The Official Newsletter of the School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Volume 3 Issue 7 October 2008
your diary: Volunteers sought to ‘get hooked’
A School honours student,
October 31— investigating the effectiveness of
Halloween worm infestation in the treatment of
gastrointestinal infections, needs
Melissa Logan is appealing for
volunteers to be infected with hookworm
as part of an experiment to test its
effectiveness against Crohn’s disease, a
chronic condition where a person’s own
immune system attacks their digestive
“The use of maggots and leeches, and
even bee venom, in the fight against
injury and disease are centuries-old
techniques already enjoying a comeback
in modern medicine. Hookworm is a
relatively new addition,” said Melissa.
“When introduced to patients suffering
Crohn’s disease, this tiny worm can
reverse the autoimmune response by
creating an immune response to its
presence and effectively put the disease
Hookworm (Necator americanus and
Inside this Ancylostoma duodenale) is transmitted
when eggs in infected human faeces are
deposited on the ground, hatch and
issue: develop into microscopic larvae. People
become infected when the larvae
penetrate the skin, usually of the foot,
Anatomists 2 and eventually migrate to the small
thank donors intestine.
“N. americanus is a good candidate to
use in biotherapy as it causes relatively
Vet students 2 asymptomatic infection and is capable of
learn the key to surviving in the gut for up to five years,”
said Melissa. “But introducing larvae that
a good steak have been contaminated by faecal flora
can pose a major threat to patients who
are already immunocompromised.” Compared to many parasites, hookworm is miniscule, rarely growing to more than a centimetre in length.
Staff reign 2 In the past, when using the larvae for hookworm that has been prepared with The site of infection will be monitored
supreme at therapy, they have simply been washed the new techniques. They must also be over the next three weeks for the
in disinfectant; but this often makes available for three months starting early presence of topical infection. Blood and
trivia them infertile and can even kill them. next year,” she said. faecal samples will also be taken
Melissa plans to treat the larvae with Hookworm infection is prevalent in regularly to monitor the response to
New 3 antibiotics for a more successful underdeveloped countries and can infection and the presence of eggs,
outcome. cause gastrointestinal disease and which indicates viable adult infection.
emergency vet “We are now looking into new anaemia, but this is generally due to a “The project has been scrutinised by the
ready for techniques to make the manufacture of heavy worm burden, recurrent exposure human ethics committee and although it
action therapeutic larvae more efficient, more or the fact that many sufferers already sounds a bit bizarre, it is safe and really
mass produced and as safe as possible. have underlying conditions that have interesting research for people with a
But the larvae still have to be able do compromised their immune system. sense of discovery to be involved in,”
School news 3 their job,” she said. “For healthy volunteers, hookworm said project supervisor Dr Jeff Warner.
One of the aims of the project is to infection should not be a problem,” “To thank participants there will be a
Vet students 4 compare the affects of infection with assured Melissa. “As a precaution we deworming party at the completion of the
traditionally harvested hookworm with will undertake a basic health check on project where various chemicals will be
have a ball that of bacteria-free hookworm and to all volunteers and only infect them with a used to safely eradicate the critters.”
determine if the newly prepared larvae very low dose.” Hookworms are also being trialled in
Meet...Sherie 4 are as effective in establishing infection The 12-week process involves the patients with other autoimmune
as those prepared traditionally. But to hookworm larvae being placed on gauze diseases such as celiac, multiple
Everingham run the project, Melissa needs which is then attached to the underside sclerosis and irritable bowel syndrome;
volunteers. of the forearm. as well as asthma. “The implications are
“I am looking for up to 15 willing subjects “Infection occurs within a matter of hours far reaching,” said Melissa.
to be involved in the experiment; some and, for the next three months, the host Those interested in being involved can
to be infected with the traditionally should feel nothing of the worms inside email Jeffrey.Warner@jcu.edu.au or
harvested hookworm and some with the them,” said Melissa. Melissa.Logan@jcu.edu.au
Page 2 Across the Creek
Faculty gives thanks to anatomical gift donors
“The body is as sacred as a temple and so to “I have been amazed at how positive and
give something so precious is a humane and supportive these people have been and how much
noble act,” said one Medical student in thanks joy they have for life,” she said. “I am also touched “This is my body
to the twelve people who have donated their by the families of donors who, even at a time of
bodies to the JCU Human Bequest Program. great loss and sorrow, have gone out of their way The shell of my being
The student was speaking at the inaugural to contact us to ensure the donation process is
Thanksgiving Service, organised by the Discipline fulfilled.” Which is given to you
of Anatomy, to honour the lasting legacy left by Retired surgeon Gwen Morris, anatomy tutor and a In a final offering to the world
donors to the program. registrant of the bequest program, read a poem
The service was held at Uni Hall on September 29 written by a past donor (see left). I share the elements of life
and attended by families of donors, current “We often don’t realise that our body is one of the
registrants and university staff and students. It was most perfect computers ever built,” she said. “We From these old bones,
led by Rev Wayne Crockford of the JCU can’t learn about it from text books and lectures
Chaplaincy Service and accompanied by a string alone, we need to see it in 3D to appreciate how
quartet of medical students. all the complexities of the body integrate and work My sinews and my nerves.
Twelve candles were lit in remembrance of the so perfectly together.”
donors and then twelve balloons were released as The JCU Human Bequest Program contributes to May that life force that ran in
a sign of their ongoing contribution to medical the teaching of the anatomical sciences to North
education and science. Queensland’s future doctors, physiotherapists, me
occupational therapists, speech pathologists,
A/Prof Richard Murray, Head of Medicine and
nurses, pharmacists, sports scientists and
Shine forth once more
Dentistry, said: “This is a sombre but not
necessarily a sad occasion. Donation is an research scientists And pass to you
assertion of faith in the future and an investment in A first year medical student
youth and the training of the next generation. assured registrants and The knowledge and the power
“We honour the generosity of donors and their families of donors that the
generous donations were That help sustain
families and the trust and faith they have put in the
university.” greatly valued. The miracle of life.”
A/Prof Claudia Diaz, Head of Anatomy and “Your wonderful gift does not
Coordinator of the Bequest Program, said she had go unappreciated. It is an
been overwhelmed by the hundred-plus people irreplaceable gift of
who have shown an interest in the program this knowledge that will help From an anatomical gift donor
year alone. shape us into highly-skilled
Anyone for a BBQ? “For small animal vets meat Students ‘creamed’ by staff at trivia
science is also very important as
An American meat scientist has meat is a major food source for It’s official, staff do have the upper hand when it comes to
spent the last few weeks taking many of the animals they will knowledge; as proved by the results of the Trivia Night
third year Vet students on a treat, which directly affects their held at the School on September 20.
journey from the paddock to the health.” Twelve teams battled it out in seven rounds, including
plate. When not overseeing sport, entertainment, ‘Who Am I’ and of course, science;
Associate Professor Henry Zerby undergraduate studies at OSU’s but it was ‘The Super Pees Pees’ who came out on top.
(pictured) is currently visiting Department of Animal Science The team, made up of P&P staff Suzy Munns, Anna-
Australia as part of a year-long and delivering the meat science Marie Babey, Shane Bullock, Lisa Chilton and Pam
sabbatical from his job at Ohio component of the OSU Vet Megaw, won dinner vouchers and wine for their efforts.
State University. He is based at program, Henry is heavily ‘The Fab Five and Damian’ came in second, after duelling
the University of New England in involved in animal welfare. He is it out Rock, Paper Scissors-style with ‘Ramrod’ to decide
Armidale, NSW, working with a consultant for Wendy’s a tie. The Wooden Spoon went to student team ‘No
beef and sheep CRCs on supply undertaking audits of their Comment’.
chain management, but has products and animal welfare. The win by a staff team meant that they got to ‘cream pie’
taken time out to impart his And how do JCU Vet students the students. Good on Emily Standen, Teal Mogford and
expert knowledge on the science of meat to differ from Ohio State Vet students? “I have Erin Finn for stepping up to the plate, so to speak.
North Queensland’s future veterinarians. very much enjoyed working with these Congratulations to Donna Rudd’s son Joseph who came
“On hearing Henry would be on study leave in students,” said Henry. “They ask really good the closest to guessing the number of Jelly Beans in the
the area, I saw a unique opportunity for third questions – a sign that they are really jar with 1005 (there was 1003 after Jeff Warner ate
year students to be taught meat science by engaged in the subject, which is my ultimate some). He also drew himself out of the raffle to win movie
one of the best meat scientists in the world,” goal. I still go by the rule that learning doesn’t tickets.
said Head of School Prof Lee Fitzpatrick. have to be painful; it can be fun. The more Thanks to fourth year Med Lab Science students for
Henry has been speaking to the students enjoyable I can make the experience the organising the event, especially Simon Bombardieri for
about meat quality and how aspects like more likely students will be interested. taking on the unenviable role of Question Master.
nutrition and genetics can influence the final “OSU also has similar demographics to this The event raised more than $400 which will fund the
product in terms of tenderness, palatability uni in the sense that 80% of our 500 Vet MLS-BMS annual ball on October 11 at the Plaza Hotel.
and juiciness. They have also covered the students are female. We also face similar After the success of last year’s event, the theme will again
important issues of meat safety and product preferences, with most students wanting to be be ‘masquerade’, but this time the ticket price includes a
development, including value-added products small animal vets – they have grown up with formal dinner. Tickets cost $60 each and are available
such as salt. pets, want to live in an urban area and are from the Sherie in the Main Office.
The students even had the chance to make attracted by the higher pay. It’s a constant
their own patties. challenge we face.”
“For those students interested in becoming Henry has brought his wife and three
large animal vets it should become clear to daughters with him for his year-long stay in
them that their mission is not only to keep the the country, leaving postgraduate Vet
animal healthy in terms of welfare but also as students looking after their sheep farm.
far as the safety of the end product is “We’ve left it in good hands,” he said.
concerned,” said Henry. Henry returns to Armidale on October 8.
If you have a good story, anecdote or upcoming information for the next School newsletter contact: Gemma Berry, Marketing and
Communications Officer for the School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences.
Room: DB87-024; Extension: 4398; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Volume 3 Issue 7 Page 3
New emergency vet eager to sink his teeth in
For most, a good reason not to live in North veterinary medicine,” he said. “He has boundless
Queensland is its venomous creatures; energy and a determination to get a good job
spiders, snakes, jellyfish, to name a few. But done. I am quite certain he will work hard to help
for the School’s new Senior Lecturer in us equip, staff and (later) run an excellent
Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care it’s a emergency/critical care service.”
major reason for coming to the region. Philip was born in the small town of Whakatane,
Dr Philip Judge joined us last month from on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island.
emergency clinical practice in Melbourne. He graduated from Massey’s vet school in 1991
“I love Australian poisonous animals and the and then spent six years working in small animal
effects their toxins have on our patients,” he said. practices in Wellington, Christchurch and
“Growing up in New Zealand was great - but we Blenheim.
really miss out as veterinarians on some of the “I became interested in veterinary emergency and
most spectacular toxins in the world over there. critical care whilst working at a practice in
Australia, particularly North Queensland, has it all.” Blenheim that saw a significant number of hunting
According to Philip, there is much to learn in the dog injuries and poisonings with 1080,” he said. “I
field of toxinology – the study of animal venoms found the management of these patients
and toxins – and he plans to undertake a doctorate thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying – and the
study in the area. experience prompted me to do further study in the
“Hopefully we can gain some useful insights into area – hence my migration to Australia.”
the management of envenomation not only in He undertook a residency in Veterinary
animals but also in the human field, given the huge Emergency and Critical Care at the University of
impact envenomation has on the human Melbourne and has Membership of the Australian
population in the developing world,” he said. College of Veterinary Scientists in both Veterinary
The majority of Philip’s teaching will be in the final Emergency and Critical Care and Medicine of
two years of the Veterinary Science curriculum. He Dogs. Dedication: Philip ventilating a Tiger snake bite victim, Christmas Day.
will also head up the Animal Emergency Centre in Philip obtained a Master of Veterinary Studies in
Melbourne. He and his wife Charisma also
the new veterinary clinical teaching hospital, due Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care from
launched veteducation.com.au, an online/distance-
to open at the end of the year. Melbourne in 2001 and for the next six years
learning veterinary education business that runs
“Staffing and equipping a brand-new emergency worked at the Animal Emergency Centre (AEC) in
short online courses for veterinary nurses and live
facility for Townsville is an exceptional challenge the city - at the time the largest 24-hour veterinary
online lectures for veterinarians, provided by some
that is really very exciting,” he said. emergency centre in Australia with a caseload of
of Australia’s top specialists.
“I also hope to bring enthusiasm and excitement over 12,000 emergency cases per year.
“It has been incredibly satisfying to see
about veterinary emergencies to the students. So “It was a fantastic place to learn and work - we had
veterinarians from all over Australia - especially in
many vets graduate terrified of emergency three ventilators, computer-regulated IV infusion
rural and regional areas - log in for continuing
medicine because the animals are sick, the clients pumps to deliver fluid support to over 70 patients
education opportunities that would previously only
are stressed and the teaching time has been at any one time, and a complete range of
be available at conferences in major cities,” he
limited. I think this is a real shame, because diagnostic, surgical and monitoring equipment,” he
emergency cases are some of the most satisfying said. “I became the senior veterinarian at the AEC
in 2004 and established a formal training program “We have even had veterinarians and nurses from
and rewarding cases we can manage. I love Brazil, the UK, US and South-East Asia joining us
emergency medicine and I want everyone else to at the facility for both veterinary nurses and
veterinarians.” as well - giving us a great opportunity to learn from
love it too.” veterinarian experiences otherwise not directly
A/Prof Richard Squires, Head of Veterinary In late 2006, Philip undertook a 12-month surgical
accessible to us.”
Clinical Sciences, is looking forward to working externship with a specialist surgeon at a private
referral centre, where he trained in neurosurgery, When there’s time for play, Philip can usually be
with Philip in the new hospital. found outside. “I am a mad sea kayaker – do crocs
“I’ve known Philip for 12 years and liked him from surgical oncology and was Head of Critical Care at
the centre. like plastic kayaks up here? – and like running,
the beginning. He burns quietly (and modestly) bush walking and mountaineering. I also love
with white hot enthusiasm for his chosen areas of Since late last year, he has been a senior
playing the saxophone.”
veterinarian at a new emergency centre in
Janice mingles with welfare colleagues Last research seminar for 2008
Dr Janice Lloyd attended the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy’s Visiting meat scientist A/Prof Henry Zerby and Dr
international conference on the Gold Coast last month. “It was an excellentJanice Lloyd gave research seminars last month.
conference and met its goal of bringing together people from across the Henry discussed the value of meat science and
world to discuss and learn about the latest thinking in animal welfare,” said
Janice about the relationship between guide dogs
Janice. “As a relative newcomer, it was great for me to meet others in the and their owners.
field and I have returned laden with information that will be useful for teaching
The next seminar, entitled ‘Curse of the Labrador Duck’, will take place on
and research.” October 31. Dr Glen Chilton (pictured), partner of Lisa, the School’s new
physiologist, is Professor Emeritus at St Mary's University College in Calgary,
Postgrad students move on Canada, and newly appointed Adjunct Senior Lecturer at JCU. He is an
ornithologist and behavioural ecologist. The presentation will tell of the extinct
A number of postgraduate students have recently finished their Masters
projects and returned home. We have bid farewell to Malaysian Fuziah Labrador Duck, a story of adventure and intrigue, smuggling and murder.
Muhayat, Americans James Bishop and Thomas Oguin and Indian Jaishree
Bhojwani. Indonesian Desniwaty Karo Karo, who has also finished up her Careers night for Med Lab students
Masters project on avian influenza, has also returned home but, subject to Med Lab Science students had the chance to speak to pathologists at the
funding, hopes to return in the New Year for a PhD. event. “It was great to see all areas of pathology represented, including the
adventures available to us in the NT,” said fourth year Emily Standen.
Chris Coleman will travel to Perth on October 3 with partner Sandy and It’s a boy!
horses Uni and Pencil to represent Queensland in the National Polocrosse Trish Gorbal gave birth to her second child on
Championships on October 13–19. Good luck Chris. September 30. Bryce John was born at 10.27am
weighing in at 8lbs. Congratulations to Trish and
Linda takes on purchasing David on their new arrival.
Linda McDonald joined us last month as Acting-Purchasing Officer, from
JCU’s Financial and Business Services. Born and bred in Townsville she has Horse specialist joins us
spent the last ten years coming back and forth to JCU. She spent a Dr Rachel Tan, Senior Lecturer in Large Animal Medicine, arrived
few years living in Vancouver, Canada, before settling back into life at the School last month. Tune in to the next issue for more details.
in Townsville. “This time I’m back permanently,” she said. Linda is Rachel is currently based in DB87-208 with Philip Judge. Both will
with us until Kylie Bannister returns in February. move over to the new vet hospital on its completion.
Page 4 Across the Creek
The School of From the back of the crush
Veterinary and Official column of the JCU Veterinary Students’ Association
Biomedical The month of September has most
certainly been one of the highlights of
sticking it out with an injured foot!
There were smashing tackles, mighty
Sciences the Vet student calendar. As the first
years approach the end of their
passes, lethal dodges and 'run-like-
you-stole-it' sprints to the try line
primary year and the third years begin throughout the games. The boys were
to see the light at the end of the tunnel, supported by a huge turn-out of Vet
1 Solander Drive the social escapades of the renowned kids and friends, some of which had
'vet kids' have been in full swing. some pretty fantastic war cries (ask for
James Cook University The first round of the Inter-Faculty the new version of Baa Baa Black
Douglas Campus Rugby 10s tournament kicked off with Sheep from Lauren Clark and Roxanne
Townsville gusto. The mighty Vet Rams have Fraser). A massive thankyou to all the
been training for weeks; it seemed just supporters, but recognition must be
QLD 4811 about every bloke in Vet put his hand given to John Hosie who co-ordinated
Australia up to run out onto the footy field (and the event smoothly and led our boys to
some girls too). The first game was a victory. Thankyou also to Esala Teleni did a great job and kept us all
Tel: +61 (0)7 4781 4278 huge success, with the Vet Rams for his training advice, to Justin and entertained. VSA President Harry
dominating the field against the School Charles for running water, to Scott Markwell must also be commended for
Fax: +61 (0)7 4779 1526 of Business. Special mention must go Cullen for bringing down our mascot, his effort toward the night, as must the
to Lachlan Perkins for his death- Ernie the ram, and to everyone else rest of the VSA, who all put in a
defying runs and to Jeremiah that helped out on the night. The next tremendous effort to make sure it was
McGowan who ploughed through the game will take place on October 9 on a success. Best Mask went to the
opposition like a steam train to score. the Main Oval. ingenious Phil Pearson (pictured) who
The second game was also a close This epic night was followed by the went all out, Best Dressed Gentlemen
match and while we didn't come away most prestigious event of the year: The went to Josh Berryman and Best
with the upper hand against the School PROVET Masquerade Veterinary Dressed Lady went to Susie Bolte.
of Education, the boys put in an Science Ball - and what a night it was! With live entertainment and good
awesome effort - good on you Cozy for Girls and boys in their finery, displayed spirits, the night was a hit and one to
their creative masks, danced up a be rivalled in years to come.
storm and had a few refreshing
beverages along the way - we partied
as only Vet kids can. Kylie
Thanks to Henry Zerby for entertaining
us with a motivating speech. The MCs Kylie Francis
of the night, second years Roobiny VSA Sports Coordinator
Sivananthan and Meghan Stephenson,
Give a brief description of who you new in the business industry. I then got
are, what you do and where you’ve the position here at VBMS to cover for
come from. Trish Gorbal while she was Acting-
I was born in Townsville and lived here Purchasing Officer.
until I was twelve, I moved to
Bundaberg with my Dad where I What is the most satisfying aspect
completed Grade 8 to 12. After high of your job?
school I went to Tafe to get a I’m really enjoying all areas. There is a
Certificate III in Childcare. I then lot of variation in this job, it’s so much
moved out of home and returned to more then just administration. I get to
Townsville to start my own life. Eight meet lots of different people from all
months later I moved into a flat with a walks of life and get to experience the
friend, where I met Doug and his dog respective industries associated with
Dakota who lived next door. Now we’re the School. It is so different to what I
engaged and planning to get married was doing before.
I am currently employed at the School What are your ambitions?
as an Administration Assistant. I work To continue on this career path. I
in the Main Office doing general would like to stay working for this me and given me the best upbringing. I
administration duties such as, printing, School and eventually progress to try to make him proud and to thank him
photocopying, binding and filing. I also other positions. I also want to complete for all he has done for me. He is
keep track of Workflow claims, process some training or study to better myself someone I look up to.
appointment forms, purchase within the business industry.
requisitions and any pathology What is the best advice you have
As for life in general, I look forward to
samples that come in. I deliver mail on been given?
getting married; travelling to some nice
campus, order stock for the stationary A wise saying my great grandfather
places for holidays and seeing a bit of
cabinet and keep records of pathology the world; buying a home and having used to say to my dad, who then
invoices. children one day. And no debt would passed it down to me is, ‘I used to cry
be nice. because I had no shoes, until I met a
What jobs have you had before man who had no feet.’
coming to JCU? Who has been the most significant Also, ‘The best way to succeed in life is
My first job was at Target as a influence on your career/life and to act on the advice we give to others.’
checkout operator and I worked in a why?
childcare centre as a full time assistant My dad has been the most influential If you weren’t in this job, what
for two years. I worked at a coffee person in my life. He has had to make would you be doing?
shop for a little while until I started with tough choices and I’m proud of what I would probably be in a childcare
a new childcare centre. After working paths he has chosen and the centre studying to be a group leader.
there for almost two years I decided to accomplishments he has achieved for But if I could be anything, I would
expand my skills and try something himself. He has always been there for become a primary school teacher.