Kansas State University has signed a new preclinical research and option agreement with Tonix Pharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, to develop a vaccine candidate for the prevention of COVID-19. The inventor of the technology, Dr. Waithaka Mwangi, professor of diagnostic pathobiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine.
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Dr. Mwangi will direct the research, which is based on a new vaccine platform that his research team developed for bovine parainfluenza 3 virus, known as BPI3V, which is closely related to human parainfluenza 3 virus.
A new study by DMP researchers is the first to confirm that SARS-CoV-2 cannot be transmitted to people by mosquitoes. Dr. Stephen Higgs, associate vice president for research and director of the university's Biosecurity Research Institute, or BRI, together with colleagues had the findings published July 17 by Nature Scientific Reports.
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The article, "SARS-CoV-2 failure to infect or replicate in mosquitoes: an extreme challenge," details the study's findings, which provide the first experimental investigation on the capacity of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 disease, to infect and be transmitted by mosquitoes.
Dr. Megan Niederwerder demonstrates how additives can help mitigate risk of ASFV transmission through feed
New research at Kansas State University is demonstrating that the risk of spreading a deadly animal virus through feed can be effectively reduced through the use of different feed additives. African swine fever, or ASF, is a rapidly spreading and emerging transboundary animal disease that threatens pork production and human food security worldwide..
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Although African swine fever virus does not affect humans, it has reduced pork availability in some countries with afflicted pigs.
The dream of being a veterinarian may be easier to reach than one might think, especially when students prepare early. A special program in the College of Veterinary Medicine is designed to help undergraduate students get on track through its Early Admission program..
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“Early Admission helped with my academic objectives by providing me with a grade-point-average guideline to keep myself above in order to qualify for the program while in high school,” explained Bailey Wright, a fourth-year veterinary student at K-State. “It allowed me to maintain myself within the program while completing my undergraduate coursework.”
Bailey said the Early Admission Program made her a “more focused” student while she was taking classes that would form the academic foundation for her veterinary school career.
Interested students will have an opportunity apply for the Early Admission Program beginning on Aug. 1 and running through Feb. 1, after which selections will be announced.
Bailey Wright (left) accepts an Early Admission Scholar certificate from mentor Dr. Brittany McCary, DVM class of 2018. Bailey was part of the Early Admission class of 2013. She is now a fourth-year student and plans to graduate with the DVM class of 2021.
“The goal of the Early Admission Program is to recruit exceptional candidates for admission to the College of Veterinary Medicine and provide unique experiences that guide students towards advanced clinical and research training to produce future leaders in veterinary medicine,” said Dr. Caroline Rost, assistant dean for admissions. “Bailey is a great example of student who made the most of the opportunities within the program.
“The Early Admission Program allowed me to branch out and try new activities while in undergraduate studies here at K-State,” Bailey said. “I was able to explore activities other than only things related to veterinary medicine. For example, Wildcat Warm-up, sorority life, pre-health ambassadors, mortar board senior honor society, volunteer opportunities both locally and internationally, and leadership positions within each of those areas. I firmly believe that being able to branch out into other activities allowed me to develop skills in communication, leadership, and team development that have been extremely advantageous during veterinary school and will continue to be utilized once I graduate and begin to practice.”
Dr. Rost said the program is open to high school seniors who have been admitted as an undergraduate student to Kansas State University with an interest in veterinary medicine and a 29 or above composite ACT score (or SAT equivalent). Students must currently be enrolled in high school and plan to attend Kansas State University in the Fall semester following their high school graduation.
Bailey works with a pre-vet student during a day camp session with Vet Med ROCKS in 2018.
“Another advantage is that the Early Admission program keeps you connected with the veterinary college directly throughout your undergraduate studies,” Bailey said. “Program members are paired with a veterinary student mentor and are invited to attend meetings at the vet school. This allowed me to feel involved and learn more about the vet school before I began my education there.”
More information about the program and how to apply is posted online at http://www.vet.k-state.edu/admissions/early-admit/.
“Ultimately, veterinary medicine is a wonderful career field with countless opportunities that I feel lucky to be part of,” Bailey said. “And I could not recommend the Early Admission program more as a crucial stepping stone in my path to achieving these future career goals.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Vet Met ROCKS summer day camp will take place in a virtual format this year — and it's free of charge.
"We hope to still interact with campers through Facebook Live and present information on interesting topics, assign tasks to campers and allow campers to ask questions and upload photos of their projects for camp counselors to evaluate," said Michael Demmin, a third-year veterinary student and summer camp chair for Vet Med ROCKS, the Recruitment and Outreach Club of Kansas State, in the College of Veterinary Medicine.
From Aug. 3-6, students in kindergarten through the eighth grade will have the opportunity to learn about a different system/organ every day. Participants will get to enjoy fun hands-on activities using household items to enhance learning about each day's topic. Each day will end with a live Q&A session where campers can ask questions to current K-State veterinary students about the daily topic or veterinary school.
On Aug. 7, the club will host a virtual rounds session for high school and college students where clinicians will run through clinical cases. A Q&A session will also be conducted by admissions representatives and current students to get details of how to get into veterinary school and life as a vet student.
Preregister at vet.k-state.edu/asp/rocks/ and follow the Vet Med ROCKS Facebook page for updates.
New vaccine development work at Kansas State University may soon help confront African swine fever, a disease that is endemic in sub-Saharan Africa. It has spread to different regions of Europe and Asia, causing devastating losses worth billions of dollars in China, Vietnam and other surrounding countries where pork is the most popular food item.
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This August, industry professionals are helping practicing veterinarians who are considering a new career, transition to one in industry, government or at a nonprofit organization.
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The online workshop, "Veterinary Career Transition Virtual Workshop," is a collaboration by the Center for the Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine and Kansas State University's Olathe campus.
The career transition workshop is broken into sessions that are offered throughout August in an effort to accommodate the busy schedules of practicing veterinarians and limit screen fatigue. Sessions will be 6-8 p.m. Aug. 12-14 and Aug. 20-21, and from 3-6 p.m. on Aug. 22.
"K-State has heard from many practicing veterinarians over the years that burnout is a significant factor veterinarians face in clinical practice," said Debbie Kirchhoff, executive director of strategic initiatives at K-State Olathe. "We are proud to partner with Dr. Valerie Ragan and her team at Virginia- Maryland to offer this needed workshop to help those practicing veterinarians who are ready to make the switch to a new career."
The workshop is structured as a series of short lectures, individual and group activities, discussions, expert panels and networking opportunities.
Throughout these units, topics will cover career and self-assessment, resume building, professional networking, job searching and other key career transition issues. Participants also will learn about career opportunities in public and corporate veterinary medicine and ones in the animal health industry.
Sections are being led by professionals in the American Association of Industry Veterinarians, Dechra Pharmaceuticals PLC, Bayer AG, Zoetis Inc. and veterinarians employed in federal and state positions.
Registration for the noncredit workshop is $195. Registration is limited to 50 people and closes at midnight on Aug. 5.
The program has been approved for 8 continuing education credits.
Register by visiting olathe.k-state.edu/profdev.
Environmental considerations important, but so are social, economic matters
In agriculture, the word sustainability is often associated with environmental topics, but a senior official with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association said it also has economic and social ties.
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“The three pillars of sustainability are economic, environmental and social, and there are ways that cattle ranchers can impact each of these on a local level,” said Myriah Johnson, NCBA’s senior director of sustainability research and recent guest on the Kansas State University Beef Cattle Institute Cattle Chat podcast. NCBA is a contractor to the beef checkoff and her research is funded through checkoff support.
Johnson said producers need to first focus on economics; “If we don’t make money on our operations, they are not sustainable.”
K-State Research and Extension agricultural economist Dustin Pendell said “producers won’t know where they stand economically without collecting data. It is important to have benchmarks to measure by.”
Veterinarian and Beef Cattle Institute director Brad White advised producers to consider both income and expenses to find a balance between the two.
Another economic factor that also has environmental implications are transition plans.
“When thinking of transition plans, we focus on handing down the ranch from one generation to the next, but there is also an environmental impact in reducing land fragmentation,” Johnson said.
When land is fragmented, subdivisions often are created and new roads are built, which can lead to far-reaching implications for wildlife.
Johnson said that water management and the use of diesel fuel are two other environmental factors within a rancher’s control. “When we burn diesel fuel, that is a resource that can contribute toward greenhouse gases so we need to consider ways to be efficient in using that resource,” Johnson said, using an example of maximizing driving routes as one way to best use diesel fuel.
“Not only does that have environmental benefits, but it also has an economic advantage because there is a direct cost for running the truck,” White said.
Johnson’s third pillar is social sustainability: “Worker safety is an example of social sustainability. It is often something ranchers don’t think a lot about.”
She encouraged cattle producers to have “tailgate conversations” with employees where they discuss an emergency action plan and identify ways to reduce hazards.
An added benefit of these conversations, White said, is the likelihood of employee retention. “With planning and training, we are able to minimize employee loss,” he said.
Johnson and the K-State experts said six key points to manage sustainability on a cattle operation include:
By Brooke Neiberger
The K-State Veterinary Health Center is looking for volunteer K9 blood donors. Just like people, dogs have diseases or injuries that require blood transfusions. Many of our canine patients receive transfusions; the dogs enrolled in the Canine Blood Donor Program provide the blood products for them. The demand for blood products for our patients increases every year.
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We need volunteer blood donors to ensure that every patient in need can be treated.
Healthy dogs 1 to 5 years of age and weighing more than 55 pounds can safely donate a unit of blood every eight weeks.
Canine blood donors will receive an annual health screening consisting of physical examination, appropriate vaccinations, blood tests such as a complete blood cell count, serum chemistry, heartworm test and a stool examination for intestinal parasites. For the protection of the donor and the blood supply, we provide monthly preventatives for heartworms, fleas and tick-borne infectious diseases.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to enroll your dog or find out more information.
Three professional development workshops about regulatory affairs in animal health are being offered this fall by Kansas State University's Olathe campus. Workshops cover the regulatory aspects of animal drug and vaccine development, with options for introductory and advanced courses.
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"We are excited to bring together leading professionals in the regulatory field and provide education for an unmet need in the animal health industry," said Angela Buzard, manager of training and development at K-State Olathe. "This set of workshops, as well as previous seminars on similar topics, are making a positive impact. We look forward to continuing to work with industry partners to launch additional programs as new needs arise."
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
Dr. Victor Carl Hurtig, DVM 1966
Dr. Laurence Ross Buller, DVM 1977
(click highlighted names for obituary)
Questions about Alumni or CE events?Contact:
The Clinical Nutrition Symposium for Small Animal Veterinarians, sponsored by Hill’s Pet Nutrition, is now available online for free! To access the video, register with Continuing Education Online: http://vet.ksu.edu/onlinece/index.aspx. The symposium can be found under the Small Animal icon.
More activities and accomplishments in the College of Veterinary Medicine:
Welcome to new faculty members Dr. Sara Gardhouse, assistant professor in Exotics and Zoological Medicine and Dr. Sam Hocker, assistant professor in Oncology!
Dr. Raelene Wouda completed the requirements to receive the 2019-2020 Professional Development Certificate in Teaching Excellence through the Teaching and Learning Center. Recipients contributed to the teaching and learning climate at KSU and detailed strategies they would like to implement in the future to further help their colleagues. Congratulations, Dr. Wouda!
Drs. Matthew R. DiFazio, Justin D. Thomason, Natalia Cernicchiaro, David Biller, Sasha Thomason and Paxton Harness published, “Evaluation of a 3‐dimensional ultrasound device for noninvasive measurement of urinary bladder volume in dogs” in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine.
After four years, the revised Pink Book, “Ferrets, Rabbits, and Rodents: Clinical Medicine and Surgery” 4E, edited by Quesenberry, Orcutt, Mans, and the CVM's Dr. James Carpenter is out!
Caitlin Randolph is the VHC's nurse intern for the June 2020 class. Her internship year began June 22. Caitlin graduated from Wichita State University's Tech Veterinary Nursing Program in May. Her interests include exotics/zoo med, oncology and anesthesia. Caitlin has two years of experience in small animal clinics and two years of experience with zoo medicine and husbandry.
Join the College of Veterinary Medicine on LinkedIn and add us to your profile under education and/or employment to help build and engage our online social community! Follow the LinkedIn page here: www.linkedin.com/company/kstatevetmed
New Arrivals/Recent Departures
Click here to see the New Arrivals/Recent Departures at the CVM …
Laura Meier, Veterinary Diagnostic Lab, Research Assistant
Bin Xi Wu, Veterinary Diagnostic Lab, Intern
Lifelines is published each month by the Marketing and Communications Office at the College of Veterinary Medicine. The editor is Joe Montgomery,