Vital Signs: November 2015 Vol. 4, Issue 11

A message from Dean Cyril Clarke

Our focus on food animals

The Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine offers comprehensive programs to advance One Health, defined by the American Veterinary Medical Association as “the integrative effort of multiple disciplines working locally, nationally, and globally to attain optimal health for people, animals, and the environment.” Livestock play such an important role globally in human nutrition, economic development, and zoonotic disease control and prevention that our educational, research, and service efforts must be attentive to food animals to further this cause.

This month, the college is releasing the third issue of its biannual magazine, TRACKS, which highlights important ways that we are offering veterinary students experiential learning opportunities involving food animals. These include our partnership with the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and its dairy science program, anchored by the recent construction of a new dairy. Our students benefit from hands-on experiences with more than 50,000 food animals every year, thanks in part to our agreement to provide clinical service of food supply animals on Virginia Department of Corrections farms.

We also have strong research programs that contribute to the understanding and control of viral diseases affecting food animals. For example, X.J. Meng, University Distinguished Professor of Molecular Virology, is studying emerging viruses causing economically important diseases in pigs, and his laboratory is one of the world’s leading hepatitis E virus research centers. Lijuan Yuan, a virologist in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, is working to improve vaccines against two human pathogens — rotavirus and norovirus — using swine as a model for human disease. The veterinary college also has several researchers contributing to a $1.4 million project funded by Smithfield Foods Inc. to decrease the need to use antimicrobial drugs on pigs.

In addition to Smithfield, our food animal research receives funding from a variety of federal and industry sponsors, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institutes of Health, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It also benefits significantly from our research facilities in the Center for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Diseases, such as the gnotobiotic (or “germ-free”) swine facility.

Our successes in this area would not be possible without our distinguished faculty and the college’s significant investments in food supply animal programs. We have already several outstanding programs that cross disciplines and touch on each of our educational, research, and service missions, but we still have more work to do to promote animal and public health, ensure food safety and security, eradicate disease, and increase productivity and sustainability.

Dr. Cyril Clarke, Dean


Featured Stories

The fall/winter 2015 issue of TRACKS magazine is now available.

Veterinary college releases fall/winter edition of TRACKS magazine

The veterinary college recently released the latest edition of its biannual magazine, TRACKS, which spotlights noteworthy happenings at the college.

In its fall/winter edition, TRACKS magazine focuses on the busy Food Animal Field Services unit that provides on-the-farm primary and emergency patient care and preventive health care programs to large herds of beef and dairy cows, swine, and sheep owned by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in addition to local area farms.

The edition also looks at current swine research conducted at the college. With viruses in swine causing devastating economic losses, researchers are seeking to reduce the spread of such viruses, develop animal models of disease, and reduce antibiotic use in swine while also developing animal models of human disease impacting millions of people globally.

In addition, the magazine also highlights current events and stories of interest around the college:

  • Held in the last week of July, the college’s inaugural Veterinary Medicine Science Camp offered students from underrepresented populations a week of tours, lectures, and hands-on experiences about veterinary medicine as part of InclusiveVT.
  • Anna Katogiritis, a third-year veterinary student, did volunteer work at the Jane Goodall Institute’s Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center in Congo in summer 2015.
  • Curtis, a Veterinary Teaching Hospital patient who snacked on a BBQ skewer, won the 2015 Hambone Award, which recognizes the most unusual pet insurance claim of the year.
  • Faculty, student, and alumni profiles.

Hard copies of TRACKS magazine can be found at the college or can be requested by emailing Sheila Steele, executive assistant to the dean, at An online version can be found on the college’s website.

Tucker, a 10-week-old male golden retriever, is held by Virginia Corrigan, a community practice resident and member of his puppy raiser team.

Puppy University: College teams up with Saint Francis Service Dogs

The veterinary college is partnering with a Roanoke-based nonprofit to raise three puppies for future service dog training. The newly established puppy raiser program, involving a partnership between the veterinary college and Saint Francis Service Dogs, not only supports puppies on their path to become professionally trained service dogs, but also offers veterinary students important lessons on the human-animal bond.

“While they are with us, the puppies have a whole program of physical care and grooming and will learn foundational skills such as walking on a leash and interacting with people and other animals in safe situations,” said Bess Pierce, associate professor in the Department of Population Health Sciences and director of the Center for Animal Human Relationships. “During the day, they follow a structured service dog program from Saint Francis at the veterinary college, and in the evenings, they will go home with their puppy raisers.”

The charter class of puppies — named Koda, Esme, and Tucker — spend their weekdays at the veterinary school where they learn life skills through a program called Puppy University. The college’s Small Animal Community Practice at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital is also providing their veterinary care.

“At certain weeks, they will learn certain skills that they might need in their future life as a service dog, such as going to the library, traveling on a bus, or visiting the mall,” said Pierce, who previously served on the board of directors for Saint Francis Service Dogs. “These are all milestones that they will be achieving throughout the year.”

View a Facebook photo gallery from the Oct. 30 handover ceremony welcoming the Puppy University charter class, and watch a video courtesy of WSLS Channel 10 News.

Veterinary Teaching Hospital earns reaccreditation through American Animal Hospital Association

The college’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital has achieved the highest level of veterinary excellence following a thorough evaluation by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). The teaching hospital’s small animal services recently earned AAHA reaccreditation after a rigorous review of its practice protocols, medical equipment, facility, and client service.

Unlike human hospitals, not all animal hospitals are required to be accredited. The veterinary college has voluntarily submitted itself to the AAHA Standards of Accreditation since 1988.

“We are committed to providing top-quality veterinary care to our small animal patients,” said William S. “Terry” Swecker, director of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital. “As a teaching hospital, we not only offer the latest services and technology to our patients, but also provide veterinary students with valuable, hands-on learning experiences.”

Located on Virginia Tech’s Blacksburg campus, the Veterinary Teaching Hospital’s small animal services provides primary, specialty, and emergency patient care to small animal clients within a 35-mile radius of Blacksburg and referral service to practitioners in the mid-Atlantic region.

Accredited hospitals are the only hospitals that choose to be evaluated on approximately 900 quality standards that go above and beyond basic state regulations, ranging from patient care and pain management to staff training and advanced diagnostic services. AAHA-accredited hospitals are recognized among the finest in the industry, and are consistently at the forefront of advanced veterinary medicine. AAHA standards are continuously reviewed and updated to keep accredited practices at the cutting edge of veterinary excellence.

Amy LeBlanc of the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute provided the keynote at the Nov. 10 Our Miracle Pets event.

Newly unveiled donor wall recognizes contributions to clinical research

The veterinary college brought together donors and clinical researchers at a Nov. 10 event that gave both groups a first peek at a new Veterinary Research Donor Wall. This fall, the college installed the donor wall near the small animal entrance to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital to recognize specially designated contributions of $2,500 and above to the college’s clinical research efforts.

During the Our Miracle Pets event, the college presented plaques to inaugural donors in attendance, including representatives from the Pender Pet Caring Foundation, Nestle Purina, Roanoke Animal Hospital, and Zoetis.

Amy LeBlanc, director of the Comparative Oncology Program at the Center for Cancer Research at the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute, provided a keynote presentation at the Nov. 10 event. A veterinary oncologist by training, LeBlanc graduated from Michigan State University and served as director of translational research at the University of Tennessee’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Graduate School of Medicine prior to her NIH appointment.

The college has an active clinical research program which aims to discover new and better methods of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment that will improve the quality of life for current and future patients. Gifts to the donor wall are earmarked to create a brand-new endowment supporting these research efforts.

Read more about the Veterinary Research Donor Wall.

Virginia Tech President Timothy D. Sands (right) speaks with Bess Pierce (left) and Dean Cyril Clarke (center) during an October meet-and-greet at the college.

Virginia Tech President Timothy D. Sands and Provost Thanassis Rikakis visit the veterinary college

The veterinary college played host to Virginia Tech’s top administrators on Tuesday, Oct. 13. President Timothy D. Sands and Provost Thanassis Rikakis toured the college and met with faculty, staff, and students.

In 2014, Sands became Virginia Tech’s 16th president after serving as executive vice president for academic affairs and provost of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. He previously visited the college’s Blacksburg campus and its Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Virginia, but this was his first opportunity to meet with faculty, staff, and students personally.

Meanwhile, Rikakis became Virginia Tech’s executive vice president and provost this August after serving as vice provost for design, arts, and technology at Carnegie Mellon University. He is currently in the process of identifying, defining, and strengthening “destination areas,” or elements of the university’s curriculum and research that will differentiate Virginia Tech as a leading university. One of the proposed destination areas is integrated health and wellness, which aligns well with the veterinary college’s commitment to One Health.

Jasper the miniature donkey was treated successfully at the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Virginia.

Jasper the miniature donkey on the road to recovery thanks to Good Samaritan Fund

Tammy Little of Newville, Pennsylvania, had only owned her miniature donkey, Jasper, for three months when she found him one afternoon in late August on the ground with multiple abrasions and lacerations. Jasper had been attacked by a dog.

After speaking with her local veterinarian and determining that Jasper’s injuries needed further immediate attention, Little made the 100-mile journey to the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg with 6-month-old Jasper safely in a blanket in the back of her truck.

Upon arrival, James Brown, clinical assistant professor of equine surgery, discovered a left mandibular fracture and a suspected olecranon fracture on Jasper’s left front leg. Jasper was in critical condition, but was not immediately able to go into surgery.

“The following day after being stabilized, Jasper underwent surgery for a mandibular fracture repair. His left front leg, although badly lacerated, was thankfully not fractured,” Little said. “We were all relieved that Jasper did really well after surgery and was successfully reintroduced to his feed.”

Three days later, Jasper was well enough to return home. His success story would not have been possible without an anonymous contribution to the EMC’s Good Samaritan Fund, one of several compassionate care funds which provide financial support when an animal’s owners are either unknown or cannot meet the financial needs of treatment.

“Jasper is working on his recovery and is happy to be back on his feet visiting his many friends on the farm,” Little said.

Student Spotlight

From left to right: Twins Ann and Lydia Carpenter join the Class of 2019 at the white coat ceremony in August.

Double vision: Twins Ann and Lydia Carpenter share first-year veterinary classes

Twins Ann and Lydia Carpenter, first-year veterinary medicine students, knew from age 4 that they wanted to work with animals. Growing up in Arlington, Virginia, they credit their parents for instilling a sense of love and appreciation for animals at such a young age.

“My mom was always so insistent that they received the best care, that we respected them, and [that] they were ours to take care of. We never really lost that,” said Lydia. “We would care for everything,” Ann added.

With veterinary school in their sights, the twins first wanted an intimate, inclusive undergraduate experience which they found at Middlebury College in central Vermont, a small liberal arts school with about 2,450 undergraduate students, where the two also swam competitively for all four years. Because they attended school together, they could bring Otis, the horse they had shared since their freshman year of high school, with them.

“I think some people get the impression that we went to school together because we can’t get enough of each other or that we can’t function independently,” said Lydia. “In all honesty, we went to undergrad together because Middlebury was the perfect school for us, and also because we share a horse and neither of us was willing to go to a different school and not be around the horse.”

Read the full story about first-year students Ann and Lydia Carpenter.

Focus on Faculty: Ludeman Eng

Ludeman Eng

Ludeman Eng is an associate professor of cell biology and anatomy in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology. After receiving a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University, he earned both a master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Virginia. He has served roles as the head of the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, assistant dean for strategic innovations, and currently serves as the chair for the Department of Basic Sciences at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. After 34 years of service to the veterinary college, Eng will retire at the end of 2015.

What is your hometown?

Paterson, New Jersey. (Yes, despite the fact that New Jersey was one of the original 13 colonies, I recognize that some think of it as a foreign country).

What are your current responsibilities at the college? If you teach, what do you teach?

Currently, I teach Medical Biochemistry (course leader and primary lecturer) and Veterinary Gross Anatomy (instructor). Over the years, I also taught some courses in physiology, embryology, and even histology. In the past, I have served on just about every nonclinical committee in the college and many at the university level.

Read the full Q&A with Ludeman Eng.

Alumni Corner

After graduating from the veterinary college in 2013, Jessica Wootton accepted a position at the feline-only clinic where she had previous experience as a veterinary assistant.

Alumna Jessica Wootton (DVM ’13) returns to feline-only practice where she once worked as a veterinary assistant

Although Jessica Wootton always hoped to be a veterinarian at some point in her career, she credits a less traditional route for helping her actually realize that goal.

Originally from Blackstone, Virginia, Wootton grew up working on a beef farm before attending Hollins University in Roanoke as an English and theatre major. After graduation, Wootton ended up working as a veterinary assistant at the NOVA Cat Clinic in Arlington and from there decided to attend the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine to get her doctor of veterinary medicine degree, first attending George Mason University to earn a bachelor’s degree in biology for her prerequisite courses.

This prior work experience, both in and out of the veterinary medicine field, fueled her success in the program.

“It was a powerful motivator,” she said. “I would think okay, I’ve done hard work before, so I can do this. I’ve worked in other places before and I know that veterinary medicine is what I want to do and not an office job, which I’d tried and didn’t really like. So I knew I had to work really hard to set myself up for success.”

Learn more about Wootton’s time at the veterinary college and work after graduation.

Around the College

College faculty, students, staff, and alumni connect at Potomac Regional Veterinary Conference

The veterinary college’s faculty, students, staff, and alumni reunited for the Fifth Annual Potomac Regional Veterinary Conference at The Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, on Nov. 13-15. The college’s faculty and staff provided continuing education lectures, and its students and alumni contributed to the growing number of attendees at the annual conference. In 2011, the veterinary college served as a catalyst to bring together the four regional veterinary medical associations (VMAs) for the first Potomac Regional Veterinary Conference.

Some of the proceeds from the regional conference support scholarships for veterinary students offered by the regional VMAs. In addition, the West Virginia VMA recently decided to double its scholarship support for West Virginia veterinary students. In May, the college will celebrate the graduation of the first cohort of West Virginia students who have benefited from the college’s relationship with the state, which offers supplemental tuition assistance for six West Virginia students every year.

View a Facebook photo gallery from the recent Potomac Regional Veterinary Conference.

Veterinary student Daniel Inman challenges status quo of education

Daniel Inman, a third-year veterinary student, is featured in a video vignette on the website for Beyond Boundaries, a one-year visioning process that will inform Virginia Tech’s long-range future and new strategic plan. Inman, who graduated from Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in biological systems engineering in 2013, speaks about how society and the university should encourage students to pursue interests outside of singular career paths. Watch more Beyond Boundaries video vignettes.

Veterinary college speaker addresses diversity in the business world

Kim Carlson, director of the Business Diversity Center in Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business, visited with veterinary students in mid-November to lead an interactive talk about the value of diversity and multiculturalism in the corporate world. Carlson was invited by members of the college’s chapters of Veterinary Students as One In Culture and Ethnicity and the Veterinary Business Management Association. Pictured, left to right: Ed Monroe, chair of the college’s Community and Diversity Committee; Courtney Scarborough (Class of ’18); Jorge Posadas (Class of ’17); Kim Carlson; Amber Roudette (Class of ’17); Meaghan Wilson (Class of ’17); Joshua Rosen (Class of ’18); and Michael Dendinger (Class of ’17).

Staff Association holds fundraiser for The Giving Tree Food Pantry

The veterinary college’s Staff Association held a fundraiser for The Giving Tree Food Pantry, a nonprofit, all-volunteer food pantry dedicated to serving the hungry in the New River Valley. The Staff Association Executive Committee collected nonperishable breakfast items and cash donations to support the food pantry, which serves more than 325 area families a month. Pictured above (left to right): Terry Swecker, director of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital; Sharon Dunn, hospital business analyst; and Jennifer Averill, laboratory and safety coordinator.

Students roll back clocks to Roaring ’20s at annual fall ball

The Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association hosted its annual fall ball on Saturday, Nov. 14. Students traded in their lab coats for 1920s attire and enjoyed a free swing dance lesson, a costume competition with prizes for the best flapper and best gangster, a photo booth, and dinner from Sal’s restaurant in Blacksburg.

Graduate student association holds fall social and fundraiser

Graduate students in the college’s Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences program held a wine social on Thursday, Nov. 12 at the University Club to collect donations for Micah’s Backpack, an organization which partners with nine Blacksburg schools to provide direct food assistance for children from low-income families. The students collected approximately 175 food items during the charity event.

Veterinary college well represented at pathology meeting in Minneapolis

Numerous students, faculty members, and alumni from the veterinary college attended the joint meeting of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists and the Society for Toxicologic Pathology in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Oct. 17-21. Pictured above (left to right): Kathy Funk, Tabitha Viner, Sandy James-Yi, Sarah Hammond-Barrett, Alice Roudabush, Catherine Cowan, Sheryl Coutermarsh-Ott, Miranda Vieson, Caroline Moon, Mitch Caudill, Ann Bolek, Melissa Brusie, Vanessa Walker, Matthew Putnam, Kim Newkirk, Matthew Smith, and Christine Christensen.

Awards & Activities

Dean Cyril Clarke with Mary Ridenour

Mary Ridenour named November Staff Member of the Month

The Veterinary Teaching Hospital’s small animal intensive care unit (ICU) is able to provide 24-hour care due to the efforts of a team of dedicated staff, which includes ICU technician Mary Ridenour. Since joining the hospital in February 2011, Mary has worked the overnight shift to provide much-needed services to small animals requiring intensive care. Her colleagues noted her exceptional attitude and her ability to “keep her head” during stressful situations and critical cases.

“Mary has been an overnight ICU technician for several years and has always been a pleasure to work with,” her nominator wrote. “In addition to having a positive attitude, she has demonstrated consistent improvement in her technical skills and patient assessment. I am happy to have her as a part of the team.”

Mary is also known as a very dedicated owner to Moses, Molly, and Lexie. The 6-year-old mixed breed dogs are siblings from a litter of 11 pups that were bottle raised by Mary after being dropped off at a local vet clinic. She also found homes for the other eight puppies.

Read more about the Staff Members of the Month.

More Awards & Accolades

The Public Relations Society of America’s Blue Ridge Chapter awarded the college’s Office of Public Relations and Communications a gold award in the modest budget category for the fall/winter 2014 and spring/summer 2015 issues of the TRACKS magazine. The award recognized the office’s efforts to develop the magazine’s visual identity from scratch and feature faculty research, student achievement, and hospital success stories. Award winners include Alison Elward, assistant director for interactive media; Jesse Janowiak, web developer; Megan Quesenberry, graphic designer; Michael Sutphin, public relations coordinator; and Sherrie Whaley, former director of communications.

Thanks to the Pathology Club, the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine tied with the University of Illinois for the student pathology club with the most activities throughout the previous year at the recent American College of Veterinary Pathologists meeting in Minneapolis.

Several students and faculty members received a second place award for an experimental disease focused scientific poster presentation at the American College of Veterinary Pathologists annual meeting in Minneapolis, Oct. 17-21. The poster entitled “NLRX1 Attenuates Tumorigenesis through the Negative Regulation of AKT and NF-ĸB Signaling” was submitted by Sheryl Coutermarsh-Ott, Tanya LeRoith, C. Washington, Nick Dervisis, R. Hontecillas-Magarzo, J. Bassaganya-Riera, and Irving “Coy” Allen.

Valerie Ragan, director of the Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine, traveled to Washington, D.C. to serve as a committee member on the National Academy of Science’s study entitled “Revising Brucellosis in the Greater Yellowstone Area.” She also gave a presentation to the Virginia Tech Pre-Vet Club entitled “The Wide World of Veterinary Medicine: Beyond Private Practice.”

Michael Sutphin, public relations coordinator, was reelected to a second term on the Blacksburg Town Council. He also serves on a number of local and regional committees, including the Blacksburg Partnership Board of Directors, the New River Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization, and the New River Valley Regional Commission.

After being honored by the American Humane Association as the nation’s 2015 Hero Veterinarian, alumna Annette Sysel (MS ’96) appeared before the U.S. Congress to speak at the recent Humane Bond caucus. Sysel is president and chief veterinary officer at the Bauer Research Foundation in Vero Beach, Florida, and was the first large animal surgery resident at the veterinary college.

Kurt Zimmerman, associate professor of pathology and informatics in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, has received a nearly $35,000 grant from the Winn Feline Foundation on “Differentiating feline alimentary lymphoma and inflammatory bowel disease with a blood test.”


  • M. Vieson, E.M. Shore, M. Xu, and G.K. Saunders. “Confirmation of Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva in a Domestic Shorthair Kitten by Detection of the R206H Mutation in the Activin Receptor 1A/Activin-Like KINASE-2 (ACVR1/ALK2) Gene.” American College of Veterinary Pathologists, Oct. 17-21.
  • K. Eden, J.F. Edwards, D.P. Sponenberg, and B.F. Porter. “Intracoelomic Neoplasia in a Crowntail Siamese Fighting Fish (Betta splendens).” American College of Veterinary Pathologists, Oct. 17-21.
  • S. Coutermarsh-Ott, T. LeRoith, C. Washington, N. Dervisis, R. Hontecillas-Magarzo, J. Bassaganya-Riera, and I. Allen. “NLRX1 Attenuates Tumorigenesis through the Negative Regulation of AKT and NF-ĸB Signaling.” American College of Veterinary Pathologists, Oct. 17-21.
  • S. Barrett, N. Regna, A. Gojmerac, C. Chafin, M. Vieson, and C. Reilly. “Conjugated Linoleic Acid in the Treatment of Murine Autoimmune Disease.” American College of Veterinary Pathologists, Oct. 17-21.
  • M.D. Vieson, A. Gojmerac, D. Caudell, S.H. Barrett, and C.M. Reilly. “Treatment with a Selective Histone Deacetylase 6 Inhibitor Decreases Lupus Nephritis in NZB/W Mice.” American College of Veterinary Pathologists, Oct. 17-21.
  • K. Eden, R. Hontecillas, M. Viladomiu, C. Philipson, A. Carbo, A. Leber, N. Philipson, I. Tattoli, S.E. Girardin, I.C. Allen, and J. Bassaganya-Riera. “Loss of NLRX1 Results in Increased Intestinal Pathology and Exacerbated T Cell Responses in Mice with Inflammatory Bowel Disease.” American College of Veterinary Pathologists, Oct. 17-21.
  • A Bolek and T. LeRoith. “Urinary Bladder Rhabdomyosarcoma in a Young Dog.” American College of Veterinary Pathologists, Oct. 17-21.
  • M. Brusie and K. Boes. “Hemophagocytic Histiocytic Disease in a Cat.” American College of Veterinary Pathologists, Oct. 17-21.
  • M. Caudill, K. Boes, D.P. Sponenberg, V. Ziglioli, and G. Saunders. “Mixed Ovarian Stromal Cell Tumor in a 7-month-old Cat with Concurrent Diabetes Mellitus.” American College of Veterinary Pathologists, Oct. 17-21.
  • C. Cowan, M. Vieson, D. Grant, T. Cecere, and K. Zimmerman. “T Cell Lymphoma with a Leukemoid Reaction in a Golden Retriever.” American College of Veterinary Pathologists, Oct. 17-21.
  • V. Wallace, K. Zimmerman, V. Corrigan, B. Murphy, and K. Lahmers. “Ameloblastic Fibro-odontoma in a Dog.” American College of Veterinary Pathologists, Oct. 17-21.
  • C. Moon, M. Edwards, T. Cecere, and A. Ahmed. “Effects of Common Rodent Diets on Glomerulonephritis and DNA Methylation in Lupus Model MRL/LPR Mice.” American College of Veterinary Pathologists, Oct. 17-21.
  • M. Putnam, M. Ernst, and K. Boes. “Canine T-zone Lymphoma: Are Findings from Hematology, Cytology, Flow Cytometry, and PARR enough?” American College of Veterinary Pathologists, Oct. 17-21.
  • M. Vieson, E.M. Shore, M. Xu, and G.K. Saunders. “Confirmation of Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva in a Domestic Shorthair Kitten by Detection of the R206H Mutation in the Activin Receptor 1A/Activin-Like Kinase-2 (ACVR1/ALK2) Gene.” American College of Veterinary Pathologists, Oct. 17-21.
  • K. Eden, J.F. Edwards, D.P. Sponenberg, and B.F. Porter. “Intracoelomic Neoplasia in a Crowntail Siamese Fighting Fish (Betta splendens).” American College of Veterinary Pathologists, Oct. 17-21.
  • S. Barrett. “ASVCP Mystery Slide Case Session.” American College of Veterinary Pathologists, Oct. 17-21.


  • Susan F Murphy, Robin T Varghese, Samy Lamouille, Sujuan Guo, Kevin J Pridham, PratikKanabur, Alyssa M Osimani, Shaan Sharma, Jane Jourdan, Cara M Rodgers, Gary R Simonds, Robert G Gourdie, and Zhi Sheng. “Connexin 43 inhibition sensitizeschemoresistant glioblastoma cells to temozolomide.” Cancer Research. In press.
  • Liao,X, Li,S, Settlage RE, Sun S., Ren J, Reihl, AM, Zhang H, Karyala SV, Reilly CM, S. Ansar Ahmed, Luo XM. “Plasmacytoid dendritic cells in late-stage lupus mice defective in producing IFN-a.” Journal of Immunology. Oct. 7, 2015.
  • Ian Cooley, Kaitlin Read, Ken Oestrich. “Trans-presentation of IL-15 modulates STAT5 activation and Bcl-6 expression in TH1 cells.” Scientific Reports. In press.
  • Sa Q, Ochiai E, Tiwari A, Perkins S, Mullins J, Gehman M, Huckle W, Eyestone WH, Saunders TL, Shelton BJ, Suzuki Y. “IFN-γ Produced by Brain-Resident Cells Is Crucial To Control Cerebral Infection with Toxoplasma gondii.” Journal of Immunology. 2015 195:796-800.
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  • Yun Hu, Marion Ehrich, Kristel Fuhrman, Chenming Zhang. “In vitro performance of lipid-PLGA hybrid nanoparticles as an antigen delivery system: lipid composition matters.” Journal of Polymers. In press.
  • Sheehan, L.M., Budnick, J.A., Blanchard, C., Dunman, P.M., and Caswell, C. “A LysR-family transcriptional regulator required for virulence in Brucella abortus is highly conserved among the alpha-proteobacteria.” Molecular Microbiology, 2015. 98:318-328. PMID: 26175079.
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  • Richmond O, Cecere TE, Erdogan E, Meng XJ, Pineyro P, Subramaniam S, Todd SM, and T LeRoith. “PD-L1 expression is increased in monocyte derived dendritic cells in response to porcine circovirus type 2 and porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus infections.” Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology. Nov 15, 2015; 168(1-2):24-29.
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Upcoming Events

December 7, 2015 — Alumni Reception, American Association of Equine Practitioners Annual Convention
Las Vegas, NV
December 21, 2015 — Virginia Tech and University of Maryland Winter Break Begins
Blacksburg, VA / College Park, MD
December 24, 2015 – January 1, 2016 — Main VA-MD Vet Med Campus Closed
Blacksburg, VA
January 8, 20165th Annual Equine & Food Animal Conference
Blacksburg, VA
January 11, 2016 — Third-year DVM Students' Spring Semester Begins
Blacksburg, VA
January 19, 2016 — Virginia Tech Start of Spring Semester
Blacksburg, VA
January 25, 2016 — University of Maryland Start of Spring Semester
College Park, MD


Vital Signs is published throughout the year by the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine.

  • Dean: Dr. Cyril R. Clarke
  • Produced By: Office of Public Relations and Communications
  • Managing Editor: Michael Sutphin
  • Assistant Editor: Kelsey Foster
  • Web Editors: Alison Elward, Jesse Janowiak
  • Contributors: Alison Elward, Kelsey Foster, Jesse Janowiak, Michael Sutphin
  • Photography/Videography: Tom Cecere, Alison Elward, Kelsey Foster, Megan Quesenberry, Doug Margulies, Colette Spillane, Michael Sutphin, Logan Wallace
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