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College of Veterinary Medicine

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Previous Speakers and Proceedings

2016 Symposium Speakers

Keynote Speaker: 

pratherSince 1982, Dr. Randall Prather’s research has focused on the early mammalian embryo. He earned his BS and MS from Kansas State University, and PhD and Postdoc from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While at Wisconsin, he cloned the first pigs, and some of the first cattle, by nuclear transfer. His group at the University of Missouri created miniature pigs that have the alpha 1,3 galactosyltransferase gene knocked out, thus paving the way for xenotransplantation; and have developed pigs that have cystic fibrosis, thus providing the first whole animal model that can be used to study the disease. More recently, they have knocked out CD163 and created pigs that are not susceptible to PRRSV. His lab has made over 1,070 cloned pigs at MU, representing over 45 different genetic modifications for agriculture and medicine. He is the Director of the NIH-funded National Swine Resource and Research Center. In addition to his transgenic pig research, he and his collaborators have identified genes in the reproductive tissues of pigs and cattle that will help develop an understanding of the pattern of gene expression to reduce the 30% loss of pregnancies that occurs in mammals. He is currently a Curators’ Distinguished Professor with the title Distinguished Professor of Reproductive Biotechnology in the Division of Animal Science at the University of Missouri.



Dr. Jack Dekkers grew up in the Netherlands and received B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees from the Wageningen Agricultural University and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in Animal Breeding. From 1989 to 1997 he was on faculty at the University of Guelph, working closely with the Canadian industry on genetic improvement of dairy cattle. He moved to Iowa State University in 1997, where he currently is a C.F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor and Leader of the Animal Breeding and Genetics group. Current research focuses on the genetic basis of feed efficiency and health in pigs and on the integration of quantitative and molecular genetics, with applications to swine and poultry.

hardingAfter graduating from the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph in 1988, Dr. John Harding worked in a mixed animal practice in Humboldt, Saskatchewan.  Since 1991 he has specialized in pork production, and in 1997 established a swine consultancy practice, Harding Swine Veterinary Service.  In 1997, he also completed a Master of Science degree in Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota.  Dr. Harding has consulted for both small family and large corporate operations in Western Canada. Now a full professor at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, his research interests include emerging and re-emerging diseases, including Brachyspira colitis, reproductive effects of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV), periweaning failure-to-thrive syndrome (PFTS), and porcine epidemic diarrhea. In addition, he is involved in several inter-disciplinary groups investigating host genomic resilience to major swine diseases. Dr. Harding is a frequent speaker at both domestic and international swine meetings, was the recipient of the A.D. Leman Science in Practice Award in 1999, the Pfizer Carl J. Norden Distinguished Teaching Award in 2009, and the Pfizer Animal Health Award for Research Excellence in 2010.  He was the founding President of the Canadian Association of Swine Veterinarians from 2004-2005, Vice-President of the IPVS 2010 Congress in Vancouver, and is the Scientific Program Chair of the Western Canadian Association of Swine Veterinarians (WCASV).  He has reviewed submissions for numerous peer-reviewed veterinary journals and granting agencies. In 2008, he became a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners’ in the Swine Health Management specialty.  In his spare time, he enjoys outdoor activities including skiing, sailing, canoeing, hiking and woodworking. 
Daniel LindharesDr. Daniel Linhares is an Assistant Professor and the Director of Graduate Education in the Department of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine (VDPAM) at Iowa State University. Dr. Linhares prepares graduate students to understand the big picture of production animal industry challenges and opportunities. He encourages graduate students to develop independent, critical thinking skills, guiding them to focus on the solution and to think of possible ways to positively impact the industry using applied science. Courses/lectures include: Livestock Disease Prevention, Field Epidemiology, Veterinary Practice Entrepreneurship and Swine Medicine Rotation.  His field-applicable research initiatives include aiming to evaluate strategies to prevent, significantly control and/or eliminate swine infectious diseases. Studies have been focused on PRRSv, but have also included Senecavirus A and Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae.
loweA 1994 graduate of the University of Illinois, College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. James Lowe is an educator, advisor, researcher, and farmer based in Illinois. Dr. Lowe is a life-long learner completing the Executive Veterinary Program at the University of Illinois in 2000 and a Master of Science degree in infectious disease management in 2004. In 2012, he became board certified in Food Animal Practice by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. Dr. Lowe is currently an Associate Professor in the Food Animal Management Systems Group, Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois and has an adjunct appointment in the Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University. He also is a partner in a consulting practice that has advisory relationships with 15% of the beef cattle marketed in the US, 8 of the top 30 swine producers in the North America, pork and beef producers in Europe, Australia, the Middle East and Asia, packer-processors, food retailers, restaurant chains and all of the major multi-national animal health suppliers. His scholarly efforts focus on developing system based approaches to problems effecting animal and human health.
LunneyDr. Joan Lunney is a Supervisory Research Scientist and an internationally recognized authority on pig immunology and genomics. Her lab is located at the USDA Agricultural Research Center (ARS), Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC) in Beltsville, MD USA. Dr. Lunney obtained her B.S. in Chemistry from Chestnut Hill College, Philadelphia, PA, and her Ph. D. in Biochemistry from the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD. Her current research focuses on swine immunology, genomics, and resistance to diseases, particularly to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) . She coleads the US PRRS Host Genomics Consortium (PHGC) which assesses the role of genetics in determining pig resistance and susceptibility to PRRS virus infection, pathology and associated growth effects. The PHGC effort has been expanded to functional genomics and proteomics as well as to a pregnant gilt model of PRRS virus infection in collaboration with Canadian scientists. She works with industry, particularly through the National Pork Board and PigGen Canada, Inc., and animal health and breeding companies, to expand her research efforts. She is a member of the Science and Industry Advisory Committee (SIAC) of Genome Canada. Dr. Lunney has led international workshops characterizing monoclonal antibodies (mAb) reactive against swine cell subset, or CD, antigens and immune proteins, the cytokines and chemokines. She coleads the US-UK Collaborative Swine Immune Toolkit effort aimed at developing new mAb, immune reagents and quantitative assays for assessment of pig health and vaccine responses and for use in biomedical models of human health and disease. Dr. Lunney is very actively involved in mentoring younger scientists, particularly women scientists. In 1998 she was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and in 2010 received the ARS Beltsville Area Scientist of the Year Award. She has served on the numerous grant panels, journal editorial boards and in leadership positions for animal genetic and veterinary immunology societies.
Rodger MainDr. Rodger Main is Professor and Director of the Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (ISU VDL). ISU VDL’s team of 145 faculty and staff play an active role on the front-lines of animal agriculture processing approximately 80,000 diagnostic case submissions and conducting more than 1,200,000 diagnostic assays each year for livestock producers. Prior to coming to the ISU VDL in 2009, Dr. Main served as the Director of Production Systems for Murphy-Brown’s Western Operations (a division of Smithfield Foods) where he had worked since graduating veterinary school in 1996.
Bob MorrisonDr. Bob Morrison is a professor in the University of Minnesota Swine Group.  He leads the Swine Health Monitoring Project (SHMP), which is a voluntary program involving 30 production systems and approximately 1,000 sow herds.  The SHMP team collects, analyzes and reports trends in swine health data, with the long term goal of giving the industry the capacity to voluntarily respond to an emerging pathogen.  In his presentation, Dr Morrison will provide an update on the program.
NiederDr. Megan Niederwerder received her D.V.M. from Kansas State University in 2009.  After 3 years in clinical practice, Dr. Niederwerder returned to Kansas State University to pursue advanced research training in swine virology. She completed her Ph.D. and joined the faculty in the Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology and Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in 2015. A primary goal of her current research is to understand how the microbiome influences outcome after virus infection in nursery pigs. She also serves as the course coordinator for veterinary virology and provides outreach support for the diagnostic laboratory.

Dr. Tanja Opriessnig completed her veterinary degree at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, Austria in 2000. In 2002, she received her advanced degree in Veterinary Science from the same University. From 2002 to 2006, Dr Opriessnig worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Iowa State University and she completed a Ph.D. in Veterinary Pathology. From 2006 to 2013, she worked as Veterinary Diagnostic Pathologist at the Assistant, Associate or Full Professor rank at the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at Iowa State University. Since 2013, Dr. Opriessnig has a joint appointment with the Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh and the Department of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine, Iowa State University. Her current research focus is on pathogenesis, control, and diagnosis of infectious pathogens in pigs with emphasis on porcine circovirus type 2, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus, Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae, porcine parvovirus, porcine astrovirus, porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, and swine hepatitis E virus. Since 2002, Dr Opriessnig has published > 190 peer-reviewed manuscripts in various journals of virology, microbiology and veterinary relevance. 

yangDr. Hanchun Yang is a professor working at the College of Veterinary Medicine, China Agricultural University. He is currently a Board Member of IPVS, and the General Secretary of Chinese Association of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine (CAAV), and the Director of Key Laboratory of Animal Epidemiology and Zoonosis of the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture. His research focuses on molecular epidemiology and pathogenesis, and farm control of porcine reproductive andrespiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) and other swine viruses.
zimmermanDr. Jeff Zimmerman has had a research/teaching appointment in the Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory since 1990.  His research focus is on epidemiology, disease ecology, and the development of cost-effective methods to monitor, quantify, and ameliorate the effect of pathogens on livestock health and productivity.  He is the co-editor of Diseases of Swine (9th, 10th, 11th editions) and co-author of 120 refereed publications.

Prior Year's Proceedings (pdf)