Updates from the Cummings School of Veterinary ... - Tufts University by zhouwenjuan


									                                                                                                            FALL 2011

                                                             Highlights & News
Updates from the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University

Vital stats...
Over the year, Tufts veterinarians, staff and students treated:
 Nearly 24,500 companion animals at the Henry and Lois Foster Hospital
 for Small Animals
 Over 1,600 patients in the Hospital for Large Animals
 More than 2,000 ill and injured wild animals at the Tufts Wildlife Clinic
 44,700 New England-area farm animals with preventative and routine care
 through the Tufts Ambulatory Service in Woodstock, CT
 Over 12,000 patients at Tufts VETS in Walpole, MA
Cummings School student enrollment (2010-2011):
    339 students in the DVM program
     41 students in Masters Programs
      7 students in the PhD Program
Point of Pride: 70% of Cummings School applicants were matched to
competitive residency training programs, placing the school’s success rate more                “Cajun”and Dr. Thomas Jenei
                                                                                                See Cajun’s story on next page
than 40% higher than the national average for the annual match.

Clinical Sciences Faculty Chair                               Hospital Medical Director
Nicholas Frank, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, an equine                   In March, the Cummings School welcomed Virginia
clinician and researcher with expertise in laminitis,         Rentko, VMD, DACVIM, as medical director for
                         metabolic syndrome and               the Foster Hospital for
                         endocrinology, was appointed         Small Animals and Hospital
                         this spring to chair the             for Large Animals at the
                         Department of Clinical Sciences.     veterinary school’s Grafton
                         Dr. Frank oversees the veterinary    campus. Since 2009, Dr.
                         school’s largest department,         Rentko has served as director
                         leading 50 academic and clinical     at Tufts Veterinary Emergency
                         faculty who serve clients in the     and Treatment Specialties
                         Cummings School’s hospitals,         (Tufts VETS) in Walpole,
                         teach throughout the Doctor          MA, where her tenure was
Dr. Nicholas Frank       of Veterinary Medicine degree        marked by highly successful       Dr. Virginia Rentko, VR91
Chair, Department of     program, and undertake ground-       clinical and business outcomes.              Medical Director
Clinical Sciences        breaking research to improve         She worked as a small animal
animal and human health. Dr. Frank has excelled               internist in the Foster Hospital for several years, in
as a clinician-scholar in the field of equine internal        addition to her previous full-time employment as vice
medicine and endocrinology and comes to Tufts from            president for pre-clinical development at Biopure Corp.
the veterinary faculty at the University of Tennessee.        in Cambridge, MA. There, Dr. Rentko developed
He is an award-winning teacher and also serves as a           and retains expertise and interest in the continuum of
consulting member of the University of Nottingham             activities associated with drug development and blood
faculty in the United Kingdom.                                substitutes for small animals.
Faculty Q&A                                                       Could you discuss your interests and goals related to clinical
                                DR. NICHOLAS FRANK                and translational research? How do clinical trials fit in to
                                                                  Clinical research has tremendous value when you consider its
                                                                  impact on the health and well-being of the animals we care for and
How did you first become interested in veterinary
                                                                  I am proud to say that our faculty is at the forefront of this work.
medicine and teaching as a career path?
                                                                  We must also consider the unique opportunities that we possess in
The first career that I considered as a boy was farming because   veterinary medicine to perform translational research that brings
my grandmother lived in a small village in the Yorkshire          new discoveries to human medicine. Every year our clinicians
Dales and I spent time with my relatives on their hill farm. I    and researchers develop new techniques, define new treatment
subsequently switched to veterinary medicine when I reached       protocols, and raise the standard of care for our patients. Clinical
my teens and started seeing practice with the local veterinary    trials are an integral part of this work and allow us to offer the
surgeons during the holidays. My love of the art and science      latest treatments and procedures. In performing these trials, we
of veterinary practice definitely took root at that point. My     push the boundaries of medicine and provide options that are not
interest in teaching began in practice and developed during       available elsewhere.
my residency.
                                                                  What distinguishes the Cummings School as unique among
What attracted you most in coming to Tufts?                       veterinary specialists in the region?
Tufts University has a wonderful reputation and many of the       My answer to this question is simple – the quality of our specialists
faculty were known to me through their excellent scholarly        and the work that they do every day. No other specialty practice
activity and clinic work. However, I was most attracted by        in the region has the depth and breadth of expertise that we
the specific opportunity that presented itself here. The          have at Tufts. Our scholarly activity gives us this depth because
Department of Clinical Sciences has tremendous depth and          our specialists write the articles that others read, give the talks at
is composed of talented individuals who pride themselves          national meetings that others attend, and develop the diagnostic
on being clinicians, educators, and researchers. This was         and treatment protocols that others follow. The scholarly work that
exactly the sort of department that I wanted to lead as           we perform also attracts the best clinician-scholars in the world to
chair. My decision to take the position here at Tufts was also    positions at Tufts. Our breadth comes from the many specialists
heavily influenced by my positive experiences with Dean           that we have in one location working together as a team. You may
Kochevar and the senior administration during my interview.       only interact with one specialist when you bring your animal to
They introduced me to the wonderful culture of Tufts in           Tufts, but this person is supported by a team of other specialists.
which opportunities are plentiful and innovative thinking is      For example, blood tests are performed in a laboratory supervised
encouraged.                                                       by a clinical pathologist, radiographs are reviewed by a radiologist,
How do you see the school’s clinical teaching curriculum          and surgeries are performed by board-certified surgeons.
evolving over the next five to ten years, building on             Can you outline a few of your greatest challenges related to
what we already do well? What kinds of curriculum                 teaching clinical skills to students and continuing to deliver
enhancements are students asking for?                             exceptional patient service to clients?
We already have an excellent curriculum at Tufts, but it is       It has always been challenging for clinicians to see cases in busy
always important to review our approach and remain open to        specialty hospitals and teach at the same time, but the specialists
new ideas. I hope to make contributions in this area because      at Tufts excel in this area. Students, interns, and residents are
of my experiences teaching part-time at the University of         taught while patients are seen and our technicians provide
Nottingham School of Veterinary Medicine and Science. This        excellent support to maintain our efficiency and quality. It is
veterinary school began training veterinary students five years   important to recognize the value of this teaching for our patients.
ago and has adopted a successful new approach to veterinary       Discussion of cases ensures that all aspects of the patient’s medical
education. With respect to the evolution of our curriculum,       problem are considered and the best plan is developed. Finally,
I would like to see a greater focus on active learning in the     specialists who teach are excellent communicators and this is very
classroom and the development of reasoning skills throughout      important to our clients. One challenge for the future is to meet
the four-year curriculum. My strongest views are about case-      the demands of the public for faster and faster service. We are
based learning. This is the broad concept of incorporating        considering this question and trying to decide if fast-track services
clinical, research, ethical, public policy, legal, or business    can be offered in some areas. These would be additions, rather
cases into our teaching to make information more relevant to      than substitutions to our current services because we continue to
students. Students want to understand the importance of the       recognize the tremendous value of teaching to our profession and
knowledge that they are being asked to acquire.                   patients.
Giving. Growth. Gratitude                                         communities on June 1, 2011. Cajun underwent
                                                                  surgery at Tufts to remove debris from his leg,
                                                                  having been impaled by a finger-sized piece of
to Reach Campaign Goal
                                                                  wood that penetrated his right rear coffin joint
u	 June, Tufts University completed its $1.2-billion              and tendon sheath. Cajun’s care at the Cummings
 Beyond Boundaries campaign. The largest fund-                    School made local and regional news coverage
 raising effort in the university’s history garnered $130         following the tornados. After several weeks
 million in support of the Cummings School. Successful            of intensive care and subsequent rehabilitation
 completion of the campaign came as Tufts President               treatment, Cajun returned, in good health, to the
 Lawrence S. Bacow prepared to step down following                care of his owners in late August.
                                         ten years of
                                                                Staying Prepared to Protect Animals…
                                         service. During         In
                                                                u	 June, the Cummings School joined with the
                                         the campaign, the       United Nations to celebrate the eradication of
                                         Cummings School         rinderpest which killed millions of cattle for
                                         of Veterinary           millennia. Commonly referred to as “cattle plague,”
                                         Medicine was
                                         named by a
                                         $50 million
 Bill and Joyce Cummings
                                         from Cummings
 Foundation, Inc., and its chief benefactors, William,
 A58, and Joyce Cummings.
u	 Agnes Varis, 1930 -2011: The Tufts community
 fondly remembers Dr. Agnes Varis who passed away
 on July 29. Of the Cummings School’s many generous
 friends, Dr. Varis stood out for her admiration
 for students, fearless expression of ideas and deep
                                                                  rinderpest is the first animal disease to be declared
 compassion for animals.
                                                                  eradicated, and only the second disease, ever, after
 Agnes Varis was a
                                                                  smallpox. Tufts University researchers, including
 pioneer in the field of
                                                                  Cummings faculty member and alumnus, Jeffrey
 generic pharmaceuticals
                                                                  Mariner, V87, as well as Andy Catley, BVM,
 and a well-known
                                                                  PhD and Berhanu Admassu, DVM, MSC, of
 philanthropist. She
                                                                  Tufts’ Feinstein International Center (FIC) were
 was a transformational
                                                                  instrumental in vaccine development, production
 benefactor of Tufts,
                                                                  and delivery to the most remote regions of the
 notably establishing an
                                                                  Sahara to save cattle from the disease. Dr. Mariner
 endowed professorship,
                                                                  helped create a thermotolerant vaccine that does
 and providing naming
                                                                  not require refrigeration during transportation,
 gifts for the Agnes                         Agnes Varis in 2008  which was a key factor in the success of far-
 Varis Campus Center
                                                                  reaching vaccination deliveries.
 and Auditorium, the Varis Lecture Hall, and the Varis
 Cat Ward in the Foster Hospital for Small Animals.               Selected Tufts students participated in a Disaster
 A lover of cats, one of Dr. Varis’ most personal gifts           Animal Rescue Course in April enabling them to
 established the Zeus Varis Fund, to benefit oncology             join any of the local agencies and organizations
 patients treated at the Cummings School.                         prepared to take on floods, earthquakes, fires,
                                                                  disease outbreaks, and any other natural or man-
 Cajun and the Tornado: The Hospital for Large
                                                                  made disasters that can harm or displace animals.
 Animals received a horse named “Cajun” from
                                                                  Instructors from the school’s Shelter Medicine
 Brimfield, MA for critical care treatment following
                                                                  Program teamed up with representatives from the
 widespread tornados that struck several Massachusetts
                                                                  International Fund for Animal Welfare,
State of Massachusetts Animal Response Team                          students who read to the dogs experienced a slight
  (SMART), the MSPCA’s large animal rescue team,                     gain in their reading ability and improvement in
  the American Humane Association, the American                      their attitudes toward reading, as measured on
  Veterinary Medical Association’s Veterinary Medical                the Curriculum-Based Measurement (CBM) and
  Assistance Team, and the Massachusetts Emergency                   Elementary Reading Attitude Survey (ERAS),
  Management Agency to deliver the five day elective                 respectively—while those who read to people
  in disaster animal rescue. Topics included an                      experienced a decrease on both measures.
  introduction to incident command systems, marine
                                                                     Good Old Dog: Continuing the series of books
  mammal and wildlife rescue, international disaster                 with practical advice for the average pet owner, Good
  response and sheltering animals during disasters.                  Old Dog was published this past winter through a
  About Conservation                                                 collaborative faculty effort. Edited by Dr. Nicholas
                                                                     Dodman and Lawrence Lindner, Good Old Dog aims
                                                                     to provide owners with essential advice to see their
  Conservation Medicine focuses
                                                                     dogs through the golden
  on health relationships occurring
                                                                     years. Contributing faculty
  at the interface of humans,
                                                                     authors from the Cummings
  animals, and the environment,
                                                                     School also include Drs. John
  and seeks to develop and apply
                                                                     Berg, Suzanne Cunningham,
  health management practices,
  policies and programs that
                                                                     VI04, VR08, Lisa Freeman,
  sustain biodiversity and protect
                                                                     J86, V91, NG96, Michael
  the ecosystems essential to
                                       The Chinese pangolin, also    Kowaleski, V93, Linda Ross,
                                      known as a scaly anteater, is  Scott Shaw, V98 and Jean Joo.
  animal and human health.              being threatened by poachers.
  Conservation Medicine is an                                          Good Old Dog is currently
  emerging interdisciplinary field that incorporates the tools         available in hardcover edition,
  and perspectives of many different scientific and medical            and electronically on Kindle and iBook formats. Good Old
  professions. Conservation Medicine aims to solve complex             Dog will be released in paperback in January, 2012.
  global health problems such as controlling disease in                The
                                                                      u	 Cummings School continues to grow and
  wildlife populations to help protect human and animal                enhance its community outreach initiatives, recently
  health, and preserve species biodiversity.                                                                   launching a new
u	 Tufts Center for Conservation Medicine
 The                                                                                                           Community
 enrolled the first class into the Master of Science in                                                        Programs and
 Conservation Medicine program this fall.                                                                      Resources
 A busy year of curriculum building and program                                                                website for the
 development has yielded this important expansion in                                                           public. The
 the school’s academic offerings.                                                                              school is strongly
                                                                                                               committed to
u	 August, the results of a study on the benefits                                                              increasing the
 of reading assistance dogs were presented in a                                                                diversity of our
 whitepaper authored by Dawn Lenihan, Emily                                                                    student body,
                              McCobb, V00, VG02,                                                               and a number
                              Lisa Freeman, J86, V91,                                                          of efforts by
                              NG96 and Amanda                        The Adventures in Veterinary Medicine     students, staff,
                              Diurba. Second-grade                   Program, one of the school’s best known   and faculty at
                              students with a range of               outreach initiatives, celebrated its 21st
                                                                     season this summer.                       local elementary,
                              reading aptitudes and                                                            middle, high
                              attitudes were paired                  schools and colleges are aimed at increasing awareness
                              with dogs—or people—                   of the veterinary profession among under-represented
                              and asked to read aloud                groups.
                              to them once a week                    Explore our community outreach opportunities online:
                              for 30 minutes. At the                 www.tufts.edu/vet/community_programs/
                              end of the program,
Clinical News                                                       Patent for Antibody Treatment against
                                                                    Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome
Going Minimally Invasive for Maximum Results:
Our hospitals are now routinely integrating minimally               In February, researchers at the Cummings School of
invasive treatment techniques for patients. The major               Veterinary Medicine received US patent approval for
categories of these procedures are minimally invasive               an antibody-based treatment for Hemolytic Uremic
surgery and interventional radiography. Smaller surgical            Syndrome (HUS), a potentially fatal outcome of E. coli
incisions are now possible thanks to cameras which can              poisoning and the leading cause of kidney failure in
be attached to a telescopic device and introduced into a            children. The condition is believed to be caused by one of
joint, the abdominal cavity or the chest cavity. This allows        the two types of Shiga toxin excreted
doctors direct visualization of their surgical area. With           by E. coli, known as Stx2 and Stx1.
                                      interventional radiology,     The Tufts approach to treating HUS,
                                      a catheter is guided in       led by Dr. Saul Tzipori, director of
                                      through a blood vessel        the Cummings School’s Division of
                                      or other natural opening      Infectious Diseases, utilizes human
                                      using a fluoroscope – an      monoclonal antibodies that seek out
                                      imaging machine that          and bind to the Stx and, ultimately,
                                      creates real time video       neutralize it.                              Dr. Saul Tzipori
                                      of the interior of the
                                      body. Devices delivered       Fighting the C. diff Superbug
                                      by the catheters either       Research done at the Cummings School has been
                                      maintain openings that        recognized with the cover article in the prestigious Journal
                                      are closed because of         of Infectious Diseases. Dr. Jennifer Steele, DVM, a recent
                                      disease processes, or close   PhD graduate of the Cummings School, and co-authors,
                                      openings that should                                    make the case for gnotobiotic
Tufts orthopedic surgeon              not be present. Practice                                piglets as a better animal model
Dr. Michael Kowaleski, V93, uses      and perfection of these                                 for studying Clostridium difficile
arthroscopy to examine the interior techniques positions our                                  (C. diff ). Tufts researchers are
of a dog’s knee. The technique allows teaching hospitals as
                                                                                              making inroads to combat the
the surgeon to assess the structures
within the joint without the need     technological leaders in                                growing number of infections,
for a large, painful incision.        clinical treatment.                                     which cause some 30,000 deaths
Client Experience Improvements Coming Soon: The                                               annually in the U.S. alone. The
client reception and waiting areas within the Hospital                                        prevalent use of antibiotics may
for Large Animals and Foster Hospital for Small                                               be largely responsible for breeding
Animals are slated for renovations this year. Additional                                      an epidemic strain of the C.
reconfiguration and enhancements to patient examination                                       diff bacterium. The Cummings
spaces within the Foster Hospital will improve our                  School team is taking a three-pronged approach to the
efficiencies to better serve clients and patients alike.            disease - developing a vaccine to prevent the infection, a
Further, a new electronic medical records system being              drug to treat it and a rapid test to diagnose it.
implemented will facilitate retrieval of data on our                Co-authored by Associate Professor Hanping Feng, PhD, and
hospital patients, improve communication, and have the              Distinguished Professor Saul Tzipori, the study is available at:
potential to track animal health trends over time.                  www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/pdf/10.1086/649799

                                                                    Growth in Pathology
Research Highlights
                                                                    Over the past summer, the school’s Pathology Teaching
The Division of Infectious Diseases at the Cummings                 Suite underwent major renovations and improvements to
School of Veterinary Medicine is Tufts University’s                 better serve our patients, students, staff and faculty. These
largest research division. The division also oversees the           infrastructure investments are accompanied by faculty
New England Regional Biosafety Laboratory, a 41,000                 additions in pathology. This fall, the Cummings School
square foot, biosafety level-2 and -3 facility dedicated to         welcomes the arrival of Drs. Jerry Lyons and Julia Lucas
the study of existing and emerging infectious diseases,             to the school’s pathology teaching, clinical service and
toxin-mediated diseases and medical countermeasures                 research team.
important to biodefense.
                                                                                                             FALL 2011

                                                          Highlights & News
Updates from the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University

Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine                                                              www.tufts.edu/vet
Tufts University
200 Westboro Road
North Grafton, MA 01536

Our Mission                                              “Together We Begin...”
At the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine             Tufts University welcomes a new president, Dr. Anthony
at Tufts University, we improve the health and well-      Monaco, who aspires to build on Tufts’ current momentum
being of animals, people, and the environment in          and do more in the
which they live, through excellence and innovation        future to leverage
in clinical service, research, and teaching.              the resources of
                                                          the university’s
Our Goals:
                                                          three campuses to
• Educate and motivate leaders in veterinary medi-        accelerate scientific
  cine and biomedical sciences through programs           discovery in a
  that are forward-looking, comprehensive, and            uniquely collaborative
  responsive to the talents of our students.              fashion.                                  Dr. Anthony Monaco
• Improve the quality of life for animals and provide     The Cummings School has a bright future, and is gaining
  health care for ill and injured animals that is pro-    the resources to make substantial contributions to both
  gressive, compassionate, and evidence-based.            human and animal health. There has never been a more
• Improve animal and human health by conducting           exciting time to partner with us and advance our mission!
  the highest quality basic and clinical research.
• Promote the health of people,                           This publication is produced annually by the Cummings School
  animals, and ecosystems world-                          Office of Development and Alumni Relations. The Cummings
  wide through advancement of                             School has been sustained for more than 30 years by charitable
  public health principles, conser-                       donations from a community that values the importance of our
  vation medicine, and sustainable                        mission. If you wish to join those who proudly support the school,
  agriculture.                                            we invite your help.             www.tufts.edu/vet/giving

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