poultry, Elanco and Aviagen. Lisa also serves as an ambassador for K-State, giving tours and facilitating interviews for prospective students.

“This scholarship will help support my career goal to become a staff veterinarian for a poultry company,” Carlson said. “My next step will be to complete the Masters of Avian Medicine program at the University of Georgia. I hope to conduct research for the betterment of the industry.”

“I’m really excited to get more hands-on experiences in the field of poultry medicine during my fourth year of veterinary school,” Tenny said. “Being a poultry veterinarian is a dream I’ve been aspiring towards for a long time now, and I can’t believe I’m so close to graduating veterinary school.”

The 2018 scholarship recipients will be recognized at the AAAP Annual Meeting being held in Denver, Colorado, in July.

“These recipients are already standout students at their respective universities, and as they prepare to enter the field of poultry production, we want to help provide support for their ongoing education as we know student debt can be a challenge,” said Rick Sibbel, D.V.M., executive director of food animal technical services for Merck Animal Health. “We’re confident that, in the years to come, these talented students will be making a mark on our industry, helping all of us advance the science of healthier animals.”

“These veterinary students will provide the expertise to nourish the 2050 projected world population of 9.7 billion people with safe and sustainable poultry food products,” said Dr. Fred Hoerr, president of the AAAP Foundation. “We are pleased to partner with Merck Animal Health to facilitate their success.”


More Headlines

Dr. Megan Niederwerder studies ASF in feed

Dr. Megan NiederwerderIf African swine fever virus reaches the U.S., it could cause more than $16.5 billion in economic losses to swine and other industries. It would devastate trade and international markets, researchers say.

Dr. Megan Niederwerder, assistant professor DMP, wants to prevent that.

Her latest research has found that African swine fever could survive in a simulated feed shipment across the ocean, which suggests that feed may be a potential way that pathogens such as African swine fever virus spread.

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Dr. Megan Niederwerder

 Dr. Megan Niederwerder is involved in a new study that examines the ability of African swine fever virus to spread through imported feed and feed ingredients. The study will help researchers and pork producers prevent the spread of the highly contagious and costly animal disease.
 African swine fever virus causes hemorrhagic fever and high mortality in pigs. It is not present in the U.S. but has spread throughout Eastern Europe and Russia.

The research appears in the journal PLOS ONE in the collaborative publication, “Survival of viral pathogens in animal feed ingredients under transboundary shipping models.” It is the first publication demonstrating the survival of African swine fever virus in feed ingredients.

“The ultimate goal of our research is to understand what mitigation tools may be utilized to reduce the risk of African swine fever virus being introduced, whether in the country of origin or once feed arrives in the U.S.,” Dr.Niederwerder said.

Since 2007, African swine fever virus, or ASFV, has spread throughout Eastern Europe and Russia but is not present in the U.S. There is no vaccine or cure for the disease, which causes hemorrhagic fever and high mortality in pigs. It does not infect humans.

Dr. Niederwerder is collaborating with Kansas State University's Biosecurity Research Institute to continue studying the risk of African swine fever virus in feed and feed ingredients. She is studying the whole swine feed transport cycle — from the shipment of feed as it is imported to the U.S. to when swine consume their feed on the farm.

"This research is extremely important to the swine industry, not only in Kansas and the U.S. but also around the world," Dr. Niederwerder said. "There are many countries, including the U.S., that are currently free of ASFV and it is critical to understand how we prevent this virus from being introduced. Through this research, we seek to understand and further define the risk of ASFV transmission when consumed in feed, a recently identified risk factor for the introduction of swine pathogens."

African swine fever is one of the diseases slated to be researched at the National Bio and Agro-defense Facility or NBAF, which is under construction adjacent to Kansas State University's Manhattan campus. Dr. Niederwerder's work at the Biosecurity Research Institute will provide the foundational knowledge that can then transition into further studies at the NBAF once it is fully functional.

Dr. Niederwerder's research is organized into three parts:
  1. Understanding if the virus survives in feed ingredients using a transboundary model that simulates the shipment of feed from other countries into the U.S.
  2. Determining the oral dose of African swine fever virus necessary in feed to cause infection.
  3. Identifying mitigants that reduce or eliminate the risk of African swine fever virus transmission in feed ingredients, including any additives that may inactivate the virus in swine feed.

Dr. Niederwerder and her team are performing the research in a biosafety level-3 laboratory at the Biosecurity Research Institute. They have been studying 5-gram amounts of complete feed and feed ingredients, some of which include soybean meal, lysine, dried distillers grains, choline and vitamin D.

Researchers place the ingredients in 50-milliliter tubes in an environmental chamber and use meteorological data to program the chamber's temperature and humidity, which mimics a cargo ship's journey from Eastern Europe to North America. For example, the trans-Atlantic model that simulates travel from Eastern Europe takes 30 days.

The researchers then study if the virus is still present at a dose infectious to pigs after the simulated shipment and if there are any additives that may stop the virus from spreading through feed.

"Our aim is to understand if we can mitigate this risk and protect the U.S. swine industry from the introduction of African swine fever as well as other foreign animal diseases," Dr. Niederwerder said.

To support this research, she has been awarded more than $700,000 from the State of Kansas National Bio and Agro-defense Facility Fund, the National Pork Board and the Swine Health Information Center. Niederwerder recently presented this research at the North American PRRS symposium, the American Association of Swine Veterinarians annual meeting, and the Midwest Animal Science meeting.

Other Kansas State University collaborators on this work include Dr. Raymond "Bob" Rowland, professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology; Cassie Jones, associate professor of animal sciences and industry; Dr. Steve Dritz, professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology; Trevor Hefley, assistant professor of statistics; Jason Woodworth, research associate professor of animal sciences and industry; and Mike Tokach, university distinguished professor of animal sciences and industry. Other collaborators include Scott Dee of Pipestone Veterinary Services and Diego Diel of South Dakota State University.

Bonus Video on Dr. Niederwerder's Research Efforts


AASV presents Howard Dunne Award to Dr. Richard Hesse in San Diego

Dr. Richard HesseDr. Richard Hesse, professor in DMP, was presented with the Howard Dunne Memorial Award at the 49th annual meeting of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV) on March 5 in San Diego, California. This award is given annually to an AASV member who has made a significant contribution and rendered outstanding service to the AASV and the swine industry.

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Dr. Richard Hesse

 Dr. Richard Hesse poses with the Howard W. Dunne Memorial Award in San Diego.

Dr. Hesse also serves as director of diagnostic virology at the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (KSVDL). As director and researcher, Dr. Hesse’s most recent focus has been on vaccine development for PCVAD (porcine circovirus2d-associated disease) and the pathobiology of the porcine enteric coronaviruses- porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PED) and porcine deltacorona virus (PDCoV). He currently is interested in developing rapid diagnostic assays and vaccines for zoonotic, foreign animal and emerging/re-emerging diseases. He has been on the faculty at Kansas State University since 2006.

When asked what it meant to receive the Howard Dunne Memorial Award, Dr. Hesse responded, “I am blessed to be able to work with so many talented and dedicated people across the swine industry. To be recognized by them is the highest honor I have ever received and it means more to me than anyone will ever know.”

“KSVDL is proud of Dr. Hesse’s accomplishments for the swine industry and his additional areas of dedication that have improved veterinary diagnostics,” said Dr. Jamie Henning, interim director of the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. “As a vital team member of KSVDL, his dedication to diagnostic service and research is appreciated by the KSVDL family. I could not imagine a more deserving person for this honor.”

Dr. Hesse’s scientific career began during his undergraduate education when he assisted in college laboratories at Huron College, as well as in the local medical center. He expanded his laboratory experiences and classical virology training while serving in the army at Fort Detrick [United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID)], where he worked with highly hazardous pathogens in total containment facilities (BSL-4). After leaving the army, Dr. Hesse immediately began graduate studies at South Dakota State University with a focus on bovine respiratory viruses.

Dr. Hesse received a master’s degree from South Dakota State University in 1983 and a doctorate from the University of Nebraska in 1993. He has authored or co-authored more than 100 publications, presentations, and/or patents and has led the development of at least 12 USDA-licensed vaccines.

Dr. Hesse worked for nine years as the manager of virology biologics for the R&D department at Intervet Inc. in DeSoto, Kansas. Prior to that he has been a principal scientist and group leader for Schering Plough Animal Health, Omaha, Nebraska; an associate research scientist and assistant research scientist for Solvay Animal Health (Salsbury Laboratories) in Charles City, Iowa; and a biological research assistant for the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) at Fort Detrick, Maryland.

Dr. Hesse’s other honors and awards include: the Army Distinguished Service Medal for Lassa Fever research, membership in the Gamma Sigma Delta honor society, and the Phi Zeta Honor society of Veterinary Medicine, the Schering Plough Excellence Award for development of a PRRS vaccine and the Kansas Veterinary Medical Association Distinguished Service Award.


Eleven students receive Zoetis/AAVMC Scholarships

A group of 11 students in the College of Veterinary Medicine have named as recipients of the 2018 Zoetis Veterinary Student Scholarship. The scholarship program is sponsored by Zoetis, a global animal health company, in partnership with the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC).

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Now in its ninth year, the program awarded scholarships in the amount of $2,000 to 315 second- and third-year veterinary students representing 33 colleges of veterinary medicine. The program has awarded $6.1 million over the past nine years, helping to offset education expenses for more than 3,000 veterinary students.

More than 1,700 applicants from universities throughout the U.S. and Caribbean were evaluated for academic excellence, financial need, diversity, sustainability, leadership, and career interest. Students applied through VetVance, a free educational resource sponsored by Zoetis that provides students and recent graduates with online content relating to professional development, business skills, professional stewardship, financial literacy, personal wellness, and more. Scholarships are awarded to students in all areas of professional interest, including food animal medicine, small animal clinical medicine, research, government services, public health, and organized veterinary medicine.

Below is a full list of K-State veterinary students receiving this year’s scholarships:

  • Kathleen Elliott, second year
  • Katelyn Guill, second year
  • Nicholas Hayes, third year
  • Katelyn Ingram, third year
  • Kathryn Latshaw, second year
  • Savannah Luu, second year
  • Maggie Massey, second year
  • Catherine Perino, second year
  • Sydney Rathjen, second year
  • Kate Rigby, third year
  • Alexandria Salva, second year


Veterinary students receive scholarship prizes in research poster competitions

Jordan Gebhardt and Laura ConstanceKansas State University has a pair of veterinary students who were among the scholarship prize recipients in the American Association of Swine Veterinarians’ (AASV) Veterinary Student Poster Competition announced in March.

Jordan Gebhardt, a third-year veterinary student from Cedar Springs, Michigan, had the top student poster entitled, “Medium chain fatty acids improve growth and alter fecal microbial populations in nursery pigs.”

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Jordan Gebhardt and Laura Constance

 Jordan Gebhardt (left) and Laura Constance present their research posters at the annual AASV meeting.

Laura Constance in Topeka

 Laura presents here poster at the Capitol Graduate Research Summit in Topeka, where she won a BioKansas Scholarship.

 This is the second year in a row Gebhardt was won the top prize of $500 in the AASV’s competition.

Laura Constance, a second-year student from Clyde, North Carolina, received a $200 scholarship prize for her poster entitled, “Pre-challenge microbiome composition is associated with improved weight gain in pigs after vaccination with a porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) modified live virus (MLV) vaccine followed by challenge with PRRSV and porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2b).”

Both Constance and Gebhardt are also studying for their doctoral degrees through a concurrent DVM/Ph.D. program in the College of Veterinary Medicine. Their primary mentors are Drs. Megan Niederwerder and Steve Dritz, respectively, who are both swine researchers in the Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology.

The top 15 poster abstracts were chosen out of 43 submissions. Two second place recipients received a $400 scholarship, three received a $300 scholarship and nine received the $200 scholarship.


Constance one of two graduate students to earn honors at state capitol event

Two Kansas State University graduate students received statewide recognition for their Kansas-related research at the 15th Capitol Graduate Research Summit, March 27, at the State Capitol in Topeka.

Stuart Sprague, doctoral student in horticulture, Manhattan, and Laura Constance, doctoral student in pathobiology, Clyde, North Carolina, were the two Kansas State University winners at the summit. Constance was the university’s winner of the BioKansas scholarship, which is supported by BioKansas.

The BioKansas award not only recognizes the top researchers, but also those projects that have the best potential for commercialization and for impacting the state of Kansas, said Dennis Ridenour, president and CEO of BioKansas.

The Capitol Graduate Research Summit is a statewide event that features current graduate student research of graduate students at Kansas State University, the University of Kansas, the University of Kansas Medical Center, Wichita State University, Fort Hays University, Emporia State University and Pittsburgh State University. Each university invited a university professor and an industry representative to judge the student poster presentations. The top presenters from each university received awards.

Constance’s poster was “Role of the gut microbiome in response to vaccination and viral respiratory infection in growing pigs.” Her advisors are Megan Niederwerder, assistant professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology with the K-State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, and Raymond Rowland, professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology.

Constance’s research goal is to use alternative methods, such as fecal microbiota transplantation, to help control and treat respiratory disease in swine. Her work with swine could benefit not only swine health, but also have more broad implications in other food animals and advance science as a whole.

“It is an honor to receive the BioKansas Award and I look forward to working more with them in the future,” Constance said. “Our goals are intertwined in that we are both dedicated to helping advance and promote bioscience research. Kansas is 10th in the nation for swine production and in 2017 sold approximately 3.3 million swine with a market value of about $468 million.”


Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory appoints interim associate director

Dr. Gregg HanzlicekThe Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, or KSVDL, announces the appointment of Dr. Gregg Hanzlicek as interim associate director.

"In the position of interim associate director, Dr. Hanzlicek will lead our client relations, service and outreach efforts," said Dr. Jamie Henningson, interim director of the lab. "I look forward to having Dr. Hanzlicek join me in the leadership of KSVDL."

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Dr. Gregg HanzlicekDr. Hanzlicek is a Kansas native. He earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Mississippi State University in 1991, and then spent 16 years as a bovine practitioner. Afterward, he left practice and completed a doctorate in epidemiology from the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2010.

Dr. Hanzlicek was then appointed as assistant professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine and he has served as the director of production animal field investigations and outreach within the KSVDL. His primary duties include communicating with veterinarian clients, providing continuing education to veterinarians and their producers and participating within a diagnostic laboratory team conducting disease outbreak investigations both in Kansas and the surrounding region. Dr. Hanzlicek’s other interests include herd disease surveillance, assessing animal disease risk factors and dairy/cow-calf production medicine.

The KSVDL is a full-service laboratory offering a complete range of diagnostic services for all species. For more information, please visit the KSVDL website at www.ksvdl.org.


K-State undergraduate student receives $3,000 award for veterinary research

Dr. A. Sally Davis and Mya MastersonThe second phase of a research project through a veterinary laboratory at Kansas State University has netted a $3,000 research award for Mya Masterson, senior in medical laboratory science and life science, Hutchinson.

Masterson successfully applied for funding from the Microscopy Society of America (MSA). In July 2017, she had procured a $500 award for the first phase of her research through the Histochemical Society’s Capstone Grant program.

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Dr. A. Sally Davis and Mya Masterson

 Dr. A. Sally Davis mentors undergrad student Mya Masterson on a project related to Rift Valley Fever virus.

Masterson’s project, “Microwave Powered Correlative Light Electron Microscopy of Rift Valley Fever Virus Kidney Lesions,” is under the mentorship of Dr. A. Sally Davis, an assistant professor of experimental pathology in the College of Veterinary Medicine, who directs the Laboratory of Investigative Pathology (LIP). Masterson is in her third and final year of Kansas State University’s Developing Scholars program, which provides opportunities for highly motivated students from diverse backgrounds to participate in research projects with a faculty mentor.

“The Histochemical Society Capstone Grant was a great start to begin my project, but being granted the Microscopy Society of America Undergraduate Research Scholarship Program award has been beyond exciting!” Masterson said. “This award will allow me to advance my research, as well as continue learning new techniques. I greatly appreciate the extended opportunity MSA has given me and I am looking forward to jumping back into my work!”

“Mya, has been a delight to have in my lab,” Dr. Davis said. “She is a consistent performer who enjoys learning new techniques and has the attention to detail and persistence required for succeeding in science. She is also an excellent team player, mentoring newcomers to in the lab. I have enjoyed guiding Mya on her recent science writing adventures and am thrilled that these efforts have been successful.”

The MSA award requires Masterson to submit a two-page paper next year for presentation educational outreach symposia at MSA’s Microscopy & Microanalysis Conference (scheduled for August 2019 in Portland, Oregon) and for subsequent publication in the conference’s proceedings booklet.

The MSA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion and advancement of techniques and applications of microscopy and microanalysis in all relevant scientific disciplines.


Lin lab members present award-winning posters at Society of Toxicology meeting

ICCM team

Dr. Zhoumeng Lin reports having assembled a strong team of lab members to represent the CVM at the 57th annual meeting of the Society of Toxicology (SOT) in San Antonio from March 11-15.

Founded in 1961, SOT is a professional and scholarly organization of scientists from academic institutions, government and industry representing the great variety of scientists who practice toxicology in the US and abroad.

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ICCM team


The ICCM team presents posters at the 2018 SOT meeting. From left to right: Trevor Elwell-Cuddy, Dr. Miao Li, Dr. Zhoumeng Lin, Dr. Nancy Monteiro-Riviere, Dr. Jim Riviere and Dr. Yi-Hsien Cheng.


ICCM team


Trevor participates in the Undergraduate Diversity Program.

 Miao Li award

Dr. Miao Li receives the Biological Modeling Specialty Section Trainee Award.

 Yi Hsien award

Dr. Yi-Hsien Cheng receives the Andersen-Clewell Trainee Award.

SOT is the largest toxicology society in the world and it consists of more than 7,800 members from more than 60 countries. Its mission is to create a safer and healthier world by advancing the science and increasing the impact of toxicology.

Dr. Lin’s research team presented multiple award-winning posters and provided services to SOT including Trevor Elwell-Cuddy, who received the SOT Committee on Diversity (CDI) Undergraduate Travel Award to attend the Undergraduate Diversity Program. He presented his poster entitled “The Construction and Application of a Population Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic Model for Methadone in Beagles and Greyhounds.”

Dr. Yi-Hsien Cheng presented two posters entitled, “Probabilistic risk assessment of gold nanoparticles by integrating in vitro and in vivo toxicity with physiologically based pharmacokinetic modeling” and “A General Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic Model for Gold Nanoparticles of Different Sizes with Multiple Administration Routes in Rats.” The former poster was selected by the Risk Assessment Specialty Section and Biological Modeling Specialty Section of SOT for the Andersen-Clewell Trainee Award, and the latter poster was recognized as one of the top 10 best risk-assessment related abstracts by the Risk Assessment Specialty Section of SOT.

Dr. Cheng also received the 2018 Outstanding Postdoctoral Award of the Nanotoxicology Specialty Section of SOT and the SOT Biological Modeling Specialty Section Perry J. Gehring Biological Modeling Endowment Award in recognition of her excellent work. She served as the chairperson for the poster session “Computational Tools for Safety Assessment.”

Dr. Miao Li presented two posters entitled “Application of Population Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic Model for Penicillin G in Dairy Cows to Facilitate Food Safety Assessment” and “A Preliminary Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic Model for Glyphosate in Rats.” Dr. Li received the SOT Biological Modeling Specialty Section Trainee Award and the Postdoctoral Excellence Award of the Regulatory and Safety Evaluation Specialty Section of SOT.

Dr. Li also provided the following services at this meeting: postdoctoral representative for SOT Continuing Education Committee; floater volunteer for SOT continuing education courses; postdoctoral representative for SOT Biological Modeling Specialty Section; peer host for undergraduate student poster tour; member on the Best Paper and Best Abstract Committee for SOT Risk Assessment Specialty Section; member on the Best Paper Committee for SOT Biological Modeling Specialty Section; and on the proposal review committee for SOT Biological Modeling and Risk Assessment Specialty Section.


Dr. Susan Nelson clarifies misconceptions about toxoplasmosis, offers safety tips

Dr. Susan Nelson examines catToxoplasmosis is a disease that can have devastating effects on an unborn child, and many women have been erroneously advised to get rid of their cat if they are pregnant, says Dr. Susan Nelson, veterinarian and clinical professor at Kansas State University's Veterinary Health Center.

"Toxoplasmosis is a devastating disease for some but with proper precautions, a woman does not need to rehome her cat if she becomes pregnant," Dr. Nelson said.

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Dr. Susan Nelson examines cat

 Dr. Susan Nelson says that proper precautions can help cat owners minimize the risk of contracting toxoplasmosis.
Toxoplasmosis is a single-celled parasite known as Toxoplasma gondii. It is most commonly found in areas with hot, humid climates and situated in lower altitudes. More than 60 million people in the U.S. may be infected with the parasite and up to 95 percent of people in some areas of the world may be infected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fortunately, most people with a healthy immune system will experience only mild symptoms if infected. The organism can cause serious health issues for those people who are pregnant or immunocompromised, Dr. Nelson said.

Although people can contract toxoplasmosis from cats, the most common ways to acquire the disease include eating and handling raw meat; drinking unpasteurized goat's milk; eating and handling raw vegetables; drinking contaminated water; and gardening. Other less common modes are eating raw or undercooked oysters, mussels and clams.

Toxoplasmosis is most likely to be spread to an unborn child when the mother is infected just before becoming pregnant or during pregnancy. Even though a pregnant woman may not experience any symptoms, the disease can cause miscarriage of the fetus, a stillborn child or severe damage to the eyes and nervous system of the child, which may not develop until later in life. Women can be tested prior to pregnancy to see if they have already been exposed to toxoplasmosis, as transmission of the disease to an unborn child is uncommon in this situation.

Cats are the definitive host for the organism and they are infected by eating rodents, birds or other small animals that are infected with Toxoplasma. The oocysts that cats shed in their feces are capable of infecting people. Cats can shed millions of these microscopic oocysts for up to three weeks after they have been infected.

Treatment options are available for humans and cats with the disease.

Dr. Nelson offers the following safety precautions to minimize the risk of contracting toxoplasmosis:

• Ensure the cat litter box is changed daily. It takes one to five days after it is shed in a cat's feces for the Toxoplasma parasite to become infective. If you are pregnant or immunocompromised, avoid changing cat litter if possible. If no one else can perform the task, wear disposable gloves and wash your hands with soap and water afterward.

• Keep cats indoors so they cannot hunt and eat rodents, birds and small animals.

• If pregnant, do not adopt or handle stray cats, especially kittens, as they are at a higher risk of shedding the organism. Do not get a new cat while you are pregnant as it may be shedding the organism at time of adoption.

• Feed cats only canned or dried commercial food or well-cooked table food, not raw or undercooked meats.

• Keep your outdoor sandboxes covered so cats cannot defecate in them. 

• Make sure meats are cooked to recommended safe temperatures and freeze meats at subzero temperatures — 0 degrees Fahrenheit — for several days before cooking.

• Peel or wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating, and do not eat raw or undercooked oysters, mussels or clams.

• Do not drink unpasteurized goat's milk and do not feed this to cats as well.

• Wash cutting boards, dishes, counters, utensils and hands with hot soapy water after contact with raw meat, poultry, seafood, or unwashed fruits or vegetables.

• Wear gloves when gardening and during any contact with soil or sand that could be contaminated with cat feces that contain Toxoplasma. Remember to wash hands with soap and water after gardening or if they come in contact with soil or sand.

• Teach children the importance of washing hands to prevent infection.



Regular features

Alumni Events, Development and Continuing Education

VMAA logoThe Veterinary Medical Alumni Association organizes alumni receptions at several of the national annual conferences plus continuing education events and more. This month's section includes coverage of our 2018 Alumni Fellow, Dr. Michael Whitehair '74, and the upcoming Alumni Reunion Weekend in June, plus sad news on the passing of Dr. Fred Oehme, professor emeritus.

See news and upcoming events below ...

Dr. Michael Whitehair is the 2018 Alumni Fellow

Dr. Michael Whitehair

Dr. Michael Whitehair, Abilene, Kansas, is a large animal veterinary practitioner and partner at Abilene Animal Hospital PA. His clinical interests include beef, feedlot and equine medicine. He has been a partner at Abilene Animal Hospital since 1975. Prior to that he practiced at Miami County Veterinary Clinic in Paola, Kansas.

Dr. Whitehair is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and currently serves as the chair of its board of directors. He also is a member of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners, American Association of Equine Practitioners and Academy of Veterinary Consultants. Dr. Whitehair also served as president of the Kansas Veterinary Medical Association in 1993 and earned its Distinguished Service Award in 2008.

Dr. Whitehair is a former board member for the K-State Alumni Association and the K-State College of Veterinary Medicine’s Alumni Association. Additionally, he has assisted the College of Veterinary Medicine in multiple dean searches.

He and his wife, Catherine, have two adult children: Martha and Rebecca. 

Dr. Whitehair earned two degrees from K-State, a bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine in 1972 and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1974.

Link to itinerary

Alumni Reunions

CEVBD National Meeting

Register today at this link!

Or visit our website at: www.vet.k-state.edu/CEVBD-Conf/ 

In Memoriam - Recently Departed Alumni

Dr. William V. Lumb, DVM 1943
Feb. 3, 2018

Dr. David Norman Scarr, DVM 1946
Feb. 16, 2018

Dr. Cecil Wayne Ingmire, DVM 1947
March 10, 2018

Dr. Arthur Daryl Apley, DVM 1964
Feb. 17, 2018

Dr. Laurence Leon Archer, DVM 1980
March 6, 2018

Dr. Frederick Oehme

Dr. Fred OehmeDr. Frederick Oehme, professor emeritus, passed away April 9. He was born in Leitzig, Germany, earned his bachelor's degree and DVM in 1958 from Cornell University. After receiving his DVM, Dr. Oehme went to work at a private practice in Maryland for a year. While earning his master's degree at K-State, he worked as an assistant/associate professor in clinical medicine from 1959 to 1966. In 1966, Dr. Oehme went to the University of Missouri to earn his doctorate. He returned to K-State in 1969 as the director of comparative toxicology laboratories and held this position until his retirement in 2009. He contributed to the education of 52 classes of veterinarians.

Visitation will be held April 12 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home and services will be April13 at 11:00 am at the First Lutheran Church. The family has listed the Oehme Toxicology Fund as one of two options for memorial contributions.

Questions about Alumni or CE events?


Ashley McCowan PhotoAshley McCowan
Alumni and Events Coordinator


Dana ParkerDana Parker
Program Assistant


Annual Conference 2018




News Ticker

More activities and accomplishments in the College of Veterinary Medicine:

New video promotes KSUCVM

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

University Distinguished Professor Dr. Philine Wangemann has been invited to give a keynote lecture at the 55th Inner Ear Biology Workshop. The title of her lecture will be “Videomicroscopy of the developing inner ear: Contractions of the endolymphatic sac expand scala media of the cochlea.”http://www.ieb2018.com/programme/abstracts/philine-wangemann.html

Dr. Peying Fong was selected to mentor Dr. Melanie Gareau, assistant professor in the Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Cell Biology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis. Dr. Gareau’s research focuses on the microbiota-gut-brain axis in models of inflammatory bowel disease. More about Editorial Board Fellowships can be found at: https://physoc.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/hub/journal/14697793/features/editorial-board-fellowship

Carolina Garcia (MS graduate student) and Dr. Hyesuk Seo (Postdoc) from Dr. Weiping Zhang’s laboratory were both awarded travel grants from PATH (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) to cover all expenses for attending the 2nd International VASA Conference (Vaccines for Shigella and ETEC) bi-annual meeting at Mexico City, Mexico, June 11- 14.

Dr. A. Sally Davis was awarded a 2018 K-State Mentoring Fellowship for the proposal “Architecting an Artificial Home for an Atypical Fungus” with Dr. Joseph Kovacs, Critical Care Medicine Department, Clinical Center, NIH and additional collaborator with Dr. X. Susan Sun, Kansas State University. She is also co-chairing the 2018 ACVP-ASIP Symposium will be held on April 24 in San Diego concurrent with the Experimental Biology 2018. This year the symposium topic is “Vector-Borne Diseases: Bridging Scale” and is also co-chaired by Dr. Nicole Gottdenker, associate professor at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. David Renter presented “Ensuring Data Quality in Animal Health Studies” at the Regulatory Affairs Animal Health Seminar Series on March 6 at the K-State Olathe campus.

Dr. Natalia Cernicchiaro presented “Observational study to evaluate the association between whole-feedlot administration of Bovamine Defend, a direct-fed microbial, with fecal shedding of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in commercial feedlot cattle” at the Beef Industry Food Safety Council (BIFSCo) on March 6 in Richardson, Texas.

Chris Omni, MPH in PHPA, was awarded a 2018 Midwestern Public Health Training Center (MPHTC) student scholarship (Region 7) for her field experience “Walk with Ease” targeting Black women.

Dr. Ellyn Mulcahy attended the quarterly meeting of the Kansas Public Health Workforce Development Coordinating Council meeting March 13. She also chaired the Spring 2018 meeting of the MPH Executive Council (department chairs) held March 28.

Rebecca Gasper, MPH in PHPA, presented at the KSU Graduate research Forum “K-State Movement Challenge: Enhancing the Reach and Impact of a Worksite Physical Activity Intervention” March 29.

Heather Poole, MPH in IDZ, presented at the KSU Graduate research Forum “Engaging Public Health Practice and Academic: A Model for Public Health Partnership at Kansas State University” March 29.

Dr. Mike Apley presented, “Challenges in antibiotic use monitoring in feedlot and dairy cattle,” at the American Association of Swine Veterinarians Annual Meeting on March 5.

Dr. Susan Nelson presented, “Separation Anxiety in Dogs: Is Your Dog Just Being Bad, or Could it be Something Else?” at the K-State Olathe Careers & Cases in Veterinary Medicine Lecture Series on March 7.

On March 21, 2018, Dr. Justin Thomason presented, “Pacemakers in Veterinary Medicine: Takes a Lickin’ but Keeps on Tickin,” at the K-State Olathe Careers & Cases in Veterinary Medicine Lecture Series.

Dr. Ronnie Elmore received his certificate from the Center of Excellence for Diversity and Inclusion in Veterinary Medicine from Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine for completion of their online course and projects related to diversity and inclusion.

Michaela MusselmanMichaela Musselman, student worker in the Veterinary Health Center pharmacy, won the state FFA Proficiency Award for Veterinary Science. Her project now goes on to nationals. According to Landa Colvin-Marion, some of Michael's relevant experiences have included training in non-sterile and sterile compounding for animal patients and helping fourth-year veterinary students with medication orders, as well as interacting with veterinary clinicians, veterinary house officers, hospital clients and other staff.

"Michaela is a deserving recipient of recognition for her efforts with her Veterinary Science Project," Landa said. "She is currently studying for her Pharmacy Technician exam, which will give her recognized credentials in the field. She also plans to take an elective course titled 'Pharmaceutical Use in Cattle' during the Summer of 2018."

Some scenes from the All-University Open House on April 7

Open House

Walkin’ Pets Veterinarian & Rehab/Vet Tech Scholarships Submission Period Open

The submission period is open for two scholarships sponsored by Walkin’ Pets by HandicappedPets.com. A $1,000 Veterinarian Scholarship is being offered for doctoral veterinary students, and a $500 Rehab/Vet Tech Scholarship is being offered for canine rehabilitation or veterinary tech students.

The application period for these two scholarships is open Feb. 1-July 31, 2018. Scholarship recipients will be notified by Oct. 1, 2018. Applicants are asked to respond to an essay topic and submit a short online application that can be found here: http://www.handicappedpets.com/vet-scholarships.

Full-time doctoral students entering their senior year in 2018 at an accredited veterinary school are eligible to apply for the Veterinarian Scholarship. The Rehab/Vet Tech Scholarship is open to full-time canine rehabilitation or veterinary tech students entering their graduation year in 2018 at an accredited canine rehabilitation or veterinary tech program.

Walkin’ Pets by HandicappedPets.com, an online pet product company serving the needs of aging, disabled, and injured pets and their pet caretakers, honors the veterinary and canine rehabilitation community with these two scholarships.


New Arrivals/Recent Departures

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

Welcome to:

Dr. Rachel Palinksi, Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology, Fellow (Post Doc)
Mackenzie Showalter, Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Research Assistant
Kimberly Glotzbach, Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Laboratory Client Services Assistant
Dr. Alyssa Comroe, Clinical Sciences, Clinical Assistant Professor

Farewell to:

Nirmala Doddalingappa Nag, Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Research Assistant
Dr. Yaning Tang, Anatomy & Physiology, Fellow (Post Doc)
Dr. Sun Young Sunwoo, Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology, Fellow (Post Doc)


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