PVM Graduate Students Recognized with Awards at 2021 AAVLD Conference

Friday, November 12, 2021

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Daniela is joined by David and Deepanker in front of the stage
Dr. Daniela Peña is joined by American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians Executive Director David Zeman and Immediate Past President Deepanker Tewari at the AAVLD annual meeting.

Congratulations are in order for two graduate students in the Department of Comparative Pathobiology and the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, Dr. Daniela Peña and Dr. Kristen Hill-Thimmesch, who both received special recognition during the annual meeting of the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD). Dr. Peña, who is completing a residency in microbiology, received the Brenda Love Best Student Bacteriology Poster Award for her diagnostic microbiology research on Salmonella titled, “Comparison of a Commercial Kit and Traditional Culture Method for Detection of Salmonella spp. on Spiked and Environmental Samples.” The award of up to $500 is given to the student delivering the best poster presentation on a bacteriology topic. Dr. Hill-Thimmesch, an anatomic pathology resident, received the second place award as part of the 2021 Diagnostic Pathology Slide Seminar for her presentation titled, “Multiple Viral Agents in Racing Pigeons.”

The 2021 AAVLD annual meeting was held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the United States Animal Health Association (USAHA) October 22 – 26 in Aurora, Colo. The AAVLD is a leading organization in the advancement of the discipline of veterinary diagnostic laboratory science and provides students access to peer-reviewed publication, collaboration, outreach, and laboratory accreditation.

We would like to spotlight each of the award recipients, beginning this week with Dr. Peña and continuing next week with Dr. Hill-Thimmesch. 

Daniela smiles standing beside her research poster
Dr. Daniela Peña stands beside her award-winning poster entitled, “Comparison of a Commercial Kit and Traditional Culture Method for Detection of Salmonella spp. on Spiked and Environmental Samples.”
Meet Dr. Daniela Peña

Dr. Daniela Peña joined the Department of Comparative Pathobiology in January of this year as a graduate student and teaching assistant and the first resident of the new Diagnostic Microbiology training program. She has worked as a research assistant in the College of Veterinary Medicine since 2018, conducting studies on multiple drug resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius. As a microbiology resident, Dr. Peña follows a program prescribed by the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists that includes diagnostic microbiology service in the ADDL, diagnostic research, and teaching assignments.

Dr. Peña’s research focuses on enhancing diagnosis of animal disease, as well as working alongside clinicians on their microbiology-related studies. Before beginning her own graduate research, Dr. Peña was a visiting student through the Undergraduate Research Experience Purdue-Colombia Program. During her time in Colombia, she earned her DVM degree from the National University of Colombia and worked in the poultry industry. Her career goal is to become a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists and work in an animal disease diagnostic laboratory.


Writer(s): Madeline Brod, PVM Communications Intern | pvmnews@purdue.edu


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