Research Day Spotlights Scientific Discovery Across Purdue Veterinary Medicine

Friday, May 3, 2019

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graduate student discusses research on his displayed poster with faculty member
Department of Comparative Pathobiology graduate student Brian Kim discusses his research project, entitled “Establishing a Zebrafish Model of Human Schwannoma Caused by lztr1 Gene Mutations,” with Dr. Stephanie Thomovsky, clinical associate professor of veterinary neurology, at the PVM Research Day poster session.

Research posters, lectures by faculty and graduate students, and a special keynote presentation were among the highlights of Purdue Veterinary Medicine’s annual Research Day.  Held April 8, the popular event attracted a capacity crowd and continued a longstanding PVM tradition affiliated with the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Omicron Chapter of the Society of Phi Zeta, which is the honor society of veterinary medicine in the U.S. The purpose of the Research Day is to showcase scientific discovery in the College that enhances the well-being of animals and people.  During the day, a number of prizes also were bestowed for meritorious research accomplishments.

Dr. Hung presents to a full audience in Lynn 1136
The PVM Research Day attracted large audiences for talks like the one given by Dr. Wan-Chu (Ellan) Hung, a graduate student in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences who was one of the winners of the Phi Zeta Omicron Chapter Graduate Student Research Award.

The program began with a presentation by the recipient of the 2018 Zoetis Award for Veterinary Research Excellence, Dr. Jean Stiles, professor of ophthalmology in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, who spoke on the topic “Feline Herpesvirus, the Cat Tormentor.”  A series of panel sessions followed, with a variety of faculty and graduate student talks on topics related to the human-animal bond, urology, and ophthalmology/genetics. 

Another feature of the PVM Research Day was a poster session, held in the Veterinary Medical Library, where veterinary students, residents, and graduate students shared summations of their research studies.  A total of 53 research posters were on display. Of those, 50 were entered into competitions in the categories of Basic Research, Clinical/Applied Research, and Research by DVM Students.  Congratulations to the following award winners:

Kelly stands speaking beside a podium in Lynn Hall
Neurology resident Kelly Cummings, winner of the Phi Zeta Manuscript Award for Clinical/Applied Research was among the featured speakers during the PVM Research Day.

Basic Science Research Category

  • First Place – Hassan Eldesouky, graduate research assistant, Department of Comparative Pathobiology
  • Second Place – Shawna Cook, graduate student, Department of Basic Medical Sciences

Clinical/Applied Research

  • First Place – Nelly Elshafie, graduate student, Department of Comparative Pathobiology
  • Second Place: – Dr. Li-Jen Chang, anesthesiology resident, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences

DVM Student Research

  • First Place: – Levi Smith, of the DVM Class of 2020
  • Second Place: – Caitlyn Ridenour, of the DVM Class of 2021

During the afternoon, winners of PVM research awards gave presentations on a range of topics, from equine, canine, and feline diseases to the blood-tumor barrier.  Congratulations to the following award-winning speakers:

Phi Zeta Manuscript Award – Clinical/Applied Research

  • Dr. Kelly Cummings, neurology resident, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, “Radiographic Indices for the Diagnosis of Atlantoaxial Instability in Toy Breed Dogs”

Phi Zeta Omicron Award

  • First place – Cosette Rivera-Cruz, graduate research assistant, Department of Basic Medical Sciences
  • Second Place – Dr. Wan-Chu (Ellan) Hung, graduate student, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, “Evaluation of Endotracheal Tube Cuff Pressure and the Use of Three Cuff Inflation Syringe Devices in Dogs” (Dr. Hung spoke in lieu of the first place winner who was unable to attend)

PVM Graduate Student Award
(only the first place winner speaks at the Research Day)

  • First Place – Dr. Alexandra Dieterly, graduate student, Department of Comparative Pathobiology, “The Blood-Tumor Barrier in Lung Cancer Brain Metastases”
  • Second Place – Janelle (Wes) Salameh, graduate research assistant, Department of Basic Medical Sciences

Osborne Award Finalists

  • First Place – Dr. Natalia Strandberg, graduate teaching assistant, Department of Comparative Pathobiology, “Cryoglobulinemia in a 9-Month-Old Puppy with Multiple Myeloma”
  • Second Place – Dr. Jose Goni, “Suspected Pituitary Dwarfism in a 5-Month-Old Quarter Horse Filly”
  • Third Place – Dr. Blake Marcum, “Toceranib Phosphate for Long Term Disease Control in a Case of Feline Pancreatic Carcinoma”

The concluding presentation for the PVM Research Day featured the keynote speaker, who is a scholar with ties to Purdue Veterinary Medicine.  Dr. Jörg Steiner is professor and Dr. Mark Morris Chair in Small Animal Gastroenterology and Nutrition and director of the Gastrointestinal Laboratory at the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.  He spoke on the topic, “Research in Small Animal Gastroenterology – Thoughts About the Past and Future.”

Dr. Steiner received his veterinary degree from Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Germany in 1992, and then completed a small animal internship at the University of Pennsylvania and a residency in small animal internal medicine at Purdue University.  He went on to earn his degree from Ludwig-Maximilians University in 1995 followed by a PhD from Texas A&M in 2000. He is board certified with the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and the European College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, and has been recognized as a Fellow by the American Gastroenterology Association. Dr. Steiner’s research focus is small animal and comparative gastroenterology. He is the author or co-author of more than 290 peer-reviewed articles, 90 book chapters, and 430 research abstracts.  He has been invited to present his work nationally and internationally, and also has served professional organizations in various roles and currently serves as the president-elect of Small Animal Internal Medicine of the ACVIM.

The Research Day concluded with the presentation of awards and the introduction of new Phi Zeta Members.  The event was co-sponsored by Elanco, the Purdue University Office of the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships, IDEXX, and Zoetis.

Writer(s): Kevin Doerr |

Category: Research, Uncategorized

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