March 2020 - Vol. 15, No. 3
Following directives from the administration at Kansas State University, the College of Veterinary Medicine is on limited operations status through the end of the semester as a strategy to minimize the risk of exposing anyone to coronavirus. This means the campus is closed and university activities are canceled or postponed till further notice.
Curriculum for the first three years of instruction is being delivered to students online. Fortunately, most of the laboratory instruction is already completed for the semester. Clinical instruction for fourth-year students in the Veterinary Health Center is limited to pressing/urgent/emergency cases only. The Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory remains operational to ensure continuity of support for NAHLN, Rabies testing, producers and clients.
Kansas State University has created a dedicated COVID-19 web page where more information and updates can be found. The link for this page is also posted on the College of Veterinary Medicine’s home page. We will share updates with the public when any new information becomes available.
By Erin Pennington
Amid increasing worldwide concern about a novel coronavirus, COVID-19, Kansas State University has licensed a technology through a research collaboration in the College of Veterinary Medicine that may lead to the production of an antiviral drug to treat coronaviruses and noroviruses.
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Drs. Yunjeong Kim and Kyeong-Ok "KC" Chang, virologists in the College of Veterinary Medicine, and William Groutas, a medicinal chemist at Wichita State University, have been using National Institutes of Health grants to work on human norovirus therapeutics and recently received an additional $3.7 million grant to develop antiviral drugs to treat Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, better known as MERS human coronavirus. Their work extends to other human viruses that have a similar viral protease, such as rhinoviruses and the newly emerged human coronavirus, COVID-19.
No antiviral drugs are yet available for human norovirus or coronaviruses, which include SARS, MERS and COVID19.
CVM hosts annual Phi Zeta Research Day
By Piper Brandt
The College of Veterinary Medicine celebrated student research projects with the annual Phi Zeta Research Day on Tuesday, March 3.
Phi Zeta Research Day spotlights the research efforts of graduate students who are working toward a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Master of Science, Master of Public Health and/or a doctorate in the College of Veterinary Medicine.
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The event is organized by the Sigma Chapter of the Society of Phi Zeta, a professional honors society whose name is based on the Latin word philozoi, which means "love for animals." The chapter's mission is to promote scholarship and research that improves the health and welfare of animals.
Students and faculty began the day with lunch and a keynote address by Dr. Adam Boyko, associate professor in biomedical sciences at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. The title of the lecture was "Dog DNA: a Journey of Discovery and a Quest for Healthier Dogs."
"Dr. Boyko's keynote speech was thoroughly engaging and highlighted a new and rapidly growing field in veterinary medicine — genetic analysis," said Dr. Nora Springer, assistant professor and president of Phi Zeta. "Several students have mentioned an interest in veterinary genetics as a career option after hearing Dr. Boyko's presentation."
Dr. Boyko's research focuses on genomic investigation of dogs as a model of genetic disease and evolutionary genetics. One aspect of this work is understanding the evolution and genetics of village dogs, the semi-feral pariah dogs found in much of the world today.
The keynote lecture was followed by a formal poster session and oral abstract presentations by undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate researchers affiliated with the college.
"Phi Zeta Day showcases the depth and breadth of research in the College of Veterinary Medicine," Dr. Springer said. "It's also a wonderful opportunity for veterinary students, graduate students and house officers to practice their presentation skills in a supportive environment. We hope that research opportunities during veterinary, graduate and postdoctoral training inspires incorporation of research in their future careers."
Applied/Clinical Science category awardees:
Basic Science category awardees:
Applied/Clinical Science category awardees:
Basic Science category awardees:
Special awards and scholarships
Benjamin Kurz Research Scholarship: Marissa Komp, second-year veterinary student.
Miller Pathology Scholarship Award: Keith Lewy, fourth-year veterinary student.
Dr. Harish C. and Ved K. Minocha Scholarship: Changin Oh, doctoral student in pathobiology; Ana Stoian, doctoral student in pathobiology; Yin Wang, research assistant and doctoral student in pathobiology.
Zoetis Research Award for Excellence in Research by a Faculty Member: Dr. Mike Sanderson, diagnostic medicine and pathobiology professor.
ASR Ganta Graduate Award: Krishani Perera, doctoral student in pathobiology.
Emily Eppler, second-year veterinary student from Manhattan, is one of 54 veterinary students selected from around the world to receive a $5,000 scholarship supported through a partnership between Merck Animal Health and the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF).
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The recipients, who study at colleges in India, Canada, the Caribbean islands and several U.S. states, are either second- or third-year students and are planning a career in companion animal or large animal medicine.
“I feel blessed to be one of the recipients of the 2020 Merck Animal Health Scholarship,” Eppler said. “This scholarship will help relieve some of the financial strains as I progress through the second-year veterinary curriculum at Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. It is inspiring to know that the American Veterinary Medical Foundation and Merck Animal Health are investing in my goal of becoming a small animal orthopedic surgeon.”
“Whether they’re helping to keep pets healthy or aid in ensuring a safe, high-quality protein supply, veterinarians play a critical role not only within the animal health industry, but also within society,” said Scott Bormann, senior vice president, North America, Merck Animal Health, in a prepared statement.
The scholarships will provide financial assistance to students to support their educational and professional goals and opportunities, according to Karen Davis, chair, AVMF board of advisors.
Award recipients from U.S. and international veterinary schools accredited through the AVMA were selected based on academic excellence, financial need, leadership and area of interest within the profession.
By Cheyenne Swoope
The college is dropping the Graduate Record Examination as a requirement of its application process beginning with the 2020-2021 application cycle. At the January 2020 faculty meeting, voting constituents elected to adjust the admissions procedures, including elimination of the GRE as a requirement of the college's comprehensive application process.
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Dr. Callie Rost, assistant dean for admissions, led the discussion amongst the members of the admissions committee. Faculty members on the committee represent each of the three departments in the college: anatomy and physiology, clinical sciences, and diagnostic medicine and pathology. The committee explored options that ultimately led to a unanimous agreement for the removal of the GRE scores from the application process, both as a requirement and as a consideration.
"The K-State College of Veterinary Medicine takes a tremendous amount of pride in our student success," Dr. Rost said. "We look for ways to continuously improve upon the veterinary medical profession, and we believe that factors such as veterinary experience, community engagement and situational awareness can be better predictors for the adjustments that are necessary to be successful in our professional program than standardized scores."
Dr. Rost said the admissions committee found the GRE to be a poor predictor of academic success, acclimation and adjustment to the rigor of the professional program. The GRE has traditionally failed to provide meaningful documentation of a positive correlation between scores and pass rates for the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination. Furthermore, Rost said empirical evidence suggests the GRE has historically been biased toward certain contemporaries.
"We feel the time is right to reconsider the selection parameters for our admissions process," Dr. Rost said. "Given the college's mission for diversity, inclusivity and excellence in the classroom, we believe this is a step in the right direction for our program, our students, our graduates and for the entire veterinary medical profession."
By Piper Brandt
A new study from researchers with the CVM reports the current progress and limitations of using nanoparticle-based drug formulations to treat cancer. Nanoparticles — tiny particles between 1 and 100 nanometers in size — can be used to deliver medication directly to cancer cells.
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The researchers' study, "Meta-analysis of nanoparticle delivery to tumors using a physiologically based pharmacokinetic modeling and simulation approach," was recently published in the journal ACS Nano. Lead author was Dr. Yi-Hsien Cheng, a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Dr. Zhoumeng Lin, assistant professor of anatomy and physiology and faculty member of the Institute of Computational Comparative Medicine in the College of Veterinary Medicine; Dr. Dr.Lin; and former K-State researchers Drs. Chunla He, Jim Riviere and Nancy Monteiro-Riviere. Riviere and Monteiro-Riviere are university distinguished professors emeriti of the college.
This method may provide an alternative to traditional chemotherapy drugs, which can kill healthy cells in addition to cancer cells.
"Nanoparticles can be engineered to have different physicochemical and biological properties, such as different shapes, sizes, charges and surface coatings, to provide a multifunctional platform for diagnosis and targeting therapy," Dr. Cheng said. "Examples include, but are not limited to, self-assembled polymeric micelles and liposomes that can be encapsulated with anticancer drugs to enhance tumor targeting and on-site drug releasing."
In the last 15 years, a large amount of research has been devoted to the design of nanomedicines with different physicochemical properties that have higher cancer therapeutic indices. Many of these nanomedicines have been shown to be effective in reducing tumor size, but very few formulations have been approved for human use.
"To improve our understanding of cancer nanomedicine, we need to know the current progress of the delivery efficiency of nanoparticles to the tumor site, and the key factors that determine nanoparticle tumor delivery efficiency," Dr. Lin said.
Dr. Lin and his co-authors used a physiologically based pharmacokinetic, or PBPK, modeling and simulation approach to analyze 200 pharmacokinetic studies, which involve 376 datasets that cover a wide range of nanomedicines.
By using the PBPK modeling and simulation approach, Lin and his team found mean and median delivery efficiencies, at the last sampling time point, of only 2.23% and 0.76% of the injected dose, respectively. The mean and median delivery efficiencies were 2.24% and 0.76% of injected dose at 24 hours, and were decreased to 1.23% and 0.35% of injected dose at 168 hours, respectively, after intravenous administration.
These results show the efficiency of nanomedicine used for cancer treatment has room for improvement. If only a small percentage of the injected nanoparticles get delivered to the tumor, they cannot work as efficiently as they were designed to be.
"These surprisingly low tumor delivery and cancer cell targeting efficiencies suggest the importance of examining key physicochemical and pharmacokinetic determinants of nanoparticle disposition within the tumor microenvironment," said Dr. Riviere, the founding director of the Institute of Computational Comparative Medicine.
"While there is great potential of nanomedicine in treating cancer and there has been some progress in the past two decades, it is important to review the current progress and identify knowledge gaps to guide future studies," said Dr. Monteiro-Riviere, the founding director of the Nanotechnology Innovation Center of Kansas State.
"It is a challenge to systemically analyze hundreds of datasets from different studies with different study designs using different nanoparticles, but PBPK modeling makes this analysis possible because it is a mechanism-based modeling approach that considers the physiology of the organism and the physicochemical and pharmacokinetic properties of the nanoparticles in the analysis," Dr. Lin said. "PBPK models also have the advantage of robust extrapolation capability, across species, exposure doses, routes and duration."
Students interested in professional health careers now have an option to earn a master's degree that can be completed in one calendar year. The College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University has announced the launch of a new one-year master's degree in biomedical science.
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This three-semester program is the first of its kind in Kansas and is specifically designed to bridge the gap between undergraduate and postgraduate studies.
Classes for the one year master's program are scheduled to start on June 8. Application is made through the Graduate school at Kansas State University, while the one-year master's program in biomedical science is administered through the College of Veterinary Medicine.
By Bill Felber
A new diagnostic test developed by CEEZAD researchers, in collaboration with Silver Lake Research Compact, to fight the spread of African Swine Fever is getting important attention within the animal health community. Dr. Juergen Richt, Director of CEEZAD, was interviewed Feb. 24 in Washington by Elaine Reyes of China Global Television Network (CGTN).
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CEEZAD plays role in a newly developed pen-side test for ASF
The two discussed CEEZAD’s role in the development of mitigation strategies for African Swine Fever, an illness of swine that is causing billions of dollars in damage to the Chinese pork industry.
They also discussed CEEZAD’s role in development of the point-of-care Pencheck test (www.penchecktest.com) to diagnose ASF. Dr. Richt told Reyes that this new diagnostic tool “could be a game-changer” in the effort to improve rapid, easy-to-use, and cheap pen-side diagnostic tests for ASF.
The United States Animal Health Association’s Feb. 26 bulletin also highlighted CEEZAD’s role in development of the PenCheck™ test for ASF.
Dr. Richt and the CEEZAD team conducted an independent clinical evaluation of the accuracy of PenCheckTM. That evaluation found the test’s sensitivity to be 95.5 percent, with a specificity of 99.3 percent. In the sensitivity tests, PenCheckTM correctly identified 21 out of 22 pigs with moderate to severe symptoms of African swine fever. In the specificity tests, PenCheckTM was found to be very dependable. In 144 pigs with no prior exposure to ASF, PenCheckTM correctly determined 143 pigs did not carry the virus.
ASF is widespread in Africa, eastern Europe and Asia, and has caused billions of dollars in damage in China, the world’s largest pig producer.
Silver Lake Research Corporation makes and manufactures PenCheckTM, a low-cost rapid African swine fever test on the market. PenCheckTM can be easily administered pen-side with results in just 20 minutes, to help prevent the spread of the deadly ASF virus. African swine fever has killed tens of millions of pigs across Asia and Europe, with an enormous and costly impact on the global pork market.
"It is remarkable to put together a rapid test like PenCheckTM so quickly; in fact, it is almost unheard of," says Erik Serrao, vice president of Sales and business development at Silver Lake Research Corporation. "PenCheckTM can help save millions of pigs around the world. We wanted to make it as easy as possible to test and remove any infected animals to prevent further damage."
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 the monthly listings of recently departed alumni and links to their obituaries, plus a new link for submitting nominations for Alumni Recognition Awards.
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NEW - Submit nominations for Alumni Recognition Awards online
See our new online nomination form to nominate a fellow alumnus for one of our many annual recognition awards, presented at the national conferences: VMX, WVC, AVMA and the Annual Conference for Veterinarians. See full details at the link below.
In Memoriam - Recently Departed Alumni (click highlighted names for obituary)
Dr. John A. Stanberry, DVM 1953
Dr. Karl Ross Hansen, DVM 1960
Questions about Alumni or CE events?Contact:
More activities and accomplishments in the College of Veterinary Medicine:
The Kansas State University Veterinary Health Center Dispensary announced it now has two technicians certified in Technician Product Verification (TPV). Joyce Nietfeld, CPhT (Pharmacy Manager) and Molly Carstenson, B.S., CPhT, CSPT (Compounding Manager) have both passed their national exam for this credential. The TPV Certificate demonstrates their skill in safeguarding patients from dispensing errors and expresses their commitment to excellence as pharmacy technicians. The dispensary is elated to be able to bring this level of training, service and safety to its patients. Both Joyce and Molly completed a 15 hour training program, which is a requirement to be eligible to sit for the national examination.
Alex Zabiegala, class of 2022, was awarded the prestigious AVMA/AVMF 2nd Chance Award. This will allow her to conduct research this summer with Dr. KC Chang. Last summer, Alex was a member of our Veterinary Research Scholars Program (VRSP), and with this funding she will be able to participate in VRSP for a second summer. She will receive funding ($6,000) as a stipend and for travel to the National Veterinary Scholar Symposium in San Diego in July. Alex is also interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in feline virology with Dr. Chang.
Anatomy and Physiology Ph.D. students, Andrew Curtis and Miriam Martin, presented their research at the American Society of Animal Science Midwest Meeting, as well as at Cattlemen’s Day. Andrew presented research on “A Subcutaneous Anaplasmosis Vaccine Implant” and Miriam presented on “An Assessment of the Diagnostic Sensitivity and Specificity of Pain Biomarkers in Cattle Using ROC Curves.”
Dr. Megan Niederwerder was an invited speaker at the Michigan Professional Pork Producers Symposium in Lansing, Michigan, on Feb. 20, where she delivered two talks. The titles of her talks were "Gut Microbiome and Respiratory Health" and "Risk of Foreign Animal Disease in Feed." Dr. Niederwerder was also recently featured by BioNexus KC on it's "Expert Exchange" page to talk about seeking ways to prevent swine epidemics:
The 2020 Dog N Jog 5K & 10K and 1-mile Pup Trot originally scheduled Saturday, April 4 has been canceled!
EquiFest of Kansas is one of the largest equine trade shows in the Midwest. It has been held in Topeka since 2016 but was held in Salina this year. The breed exhibitions featured more than 12 different breeds and associations. There were many workshop speakers, arena demonstrations, and a horse judging competition during the event. Drs. Katie Delph and Dylan Lutter provided live demos. Drs. Chris Blevins and Jason Grady attended/helped with the event along with Alison Brunner, Jamie Maike, veterinary assistants; Westley Daily, veterinary nurse; Ashley VanMeter, nurse supervisor; and fourth-year students Ashley Anderson and Nicole Hansen.
This year, 36 participants completed the 2019-2020 AAVMC Leadership Academy. They participated in three face-to-face meetings in Indianapolis in September, at Texas A&M in December and in Washington, D.C. in March, as well as peer mentoring calls and activities. The program was comprehensive and included speakers on adaptive leadership, emotional intelligence, effective teams, strategic thinking in disruptive times, conflict management, fundraising and development, resilience and well-being, as well as communication, media and advocacy training. Seven ACVP diplomates among the 36 participants are photographed below.
Explore a Career in Veterinary Diagnostic Medicine
Are you looking to gain more experience in veterinary diagnostic medicine or explore your career options?
The Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (KSVDL) is offering multiple paid technician internships for Summer 2020. This competitive program offers individuals the opportunity to gain experience and training within the KSVDL, as well as observe career possibilities in our laboratories first-hand.
The technical internships are open to both students and non-students. This includes individuals enrolled in universities, community colleges, certificate programs and technical schools as well as recent graduates and individuals looking to expand their career options.
To apply, please submit the following items with the subject line: Summer Internship Opportunities at KSVDL
Applications must be submitted to:Dr. Barbara Lutjemeier
Dr. Sasha Thomason
New Arrivals/Recent Departures
Click here to see the New Arrivals/Recent Departures at the CVM …
Taylor Growcock, Veterinary Health Center, Veterinary Assistant
Tyler Doerksen, Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Research Assistant
Alishah Harris, Veterinary Health Center, Client Services Assistant
Joshua Willix, Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology, Research Associate
Dr. Ryane Englar, Clinical Sciences, Clinical Assistant Professor
Kimberly Malo, KSVDL, Client Services Assistant
Robert Mugabi, Diagnostic Medicine Pathobiology, Associate Scientist
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 Piper Brandt, firstname.lastname@example.org.