PVM Faculty Highlighted in Annual Research Report

April 21, 2017

Drs. Maggie O'Haire, Mohammed Seleem, Chang Kim, Yava Jones-Hall, and Sherry Harbin

By Natalie Weber, PVM Communications Intern

The College of Veterinary Medicine is proud to announce that five talented PVM faculty members: Dr. Maggie O’Haire, Dr. Mohamed Seleem, Dr. Chang Kim, Dr. Yava Jones-Hall, and Dr. Sherry Harbin are featured in the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships (EVPRP) 2015-2016 Annual Report. Each year, the Office of the EVPRP publishes a report highlighting advancements in learning, leadership, and research at Purdue. Published this semester, the issue titled “Lifeology” takes a look at research underway based on the six kingdoms of the biological world.

The report first starts with the kingdom of “Animalia” with a look into Dr. Maggie O’Haire’s work with canines.  Dr. O’Haire’s story, “Paws for PTSD”, describes how the Human-Animal Bond Research Initiative Foundation asked her to study the effects service dogs have on war veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. Her team got right to work, as they began to conduct surveys with participants in the K9s For Warriors program. Their goals are to expand the public’s knowledge on service dogs and their effectiveness with war veterans.

Also featured in the report is PVM Assistant Professor of Microbiology Mohamed Seleem and his work repurposing drugs as possible treatment against bacteria and fungi.  His findings include discovering that two drugs, auranofin and ebselen, could be beneficial and effective in treating bacterial and fungal infections. “I love research, I love the discovery,” shares Dr. Seleem. “I love finding things that would be helpful and applicable in other areas. It’s my passion.”

Dr. Chang Kim, section head of microbiology and immunology in the Department of Comparative Pathobiology, describes his recent findings related to bacteria as well in “Vitamin A Key to Combating Nasty Bacteria.” Dr. Kim discovered Vitamin A’s key role in boosting immune systems by first examining the bacterium C. Rodentium. These findings have the potential to greatly impact human health. Dr. Kim comments, “The more we learn, the better we can prevent or treat infections, inflammations, and autoimmune diseases.”

In the PVM Histology Research Laboratory, Dr. Yava Jones-Hall, assistant professor of veterinary pathology studies gut microbiome in mice with colitis. Her research is covered in the story, “Welcome News for Inflammatory Bowel Disease.” Dr. Jones-Hall and her research team have found that tumor necrosis factor (TNF) contributes to inflammation and changes in inflammatory bowel disease. Their research suggests combining TNF inhibition, along with altering certain microbial communities, may be a successful therapeutic approach.

The annual report also features PVM Professor of Basic Medical Sciences Sherry Harbin in the “Awards” section as one of two professors honored by the National Academy of Inventors as a 2016 fellow for research innovation. Dr. Harbin, who also holds a joint appointment in the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, invented the first standardized, fibril-matrix forming collagen polymers, also known as collymers. She is also the founder of GeniPhys a Purdue start-up specializing in the commercialization of collymers and collagin-fibril materials for research and medical applications.

The EVPRP Annual Report is now available online.  Click here to read the full report.  Keep up the great work PVM faculty! 

Writer: Natalie Weber, pvmnews@purdue.edu

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