June 2019 - Vol. 14, No. 6
Following a national search, Bonnie Rush has been selected as the new dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University.
Dr. Rush, who has been serving as interim dean of the college since 2017, was appointed by Charles Taber, Kansas State University provost and executive vice president. Her appointment begins June 16.
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For more than 150 years, Kansas State University has been a national leader in animal health, biosciences and food safety research. The College of Veterinary Medicine has played an instrumental role in all three areas.
The mission harkens back to the university's land-grant beginnings and it is a mission that former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle highlighted in 2017 when he described Kansas State University as the "Silicon Valley for biodefense."
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The university and its leaders have again been recently highlighted for their biodefense efforts. Two Kansas State University veterinarians and leaders — Drs. Nancy and Jerry Jaax — and their response to an Ebola-related outbreak inspired the recent National Geographic limited series, THE HOT ZONE.
"Nancy and Jerry Jaax are leaders who expanded the university's land-grant mission through their work and expertise in biodefense," Ron Trewyn, the university's NBAF liaison said. "From their work with the U.S. Army at Fort Detrick to their work with researchers in Manhattan, Nancy and Jerry helped make K-State the 'Silicon Valley for biodefense.'"
In 1999, Jerry helped Kansas State University publish the "Homeland Defense Food Safety, Security, and Emergency Preparedness Program." The 100-page document — informally called "The Big Purple Book" — outlined the university's infectious disease research programs and the need for a facility to address three major infectious disease components: plant pathology, animal health and food processing.
That led to the creation of Kansas State University's biocontainment facility called the Biosecurity Research Institute, or BRI, at Pat Roberts Hall. Both Jerry and Nancy played key roles in the development of the institute and Nancy inspired the need for a training lab based on her experience with Ebola.
Jerry and Nancy also assisted in winning the national competition for the federal National Bio and Agro-defense Facility, or NBAF, which is under construction north of the university's Manhattan campus and will replace the aging Plum Island Animal Disease Research Center in New York. Once NBAF becomes operational in 2022-2023, it will be America's foremost animal disease research facility.
As the "Silicon Valley for biodefense," Kansas State University maintains numerous facilities, research collaborations and academic programs devoted to agrodefense and biodefense, including the following list:
• The College of Agriculture.
• The Biosecurity Research Institute, or BRI.
• The federal National Bio and Agro-defense Facility, or NBAF.
• The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Center for Grain and Animal Health Research, which is home to several research units in Manhattan: the Arthropod-Borne Animal Diseases Research Unit, the Grain Quality and Structure Research Unit and the Hard Winter Wheat and Genetics Research Unit.
New findings by researchers at the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine suggest potential pain relief for piglets by administering medicine through the act of nursing.
The scientific methodology is formally referred to as “transmammary delivery.” The basic concept involves injecting a sow with pain-relieving medicine which can be ingested by the sow’s piglets through the milk.
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Dr. Hans Coetzee, head of anatomy and physiology at Kansas State University and his collaborator, is the principal investigator of a multi-institutional research team.
“In the swine industry, piglets regularly undergo painful procedures during process, such as tail docking and castration, which has become an emerging animal welfare concern,” Dr. Coetzee said. “We hypothesized that transmammary delivery of a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) – in this case, firocoxib – would reduce pain associated with processing in piglets. Our findings indicated this technique may safely reduce processing-induced stress and enhance production by increasing weaning weights.”
Dr. Coetzee’s research was funded by the National Pork Board (grant No. 16-118) and resulted in the publication of the study, as well as a provisional patent application. His team consisted of researchers from Kansas State University’s Institute of Computational Comparative Medicine and Department of Mathematics, Iowa State University and Midwest Veterinary Services Inc., the latter of which is operated by Dr. Kelly Lechtenberg, a 1987 alumnus of the College of Veterinary Medicine.
In addition to pain-relief benefits for the piglets, Dr. Coetzee contemplates a potential benefit for the mothers.
“Additional large-scale studies could focus on changes in feed intake, bodyweight and milk composition of sows medicated with firocoxib,” Dr. Coetzee said. “By doing so, we could determine whether the NSAID improves the welfare of the sows in addition to impacting the welfare of the nursing piglets.”
The study was published in the Journal of Animal Science under the title, “Transmammary delivery of firocoxib to piglets reduces stress and improves average daily gain after castration, tail docking, and teeth clipping.”
The communications program at the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine — consisting of Joe Montgomery, director of communications, and Audrey Hambright, public information officer — has been recognized with the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges' 2019 Communications Excellence Award.
K-State's program was praised by judges for comprehensive program excellence that advanced the college's strategic plan.
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"Communications excellence is fundamental to institutional advancement," said Andrew T. Maccabe, the association's chief executive officer. "We congratulate our colleagues at Kansas State University for earning this distinction, and appreciate the role their work is playing in advancing the overall interests of academic veterinary medicine."
Following the completion of a new strategic plan at the college, the communications team consolidated two magazines into one new College of Veterinary Medicine-themed magazine called Wildcat Veterinarian. The new magazine was created to advance understanding and support for key initiatives and priorities in the strategic plan, which include building awareness for their outstanding food animal programs, as well as their responsive and collaborative research and service programs.
"We really appreciate the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges for its support of this award and its support of the communicators who have some unique challenges in promoting veterinary medical education and the veterinary profession," Montgomery said. "We had a third member on our team, Shelby Mettlen, who left our college this spring. Shelby played a significant role in designing and contributing content to the inaugural issue of Wildcat Veterinarian. This award is truly the result of a team effort made possible by the outstanding accomplishments and achievements of our college's faculty, students, staff and alumni, who gave so much great content for our publications and communications."
Judges also recognized their portfolio of communication strategies and tactics, including media relations with the veterinary and scientific trade press, broad-based and creative use of social media, strong collaboration with Hill's Pet Nutrition in coordinating the announcement of the largest gift in the history of the college, and providing support for the Kansas State University Diagnostic Laboratory.
The judging team consisted of communication professionals representing member organizations of the Federation of Associations of Schools of the Health Professions in Washington, D.C. Judges scored nominations from five competing schools using an empirical process that assessed criteria such as quality and scope of the program, leadership and innovation in program development, strategic orientation and other factors.
The award includes a $1,000 honorarium, a commemorative, and public recognition. It will be formally presented during the annual meeting of the Association of Veterinary Advancement Professionals, at 8 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 1, at the Courtyard Washington/Convention Center in Washington, D.C.
The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges board of directors established the Communications Excellence Award in 2013 to recognize the important role of communications in advancing academic veterinary medicine and the profession, inspire higher level of performance and foster collaboration among member institutions.
The association is a nonprofit membership organization working to protect and improve the health and welfare of animals, people and the environment around the world by advancing academic veterinary medicine. Members include 49 accredited veterinary medical colleges in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
The College of Veterinary Medicine hosted its annual Senior Honors Banquet on May 16 at the Hilton Garden Inn. Faculty, staff, students, family members and donors celebrated the college’s award recipients.
The college recognized the senior class of students on their receipt of $187,590 in scholarships through 61 different scholarship awards.
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Emily Eppler, second-year veterinary student, was one of 15 students nationwide chosen for an American Kennel Club scholarship.
The American Kennel Club (AKC), which is the world’s largest purebred dog registry and advocate for all dogs, makes an annual commitment to students pursuing their education in veterinary studies through the AKC Veterinary Outreach Scholarship program.
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This scholarship is designed to support individuals with a background of participation in AKC events and programs, who seek to promote animal health and medicine. A total of $35,000 in scholarship money was awarded.
“I am blessed and honored to be awarded the AKC Veterinary Outreach Scholarship,” Emily said. “These funds will help support my academic goals of becoming a veterinary orthopedic surgeon as I head into my second year of veterinary curriculum at K-State. As the AKC Student Ambassador at K-State, I look forward to exploring the opportunities available with this new relationship between the AKC and K-State.”
“The recipients of this scholarship are truly dedicated to the world of purebred dogs and the health and well-being of animals. They have worked hard to balance their demanding school schedules with participation in AKC events,” said Mari-Beth O’Neill, vice president of sport services. “We are very proud of them and look forward to seeing their impact on the future of veterinary medicine.”
Braxton Butler, third-year veterinary student from Virgil, Kansas, has been awarded a $5,000 scholarship from the National Livestock Companies consisting of National Livestock Credit Corporation and National Livestock Commission Association.
The award was presented to Braxton at the National Livestock Annual Meetings in Oklahoma City in March.
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Overall, National Livestock presented two veterinary medicine scholarships and 22 undergraduate agriculture scholarships, totaling $54,000, were presented this year to deserving current college students and/or high school seniors.
“I am very honored to have received this scholarship from National Livestock,” Butler said. “After school I plan on locating to a rural practice where I can work alongside National Livestock and their clients in a relationship that will hopefully benefit both local producers and the beef industry as a whole.”
To be eligible for the annual scholarships, students must be attending or planning to attend an accredited university pursuing a degree program in agriculture or an agriculture-related program. Students must also be a family member of a customer of the National Livestock Companies or be recommended by a customer of the National Livestock Companies. A minimum grade point average of 2.75 must be maintained.
For more information on the National Livestock Companies Scholarship Program, visit our website at www.nationallivestock.com.
We’re "‘jazzed" to host this year’s Rabies in the Americas (RITA) conference in Kansas City! The committee is planning an informative program with innovative technology, intriguing research, and updated protocols and procedures, with activities to highlight what Kansas City has to offer. We want to make the 30th RITA extra special! Mark your calendars for Oct. 27-Nov. 1, 2019. You can now visit our website for additional information. We’ll continue to publish information online as we get closer to conference time. Registration will open soon! Don’t miss out on this year’s RITA Conference!
By Brenna Leahy
Dr. Megan Niederwerder, assistant professor in diagnostic medicine and pathobiology, delivered a talk entitled "Risk of African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV) in Feed" at the International ASF Forum in Ottawa, Canada, April 30 - May 1.
Her talk was part of the Enhancing Biosecurity at the Border session, where she served as an expert panelist.
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"African swine fever is currently the most significant threat to worldwide swine production,” Dr. Niederwerder said. “Protecting the North American swine industry from ASF is of critical importance for animal health and producer livelihood. With no effective vaccine or treatment, preventing introduction of the virus is the primary goal of countries free of the disease.”
This was an invitation-only event with approximately 150 participants. Dr. Niederwerder was one of two university academic researchers invited to give a presentation and participate as an expert panelist. Dr. Niederwerder leads a team that investigates the risk and mitigation of the current circulating strain of ASFV spreading in feed and feed ingredients. Their work has demonstrated that ASFV is capable of surviving in feed exposed to transboundary shipment conditions and can be transmitted through the natural consumption of contaminated feed.
“ASF is a devastating transboundary animal disease of global concern,” Dr. Niederwerder said. “The forum provided the opportunity for individuals from the Americas, as well as others from around the world, to come together and exchange ideas on addressing this international disease threat.”
The forum was co-chaired by Dr. Jaspinder Komal and Dr. Jack Shere, chief veterinary officers for Canada and the United States, respectively. Greg Ibach, the undersecretary of agriculture for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, provided opening remarks on the importance of the forum for protecting North American pork production.
The 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 news and photos from the Alumni Reunion Weekend and 81st Annual Conference for Veterinarians, plus updates on recently departed alumni.
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Highlights from Alumni Reunion Weekend
Dr. Cameon Ohmes receives Outstanding Young Alumnus Award during Reunion Weekend
Dr. Cameon Ohmes, De Soto, Kansas, is the recipient of the 2019 Outstanding Young Alumnus Award for her notable achievements since graduating from Kansas State University. The award was presented by the K-State College of Veterinary Medicine and the K-State Veterinary Medical Alumni Association during the Awards Brunch at the Reunion Weekend held June 1.
Dr. Ohmes received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Kansas State University in 2009, a master’s degree in biomedical science from Kansas State University in 2014, and a Master of Business Administration from the Kelley School of Business, Bloomington, Indiana, in 2017.
Dr. Ohmes’ training included an internship and residency in large animal internal medicine at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, Lexington, Kentucky, and Kansas State University leading to her board certification by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. Upon completion of her residency, she joined the Veterinary Technical Services team at Bayer Animal Health to further her passion of influencing the health and well-being of animals on a large scale. Dr. Ohmes supports the marketing team and leads the post-approval research for the farm and companion animal businesses and also serves as an adjunct professor at the Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine, Harrogate, Tennessee, mentoring students through their clinical rotations.Read more about Dr. Ohmes
Family night at the Sunset Zoo highlights 81st Annual Conference for Veterinarians
In Memoriam - Recently Departed Alumni
Dr. J. Alan Bradbury, DVM 1944
Questions about Alumni or CE events?Contact:
More activities and accomplishments in the College of Veterinary Medicine:
Dr. Mike Apley attended the American Association of Bovine Practitioners Executive Committee Legislative Fly-In meeting in Washington, D.C., with the AVMA Government Relations Division offices. This is a venue that provides updates from key federal agencies and an opportunity to visit the offices of U.S. senators and representatives.
Dr. Liz Santschi provided surgical and lameness consultation support to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission for the week leading up to the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks races.
Drs. Walter Renberg and Raghavendra Amachawadi took 10 students to Bangalore and Mysore, India May 18-29 as part of the CS 825 International Veterinary Study Tours course. This is a faculty-led trip for students to explore veterinary medicine in a foreign country.
Drs. Melissa Nau and David Eshar's journal article, entitled "Rostral mandibular fracture repair in a pet bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps)"(Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 252.8 (2018): 982-988) has been highlighted in a commentary by Dr. Adolf Maas in the most recent issue of Clinician's Brief.
Dr. Brad Crauer will represent the College of Veterinary Medicine for coordination with University, Riley County and State Emergency Operations Centers for emergency animal sheltering and transport.
Congratulations to Dr. Robert DeLong for being selected for the 2019 Big 12 Faculty Fellow. Dr. DeLong will receive $1,907 in support of his visit to University of Kansas.
Congrats to second-year/doctoral student MaRyka Smith. The KSU Veterinary Research Scholars Program received $5,000 in funding from the American Society for Investigative Pathology for MaRyka to work with Dr. Sally Davis this summer.
Vet Med ROCKS, the Recruitment and Outreach Club of Kansas State, is going to be holding summer day camp from Aug. 2-6, for high school, college, middle school and grade school students (see registration page for detailed schedule and additional information).
New Arrivals/Recent Departures
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Lifelines is published each month by the Marketing and Communications Office at the College of Veterinary Medicine. The editors are Joe Montgomery, email@example.com and Brenna Leahy, firstname.lastname@example.org.