September 2009


A strong and productive relationship

Dr. Gerhardt G. Schurig Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As we begin our 30th academic year, I would like to take a moment to thank all the members of the organized veterinary community who play such a large role in our college and in the lives of our students.

We are very fortunate to enjoy a strong and productive relationship with both the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association and the Maryland Veterinary Medical Association. Both associations provide support for our college in ways that would make it impossible to name them all. However, one example includes partnering with our college in the Veterinary Memorial Fund. As many of you know, when a companion animal passes away, practitioners from around the two states make a financial donation to the fund. To date, this fund has raised over $1.2 million for researchers here in our college, for which we are very grateful.

In addition, each year, dozens of practitioners from across the two states open up their practices to our fourth year students for externships during their clinical rotations. The experience these students gain under the watchful eye of practicing veterinarians is so important to their education and to their preparation to becoming doctors of veterinary medicine.

We are also very fortunate to consistently have over 100 veterinarians participating in our student mentorship program. Begun ten years ago, the program provides students with “real world” advice and perspective from mentors already in the profession. Our annual mentor/mentee breakfast is coming up on October 16 and I look forward to seeing many of our participants there.

Our college is also grateful to have representatives from both states to take part in our milestones and celebrations. Most recently, we formally welcomed the Class of 2013 during our traditional “White Coat Ceremony.” We were pleased to have joining us: Drs. Thomas Massie, president of the VVMA, Bill Tyrell, president elect of the VVMA and also representing the D.C. Academy, James Reed, president of the MVMA, John Kable, president elect of the MVMA, Tom Armitage, vice president of the MVMA, Ed Jendrek, AVMA delegate from the State of Maryland, and Mr. Ron Sohn, executive director of the MVMA.

We are, indeed, very thankful for the difference our state veterinary associations are making in our college and for our students.

On a much different note, you will notice a new feature in Vital Signs called “News in Brief.” This section will allow us to share more information with you in a concise and clear way. Should you have any questions or comments on this or any other story in Vital Signs, I would encourage you to email Christy Jackson at cljacks@vt.edu.

Sincerely,

Gerhardt G. Schurig, DVM, Ph.D.
Dean
 


In This Issue

 

 

Featured Stories


Ragan joins Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Valerie Ragan

Dr. Valerie Ragan has joined the veterinary college as director of the Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine on the College Park, Md. campus.

Dr. Valerie Ragan has joined the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine as director of the Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine on the college’s University of Maryland-College Park campus. In her new position, Ragan will be responsible for charting the future direction of the center, including a leadership role in public health, public policy, and international veterinary medicine.

"Dr. Ragan’s extensive experience in the government sector and international involvement provide her with a very strong foundation as she undertakes this new position," said Dr. Gerhardt Schurig, dean of the veterinary college. "She has a deep understanding of the needs of this area of veterinary medicine and I look forward to working with her as we continue to strengthen the programs on our Maryland campus."

Prior to joining the veterinary college, Ragan was the president of AgWorks Solutions LLC, an agriculture consulting company in Washington, D.C., where her activities included resolving animal health issues such as disease control, eradication, and surveillance, and international veterinary capacity building.

From 1988 to 2006, she was employed by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). After five years of private practice, she began her work with the USDA as a veterinary medical officer and public practice career trainee. She then served as an area epidemiology officer and senior staff veterinarian/national brucellosis epidemiologist. She subsequently served as assistant deputy administrator of the agency’s Veterinary Services program. In that capacity, she served as the national animal health surveillance coordinator, and established the National Surveillance Unit at USDA’s Center for Epidemiology and Animal Health.

Ragan’s numerous international experiences include working in Armenia to develop a National Animal Health Program, serving on the American team for trade negotiations with Asia after the discovery of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) also known as "mad-cow disease" in the United States, and presentations around the globe on brucellosis and methods for eradication of the disease. In 2008, she was honored with the National Institute of Animal Agriculture Service Award.

"Public and corporate veterinary practice has provided me with a rich and varied professional career in veterinary medicine," said Ragan. "The opportunities and challenges in these areas today are greater than ever, and I’m looking forward to assuring the continued growth and expansion of the center as we work to prepare students and other veterinarians for the burgeoning opportunities in this area of veterinary medicine."

Ragan completed her pre-veterinary work at Virginia Tech and received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1983 from the University of Georgia. She also completed post-graduate work in biostatistics and epidemiology at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health.

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Meng named to prestigious NIH study section

Dr. X. J. Meng

Dr. X.J. Meng has recently been appointed as a permanent member of the prestigious virology study section of the National Institutes of Health. In this role, he will review grant proposals and make recommendations for funding.

Dr. X. J. Meng, a professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, has recently been appointed as a permanent member of the prestigious virology study section of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In this role, Meng will review grant proposals made to the NIH virology study section and make recommendations for funding. The NIH is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

"[M]embership on a study section represents a major commitment of professional time and energy as well as a unique opportunity to contribute to the national biomedical research effort," wrote Dr. Toni Scarpa, director of the NIH’s Center for Scientific Review, in the letter announcing Meng’s appointment.

Three times a year, Meng will review and provide critiques to the proposals assigned to him, and then travel to study section meetings to confer with the other members of the panel. Among members of the panel, Meng estimates they will review approximately one hundred proposals each cycle.

"This is an opportunity for me to not only be of service to the scientific community, but to also broaden my own views of science and biomedical research," said Meng. "It is an honor to serve."

According to Scarpa’s letter, members for NIH study sections are selected on the basis of their demonstrated achievement in their scientific discipline as evidenced by the quality of research accomplishments, publications in scientific journals and other significant scientific activities, achievements and honors.

"We are very proud of Dr. Meng’s appointment to this study section," said Dr. Roger Avery, senior associate dean for research and graduate studies. "This is a well deserved testament to his expertise and accomplishments as a virologist and a recognition of his international reputation. I know he will provide outstanding service and be a wonderful ambassador for our college and for veterinary medicine."

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Ahmed surpasses 500 in citation index

Dr. S. Ansar Ahmed

A paper authored by Dr. Ansar Ahmed has surpassed 500 citations in the citation index ISI Web of Science, a prestigious honor earned by few in the field of life sciences.

Fifteen years ago, when Dr. Ansar Ahmed, professor of immunology and head of the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, completed his research on a new, nonradioactive alternative to determining the proliferation of lymphocytes, he hoped other scientists would find it useful; however, he never envisioned just how many that would be. Today, the paper he authored on his research, “A New Rapid and Simple Nonradioactive Assay to Monitor and Determine the Proliferation of Lymphocytes—An Alternative to [H-3] Thymidine Incorporation Assay,” has surpassed 500 citations in the citation index ISI Web of Science, a prestigious honor earned by few in the field of life sciences. The index tracks and lists every time a work of research is cited in another.

According to Ahmed, 50 to 80 citations are considered to be a high number range in the life sciences’ citation index and the number can take years to achieve. He and his co-authors, Dr. Bob Gogal, who was then a post-doctoral fellow in his laboratory, and Jane Walsh, a laboratory technician, have achieved about 10 times that.

"While you always hope for this outcome with your research, you certainly never expect it," said Ahmed. "I am honored and humbled by this recognition by national and international peers. Many, many laboratories across the world now use this assay routinely."

The genesis for the research was born from a corridor chat discussing the successful use of Alamar blue dye to study cancer cells. Ahmed and his team begin to formulate how this could be applied to the study of the proliferation, or multiplication, of lymphocytes.

The simple, one-step assay, or test, they developed has turned into a new standard in the scientific community. The assay involves the application of Alamar blue dye during the first phase of cell culture. The proliferation of cells will be evident by the degree of change in color.

The ability to study and track cell proliferation has implications across all areas of the life sciences, according to Ahmed. "Scientists from immunology to oncology rely on establishing cell proliferation as a basic measure of health and wellness," he explains.

In addition to allowing scientists to observe cell proliferation, the assay is also valuable as scientists desire to move away from radioactive reagents, such as 3H-thymidine, explains Ahmed. Using radioactive-based assays require specialized and dedicated equipment and space, adherence to strict safety protocols, and concerns of long-lasting radioactive waste. By adopting the use of Alamar blue dye, the scientists are able to perform the test safely in their laboratories, while also reducing the amount of radioactive waste in the environment. In addition, the cells remain alive after the dye is applied and, therefore, can be used for future testing.

"Dr. Ahmed is a prolific researcher and this recognition of his work by his peers is evidence of the valuable contributions he has made in the scientific community," said Dr. Roger Avery, senior associate dean for research and graduate studies in the veterinary college. "We are proud of his many accomplishments and pleased to have him guiding our Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology."

Ahmed holds a B.V.Sc. (DVM equivalent) from the University of Agricultural Sciences in Bangalore and a Ph.D. from the School of Veterinary Studies, The Murdoch University, Australia. He is a member of the American Association of Immunologists, the International Cytokine Society and the National Institutes of Health Grant Review Panels.

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The power of giving: Leach scholarship has supported large animal students for nearly three decades

Leach scholarship

Through the generosity of Mary Leach (right), large animal students like Mary Dickenson (left) have received scholarships for almost 30 years.

Because she grew up on a dairy farm, Mary Dickenson knows how hard it can be for food producers to get a large-animal veterinarian when they need one, which is part of the reason she enrolled in the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.

"It was frustrating for me to see my dad struggle when he could not do something for his cows,” says Dickenson, a second-year student originally from Grayson County, Va. "I wanted to be that person who could help. And that person, of course, is a veterinarian."

Preparing students like Dickenson to become the next generation of food-animal veterinarians is a crucial part of the college’s mission, especially in light of concerns raised by the American Veterinary Medicine Association and some government agencies that a growing shortage of such veterinarians will make it harder to keep the nation’s food supply safe and protect the public from zoonotic diseases.

In Dickenson’s case, her upbringing helped guide her career choice. But a scholarship created decades ago by a generous supporter of the college has also helped make it easier for Dickenson, and generations of students before her, to realize their career goals.

Dickenson recently was awarded a Clarence and Gertrude Leach Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship was created in 1980 by Mary Leach of Arlington, Va., who wanted to honor her parents, both of whom loved animals.

"When my father was young he raised homing pigeons and my mother had a monkey that ruined her mother’s lace curtains," Leach says. "Later in life they had a cat and two dogs that gave them a lot of pleasure and comfort."

Leach says she decided to create a scholarship for large-animal-medicine students because "it’s like there’s a vet on every street corner for cats and dogs, they’re taken care of, so I thought I would like to do something for bigger animals."

Dr. Jacque Pelzer, director of admissions and student services, says the scholarship "is what we use for recruiting our food-animal students, so it’s been very important to us."

She adds: "Many of these students come from a rural background. They grew up on a dairy farm or a beef farm. Prices of milk and meat fluctuate and a lot of their parents might not have a lot of money for education. We get a lot of first generation students. This [type of scholarship] is very important to keep them in the program."

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College welcomes new faculty members

The Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences has recently welcomed two new surgeons and a new cardiologist.

Dr. Matthew Nicholson Dr. Matthew Nicholson has joined the college as an associate professor of surgery. He joins the VMRCVM from Veterinary Surgical Center in Vienna, Va., where he was a staff surgeon. Prior to that, he was a staff surgeon with Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls, N.J.

He completed a residency and internship at the University of Pennsylvania’s Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital and is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.

Nicholson earned his bachelor’s degree in animal science from Virginia Tech in 1995 and his DVM from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 1999.

Dr. Wendy Archipow Dr. Wendy Archipow has joined the college as an assistant professor of surgery. She comes to college after completing her residency in small animal surgery at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ill.

She also completed in internship in small animal surgery with the Veterinary Specialist Group in Auckland, New Zealand and a rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine in Philadelphia, Pa. She has also worked as a relief veterinarian in various veterinary clinics in Great Britain.

Archipow earned her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and physiology in 1995 and her B.V.Sc. (DVM equivalent) in 2003 from Massey University in New Zealand. She completed her master’s degree in veterinary clinical sciences in 2009 at Purdue University.

Dr. Andrea Lantis Dr. Andrea Lantis has joined the college as an assistant professor of cardiology. She most recently completed a cardiology residency at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C.

Prior to her residency, she completed a small animal rotating internship at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Ore.

Lantis received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and chemistry in 1997 from Williamette University in Salem, Ore. and her DVM in 2005 from Oregon State University.

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New interns and residents join veterinary college

Fifteen new veterinarians have been hired by the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine as residents and interns.

Internships and residencies are advanced clinical/educational programs pursued by DVMs seeking advance training and/or eventual board certification by organizations like the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, the American College of Veterinary Radiology, or the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmology.

There are five new interns and one new resident in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences.

Interns

Dr. Harmeet Aulakh Dr. Harmeet Aulakh is an intern in surgery and medicine. She received her B.V.Sc.& AH in 2003 and her M.V.Sc. in epidemiology and preventive veterinary medicine in 2005 from Punjab Agricultural University in Ludhiana, Punjab, India. She also completed work with the Education Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates at Louisiana State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine in Baton Rouge, La. She served as an associate veterinarian at Banfield, The Pet Hospital in Vancouver, Wash., and, most recently, she was an associate veterinarian with North Roanoke Veterinary Hospital in Roanoke, Va.

Dr. Francois-Xavier Liebel Dr. Francois-Xavier Liebel is an intern in cardiology, radiology, and neurology. He received his DVM in 2008 from Ecole Nationale Veterinaire de Toulousein in Toulouse, France. He has also been a small animal practitioner in France.


Dr. Colleen Sawyer Dr. Colleen Sawyer is an intern in medicine and surgery. She received her bachelor’s degree in biology in 1997 from Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo. and her DVM in 2009 from North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine in Raleigh, N.C. From 1997 to 2003, Sawyer served with the United States Army Medical Service Corps.

Dr. Cristiane Otoni Dr. Cristiane Otoni is an intern in internal medicine, oncology, and cardiology. She received her DVM in 2003 from the College of Veterinary Medicine of the Sao Paulo State University in Brazil, where she completed a residency in small animal medicine. She most recently completed one year of clinical rotations at the University of Wisconsin’s School of Veterinary Medicine in Madison, Wis.

Dr. Daniel Picazo CarrenoDr. Daniel Picazo Carreno is an intern in emergency and critical care, radiology, and exotic animal medicine. He received his DVM in 2002 from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona in Barcelona, Spain. He most recently completed an internal diagnostic imaging fellowship at Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine in East Lansing, Mich.

Resident

Dr. Alison O’KellDr. Alison O’Kell is a resident in small animal internal medicine. She received her DVM in 2008 from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan. Most recently, she completed a small animal rotating internship at the VMRCVM.


There is one new intern and five new residents in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences.

Intern

Dr. Mary SwartzDr. Mary Swartz is an equine field services intern. She earned her bachelor’s degrees in animal science and zoology in 2005 and her DVM in 2008 from Oklahoma State University.

 

Residents

Dr. Celeste BlumerichDr. Celeste Blumerich is a resident in large animal medicine. She earned her bachelor’s degree in animal science in 2001 and her DVM in 2008 from Michigan State University. Most recently, she completed an internship at New England Equine Medical & Surgical Center in Dover, N.H.


Dr. Robin FontenotDr. Robin Fontenot is a large animal surgery resident. She earned her bachelor’s degree in animal and dairy science in 2005 and her DVM in 2008 from Mississippi State University in Starkville, Miss. She also recently completed an internship in equine medicine and surgery at the same institution.

Dr. Natasha HovanessianDr. Natasha Hovanessian is a large animal medicine resident. She received her B.V.Sc. in 2007 from the University of Sydney in Sydney, Australia. She was most recently an intern at Goulburn Valley Equine Hospital in Shepparton, Victoria, Australia.


Dr. Jennifer LarsonDr. Jennifer Larson is a resident in equine field services. She received her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry in 2004 from Virginia Tech and her DVM in 2008 from the VMRCVM. She most recently completed an equine medicine and surgery internship at Brazos Valley Equine Hospital in Navosta, Tex.

Dr. Catherine LenoxDr. Catherine Lenox is a resident in veterinary nutrition. She received her bachelor’s degree in 2002 from Duke University and her DVM from the University of Missouri in 2007. She completed her internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Colorado State University. Most recently, she was in practice at St. Louis Animal Emergency Clinic in St. Louis, Mo.


There is one new resident in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology.

Intern

Dr. Karl KroenleinDr. Karl Kroenlein is an intern in clinical pathology. He completed his bachelor’s degree in environmental and evolutionary biology in 2008 from Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. and his DVM in 2007 from the VMRCVM. He was most recently an associate veterinarian at Valley Animal Hospital in Roanoke, Va.


There are two new residents at the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center.

Residents

Dr. Adriana Guedes Alves da Silva Dr. Adriana Guedes Alves da Silva is a resident in equine medicine. She earned her Médico Veterinário in 2003 from Universidade Federal de Viçosa in Brazil. After graduation, she completed two years of post-graduate work in a large animal medicine and surgery training program. She was most recently an intern at Weems and Stephens Equine Hospital in Texas.

Dr. Katy Krista Dr. Katy Krista is a resident in equine surgery. She received her bachelor’s degree in animal science in 1999 and her DVM in 2003 from Kansas State University. She has worked as an associate veterinarian at an exclusively equine practice in Kentucky and as an emergency ambulatory veterinarian for an equine surgical referral hospital in Florida. She most recently completed an internship in equine surgery and emergency care at the EMC prior to starting her residency.

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News in Brief


Gargagliano recertified as American College of Healthcare Executives Fellow

Richard Gargagliano

Richard Gargagliano was recently recertified as an American College of Healthcare Executives Fellow, the highest credential offered by the college.

The American College of Healthcare Executives has recently re-certified Richard Gargagliano, chief operating and fiscal officer of the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center, as a Fellow.

This is the highest credential offered by the college and those who earn it have demonstrated a commitment to the highest standards in the profession of healthcare manage and have indicated a commitment to excellence in the field. It is considered a board certification in healthcare management.

Gargagliano earned his Bachelor of Science degree in public health from the University of Massachusetts and his Master of Science degree in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

He joined the equine medical center in 1987 and served as its chief financial officer for many years. Gargagliano, who has almost 35 years of hospital and health care management experience, was recently named chief operating and fiscal officer and has assumed direct responsibility for the implementation of strategies designed to ensure that the center meets a series of revenue development and cost-containment goals.

Read the full press release on Gargagliano’s accomplishment.

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Virginia Law Enforcement K-9 Memorial to be dedicated

K-9 Memorial

An estimated 100 K-9 officers and their dogs are expected to attend the dedication of the Virginia Law Enforcement K-9 Memorial on October 16 at the veterinary college.

On October 16 at 2 p.m., the Virginia Law Enforcement K-9 Memorial will be dedicated in ceremonies outside of the veterinary college. Virginia Attorney General Bill Mims will provide the keynote address. Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger and Dean Gerhardt Schurig will also present remarks.

The memorial consists of a life-size bronze German Shepherd law enforcement dog sculpted by Blacksburg artist Larry Bechtel. Located adjacent to the main entrance of the VTH, it will be installed upon a granite base that will denote the names of Virginia law enforcement dogs that have lost their lives in the line of duty.

An estimated 100 K-9 officers and their dogs from departments located in cities and counties across the state, as well as hundreds of others, are expected.

All members of the college community and the public are invited and encouraged to attend. More information on parking logistics for individuals in the VMRCVM will be provided one week before the event.

Please email Christy Jackson at cljacks@vt.edu for more information.

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Class of 2013 admitted to college

VMRCVM Class of 2013

The Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine’s Class of 2013 was formally "admitted" to the college with a "White Coat Ceremony."

The Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine’s Class of 2013 was formally "admitted" to the college following a "White Coat Ceremony" in which the 95 new students were issued white laboratory coats and administered the "Veterinary Student’s Oath." The Class of 2013 represents an increase of five students from previous years, a trend the college hopes to continue. Once the college’s new instructional building is constructed, the college is expected to increase enrollment to 120-130 students.

Almost 900 individuals applied for admission to the VMRCVM’s Class of 2013 and 200 personal interviews were conducted to select the new students.

Incoming students represent 49 different undergraduate institutions, with 35 students hailing from undergraduate programs at the VMRCVM’s parent institutions, Virginia Tech and the University of Maryland at College Park. The students majored in disciplines ranging from biomedical science to nursing to French. Sixty members of the Class of 2013 were animal science or biology majors.

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College implements new security measures

The veterinary college recently implemented the newest phase of its increased security protocol. In addition to wearing identification badges, faculty, staff, and students will now be required to swipe their badges through electronic locks to acquire access to various areas of the college and hospital.

Virginia Tech faculty, staff, and students may be authorized to enter the veterinary complex; however, other visitors to the college will be required to use provided phones to call their host to be allowed entry to the college. They will then be given visitor identification and will be escorted during their stay at the VMRCVM. Clients to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital will still be able to enter the facility as normal; however, access to areas outside of the hospital will be restricted.

Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to be aware of their surroundings and recognize and report any unfamiliar person who is not wearing proper identification.

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Dog wash to be held October 3

community dog wash

DVM students will present their semi-annual community dog wash on Saturday, October 3.

DVM students will present their semi-annual community dog wash on Saturday, October 3 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event will be held at the rear of the veterinary college complex. Signs on Southgate Drive and Duck Pond Drive will guide participants to the event.

The cost of a dog wash is $10 and for an additional $5 customers can have their dogs' nails trimmed and ears cleaned.

Animals will be washed on a first-come, first-served basis. However, no appointments are necessary. Dogs will be washed while owners wait. Dogs must be on a leash, and be at least five months old with current vaccinations.

For more information, e-mail Kara Pietroski.

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Jenny Robinson honored by the Veterinary Teaching Hospital

Jenny Robinson

Jenny Robinson (right) receives the 2009 Veterinary Teaching Hospital Staff Recognition Award from Dr. Rick Hiller, hospital administrator. Robinson was recently honored during the hospital’s award ceremony in the College Center.

Jenny Robinson, fiscal technician in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, was recently recognized with the 2009 VTH Staff Recognition Award for her contributions to the hospital during the recent awards ceremony in the College Center.

Individuals are nominated for this award by their peers based upon criteria that include a professional attitude, excellent skills and performance, a willingness to help and cooperate with coworkers, and superior efficiency and organization. The faculty, staff, and students working in the hospital then vote on the nominees to determine the winner.

Robinson received a plaque and monetary award in appreciation of her dedication to the hospital and to the college.

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Memorial fund awards announced

Veterinary Memorial Fund grants

Drs. Settlage, Ricco, Leib, Diaz and Rossmeisl (clockwise from upper left) were recently awarded funding totalling over $50,000 from the Veterinary Memorial Fund.

Over $50,000 in clinical research grants have been awarded to five principal investigators in the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine through the 2009-2010 distribution of Veterinary Memorial Fund research grants.

Founded in 1984 by the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association and the veterinary college and recently joined by the Maryland Veterinary Medical Association, the Veterinary Memorial Fund is a program that helps bereaved pet-owners deal with their grief and raises money to improve the quality of healthcare available for future generations of companion animals. Since its inception, the fund, one of the oldest of its kind in the nation, has raised over $1.2 million that has been used to fund more than 100 clinical research programs.

This year’s recipients include:

Dr. Julie Settlage, clinical assistant professor, DLACS, and Carolina Ricco, assistant professor, DSACS, $11,515, “Comparison of Hetastarch-hypertonic saline solution low volume fluid resuscitation versus large volume crystalloid resuscitation in horses with colic.”

Dr. Sandra Diaz, assistant professor, DSACS, $2,533, “Pharmacokinetics of Cyclosporine after Subcutaneous and Intravenous Administration.”

Dr. Michael Leib, C. R. Roberts Professor of Small Animal Medicine, DSACS, $19,677, “Correlation of diagnostic methods in dogs with pancreatitis.”

Dr. John Rossmeisl, associate professor, DSACS, $18,433, “Evaluation of CSF and Blood Biomarkers of Endothelial Damage and Basement Membrane Degeneration as Indirect Indicators of BBB Dysfunction in Chronic Canine Hypothyroidism.”

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EMC surgeon donates veterinary services in Peru

Dr. Jennifer Brown

Dr. Jennifer Brown (left) performs surgery on a patient in Requeña, Peru, with the assistance of Esther Peña, a Peruvian veterinarian associated with Amazon Cares, an animal welfare group in Iquitos, Peru.

Some people like to spend their vacation time touring famous cities, camping and hiking, or sitting on a beach. But that's not how Dr. Jennifer Brown, a clinical assistant professor of surgery at the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center, likes to spend her free time.

Brown would much rather travel to remote areas, where veterinary services are scarce — or even completely unavailable — and donate her professional skills so that the lives of the local animal and human populations are improved.

Most recently, Brown traveled to Requeña, Peru, which is in the Peruvian Amazon, to join seven other volunteers involved with Veterinary Ventures, an organization that schedules and arranges spay/neuter campaigns in developing countries. During this, her third trip with the group, she performed neuters and spays on almost 200 dogs and cats in a place where no veterinarian resides.

Joining her on the trip was fellow equine medical center employee Claire Summers, who works as an operating room technician.

Read the full press release on Brown’s work in Peru.

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CPCVM to present first in seminar series

Dr. Mark Crisman

Dr. Mark Crisman, a professor in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences and veterinary acupuncturist, will present the first in a series of lectures and continuing education programs at the Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine on Oct. 19.

The Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine will host the first in a series of continuing education and current events seminars on October 19 at 6 p.m. on their College Park, Md. campus.

The featured speaker will be Dr. Mark Crisman, a professor in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, who will present a lecture on acupuncture. Dean Gerhardt Schurig will also be on hand to give an update on college activities, including budgetary challenges and changes to the interview process for potential students.

All veterinarians in the Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. area are welcomed and encouraged to attend.

Visit the CPCVM website for more information.

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Put yourself on a Virginia Tech trading card

Hokie trading cards

You can now create your own Hokie trading card. Visit www.vt.edu/All-Americans to learn how.

Virginia Tech recently launched a new website that lets visitors create Hokie trading cards of themselves. Donors who create a card and share why they contribute to academics at the university will be included on the All-American trading card blog and be featured in advertisements for Inside Hokie Sports magazine.

Make your card today by visiting www.vt.edu/All-Americans.

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