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					        Virginia                                                                                     Winter - Spring 2004




       maryland
         Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine




                                                                                                                  Photo by Jeffrey Douglas
The Caissons Go Rollin’ Along--Soldiers and horses from “The Old Guard” perform a burial ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery near
Washington. Eight times a day, five times a week, a veteran or dignitary is buried with full military honors in the distinguished ceremony.
Veterinarians in charge of the Caisson Platoon’s horses rely upon the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg to provide
advanced veterinary medical and surgical support for the horses. Over the years, more than 50 of the horses have been treated for colic,
lameness and other disorders at the center.


Veterinary College Researchers Seeking                                                         Eyre Steps Down
To Clone “Mad Cow Disease” Resistant                                                           As Dean
Cattle Strains                                                                                      Peter Eyre, dean of the Virginia-
     With about $300,000 in                         Most people think of disease as            Maryland Regional College of
funding from the National Institutes          being caused by infectious organisms             Veterinary Medicine (VMRCVM)
of Health, two scientists in the              like bacteria, viruses, rickettsia,              since 1985, has resigned from the
VMRCVM are trying to produce and              protozoa or fungi, explains Eyestone, a          deanship for personal health reasons.
then clone cattle that are genetically        molecular reproductive biologist who             Virginia Tech Provost Dr. Mark
incapable of developing “Mad Cow              formerly served as Senior Research               McNamee has appointed Associate
Disease.”                                     Scientist for PPL Therapeutics, the
     As federal and state government          Scotland-based organization that cloned          Please see Eyre page 20
officials grapple with strategies to           Dolly the sheep. He now spearheads
limit the economic and health risks
associated with the troublesome
                                              the VMRCVM’s transgenic animal
                                              research program as a research associate
                                                                                                          Inside
discovery of the nation’s first case of        professor in the Department of Large                 Research Spotlight .............. 11
Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy              Animal Clinical Sciences. Those
(BSE) – or “Mad Cow Disease”—                 microorganisms reproduce themselves
Drs. William Eyestone and Bill                to cause disease in fairly conventional              Development ........................ 26
Huckle are conducting important               ways, either inside a cell or elsewhere in
research with the little understood           the body.
molecules believed to cause the                                                                     Leesburg News .................... 30
deadly brain-wasting disease.                 Please see “Mad Cow” page 39
                                                                                                 College Park News ...............37
                                                                                               Virginia-Maryland 1
   Virginia Maryland is published periodi-
 cally by the Virginia-Maryland Regional
 College of Veterinary Medicine. We                                    Dean’s Desk
 welcome your comments, suggestions
 and questions. Please address all
 correspondence to:
             Virginia-Maryland
                 VMRCVM
   Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061                                 Interim Dean
                                                                       Gerhardt Schurig

     EDITORIAL ADVISORY
           BOARD                                     Greetings from Blacksburg
Gerhardt Schurig, D.V.M., M.S., Ph.D.                      It has been four months since former Dean Peter Eyre resigned after 18 years
    Interim Dean                                     of service. He has rejoined our ranks as professor and continues to contribute with
                                                     a variety of routine and special initiatives. I am enjoying my responsibilities as
John C. Lee, Ph.D.                                   interim dean and appreciate all of the support and cooperation I am receiving.
    Associate Dean for
    Research and Graduate Studies
                                                           As a founding faculty member in 1978, I remember what our college was like
                                                     when Peter Eyre arrived in 1985. The late Richard B. Talbot, our founding dean,
Grant Turnwald, B.V.Sc., M.S.                        had overcome economic and political adversity to establish the college, but we were
    Associate Dean for Academic                      brand new and faced many challenges. We had not yet achieved full accreditation
    Affairs                                          from the AVMA. We were less than halfway through our building program here at
Siba K. Samal, B.V.Sc., Ph.D.                        Blacksburg, and lacked the funding to finish our physical plant. Our Marion duPont
     Interim Associate Dean - Maryland               Scott Equine Medical Center had just opened its doors, but faced fiscal uncertainty.
     Campus                                          Our partnership with Maryland was functional in spirit but flawed in practice.
                                                           By the end of Dr. Eyre’s tenure, we were a nationally recognized, fully
Greg Troy, D.V.M., M.S.
    Head, Department of Small Animal
                                                     accredited, two-state, three-campus professional school with a $32 million budget,
          Clinical Sciences                          a 360,000 square foot physical plant, 500 students, 350 employees and almost 1600
                                                     alumni, most of whom are practicing in communities, corporations and government
Craig Thatcher, D.V.M., M.S., Ph.D.                  agencies across Virginia, Maryland and the nation. We have come a long way.
     Head, Department of Large Animal                      In 2003, we have become what was envisioned by those who led the grassroots
          Clinical Sciences
                                                     effort to create our college in the 1970’s. But we are, it seems to me, far from what
Lud Eng, B.A., M.A., Ph.D.                           we will become in the years ahead.
    Head, Department of                                    Society needs more from the veterinary profession than ever before. In
    Biomedical Sciences & Pathobiology               addition to providing quality animal health care, veterinarians must step up to help
Nathaniel White, II, D.V.M., M.S.
                                                     protect our nation from bioterrorism, re-emerging and newly emerging infectious
    Interim Director, Marion duPont Scott            diseases and other public health threats. Our college has historic strength in public
    Equine Medical Center                            veterinary practice, and we are prepared to help.
                                                           Here at Virginia Tech, our college has become affiliated with the university’s
Robert A. Martin, D.V.M.                             new Institute for Biomedical and Public Health Sciences (IBPHS), a venture that
    Medical Director, Veterinary
    Teaching Hospital                                will combine human, technical and financial resources in a synergistic way that
                                                     vastly increases our biomedical research achievements at what is already the
                                                     Commonwealth’s leading research and development university. We also play an
 Jeffrey S. Douglas, MS, APR
       Managing Editor                               important role as a partner in the newly created School of Biomedical Engineering
 Terry Lawrence                                      that Virginia Tech has established with Wake Forest University.
       Art Director                                        And across the Potomac, our Maryland activities and relationships show
 Cori Degastyne                                      more promise than ever before in this new age of veterinary medicine. Guided by
       Editorial Assistant
 Christine Boucher
                                                     Peter Eyre’s vision and leadership, our faculty, staff and students have created an
       Administrative Assistant                      enterprise that the people of Virginia and Maryland can be proud of.
 Frank Pearsall and Ann Nadjar                             When I was asked by Virginia Tech to serve as interim dean of the college, it
       Contributing Editors                          took a moment of reflection. Just a few months earlier I had been appointed to lead
 Jerry Baber, Don Massie                             the IBPHS. But having been a part of this college and all that it has achieved over
       Photography
                                                     the past 25 years, I felt like it was my responsibility to do whatever I could to help
                                                     the college maintain it’s great momentum.
     Virginia Tech does not discriminate against           Higher education and the veterinary profession operate in dynamic, sometimes
 employees, students, or applicants on the           turbulent environments. I respect and appreciate the “protocol” of interim
 basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation,      leadership, but I know that our college will face challenges, issues and opportunities
 disability, age, veteran status, national origin,
 religion, or political affiliation. Anyone
                                                     while the search to recruit a permanent dean is conducted. We will not stand still
 having questions concerning discrimination          during this time. We will make decisions, we will remain productive, and we will
 should contact the Equal Opportunities/             move forward.
 Affirmative Action Office.                                  I look forward to working with you in the months ahead, and I hope that you
                                                     will share with me any thoughts and ideas you have about how the college can serve
                                                     you better and continue its quest for excellence.
virginia-maryland 2
   virginia maryland news briefs
Purswell and Smusz
Recognized by VVMA
      Two long-term employees         two women in the history of the
of the Virginia-Maryland              VVMA to receive the award. She
Regional College of Veterinary        earned her DVM, M.S. and Ph.D
Medicine were recognized              degrees from the University of
for excellence at the annual          Georgia. She is a diplomate
meeting of the Virginia               in the American College of
Veterinary Medical Association        Theriogenologists.
(VVMA) held recently at the                 Ted Smusz, Manager of
Hotel Roanoke in Roanoke.             Communications, was recognized
      Dr. Beverly J. Purswell,        as “Friend of the VVMA” at the
professor, Department of Large        meeting. Smusz, who joined the
Animal Clinical Sciences, was         college in 1982, was honored for
awarded the “Paul F. Landis           the communications support he
Virginia Veterinarian of the          has provided between referring
Year” award. That VVMA honor          veterinarians across the state and
                                                                              Ph.D. student Tim LaBranche and DVM student Kijona Key pose
recognizes veterinarians for          clinical faculty members in the
                                                                              with a Jersey cow in the Dairy Center during production of a
their activities as a veterinarian,   Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
                                                                              television spot that profiles Virginia Tech. Aired during the half-time
exceptional contributions to                The call and switching
                                                                              breaks of national football broadcasts, the spot attempts to educate
organizational activities at the      center that Smusz manages
                                                                              people about the role veterinary medicine plays in protecting the
national, state and local levels      handles 800-1200 calls per day
                                                                              nation from bioterrorism.
and community involvement.            and employs a staff of five.
Dr. Purswell is one of only
                                                                            of the proposed sculpture, which           She will work closely with
                                                                            includes a female veterinary         Tech’s continuing education
                                                                            student, a dog, and a horse.         division, organized veterinary
                                                                                  The sculpture is supposed      medical associations like the
                                                                            to represent a modern iteration      VVMA and the MVA, and the
                                                                            of “The Gentle Doctor,” a famous     Center for Organizational and
                                                                            sculpture of a veterinarian on the   Technological Advancement,
                                                                            campus of Iowa State University’s    which is based at the Hotel
                                                                            College of Veterinary Medicine.      Roanoke, in program development
                                                                                  All of the monies used         and delivery.
                                                                            to fund the project are coming             Lynch will serve on the
                                                                            from private donors who wish         Veterinary Teaching Hospital
                                                                            to exclusively support the           Board and advise the VTH
                                                                            anniversary sculpture project,       Director on matters of hospital
                                                                            according to Schurig.                policy and procedure, outreach,
                                                                                                                 and veterinary cooperative
                                                                            VMRCVM                               extension.
This digital fabrication illustrates how the sculpture might look                                                      Lynch earned her Ph.D. in
when installed on the grassy hill located at the main entrance to           Welcomes New                         Human Resources and Education:
the college. Jane Talbot, wife of the late Founding Dean Richard B.
Talbot, has pledged a signature gift to help fund the project.
                                                                            Outreach Director                    Educational Leadership and
                                                                                                                 Policy Studies from Virginia Tech
                                                                                                                 in December of 2003. In 1993,
New Statue To Commemorate                                                                                        she earned her M.A. from Virginia
                                                                                                                 Tech in Education: Counseling
College’s 25th Anniversary                                                                                       and Student Personnel Services.
                                                                                                                 In 1987, Lynch earned her B.A. in
       A statue celebrating           for a few years. Former Dean                                               English from Longwood College.
the human/animal bond and             Peter Eyre and Biomedical Media                                                  Lynch has served
modern veterinary medicine            Unit artist Terry Lawrence began                                           as an instructor in Tech’s
should be cast and installed          thinking about the project early                                           Interdisciplinary Studies program,
on VMRCVM grounds in time             in Virginia Tech President Charles                      Dr. Judith Lynch   as director of undergraduate
to celebrate the college’s 25th       Steger’s administration when                                               recruiting in the College of
anniversary in 2005.                  a committee led by University               Dr. Judith Lynch has been      Engineering, as an alumni and
       Jane Talbot, wife of the       Distinguished Professor Tony          named Outreach Director for the      student programs coordinator in
late Founding Dean Richard            Distler began exploring ways          VMRCVM. Lynch will provide           the Alumni Association, and in
B. Talbot, will provide major         to bring more sculpture to the        broad leadership for the college’s   many other capacities at Tech.
funding with a signature              Virginia Tech campus.                 outreach function in the new               Most recently she served
gift, and the balance will be                Lawrence began working up      position, which reports to the       as a legislative assistant with
provided with additional private      some conceptual sketches and          Veterinary Teaching Hospital         Virginia Delegate David Nutter in
support.                              contacted artist Gwen Reardon of      director.                            Richmond.
       “We are very grateful for      Lexington, Kentucky. Reardon                She will develop, market and
what Jane has done,” said             did the famous life-size sculptures   manage a variety of professional,
Interim Dean Schurig. “This is        of 17 racehorses at Thoroughbred      paraprofessional and corporate
a very important development          Park in Lexington.                    outreach programs designed to
in the history of the college.”              Working with Lawrence’s        meet the needs of the professional
       Planning for the statue        conception as a base model, she       veterinary community in a pro-
has actually been underway            crafted and cast a bronze model       active fashion.

                                                                                                     Virginia-Maryland 3
                                    this organization. To honor him
                                    for these efforts, the ALBC has
                                    renamed their annual exceptional
                                    service award the “Bixby-
                                    Sponenberg Award.” The new
                                    name is intended to jointly honor
                                    the longtime ALBC Director Don
                                    Bixby, DVM and Dr. Sponenberg,
             Delbert Jones          for their three decades of work in
                                    saving endangered breeds.
LEPDN Program                             Sponenberg’s interests
                                    lie specifically in the “landrace”
Held at College                     populations from the United
      The Laboratory Employee       States. Landrace breeds,
Professional Development            according to “A Conservation
Network (LEPDN) recently            Breeding Handbook,” which                 Dr. Chang-Hung Chou, President of National Pingtung University of
presented a day long                was co-written by Sponenberg,             Science and Technology (NPUST), Pingtung, Taiwan, recently visited
symposium entitled “New             are consistent enough in their            the college. He is interested in exploring opportunities to expand the
Developments in Laboratory                                                    cooperative relationship Virginia Tech has had for about ten years with
                                    physical characteristics to be            his university, and is particularly interested in developing a program with
Technology Exhibits and             considered breeds, though their           veterinary medicine. Pictured are Dr. Yasuhiro Suzuki, former Dean Eyre,
Workshops” in the college.          appearance varies more than the           Dr. Chou, and Dr. Bob Youngs, a professor emeritus from the College of
      Led by Delbert Jones,         standardized breeds.                      Natural Resources that has been a leader with the existing collaboration.
Biochemistry Laboratory                   They survive as distinct
Supervisor, and open to             populations due to geographic          illness and subsequent death           States Air Force Veterinary Corps
university laboratory employees     and cultural isolation. This natural   of Shawnetta Jennings-El, a            following his graduation from
from across the university,         selection and geographic isolation     colleague in the VTH.                  Auburn.
the event included more than        has created a genetic consistency            Walter volunteered to watch            He has directed the
20 presentations on various         and an adaptation to their local       Shawnetta’s children and pets          college’s VTH since 1993.
molecular diagnostic and            environments. He has worked            during her frequent and extended
evaluation techniques. Almost       very closely with Colonial Spanish     hospitalizations and organized
25 firms participated in the         Horses, Randall Lineback Cattle,       fund-raising and other programs
exhibit hall.                       Spanish cattle in the Deep South       designed to assist the family
      The LEPDN was                 and in Florida, as well as several     during their time of need.
created to help support             breeds of goats.                             Over a several month
Tech’s laboratory technical               The ALBC stresses that           period, she helped raise more
personnel by fostered a             promoting and supporting these         than $5,000, in addition to food,
variety of professional             rare breeds is necessary if we         clothing and toys for the children.
development opportunities,          are to preserve our agricultural                                                                  Dr. Tom Inzana
according to Jones. It is part      history. If we were to lose the
of the university Leadership        genetic diversity in our livestock,
Development Program.                we would be left with just a                                                  Veterinary College
                                    few highly specialized breeds
                                    selected for maximum output
                                                                                                                  Presents
                                    in food production. By studying                                               15th Research
                                    rare breeds that have evolved to
                                    meet certain environmental and                                                Symposium
                                    geographic strains, according to                                                     Drs. Thomas Inzana and Ansar
                                    the ALBC, we can perhaps help                             Dr. Robert Martin
                                                                                                                  Ahmed were named co-winners
                                    meet unforeseen future challenges                                             of the prestigious Pfizer Award for
                                    that affect our own livestock.         Martin Earns Auburn                    Research Excellence and several
             Dr. Phil Sponenberg                                           CVM Distinguished                      graduate students were awarded
                                                                                                                  honors during the VMRCVM’s 15th
Conserving                                                                 Alumni Award                           annual Research Symposium.
                                                                                 VTH Director Dr. Robert A.              Inzana, the Tyler J. and
Rare Breeds of                                                             Martin has been named recipient        Frances F. Young Professor of
Livestock Earns                                                            of the Auburn University College       Bacteriology, is a noted molecular
                                                                           of Veterinary Medicine’s 2003          microbiologist who has generated
Sponenberg Honor                                                           “Wilford S. Bailey Distinguished       more than $2.5 million in extramural
       For nearly three decades,                                           Alumni Award.”                         funding and been awarded three
Dr. Phil Sponenberg, a                                 Vicki Walter              Recognizing distinguished        patents for intellectual properties
professor in the VMRCVM’s                                                  achievement and service in             arising out of research that has led
Department of Biomedical            Walter Honored                         veterinary medicine, the award         to the development of vaccines
Sciences, has been working to                                              was presented to Martin during         for several economically important
keep rare breeds of livestock       with President’s                       Auburn’s 96th Annual Conference.       agricultural diseases. A former
alive. He has been working          Award for                                    Martin, who earned his
                                                                           DVM from Auburn in 1976, is
                                                                                                                  director of the Center for Molecular
                                                                                                                  Medicine and Infectious Diseases,
through the American Livestock
Breed Conservancy (ALBC),           Excellence                             board certified by the American         Inzana also serves as Director
that 23 years ago was a loosely           Veterinary Teaching              College of Veterinary Surgeons         of Clinical Microbiology in the
structured organization. Now,       Hospital employee Vicki Walter         and the American Board of              Veterinary Teaching Hospital and
celebrating its 25th anniversary,   has been honored with a                Veterinary Practitioners. He           conducts teaching, service, and
the ALBC is an international        prestigious “President’s Award for     completed residencies in surgery       research through his appointment
leader in livestock breed           Excellence.”                           and anesthesiology at Cornell          as a professor in the Department
conservancy.                              Walter, who serves at            University’s New York State            of Biomedical Sciences and
       Sponenberg has always        the front desk/medical records         College of Veterinary Medicine         Pathobiology. He is a diplomate
been a leader in the ALBC, and      area. was honored for the              before joining the college in 1983.    of the American Board of Medical
most of his conservancy work        leadership and compassion                    Martin completed a four-         Microbiology and a Fellow of the
has been accomplished through       she demonstrated during the            year tour of duty with the United      American Academy of Microbiology.

virginia-maryland 4
                                                                        schools do not?” Eyre said that      Medicine and CEO and President
                                     Admissions                         communication, business and          of the medical school’s Flint
                                                                        leadership skills are essential in
                                     Workshop                           all areas of clinical, corporate and
                                                                                                             campus.

                                     Seeks Process                      government practice and that               Lindsey Earns
                                                                        the schools have an enormous
                                     Improvement                        obligation to select students that         Alumni Research
            Dr. Ansar Ahmed
                                            One of the strategies that
                                                                        can promote the future success of          Award
                                                                        the profession.
                                     academic and professional                 The two-day symposium,              Dr. David Lindsey,
       Ahmed is the current          association leaders believe will   entitled “A Fresh Look at Veterinary professor, Biomedical
director of the Center for           help develop a more business       Medical School Admissions:           Sciences and Pathobiology,
Molecular Medicine and               and communications “savvy”         Putting the Cart Before the Horse?” and researcher in the Center
Infectious Diseases. He is           veterinary profession is to select was organized by VMRCVM              for Molecular Medicine and
internationally recognized for       and then train students who        Associate Dean for Academic          Infectious Diseases, has
work that is exploring the           demonstrate strength in those      Affairs Grant Turnwald and featured been awarded a Virginia Tech
relationship between estrogen        areas.                             four-hour presentations by two       Alumni Award for Excellence in
and estrogen-mimicking                      That notion was recently    noted experts.                       Research.
chemicals in the environment         considered by about 30                    Dr. Bob Lewis, an                   Lindsey’s research
and the development of               faculty members from several       organizational psychologist with     involves the study and vaccine
immune-mediated disorders            southeastern veterinary colleges   Personnel Decisions International,   development for protozoan
such as lupus, arthritis and other   who attended a two-day veterinary Inc., made a presentation entitled    parasites of companion animals,
disorders.                           college admissions workshop        “Non-Technical Competencies          livestock, horses and poultry.
       The two-day symposium         hosted by the VMRCVM.              Underlying Career Success as a             Recognized as an
included a keynote address                  “We in academic veterinary  Veterinarian,” and “Face to Face!    international authority in human
on “Immune Changes with              medicine are the gatekeepers       Making the Case for the Selection    and veterinary parasitology, he
Advanced Age: Does Immunity          of the profession,” said former    Interview” was presented by Dr.      has published more than 288
Grow Older and Wiser?” from          VMRCVM Dean Peter Eyre during John Molidor, a professor and             papers, 21 book chapters and
Dr. Kevin High of the Bowman         introductory remarks. “How         assistant dean for Michigan State    one book.
Grey School of Medicine at           will the profession change if the  University’s College of Human
Wake Forest University. On the
second day, Dr. Charles Kuntz , a
former resident in the VMRCVM
and current Washington D.C.
based veterinary oncologist,
was the featured guest speaker.
More than 30 presentations
ranging from Hepatitis E virus
to the health effects of depleted
uranium artillery shells were
featured.
       Graduate students
recognized during the
competitive graduate student
presentation component of the
symposium included Shaadi
Elswaifi, first place; Martijn
Fenaux and Rebecca Roche,
second place; and Joel Stitzel,
third place.                         Speakers at the “Career Opportunities in Public Health and Comparative Medicine: An Agenda for Action” meeting
                                     included, from left, Dr. Stephen Sundlof, Head of the Food & Drug Administration; Dr. Donald Butts, Virginia State
        “Our annual research         Veterinarian; VMRCVM Interim Dean Gerhardt Schurig; Dr. Craig Reed, VMRCVM visiting professor and former
days symposium has become an         head, USDA-APHIS; Dr. Glenn Morris, professor and chairman of the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive
important college tradition,” said   Medicine at the UMBSM; Dr. Larry Heider, Executive director of the Association of American Veterinary Medical
Interim Dean Gerhardt Schurig.       Colleges; former Dean Peter Eyre; and Dr. Lou Detolla, head of the UMBSM Department of Comparative Medicine.
“This program inspires and
rewards superior performance,        VMRCVM Exploring Medical College Relationship
it helps as all learn more
about what is underway in our              A half-dozen distinguished      to develop training programs to        Medicine; Dr. Stephen Sundlof,
laboratories, and it encourages      guests from Washington and            help veterinary colleges produce       head of the Food & Drug
more collaboration between our       Baltimore recently joined             more graduates for work in public      Administration’s Center for
faculty and other areas of the       VMRCVM administrators and             health, food safety and security,      Veterinary Medicine; Dr. Larry
university.”                         faculty members for a retreat on      food animal production, veterinary     Heider, executive director of
       This year’s symposium         the Tech campus.                      research and homeland security.        the Association of American
included presentations by                  The “Career Opportunities             Chief on the agenda were         Veterinary Medical Colleges; Dr.
graduate students from Wake          in Public Health and Comparative      discussions concerning the             Craig Reed, VMRCVM visiting
Forest University, as well           Medicine: An Agenda for Action”       possible establishment of a formal     professor and former head,
as graduate students and             event was part of a series of         academic relationship between          USDA-APHIS; and Dr. Donald
professors from Virginia Tech’s      meetings that have taken place        the VMRCVM and the University          Butts, Virginia State Veterinarian.
College of Engineering and the       under the leadership of former        of Maryland Medical College at               The meeting was
VMRCVM that are working in the       Dean Eyre since a major policy        Baltimore.                             moderated by VMRCVM Interim
area of biomedical engineering.      statement was released last                 Guest speakers included          Dean Dr. Gerhardt Schurig, and
       Graduate students             summer by the Association of          Dr. Glenn Morris, professor and        Dr. Peter Eyre provided summary
compete in basic and clinical        American Veterinary Medical           chairman of the Department of          comments. Schurig appointed
science categories, which are        Colleges.                             Epidemiology and Preventive            Eyre to provide leadership for the
judged by teams of faculty                 An AAVMC sponsored              Medicine at the UMCM; Dr. Lou          ongoing discussions between
members. Some faculty                national symposium and                Detolla, head of the University of     the two institutions that are
research presentations are also      subsequent monograph                  Maryland College of Medicine’s         focused on the development of a
made during the event.               challenged member institutions        Department of Comparative              combined training program.

                                                                                                      Virginia-Maryland 5
Clinical Pathologist                CeCO made a presentation that
                                    profiled CeCO’s history and current
Joins DBSP                          operations. Founded in 2001,
                                    the center serves as a unifying
      Dr. Frederic Almy has
                                    resource for some of the estimated
joined the Department of
                                    40 faculty members at Virginia
Biomedical Sciences and
                                    Tech engaged in cancer related
Pathobiology as a clinical
                                    research. Some of the research
pathologist. Prior to joining
                                    programs underway involve the
the college he was with IDEXX
                                    detection of cancer using lasers,
Veterinary Services, Inc. in West
                                    developing methods for quantifying
Sacramento, California.
                                    changes in normal and neoplastic
      Before working in
                                    cells, exploring linkages between
Sacramento, Almy was a NIH
                                    diet and breast cancer, and
Fellow in comparative pathology
                                    angiogenesis, or how tumors grow
in the Center for Comparative
                                    new blood vessels.
Medicine at the University of
                                           Wake’s Dr. Edward Shaw,
California, Davis. There, his
                                    director of Clinical Oncology                Dr. Bob Ridgway, a long-time leader of the D.C. Academy of Veterinary
research focused on finding a                                                     Medicine, was honored for his years of service during the college’s
                                    Research and Chairman of
mouse model for B-cell chronic                                                   new student orientation. Standing nearby is Dr. D. Phillip Sponenberg,
                                    Radiation Oncology, then made
lymphocytic leukemia.                                                            professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology.
                                    a presentation on both the
      In 1997, Almy received
                                    process and subjects of possible
his DVM from the University of
Georgia, Athens. He conducted
                                    collaboration that were developed
                                    as a result of meetings held in July
                                                                             Scavma Scores at                     the advancement of veterinary
                                                                                                                  dentistry through innovative
a residency in clinical pathology
at the University of California,
                                    2003 with Robertson and Tech’s           National Conference                  research and education.
                                    Dr. William Spillman, who serves as                                                 Smith is board certified
Davis, from 1998-2001. Last                                                        There’s a shiny new trophy
                                    director of Virginia Tech’s Applied                                           by both the American College
year he received his M.S. in                                                 in the Student Chapter American
                                    Biosciences Center.                                                           of Veterinary Surgeons and the
Comparative Pathology.                                                       Veterinary Medical Association
                                           All participants are interested                                        American Veterinary Dental
      In addition to several                                                 (SCAVMA) information case near
                                    in translational research, which                                              Society. He also serves as editor
years of teaching experience at                                              the College Center that speaks of
                                    integrates and magnifies the                                                   of the Journal of Veterinary
Davis, Almy has co-authored                                                  the strength and tenacity of the
                                    benefits of laboratory and clinical                                            Dentistry.
numerous professional                                                        VMRCVM’s student body.
                                    research. Specific areas of mutual
publications.
                                    interest include skin, brain, breast,
                                                                                   The college’s SCAVMA
                                                                             chapter won first place nationally
                                                                                                                  Student Project
CeCO Group Meets                    prostate and lymphoreticular
                                    tissue cancers. Additional
                                                                             in the annual “Tug-a-War”            Places Third in
                                                                             contest. And brute strength
at Wake Forest                      interests have been identified in
                                                                             and teamwork wasn’t the only
                                                                                                                  National Competition
                                    the overall area of cancer biology,                                                 A team of students from
       A delegation of 20                                                    category in which VMRCVM
                                    and in the technological tools                                                the VMRCVM has claimed third
faculty members and graduate                                                 students won honors.
                                    used for cancer detection and                                                 place honors in the national Hill’s
students affiliated with the                                                        Teams from the VMRCVM
                                    management.                                                                   Pet Nutrition Public Health Award
Center for Comparative                                                       SCAVMA won third place national
                                           More than a dozen individual                                           Competition.
Oncology (CeCO) in the                                                       awards in both the equine aging
                                    presentations were made by                                                          Fourth-year students
VMRCVM at Virginia Tech                                                      and bovine palpation categories
                                    Wake Forest and Virginia Tech                                                 John G. Dyer and Justin Brown
recently met with about 40                                                   and a second place honor in
                                    researchers summarizing work                                                  earned $500 for a project entitled
scientists at the Comprehensive                                              the bovine palpation individual
                                    being done in different areas of                                              “Homeland Security Blanket:
Cancer Center at Wake Forest                                                 category.
                                    cancer research.                                                              Mental Health Preparedness for an
University (CCCWFU) in                                                             About 65 students,
                                                                             including two delegates and          Exotic Animal Disease Disaster.”
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
to discuss the establishment
                                    Major Upgrade of                         a president made the journey               The authors propose that
                                                                                                                  media coverage of animal disease
of a joint multidisciplinary        College’s IT Network                     to the University of Georgia at
                                                                             Athens for the annual meeting of     epidemics such as Great Britain’s
cancer research and education
program.                            Infrastructure                           the nation’s veterinary students.    recent epidemic of Foot & Mouth
                                                                                                                  Disease, bioterrorism fears
       The day opened with          Accomplished                                                                  sparked by the 9/11 disasters, and
an overview of the CCCWFU
                                          The VMRCVM complex                                                      the emergence of new zoonotic
presented by Director Dr. Frank
                                    at Virginia Tech has completed                                                diseases like West Nile Virus can
Torti. Founded in 1972 and
                                    a major upgrade to its IT                                                     affect the mental health and well-
continuously funded by the
                                    infrastructure, according to IT                                               being of the public.
National Cancer Institute since
                                    Director David Sampson.                                                             The students proposed the
then, the center is currently
                                          About 260,000 feet of new                                               development of a communications
ranked 21st in the nation and
                                    category 6 100 Base-T wiring                                                  campaign that would provide the
has set a goal of advancing
                                    was installed to support work-                                                public with accurate information
to the top 10 of the nation’s                                                                  Dr. Mark Smith
                                    stations throughout the complex.                                              about disease threats, identify
comprehensive cancer centers
                                                                                                                  sources of additional public
within the next five years.          The new wiring enables users to          Smith Honored by                     information and present an
       Their cancer research        move data about ten times faster
program is currently funded         than the prior wiring and allows         AVDS, Hill’s                         overview of the steps that state
                                    for some wireless capabilities                                                and federal government agencies
at about $14.7 million, with
                                    in common areas around the                     Dr. Mark Smith, professor,     are taking to protect them.
112 members working with 67
                                    college.                                 Department of Small Animal                 The pair initially prepared the
grants. The CCCWFU includes
                                          The new wiring will support        Clinical Sciences, has won the       paper as part of a Veterinary Public
three Centers of Excellence
                                    gigabite Ethernet, which is              2003 American Veterinary Dental      Policy class they took during their
that focus on brain, prostate,
                                    expected to become available on          Society (AVDS)/Hill’s Research       third year of study, according
and breast cancer.
                                    a widespread basis in three to five       and Education Award.                 to Dr. Ted Mashima, associate
       Dr. John Robertson,
                                    years. The VMRCVM is one of                    Sponsored by Hill’s Pet        director of the college’s Center
professor, Department of
                                    the first colleges at Virginia Tech       Nutrition, Inc. and presented by     for Government and Corporate
Biomedical Sciences and
                                    to receive the upgrade.                  the AVDS, the award recognizes       Veterinary Medicine at College
Pathobiology and director of
                                                                             outstanding contributions to         Park, Maryland.

virginia-maryland 6
                                                                             DVM, with honors, from Auburn                Dr. Jolynne Tschetter has
                                       Barber Steps Down                     University, and a M.S. degree          joined the department as a
                                       as DSACS Head                         in internal medicine from Texas        research scientist in molecular
                                                                             A& M University. He served on          diagnostics. Tschetter earned a
                                             Dr. Don Barber, who
                                                                             the faculty at Texas A&M from          B.S. degree from St. Cloud State
                                       has served as Head of the
                                                                             1979 until 1987.                       University in St. Cloud, Minnesota
                                       Department of Small Animal
                                                                                    Troy is a Diplomate             and a Ph.D. from Washington
                                       Clinical Sciences for 16 years
              Dr. Tom Caruso                                                 of the American College of             State University in Pullman,
                                       returned to full-time faculty
                                                                             Veterinary Internal Medicine           Washington.
VMRCVM Hires                           responsibilities.
                                             Barber, a professor of
                                                                             (ACVIM). His academic and                    Dr. Curry Keoughan has the
New Research                           radiology, diplomate and past-
                                                                             clinical achievements have been
                                                                             recognized with 22 professional
                                                                                                                    joined the department as a clinical
                                                                                                                    instructor in large animal surgery.
                                       president of the American
Initiatives Director                   College of Veterinary Radiology,
                                                                             honors and awards, including           Keoughan earned a B.S. from
       Dr. Tom Caruso has joined                                             seven teaching awards. His four        Nova Scotia Agriculture College in
                                       has led the department since
the Office of Research and                                                    awards for distinguished clinical      Truro, Nova Scotia and the DVM
                                       the college was re-structured in
Graduate Studies as Director of                                              service include the prestigious        from University of Prince Edward
                                       1986 at the beginning of the Eyre
Research Initiatives.                                                        “Dr. E. E. Thompson Professorial       Island in Charlottetown, Prince
                                       administration.
       In this capacity, Caruso                                              Award” and the “Dr. & Mrs. Dorsey      Edward Island.
                                             “Don is an exemplary
will help the college establish                                              Mahin Clinical Proficiency Award.”
                                       academician and one of the
new research relationships with        most loyal and hard-working
                                                                                    Troy has mentored more than     Lester Honored for
                                                                             70 interns and residents. He is the
contracting agencies in the
public and private sector. A
                                       colleagues,” said former Dean
                                       Eyre, in an announcement
                                                                             author of 50 major refereed journal    Excellence by LVT
special emphasis will be placed        detailing the move.
                                                                             articles, nine book chapters and
                                                                             numerous abstracts, conference
                                                                                                                    Organization
on developing new research
opportunities in the life and                                                papers, and continuing education           Robin Lester, LVT, earned the
biomedical sciences.                                                         documents.                             “Technician of the Year Award”
       Caruso brings strong                                                                                         from the Virginia Association of
academic credentials and a                                                   DLACS Welcomes                         Licensed Veterinary Technicians.
                                                                                                                        Lester works in the Veterinary
wealth of experience to the                                                  New Faculty                            Teaching Hospital’s small animal
new position. His professional
interests center on organizing                                                     Four new faculty members         Intensive Care Unit.
multidisciplinary teams                                                      have joined the Department of              Lester was recognized during
and multi-organizational                                                     Large Animal Clinical Sciences.        the organization’s annual meeting
partnerships that deliver high-                                                    Dr. Douglass Berry, III, is an   in Roanoke.
impact products, services              Troy Named                            assistant professor of large animal
                                                                                                                    VMRCVM Hosts
and technology development                                                   surgery. He earned his DVM
proposals.                             Department Head                       from Auburn University, a M.S.         National Alpha Psi
       Caruso earned a B.S. in                Dr. Gregory C. Troy has        from Virginia Tech and is board
biochemistry and biology from          been named Head of the                certified by the American College             About 140 veterinary
the University of Pittsburgh in        VMRCVM’s Department of                of Veterinary Surgeons.                students from around the nation
1974, a Ph.D. in pharmacology          Small Animal Clinical Sciences              Dr. Ramanathan                   gathered in early 2004 at the
from the University of                 (DSACS).                              Kasimanickam is an assistant           Virginia-Maryland Regional
Minnesota and an MBA from                     With 25 tenure track           professor specializing in              College of Veterinary Medicine
the Massachusetts Institute of         professors, four clinical             food animal theriogenology.            to attend the national convention
Technology in 1984.                    instructors and 18 residents and      Kasimanickam earned the D.V.Sc.        of Alpha Psi, a veterinary service
       Prior to joining the college,   interns, DSACS is home to the         from Ontario Veterinary College        and honor fraternity.
Caruso worked for four years           veterinary specialists that provide   at the University of Guelph in               Delegates enjoyed
with Tech’s Office of the Vice          clinical care for dogs, cats          Ontario, Canada, and the B.V.Sc.       academic presentations such as
Provost for Research, where he         and other pets in the college’s       from Madras Veterinary College         an “Acupuncture Wet-Lab” in the
served as an Industrial Program        Veterinary Teaching Hospital          at the Tamil Nadu Veterinary           Veterinary Teaching Hospital as
Development Specialist with            (VTH).                                and Animal Sciences University         well as a number of social and
some Center for Innovative                    Troy, a professor and          in Madras, Tamil Nadu, India.          recreational activities such as
Technology funding, and then           internal medicine specialist, was     Kasimanickam is a diplomate            bowling and pool tournaments
for three years as Manager of          recruited to direct the college’s     in the American College of             and a Dinner and social.
Program Development.                   Veterinary Teaching Hospital in       Theriogenology.
        “I’m very excited              1987 and served in that capacity
about this opportunity to              until 1993. He also served as
join the regional college,”            Acting Hospital Director from
said Caruso. “The college’s            1996-97 and as Small Animal
research programs are building         Section Chief in the VTH from
momentum at a time when life           1996-2001. He had served as
sciences research has become a         acting Head of DSACS since
major priority for Virginia Tech,”     March 2003.
said Caruso, who envisions                    “I am delighted to welcome
unfolding opportunities in             Dr. Troy back to the college’s
the areas of immunology and            administrative team at this
biodefense. “I’m looking forward       time,” said former VMRCVM
to playing a role in this important    Dean Peter Eyre upon Troy’s
process.”                              appointment. “I know that his
       Caruso will also have a         outstanding professional record
20% research appointment and           and his exceptional personal
plans to collaborate with Dr. Jeff     characteristics will help to move
Wilcke, the college’s Metcalf          the department and the college
Professor of Veterinary Medical        forward at this time of challenge
                                                                                The Veterinary Teaching Hospital’s new CT machine is on-line and
Informatics, as well as other          and opportunity.”
                                                                                working well. Here, the college’ s first CT scan is performed on the
Virginia Tech researchers on a                Born in North Carolina and
                                                                                brain in a live, adult horse. The motorized table on the new machine
variety of projects.                   raised in Florida, Troy earned his
                                                                                is designed to support up to 2000 pounds.
                                                                                                       Virginia-Maryland 7
Tech Launches Institute for
Biomedical and Public Health Sciences
      Virginia Tech is putting a new
kind of knowledge to work. Long
considered a giant in the agricultural
and mechanical sciences and lauded
as a 20th century pioneer in America’s
information technology revolution,
Tech has been building capacity
in human health and life sciences
research for more than 25 years.
      Now, Tech’s steady rise in stature
as a major health sciences research
center has been formally ordained
with the creation of a new inter-
college, interdisciplinary research
and development center known as the
Institute for Biomedical and Public
Health Sciences (IBPHS).




                                                 Above, Dr. Janet Rankin, professor,         a nucleus of faculty researchers serving
                                                 Department of Human Nutrition, Foods,
                                                 and Exercise, is serving as interim         on a Faculty Scientific Council, will
                                                 director of IBPHS. One of the goals of      oversee the development of all aspects
                                                 the new institute is to marshall some of    of the institute, including the initial
                                                 the universities intellectual capital and
                                                 laboratory facilities in a way that will    programmatic emphasis.
                                                 make the university more competitive              Some of the institute’s key
                                                 for funding in the biomedical sciences
                                                 from government agencies such as the        operating strategies are to encourage
                                                 National Institutes of Health.              communication and collaboration
      The new institute will lead in       create a highly interactive intellectual          among current faculty, provide support
the development of cross-university        environment for scholars and scientists           and coordination for multidisciplinary
research initiatives in the biomedical     from different areas and colleges and             grants, and fund cluster- hires in
sciences, boost graduate education, and    promote their success by infusing them            collaboration with departments, she said.
partner with an array of human health-     with resources and support, according to          She said the institute will work closely
related educational and governmental       Dr. Janet Rankin, professor, Department           with departments and colleges to insure
institutions on an ambitious quest to      of Human Nutrition, Foods and                     that benefits are realized at all levels.
discover new ways to promote human         Exercise, and the institute’s first interim              Initially, the institute will
health and well-being.                     director.                                         concentrate on two core areas:
      “The institute has been created            “This institute should build upon
to provide a catalyst for biomedical       some of our current strengths and assist                The new institute is
health researchers working in different    us in taking our research to a level                designed to create a highly
departments and colleges at the            where we are a major player in the                  interactive intellectual
university,” said Dr. Mark McNamee,        biomedical and health research areas,”              environment for scholars and
University Provost and Vice President      Rankin said.                                        scientists from different areas
for Academic Affairs. “In order to               Rankin is directing the unit in               and colleges and promote
advance scientifically and remain           concert with a stakeholder committee                their success by infusing them
competitive, we must inspire and           that consists of the deans of the four              with resources and support,
support collaborative efforts that unite   colleges that are principally involved              according to Dr. Janet Rankin,
researchers from across our university     with the new institute: Dr. Lay Nam                 professor, Department of
and beyond its walls.”                     Chang of the College of Sciences, Dr.               Human Nutrition, Foods and
      IBPHS is the second major            Sharon Quisenberry of the College                   Exercise.
collaborative research institute formed    of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Dr.
by Virginia Tech. The Institute for        Gerhardt Schurig of the VMRCVM
Critical Technology and Applied            and Dr. Greg Brown of the College of              Infectious Diseases and Immunology;
Science (ICTAS) was created in 2002.       Forestry and Natural Resources. The               and Food, Nutrition & Health.
      The new institute is designed to     leadership team, working closely with                  A variety of vaccine development
virginia-maryland 8
programs are underway in the Center
for Molecular Medicine and Infectious
Diseases (CIMMID), where several
researchers are developing a new
generation of genetically modified
vaccines to protect animals and
people against infectious diseases
ranging from brucellosis to tularemia.
CIMMID is also where Schurig and
colleagues developed the RB-51
brucellosis vaccine, now considered
the global “gold standard” of control.
      Sponsored research in the area of
immunology and infectious diseases
has tripled from slightly more than
$2.3 million in 2000 to current funding     Former SCAVMA President Works
of more than $7 million in 2003,
according to Schurig. Increased
                                            With Famed Chincoteague Ponies
federal funding for bioterrorism related
research in our post 9/11 world has
created fertile funding opportunities
for increased work in this area, he said.
      Similarly, the university has vast
experience and faculty depth in the
broad area of Food, Nutrition and
Health (FNH), according to Rankin.                                                                        James Custis
The overall goal of this program is
to enhance human health through the
consumption of improved foods and
                                                                                                   Former SCAVMA president
physical activity. Faculty at Virginia                                                             James Custis has worked with
Tech are involved in the development                                                               the annual pony round-up on
of new genetic strains of crops and                                                                Chincoteague for the past
animals to improve disease resistance                                                              several years.
or other characteristics related to         Photos courtesy of Jerry Baber
production.
      One public health problem in                Marguerite Henry’s “Misty of                 On Tuesday, a team of
need of a comprehensive scientific           Chincoteague” is a treasured classic for     veterinarians examines the herd.
approach, obesity, affects over 60%         many.                                        Animals not judged sound enough to
of the U.S. adult population and                  But for former SCAVMA President        handle the swim are trucked to the
increases the risk of most chronic          James Custis, it’s a reminder of an event    mainland.
diseases, including cardiovascular          he’s been part of for the past four years.         Local fire department volunteers
disease, diabetes, hypertension, and              As a part-timer with Eastern Shore     draw upon years of experience to detect
some cancers, according to Rankin.          Animal Hospital in Painter, Virginia,        the exact “slack tide” --that moment
Tech has significant resources to bring      Custis has enjoyed an opportunity to         between high and low when the current
to bear upon these problems, Rankin         play a role in providing veterinary care     is the stillest -- Custis says, to make it
said.                                       for the famed herd of wild ponies.           as easy as possible on the animals.
      The institute may also look at              While the horses enjoy the global            About 180 ponies make the
programs designed to protect the            spotlight during the annual swim that is     swim, including some 80 foals that are
nation from agro-terrorism. Possible        always conducted during the last week        ultimately auctioned off to maintain the
approaches include work on the              of July, the herd is actually rounded up     herd at sustainable levels. People have
development of pathogen-resistant           three times a year for routine veterinary    been known to pay thousands of dollars
foods, improved processing, and             care, Custis explains.                       for the opportunity to own and care for
surveillance systems for better tracking          A hundred thousand spectators may      one of the famous ponies, Custis said.
of infection outbreaks.                     gather to witness the 500-yard swim                On Friday, the horses are swum
      Initially, IBPHS will occupy          across the channel from Assateague to        back across the channel where they
facilities in the university’s Corporate    Chincoteague on Wednesday morning,           resume their unfettered lives of leisure
Research Center. Eventually, plans          Custis says.                                 on the sandy barrier island.
call for the institute to become                  But much has already gone on                 For Custis, the opportunity to
physically integrated with a major          behind the scenes during the days            care for the animals and to participate
life sciences facility that will be         leading up to the spectacle. Most people     in one of the world’s most famous
constructed adjacent to the emerging        don’t realize how much veterinary            equine events has been “a remarkable
Virginia Bioinformatics Institute and       medical care is involved with the event,     experience.”
Litton-Reaves Hall.                         he says.

                                                                                         Virginia-Maryland 9
 State, Federal
 Veterinary Officials
 and College Form
 Working Group
        A working group comprised
 of animal health professionals            Pictured, from left to right, Dr. Judi Lynch, VMRCVM director of outreach; Dr. J. Fraser Owens, State
 from federal and state government,        Staff Veterinarian – Agricultural Security, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
 academic institutions and professional    (VDACS); Dr. Judith H. Jones, interim director, Virginia Cooperative Extension Service and Associate
 associations has been created by the      Dean; Dr. Craig A. Reed, Visiting Professor, former director USDA-APHIS; Patrick McMillan,
                                           Maryland Department of Agriculture; Dr. Joseph Garvin, Program Manager, Office of Laboratory
 Office of Outreach in the Virginia-        Services, VDACS; Dr. Namalwar (Nathan) Sriranganathan, Professor, Biomedical Science,
 Maryland Regional College of              VMRCVM; Dr. Terry L. Taylor, Area Emergency Coordinator, USDA, APHIS, VS; Dr. Gerhardt G.
 Veterinary Medicine’s Veterinary          Schurig, interim dean, VMRCVM; Dr. Peter Eyre, professor, Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology,
 Teaching Hospital.                        and former dean, VMRCVM; Dr. Thomas Massie, President, VVMA Academy of Food and Animal
        Established as an advisory                                                                ,
                                           Practice; Dr. X.J. Meng, associate professor, DBSP VMRCVM; and Dr. François C. Elvinger,
                                                                         ,
                                           associate professor, DBSP VMRCVM.
 organization for the Virginia State
 Veterinarian, the committee will          and coordination, according to Dr. Judi              and Pathobiology, and former dean,
 address issues related to animal health   Lynch, the VMRCVM’s director of                      VMRCVM; Donald W. Butts, State
 emergency response preparedness.          outreach.                                            Veterinarian and Director, Division
        “Veterinary medicine plays               The committee recently had its                 of Animal, Plant and Food Industry
 a critical role in public health and      inaugural meeting at Virginia Tech                   Services; and J. Fraser Owens, State
 safety,” said Dr. Gerhardt Schurig,       and will meet again in Roanoke in                    Staff Veterinarian – Agricultural
 interim dean of the VMRCVM.               conjunction with the annual meeting                  Security, Virginia Department of
 “Infectious disease outbreaks like Foot   of the Virginia Veterinary Medical                   Agriculture and Consumer Services
 and Mouth Disease, avian influenza,        Association. At that time, they may                  (VDACS). Also, Drs. John Brooks,
 and Mad Cow Disease, as well as the       consider adopting the name Multi-                    Deputy Secretary, Maryland
 ongoing threat of bioterrorism, have      Agency Coordinating Group (MAC).                     Department of Agriculture; Judi
 all illustrated this point more clearly         State and federal officials already             M. Lynch, Director of Outreach,
 than ever for our citizens.”              have detailed emergency response                     VMRCVM; Joseph Garvin, Program
                                           systems that can be activated in the                 Manager, Office of Laboratory
    Through the committee,                 event of an animal and/or public health              Services, VDACS; Craig A. Reed,
                                           crisis. However, the committee seeks
public officials, faculty and               to increase communication and share
                                                                                                Visiting Professor, head of the Food
                                                                                                and Nutrition Institute and former
Cooperative Extension experts              resources in a way that could generate               director USDA-APHIS; and François
working on issues related                  possible improvements.                               C. Elvinger, associate professor, DBSP,
to animal health emergency                       For example, the group may                     VMRCVM.Also, Drs. Judith H. Jones,
                                           examine existing systems for                         interim director, Virginia Cooperative
response and agricultural                  mobilizing, organizing, training and                 Extension and Associate Dean; Terry L.
security will have an opportunity          equipping public and private sector                  Taylor, Area Emergency Coordinator,
to share information and                   veterinarians, (including veterinary                 USDA, APHIS, VS; Thomas Massie,
create efficiencies through                 students) for emergency support in the               President, VVMA Academy of Food
                                           event of an animal and/or public health              and Animal Practice; X.J. Meng,
collaboration, cooperation and             emergency, according to Lynch.                       associate professor, DBSP, VMRCVM;
coordination.                                    They might also look at protocols              Namalwar (Nathan) Sriranganathan,
                                           for routine and emergency laboratory                 Professor, Biomedical Science,
                                           diagnostics. In the event of a major                 VMRCVM; Patrick McMilland,
        Through the committee, public      infectious disease emergency like Foot               Assistant Secretary for Animal Health,
  officials, faculty and Cooperative        and Mouth Disease (FMD) or Avian                     State of Maryland, and Mr. Jeffrey S.
  Extension experts working on issues      influenza, state diagnostic laboratories              Douglas, Director, Public Relations,
  related to animal health emergency       might be overwhelmed with volume.                    VMRCVM. Also, Drs. Thomas Toth,
  response and agricultural security             Members of the group include                   professor, DBSP; and Bill Pierson,
  will have an opportunity to share        Drs. Gerhardt G. Schurig, interim                    professor, DBSP.
  information and create efficiencies       dean, VMRCVM; Peter Eyre,
  through collaboration, cooperation       professor, Biomedical Sciences
virginia-maryland 10
                          Research spotlight
Veterinary Memorial
Research Grants Awarded
      More than $53,000 in clinical
research grants has been awarded
to six principal investigators in the
VMRCVM through the 2003-2004
distribution of Veterinary Memorial
Fund research grants.
      Founded in 1984, the Veterinary
Memorial Fund is a program jointly
operated by the Virginia Veterinary        The “Veterinary
Medical Association (VVMA) and             Memorial Fund” is
the VMRCVM that helps bereaved             one of the oldest such
                                           programs in the nation.
pet-owners deal with their grief and
raises money to improve the quality
of healthcare available for future         loss of vision in dogs. SARDS is           of cause or affect. The study will fully
generations of companion animals.          most commonly seen in dachshunds,          explore the relationship, providing
      Proposals were selected for          miniature schnauzers and Brittany          valuable information that can prevent
funding on the basis of contemporary       spaniels, and it seems to affect middle-   some dogs with SARS from being
clinical importance by a committee                                                    inappropriately treated for HAC as well.
comprised of veterinarians in private                                                       Dr. Don Waldron, professor,
practice and in academia. The                                                         DSACS, was awarded $10,000 to study
research will provide much-needed                                                     “The Effect of Nephrotomy on Renal
information on topics ranging from                                                    Function in Normal Cats.” Urinary tract
complications associated with                                                         calculi in cats is a common problem
commonly used non-steroidal anti-                                                     faced by veterinarians. Over the past
inflammatory drugs to feline urinary                                                   20 years, the composition of the calculi
tract disorders.                                                                      has shifted dramatically. Twenty
      Dr. David Panciera, professor,                                                  years ago, the stones were primarily
Department of Small Animal Clinical                                                   magnesium ammonium phosphate, or
Sciences (DSACS), was awarded                                                         struvite stones. Today, possibly because
$7,495 to investigate a project entitled                                              of the widespread use of acidifying
“Effects of Deracoxib and Aspirin                                                     feline diets, the most common stones
Administration on Thyroid Function                                                    are calcium oxalate, and they are found
Tests in Normal Dogs.” Deracoxib                                                      more commonly in the ureter and in
is a new COX-2 inhibitor based                                                        the kidneys. Presently, no medical
non-steroidal anti-inflammatory                                                        dissolution protocols are available, and
drug (NSAID) that has recently                                                        lithotripsy, widely used in humans, is
been approved for the treatment of                                                    not suitable for treating these problems
osteoarthritis in dogs. Researchers                                                   in cats for a variety of reasons. Surgical
know that NSAID’s can affect                                                          intervention by nephrotomy remains
thyroid function tests in humans.                                                     the best clinical approach to resolving
Veterinarians need to know whether                                                    the problem, but some questions exist
or not those drugs can also interfere                                                 concerning whether or not this surgery
with the efficacy of thyroid tests in                                                  causes long-term effects on kidney
animals so they can prevent the costly                                                function. The researchers believe that it
misdiagnosis of hypothyroidism.                                                       does not, and will attempt to empirically
      Dr. Ian Herring, associate                                                      demonstrate that surgical correction does
professor, DSACS, was awarded                                                         not negatively affect long-term renal
$10,967 for “Investigation of                                                         function.
Adrenocortical Activity in Dogs            aged to older female dogs more than              Dr. Michael Leib, professor,
with Sudden Acquired Retinal               others. Researchers have documented        DSACS, was awarded $7500 for
Degeneration Syndrome.” Sudden             some correlation between SARDS             “Comparison of the Effect of Deracoxib
Acquired Retinal Degeneration              and Hyperadrenocorticism (HAC) in          (a selective COX-2 inhibitor),
Syndrome (SARDS) is a disorder             affected animals, but it is not clear
that causes sudden and irreversible        whether or not the relationship is one     Please see Grants page 13

                                                                                      Virginia-Maryland 11
  $3.2 Million National
  Science Foundation
  Grant Funds
  Interdisciplinary
  Program on Oxidation
   By Susan Trulove
                                            Dr. Craig Thatcher, head, Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, is interested in how free
                                            radicals cause disease. Thatcher is board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Nutrition.
         A team of researchers from three   science from the oxidation of fats to             develop synthetic macromolecules
   different colleges has been awarded      understanding disease mechanisms,”                inspired by biology, such as biomaterials
   a five-year, $3.2 million National        says Long. “The program bridges the               used in healthcare, are not trained to
   Science Foundation Integrative           gap between traditional macromolecular            understand the biochemical processes
   Graduate Education and Research          science and biological disciplines.”              involved in biomedical, nutrition, and
   Traineeship (IGERT) award for the              According to the project summary,           food technologies. And life scientists
   Macromolecular Interfaces with Life      “Many boundaries at the chemistry-                are generally unaware of fundamental
   Sciences (MILES) program. MILES          biology interface remain unexplored               macromolecular chemistry and the
   uses free radical and oxidation          and represent unique opportunities for            close relationship between synthetic
   processes as the thematic basis          the discovery of advanced technologies            molecules and biomolecules.
   for research and education at the        and the education of interdisciplinary                  The NSF IGERT program
   chemistry-biology interface.             scientists and engineers. Oxidation               supports interdisciplinary training
                                            processes occur within both synthetic             of Ph.D. scientists and engineers.
                                            macromolecules and biological                     The MILES IGERT involves 15 core
    Thatcher and his                        systems, offering a common theoretical            faculty members in four of Virginia
colleagues in veterinary                    base. Oxygen-centered radicals                    Tech’s colleges – Agriculture and Life
medicine are also interested                are intermediates in key chemical                 Sciences, Engineering, Science, and the
in nutrition and in the roles of            and biological processes, such as                 Virginia-Maryland Regional College
                                            lipid oxidation, aging, and product               of Veterinary Medicine – to provide
free radicals in disease, and will          deterioration…. Oxidative stress is               cooperative research, interdisciplinary
help the MILES researchers                  implicated in many chronic diseases,              education, and outreach experiences
understand the biomedical                   including cancer, diabetes, obesity, and          to 36 students. Other departments,
                                            the compromise of immune function.”               institutes, universities, and national
implications and evaluate the                     In the oxidation process, oxygen            laboratories are affiliated with the
success of their discoveries with           interaction with some molecules causes            program as research collaborators
animal models.                              some atoms to lose electrons. Atoms               and internship providers. Researchers
                                            with unpaired electrons are free radicals.        affiliated with the Edward Via Virginia
                                            These highly reactive atoms seek to               College of Osteopathic Medicine will
        Oxidation is a process that         correct their imbalance by robbing                provide a bridge to human health.
   involves free radicals, which cause      electrons from other atoms, which                       “We will focus a wide range of
   food to spoil or taste bad, and damage   can interfere with cellular processes             expertise on the study of free radical and
   cellular processes in living systems.    or damage cellular components such                oxidative processes,” says Long.
   Oxidation is also a tool for creating    as DNA, or the cell membrane. The                       Duncan, Long, Thatcher and
   thin films.                               defense is antioxidants -- molecules that         their students have actually been
        Principal investigators are Craig   scavenge the free radicals.                       collaborating for several years to
   Thatcher, Head, Department of Large            The researchers point out that a            determine the biochemical pathways of
   Animal Clinical Sciences, VMRCVM;        chemistry-biology collaboration offers            the oxidation process and how they can
   Susan Duncan, associate professor        the potential for the development of              be used to protect food and health and
   of food science and technology in        antioxidant delivery systems, including           create new technologies.
   the College of Agriculture and Life      antioxidant enriched foods, novel                       “We are interested in the oxidation
   Sciences; and Tim Long, professor of     biocompatible synthetic polymer                   of triglycerides, such as soybean oil, and
   chemistry in the College of Science.     delivery systems, or new natural and              evaluating the potential of the products
        “The scientific scope is broad,      synthetic macromolecular antioxidants.            of that oxidation for high performance
   crossing traditional boundaries of       Yet, the chemists and engineers who               polymers (plastics),” says Long.
 virginia-maryland 12
“This really gives us an opportunity                                                     believes that the VVP system may
to develop technologies that are not         Grants:                                     play a role in cervical spinal disease in
petroleum based.”                            continued from page 11.                     dogs. The study will test and evaluate
      Food science graduate student                                                      the effects of cervical spinal cord
                                             Buffered Aspirin and Placebo on the
Heather Woodson is determining which                                                     compression on the canine VVP, refine
                                             Gastroduodenal Mucosa of Healthy
light waves cause oxidation in such                                                      an experimental method for inducing
                                             Dogs.” Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory
packaged foods as milk, and student                                                      acute cervical extradural compression in
                                             drugs are frequently used in dogs to
Janet Webster is evaluating polymer                                                      dogs, and evaluate intraosseous cervical
                                             treat common pain and inflammation
systems that will block those light                                                      venography as a possible technique
                                             associated with osteoarthritis and
waves. Duncan and the students have                                                      for diagnosing cervical spinal cord
                                             for other disorders. Gastrointestinal
been visiting with a Virginia polymers                                                   compression in dogs.
                                             bleeding and ulceration and other
company about that research.                                                                   Dr. Jeryl Jones, associate
                                             complications have been associated
      Duncan and Long are exploring                                                      professor, DSACS, has been awarded
                                             with the long-term treatment of
controlled release of antioxidants by                                                    $10,000 for “The Effects of CT Image
                                             dogs with NSAIDS. A new class of
polymeric films.                                                                          Display Parameters on the Perception
                                             NSAIDS known as COX-2 inhibitors
      Thatcher and his colleagues in                                                     of Abnormalities in the Elbow Joint
                                             are believed to be less damaging to the
veterinary medicine are also interested                                                  of Dogs with Elbow Dysplasia.”
                                             gastrointestinal system than COX-1
in nutrition and in the roles of free                                                    Elbow dysplasia is a developmental
                                             inhibitors. Buffered aspirin, though
radicals in disease, and will help the                                                   abnormality of the elbow joint that
                                             not approved for use in the dog, is also
MILES researchers understand the                                                         typically afflicts rapidly growing large
                                             commonly used as an anti-inflammatory
biomedical implications and evaluate                                                     breed dogs. Computed tomography
                                             drug in companion animals, and it
the success of their discoveries with        also causes gastrointestinal problems       (CT) is a useful diagnostic tool for
animal models.                               like bleeding, ulceration and erosion.      evaluating canine elbow dysplasia,
      Janet Rankin and Mike Houston,         Leib will comprehensively examine           however the diagnostic sensitivity for
professors of human nutrition, foods,        how a new COX-2 inhibitor based             detecting clinical problems may be
and exercise, and Korinn Saker,              NSAID called deracoxib affects the          affected by technical factors associated
assistant professor, Large Animal                                                        with CT such as window/level
                                             gastroduodenal mucosa in healthy dogs
Clinical Sciences, are interested in how                                                 settings, image display planes, patient
                                             through gastroendoscopic examination
oxidative stress is related to obesity and   and cytology.                               positioning and others. Jones’ study
Type II diabetes in animals and humans.            Dr. Otto Lanz, assistant professor,   seeks to develop the most efficacious CT
Nutritional strategies will be developed                                                 scanning protocol for evaluating canine
                                             DSACS, has been awarded $7102 to
to modify oxidative stress.                                                              elbow dysplasia, thereby providing more
                                             study “Effects of Acute, Experimental,
      “We are looking at interactive                                                     accurate information on which clinicians
                                             Extradural Cervical Spinal Cord
systems,” says Duncan. For example,          Compression on Morphology of the            can base treatment plans.
Ed Smith, associate professor of animal      Canine Cervical Vertibral Venous
and poultry sciences, is studying the        Plexus.” The Vertibral Venous Plexus
genetics of a bird that has a long life.     (VVP) is a network of veins that
“He’s looking at oxidative stresses          surround the vertebral canal, spinal
to see what is different from short-         cord and nerve roots. Little is known
lived birds. He will provide genetic         about how spinal compression affects        Dr. Michael Leib, the C.R. Roberts Professor
information.”                                the VVP, but some clinical studies have     of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, Dr. Kathleen
      The MILES researchers will also                                                    Sennello and Dr. Lisa Miller, past-president of
                                             suggested that the VVP may play a           the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association,
collaborate with the Science Museum of       role in compounding spinal injury and       pose during the presentation of the 2003-2004
Western Virginia to develop educational                                                  Veterinary Memorial Fund research awards.
                                             causing neurological problems. Lanz
modules for K-12 students and
contribute to the success of the museum.
      “Interdisciplinary graduate
programs are key to educating the
scientists and scholars and professors
for the 21st century. I’m pleased that
the NSF has recognized the outstanding
graduate education programs at Virginia
Tech,” says Karen P. DePauw, vice
provost for graduate studies and dean of
the Graduate School.

    Susan Trulove is public relations
manager for Virginia Tech’s Office of
Research and Sponsored Programs.




                                                                                         Virginia-Maryland 13
 Venturing Into Vasculature: How the Study of
 Angiogenesis Hints at Answers to Cancer By Erin Dolan, Ph.D.




Supported by the American
Cancer Society, the American
Heart Association, the Carilion
Biomedical Institute and the
VMRCVM, Huckle is searching
for ways to stop the flow of
blood to cancerous tumors.


      Although the concept that                 At first glance, angiogenesis may        human cell, are produced by tissues
solid tumors require blood vessels        appear necessary only during growth           when they are hypoxic. At least one
to survive is more than 30 years          and development and, once we reach            mechanism by which cells sense oxygen
old, it is just within the past decade    adulthood, no new blood vessels are           levels is via proteins that contain the
that scientists have come to accept       required. Indeed, this was the original       oxygen-binding molecule, heme. The
the role of angiogenesis, or blood        thinking about vascularization: once          conformation, or shape, of these proteins
vessel formation, in the development,     a blood vessel forms, it is very stable       changes when oxygen is absent, thereby
proliferation, and metastasis (spread)    – maintaining an oxygen supply to
of cancer. This is the research           local tissue for the life of the organism.
focus of Dr. Bill Huckle, associate       Instead, blood vessels may be relatively
professor, Biomedical Sciences and        dynamic, being constantly remodeled.                 Blood vessel growth into
Pathobiology, an affiliated faculty        More importantly, blood vessel                   a tumor facilitates cancer
member of the Fralin Biotechnology        formation is essential for healing after         development in two ways:
Center.                                   injury as well as during menstruation
      Angiogenesis is the process         and pregnancy. All of these processes
                                                                                           by providing a means of life
by which organisms maintain the           involve tightly regulated mechanisms             support (oxygen and nutrients)
vasculature they have and grow            to direct growth and organization of             and by serving as a roadway
new vasculature as needed, either
in physiologically appropriate ways
                                          blood vessels, but also to induce blood          out of the site of origin – a
                                          vessel regression. Scientists are studying
to maintain healthy tissue or in          mechanisms that trigger both growth              built-in path for metastasis.
pathological ways, like in diseases       and destruction of blood vessels, and
such as cancer, diabetes, and macular     applying this knowledge to prevent
degeneration. A complex set of            pathological blood vessel growth.             triggering a cascade of events that leads
processes, including cell division/             How is angiogenesis initiated?          to the production of VEGFs.
recruitment, migration, and assembly,     In the case of injury, scar tissue forms            In clinical studies, the density of
have to occur for blood vessels to        and cells within the healing tissue have      blood vessels in solid tumors has been
properly provide blood and, in turn,      limited access to vascularization. These      linked to disease severity and poor
oxygen to tissues throughout the body.    cells ‘sense’ hypoxia (low oxygen) and        prognosis. Tumor cells often, if not
First, endothelial cells, which create    secrete signals to recruit blood vessels to   always, over-express VEGF and other
and line blood vessels, must divide to    grow to and assemble in their location.       angiogenic factors because they’ve
generate enough cells to make new         One class of these signals is the vascular    lost the ability to keep these signals in
vessels. Then, the cells must move into   endothelial growth factors, or VEGFs.         check. Cancer cells, by definition, are
the new tissue, find each other, and       The VEGFs, a family of proteins that          also unable to control cell division.
assemble into functional channels.        can be made by almost any type of             Do the genes that control cell division
virginia-maryland 14
also control VEGF expression? In fact,      both fields has led to the recent            allowing recruitment of blood vessels by
when gene mutations occur that lead         formation of the Center for Comparative     the tumor.
to uncontrolled proliferation of cells,     Oncology at the VMRCVM, under the                 Becky Roche, a doctoral student
these same cells typically overproduce      direction of Dr. John Robertson.            in Veterinary Medical Sciences
VEGF. This phenomenon is observable              Although under the right conditions    working with Huckle, is attempting to
in cell culture and in cancer patients      almost any cell can make VEGF, the          identify the machinery involved in a
alike. Many studies of different types      receptors for VEGF exist primarily          cell’s decision to make the full-length
of cancer have revealed that circulating    on endothelial cells, which line blood      versus truncated form of the protein.
levels of VEGF, as with blood vessel        vessels. Huckle’s lab is studying two       In one strategy, she is fine-tuning a
density within tumors, can be correlated    types of VEGF receptors, KDR and            technique that allows cells to produce
with severity of the disease. A more                                                    full-length and truncated Flt-1 RNAs
direct correlation between cancer                                                       so that she can determine their ratio
and VEGF expression is observed                     Huckle is most intrigued            of expression. In another strategy to
in Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome.                                                          examine their expression, she is using
This autosomal dominant disease is
                                               by the possibility that                  quantitative reverse transcription (RT)
characterized by kidney tumors and             this ratio plays a role in               and polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
attributed to a mutation in a gene that        endothelial cells’ ability to            analysis, also known as quantitative RT-
normally functions to repress VEGF             sense and respond to VEGF                PCR, a method for measuring amounts
expression.                                                                             of specific RNA fragments.
      Particularly insidious cancers are       secreted by a tumor. If this                   With these tools in place, Roche
characterized not only by uncontrolled         is indeed the case, tweaking             can use them to examine the role of
cell proliferation and high VEGF               the ratio could be the                   RNA processing proteins in determining
expression, but also by the ability to         underpinnings for a new type             the ratio of the two Flt-1 forms.
become metastatic, or mobile around                                                     Eventually, the lab will evaluate Flt-1
the body. Blood vessel growth into a           of cancer therapy.                       ratios in animals beset with different
tumor facilitates cancer development in                                                 types of cancers, as well as in cells
two ways: by providing a means of life                                                  with known genetic mutations, to
support (oxygen and nutrients) and by       Flt-1, that transmit VEGF’s angiogenic      determine how the ratio may influence
serving as a roadway out of the site of     signal to responsive endothelial cells.     the progression of cancer. She can also
origin – a built-in path for metastasis.    The Flt-1 receptor can be found in two      use these tools to assess the ability of
      Huckle and his colleagues are         forms, a full-length form and a short, or   external factors (hormones, growth
taking three approaches to understand       truncated, form. The full-length form       factors, previously-identified cancer
angiogenesis in general and VEGF’s          sits in the endothelial cell membrane,      therapies) to influence the decision
function in particular: examining VEGF      part outside the cell and part inside       to make the full-length vs. truncated
expression in animals with cancer;          the cell, ready to sense VEGF in the        Flt-1. Huckle is most intrigued by the
characterizing VEGF receptor function;      extracellular environment. The truncated    possibility that this ratio plays a role in
and designing an angiogenesis assay         form, on the other hand, is unable          endothelial cells’ ability to sense and
system.                                     to anchor in the cell membrane and          respond to VEGF secreted by a tumor.
      Given his affiliation with the         instead is secreted outside of the cell.    If this is indeed the case, tweaking the
veterinary college, Huckle is interested    Huckle and other investigators have         ratio could be the underpinnings for a
in applying findings from human cancer       demonstrated that the truncated form can    new type of cancer therapy.
research to the study of cancer in          bind up VEGF and act as an inhibitor
both small and large animals. Huckle,       of angiogenesis by preventing full-              Erin Dolan is Coordinator of
together with Dr. Greg Troy and his         length receptor binding. He postulates      Biotechnology Outreach for the Fralin
colleagues in the Department of Small       that the tumor’s ability to over-express    Biotechnology Center.
Animal Clinical Sciences, are attempting    VEGF may swamp the truncated Flt-1’s
to extend the human studies correlating     ability to prevent angiogenesis, thereby
cancer severity with circulating VEGF
levels by conducting similar studies
in dogs. A challenging first step in this
work has been to determine whether
human and dog VEGF proteins are
homologous enough that antibodies used
to quantify human VEGF in an ELISA
assay can also be used to measure
dog VEGF levels. In another project,
Jennifer Noll (VMRCVM ’04), while
working as a summer veterinary fellow       Huckle works with
                                            other college re-
with Huckle, developed procedures for       searchers like Dr. John
identifying blood vessels in microscopic    Robertson, director of
sections of canine tumor tissue. Interest   the Center for Com-
in how the integrated study of human        parative Oncology
                                            (CeCO), on cancer
and veterinary cancers may advance          research.

                                                                                        Virginia-Maryland 15
   Veterinary College
   Researcher
   Awarded $1 Million
   Military Grant to
   Develop Bioterror
   Vaccine
         A bacteriologist in the VMRCVM
   has been awarded a $1.06 million
   grant from the U.S. Army to develop a
   vaccine for tularemia.
         Dr. Thomas J. Inzana, the Tyler
   J. and Francis F. Young Professor of
   Bacteriology, and his research team         Inzana is trying to develop a vaccine for tularemia, a Category A bioterrorism agent.
   in the college’s Center for Molecular
   Medicine and Infectious Diseases have       through minor cuts or abrasions in the                 His research team will isolate and
   begun a four-year program designed          hands by handling infected animals.              characterize both the capsule and the
   to develop a vaccine and diagnostic               The military is concerned about F.         outer membrane proteins that enable
   test for tularemia, which is commonly       tularensis because of its heartiness and         the organism to survive inside the
   known as “rabbit fever.” The etiologic      its virulence. Whereas about 10,000              macrophage. The key to creating an
   agent of tularemia is Francisella           Bacillus anthracis (anthrax) spores are          effective vaccine will be their ability to
   tularensis, which the Centers For           required to cause disease, only about            identify and stimulate the production
   Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta            10 F. tularensis cells are required to           of proteins that stimulate T-cells of the
   classifies as a Category A bioterrorism      cause disease, according to Inzana.              cellular immune system. It is hoped
   agent.                                      The organism could conceivably be                that antibodies to the capsule will help
         Tularemia is an infection             aerosolized and used as a bioterrorism           to clear the bacteria that are not yet in
   characterized by ulcers, swollen            agent at home or abroad; hence, the              phagocytic cells, and that T cells of the
   glands, fever, and flu-like symptoms.        military interest. A World Health                cellular immune system will kill the cells
   The organism can spread through the         Organization Committee estimated that            harboring the bacteria.
   blood and lymphatic systems to infect       aerosol dispersal of 50 kilograms of                   In another aspect of the project,
                                               virulent F. tularensis over a city of five        Inzana is working with Drs. Anbow
                                               million people would result in 250,000           Wang and Kirstie Cooper in the College
    A World Health Organization                inhabitants becoming seriously infected,         of Engineering’s Center for Photonics
                                               including 19,000 deaths.                         Technology on a project that will develop
Committee estimated that aerosol                     One aspect of F. tularensis that           photonic-based bio-sensors to detect the
dispersal of 50 kilograms of                   makes it dangerous is its ability to resist      F. tularensis capsule or DNA in the field.
virulent F. tularensis over a city             host defenses, Inzana says. Unlike               Ultimately, that research could lead to the
of five million people would result             many bacteria, F. tularensis has the             development of rapid pathogen sensing
                                               ability to survive inside some of the            biosensors that could detect multiple
in 250,000 inhabitants becoming                front-line defenders of the body’s               pathogens on the battlefield.
seriously infected, including                  immune system. As phagocytic cells                     Inzana is a noted molecular micro-
19,000 deaths.                                 such as macrophages rush to attack and           biologist who has generated $4 million
                                               consume the invading pathogens, F.               in extramural funding and been awarded
                                               tularensis actually uses the macrophage          three patents for intellectual properties
    the respiratory tract, where it can        as a home and multiplies within it.              arising out of research that has led to the
    cause more serious health problems.              While scientists do not yet know           development of vaccines for economically
    Pneumonic tularemia may have about         much about the biology of the organism,          important agricultural diseases.
    a 30% mortality rate, according to         they do know that it has a capsule-                    A former director of the Center
    Inzana.                                    like substance on its surface. Inzana,           for Molecular Medicine and Infectious
          While not uncommon in wildlife       who recently developed and patented              Diseases, Inzana also serves as Director
    throughout the United States, Inzana       a vaccine for swine pleuropneumonia              of Clinical Microbiology in the Veterinary
    says, it is a relatively rare disease in   by mutating the DNA required for                 Teaching Hospital and conducts
    people. Only about 100-200 cases           capsule synthesis by Actinobacillus              teaching, service, and research through
    of tularemia in humans are reported        pleuropneumoniae, and selecting for              his appointment as a professor in the
    every year, Inzana said. The bacteria      a non-capsulated vaccine strain, plans           Department of Biomedical Sciences and
    are transmitted to humans and animals      to apply his expertise in bacterial              Pathobiology. He is a diplomate of the
    by ticks and biting flies, or can be        carbohydrate antigens to the new                 American Board of Medical Microbiology
    ingested by wildlife from drinking         vaccine and diagnostic test development          and a Fellow of the American Academy of
    water. Humans are also infected            program.                                         Microbiology.
  virginia-maryland 16
  Veterinary College
  Researcher
  Awarded
  Prestigious
  National Science
  Foundation Grant
        A faculty member in the
  VMRCVM has been awarded a
  $726,476 National Science Foundation
  CAREER grant to develop a more
  “wholistic” system for the integration
  of technology, research and education
  through a project designed to study
  and protect chimpanzees in Tanzania.
        Dr. Taranjit Kaur has received the   Kaur uses geographic information systems (GIS) to develop public and animal health
                                             programs. Pictured are Kaur (center), Virginia Tech student Jessica Hagerman (left) and
  prestigious NSF funding to support a       fourth-year VMRCVM student Kari Velguth.
  five-year program entitled “Bridging
  the Gaps Using Bush-to-Base-Bio-           them,” said Kaur. The goal of this              code and process the data using handheld
  Informatics, Geographic Information        project transcends the immediate                modules with global positioning system
  Systems (GIS) and a Program Called         benefit of using technology and training         capability, Kaur said. The modules will
  “READ-IT.”                                 programs to improve conservation                interface with a Virginia Tech-based
        “This is all about integrating       management strategies for chimpanzee            web-enabled server designed to share
  research and education,” said Kaur,        populations in the jungles of a nation          information with authorized users.
  who also serves as Virginia Tech’s         home to the famed Mount Kilimanjaro,                  “My theory is that students are a
  Director of Laboratory Animal              Kaur explains.                                  tremendous resource and that we don’t
  Resources. She plans to create a                 To accomplish this greater goal,          utilize them enough,” said Kaur, who
  novel “electronic infrastructure” that     she plans to focus on the immediate task        views students as key players in a “cross-
  will take a multidisciplinary approach     of helping the Tanzanian National Park          pollination” component of the program.
  to developing improved wildlife            Authority (TANAPA) develop science-             Students participating in the program
  management strategies in the east          based management strategies that will           will gain interdisciplinary research and
  African nation.                            protect the free-ranging chimpanzee             educational experiences within a global
                                             population from tourism related                 context by designing communication
    It represents a                          problems like disease transmission,             systems and sharing information
                                             habitat destruction, and competition            with other students, tourists, wildlife
multidisciplinary career                     for resources. Because of genetic               personnel, and local communities, Kaur
development strategy that seeks              similarities between chimps and people,         said.
to bridge the gaps between                   both are highly susceptible to influenza,              Another goal of the program is to
discovery, learning and the                  tuberculosis and other infectious               use U.S. technological leadership in a
                                             diseases.                                       way that supports sustainable global
diffusion of information in the                    That information will enable              development, promotes conservation and
biological sciences.                         those officials to determine a more              ultimately leads to a higher quality of life
                                             accurate understanding of the area’s            for all in the 21st century, she said.
        Kaur, who has traveled to            capacity for tourism, as well as support              Kaur is collaborating with a number
  Africa a half-dozen times, conceived       the development of more effective               of individuals and organizations on
  the project around a proprietary           management and training programs for            the program, including Dr. Michael
  program she has developed called           professionals and tourists.                     A. Huffman a world-renowned
  “READ-IT,” an acronym which                      A key part of Kaur’s program              primatologist from Kyoto University
  stands for Research, Education,            is designed to develop “interesting             in Japan; and Dr. Beatrice Hahn, the
  and Dissemination via Information          and compelling content for integrated           University of Alabama at Birmingham
  Technology. It represents a                research and educational opportunities          physician who played a leading role
  multidisciplinary career development       for undergraduate, graduate and                 in demonstrating that the AIDS virus
  strategy that seeks to bridge the gaps     professional students at Virginia Tech.”        afflicting the human race originated from
  between discovery, learning and            Some of those will be involved with             a virus in chimpanzees.
  the diffusion of information in the        the “Bush to Base Bio-Informatics” and                Other groups include TANAPA,
  biological sciences.                       the “Geographic Information Systems”            the University of Rhode Island, National
        “Everything I do brings together     components of the program, she said.            University of Rwanda, Management
  humans, animals and the environment,             Field researchers will gather             Sciences, Inc., international tour
  and the dynamic interaction between        physiological data on the chimps, and           operators and others.
                                                                                              Virginia-Maryland 17
                                                  NEws briefs
        Dr. Craig Reed, visiting       Journal of Veterinary Radiology       which was published in the Journal            Dr. H. Marie Suthers-
 professor in the VMRCVM and           and Ultrasound.                       of Veterinary Medical Education.      McCabe, associate professor and
 former director of the USDA’s                 Dr. Beverly J. Purswell,             Dr. M. Renee Prater,           director of the Center for Animal
 Animal and Plant Health               professor, Department of Large        assistant professor and Chair of      Human Relationships, presented
 Inspection Service has been           Animal Clinical Sciences is now       Microbiology for the Department       “The Role of Handler Personality
 appointed to serve a four-year        serving as the Virginia Veterinary    of Biomedical Sciences in the         Traits in the Performance of Canine
 term on the Virginia Board of         Medical Association’s delegate to     Edward Via Virginia College           Explosives Detection” at the
 Health. Reed continues to lecture     the American Veterinary Medical       of Osteopathic Medicine and           annual Delta Society Conference
 on food safety, epidemiology,         Association. She has served as        research assistant professor for      in Seattle, Washington. She also
 and government and corporate          alternate for the past four years.    the Department of Biomedical          presented “Program Assessment:
 practice in the professional                  Dr. Colin B. Carrig,          Sciences and Pathobiology at          Saint Francis of Assisi Service Dog
 curriculum. He is also assisting      professor, Department of Small        the VMRCVM, is serving on the         Foundation Prison PUP program,”
 the college in special initiatives    Animal Clinical Sciences, attended    American Journal of Veterinary        “The Human-Animal Bond,
 such as providing leadership and      the 28th World Congress of the        Research Board of Reviewers           Implications for Veterinarians and
 liaison for the college’s emerging    World Small Animal Veterinary         through 2006. She has recently        Mental Health Professionals,”
 relationship with the University of   Association in Bangkok, Thailand.     had several articles published in     and “Building the Human-Animal
 Maryland College of Medicine in       Carrig presented two lectures:        scientific journals. “Combined         Bond in Children, Get ‘Em While
 Baltimore.                            “Diagnostic Imaging of Foreign        dermal exposure to permethrin and     they’re Young” at the annual
        Three employees in the         Bodies” and “Diagnostic Imaging       cis-urocanic acid suppressed the      meeting of the American Veterinary
 VMRCVM’s Veterinary Teaching          in Evaluation of Bone Lesions.” In    contact hypersensitivity response     Medical Association in Denver.
 Hospital have graduated from          addition, he chaired a session on     in C57BL/6N mice in an additive       Suthers-McCabe has also been
 the new distance education            gastroenterology. The congress        manner” and “Immunotoxic effects      elected President of the American
 Veterinary Technician Program         attracted 1900 registrants from       of cix-urocanic acid exposure in      Association of Human-Animal
 operated by Blue Ridge                around the world.                     C57BL/6N and C3H/HeN mice”            Bond Veterinarians. Suthers-
 Community College in Weyer’s                   Dr. Martha Moon,             were published in the Journal of      McCabe was also elected to
 Cave, Virginia. Those individuals     professor, Department of Small        Photochemistry and Photobiology.      the International Society for
 are Karen Whitt, Becky Wade           Animal Clinical Sciences,             “Molecular mechanisms of              Anthrozoology’s Council at their
 and Teresa Ward. All three have       presented “Aging Changes in the       sunlight and permethrin-              annual conference held in Canton,
 sat and successfully passed the       Ultrasound Appearance of the          induced alterations in cutaneous      Ohio. While there, she presented
 certifying examination offered        Feline Pancreas” at the annual        immunity” was published in the        “The role of handler personality
 by the Virginia Association of        meeting of the American College       journal of Photodermatology,          traits in the performance of
 Licensed Veterinary Technicians       of Veterinary Radiology in Chicago,   Photoimmunology and                   canine explosives detection”
 and earned their LVT credential.      Illinois. She also authored an        Photomedicine. “Cis-urocanic          and “Program assessment: Saint
        Damani Parran, a post          article entitled “Ultrasonographic    acid increases immunotoxicity and     Francis of Assisi service dog
 doc working with the Laboratory       Appearance and Etiology of            lethality of dermally-administered    foundation prison PUP program.”
 for Neurotoxicity Studies, earned     Corrugated Small Intestine” which     permethrin in C5BL/6N mice”           Suthers-McCabe also made a
 recognition at the annual meeting     was published in the Journal          was published in the Journal of       keynote presentation on CENTAUR
 of the Society for Toxicology in      of Veterinary Radiology and           Toxicology. She has also written      at the annual conference of
 Salt Lake City. Parran earned         Ultrasound.                           several book chapters. Those          the Virginia Association of
 first-place in the post-doctoral               Dr. John Dascanio,            include “The mouse as a model of      Rehabilitatoin Nurses in Salem,
 category of the “In Vitro Specialty   associate professor, Department       developmental immunotoxicology        Virginia. Suthers-McCabe also
 Section” abstract awards              of Large Animal Clinical Sciences,    ” for a Developmental                 traveled to Tokyo, Japan on an
 competition. He also won first         authored an article entitled “The     Immunotoxicology reference and        international trip sponsored by the
 place in the post-doctoral            Use of Information Technology in      “Hemostatic abnormalities” for        Pet Food Institute in Washington,
 category of the National Capitol      Large Animal Veterinary Education”    Small Animal Clinical Diagnosis       D.C. While there, she presented
 Area Chapter of the Society           which was published in the Journal    by Laboratory Methods. Prater         several keynote speeches,
 of Toxicology travel award            of Veterinary Medical Education.      also presented several papers at      conducted interviews with various
 competition.                                   Dr. Jeryl C. Jones,          the 21st annual American College      pet magazines and student
        Dr. Otto Lanz, assistant       associate professor, Department       of Veterinary Internal Medicine       newspapers, and was featured in
 professor, Department of Small        of Small Animal Clinical Sciences,    Forum in Charlotte, North Carolina.   numerous press conferences for
 Animal Clinical Sciences,             made a presentation entitled          Those included “Focus on Platelet     Japanese media. Topics included
 was presented the Auburn              “CT Morphometry of the                problems: too few, too many and       many dimensions of the human-
 University College of Veterinary      Thoracolumbar Spine in Dogs with      too defunct,” “Cases in feline        animal bond, including ethical
 Medicine “Distinguished Young         Degenerative Myelopathy” at the       homeostasis,” “Cases in canine        issues of animal treatment in
 Achiever Award” at their annual       annual meeting of the American        homeostasis,” and “Miscellaneous      Japan, animal assisted therapy, pet
 conference.                           College of Veterinary Radiology in    cases in homestasis including         loss/ bereavement, link between
        Dr. Jonathan A. Abbott,        Chicago.                              ‘toughies’.”                          human violence and animal abuse,
associate professor, Department                Dr. Peter K. Shires,                 Dr. Thomas J. Inzana,          and the Centaur program she
of Small Animal Clinical Sciences,     professor, Department of Small        professor, Department of              leads in the VMRCVM.
presented a scientific poster at        Animal Clinical Sciences,             Biomedical Sciences and                       Dr. Korinn Saker, assistant
the American College of Veterinary     presented “Peri-operative             Pathobiology presented                professor, Department of Large
Internal Medicine’s 21st Annual        medical therapy, does it change       “Comparative analysis of a            Animal Clinical Sciences,
Veterinary Medical Forum held          the outcome of decompressive          wildtype strain of Francisella        presented “Concentration of
in Charlotte, North Carolina           surgery in intervertebral disk        tularensis type A with the            PUFA can influence EGFR/MAPK
entitled “Hemolytic Effects of Oral    herniation cases?” at the             live vaccine strain” at the 4th       signal transduction in human
Carvedilol in Healthy Conscious        annual meeting of the American        International conference on           breast cancer cells” at the
Dogs.” An article authored by          College of Veterinary Surgeons        Tularemia in Bath, England and        7th International Symposium
Abbott, “Comparison of Doppler-        in Washington, D.C. Shires also       “Biofilm formation by Haemophilus      on Predictive Oncology and
Derived Peak Aortic Velocities         authored an article entitled “One     somnus at the 84th Annual             Intervention Strategies in Nice,
Obtained From Subcostal and            Educator’s Perspective on the         Meeting of the Conference of          France. A paper she authored
Apical Transducer Sites in Healthy     Role of Instructional Technology      Research Workers in Animal            entitled “Brown Seaweed treated
Dogs,” has been published in the       in Veterinary Surgical Education”     Diseases in Chicago, Illinois.        conserved forage enhances

virginia-maryland 18
antioxidant status and immune                 Dr. X.J. Meng, assistant        “Novel Strains of the Hepatitis        included “The Pineywoods Cattle
function in heat-stressed wether       professor, Department of               E Virus from Humans and Other          Breed,” “Conservation of Turkey
lambs” was published in the            Biomedical Sciences and                Animal Species: Is Hepatitis E a       Genetic Resources in the United
Journal of Animal Physiology           Pathobiology, was the featured         Zoonosis?                              States,” “Conservation and Use
and Animal Nutrition and a paper       invited speaker at the 89th Annual            Dr. D. Phillip Sponenberg,      of Goat Genetic Resources in the
she authored entitled “Nutritional     Meeting of the Japanese Society        professor, Biomedical Sciences         United States,” “Conservation of
Influences on the immune system         of Gastroenterology in Tokyo,          and Pathobiology, presented            Colonial Spanish Horses in the
in aging felines” was published in     Japan. Meng, an M.D. and Ph.D.         four lectures in Spanish at an         United States,” and “Variation and
the Compendium on Continuing           virologist working in the Center       international meeting of animal        Genetics of Coat Color in Iberian
Education for the Practicing           for Molecular Medicine and             breed conservationists in Recife,      Horses and Breeds Derived from
Veterinarian.                          Infectious Diseases, presented         Brazil. Those presentations            Them.”
       Dr. Tom Manning, clinical
instructor, Department of Small
Animal Clinical Sciences, authored                                       New Residents and Interns
an article entitled “Non-Healing
Subcutaneous wounds in the                      Sixteen new veterinarians     from Michigan State University in      the University of Veterinary
cat and proposed surgical                have been hired as residents         2002. She also has completed a         and Pharmaceutical Science
management techniques” which             and interns.                         small animal internship at Purdue      in the Czech Republic and has
was published in the Journal of                 Internships and               University.                            also completed an internship
Veterinary Diagnositic Techniques.       residencies are advanced                    Dr. Michael Higgins, who        in Food Animal Production
He also has written book chapters        clinical/educational programs        earned his BS in Animal Science/       Management Medicine at the
entitled “Non-neoplasmic tumors”         pursued by DVM’s who                 Biology from Virginia Tech, has        VMRCVM.
and “Tumors of the Adnexa” for           seek advanced training and           entered the college as a new                  Dr. Anthony Gray
Dermatology Secrets in Color.            eventual board certification          resident/graduate student in           received his BS in Biology from
       VMRCVM graduate                   by organizations such as the         neurology. He received his DVM         the Virginia Military Institute,
students Padma Billam and                American College of Veterinary       from Ross University with clinical     his MS from the University of
Nicole Mckeown, working in               Internal Medicine, the American      training at North Carolina State       Virginia and his DVM from the
Dr. X.J. Meng’s laboratory in the        College of Veterinary Surgeons,      University. He has completed a         VMRCVM. Dr. Gray completed
Center for Molecular Medicine            the American College of              small animal internship at Auburn      an internship at the VMRCVM
and Infectious Diseases, earned          Veterinary Radiology, or the         University.                            in large animal medicine and
honors at the 84th Annual Meeting        American College of Veterinary              Dr. Michael King has joined     equine field services. He has
of the Conference of Research            Ophthalmology and others.            the college as a new resident/         joined the college as a resident/
Workers in Animal Diseases in                   There are eight new           graduate student in small animal       graduate student in equine field
Chicago, Illinois. Padma Billam          residents and interns in the         surgery. He received his BVSc          services.
won the Best Virology Graduate           Department of Small Animal           from Massey University in New                 Dr. Graham Keys
Student Presentation Award               Clinical Sciences (DSACS).           Zealand in 2000. Dr. King has          received his BS in Zoology from
for “Systematic pathogenesis                    Dr. Hope Baird has joined     completed a private practice           the University of Calgary in
and replication of a strain of           the college as a small animal        internship and worked in private       Canada and his DVM from the
the hepatitis E virus (HEV) in its       intern. She received her BS in       practice in Auckland.                  Western College of Veterinary
natural host: avian HEV infections       Biology from DePaul University              There are eight new             Medicine, also in Canada. He
in specific-pathogen-free adult           and her DVM from Texas A&M           residents and interns in the           has completed his internship in
chickens.” The award was                 University in 2003.                  Department of Large Animal             equine medicine and surgery at
sponsored by the American                       Dr. North Fletcher has        Clinical Sciences.                     North Carolina State University
College of Veterinary Microbiology.      joined DSACS as a small animal              Dr. Cathleen Lombardi           and has joined the college as
Nicole McKeown won a Biosafety           intern. Fletcher received his BS     received her BS in Animal Science      a resident/graduate student in
and Biosecurity Graduate Student         in Natural Resources/Biology         from Cornell University and            large animal surgery.
Presentation Award (2nd place)           from the University of the South     received her DVM from Kansas                  Dr. Iveta Krizova
for “Molecular characterization of       and his DVM from the University      State University. She has joined       has joined the college as a
an orphan virus, porcine TT virus,       of Tennessee in 2003.                the college as a large animal          resident/M.S. graduate student
from pigs in 6 different countries.”            Dr. Holly Mims has joined     surgery intern.                        in veterinary nutrition. She
That award was sponsored by The          the college as a small animal               Dr. Margret Rogers has          received her MVDr from the
Animal Health Institute.                 intern. She received her BS in       joined the college as a large animal   University of Veterinary and
       Dr. Gordon Carter,                Animal Health in 1999 and her        medicine/equine ambulatory             Pharmaceutical Science in
professor emeritus, has published        DVM in 2003 from the University      intern. Dr. Rogers has completed       the Czech Republic in 1999.
a new book. The 6th edition              of Georgia.                          post-graduate studies in the           She earned her MS degree
of “Essentials of Veterinary                    Dr. Jennifer Rockwell         Department of Biological Sciences      in Special Education at East
Bacteriology and Mycology (6th           has joined the college as a small    at Northern Illinois University,       Tennessee State University and
Edition)” was authored by Carter         animal intern. She received her      received her BS from Iowa State        completed a preceptorship
and Darla J. Wise, a former Tech         BS from North Georgia College        University, and her DVM from the       in equine arthroscopy at
Ph.D. student now on faculty at          and State University and her         University of Missouri.                the University of Veterinary
Concord College in West Virginia.        DVM from the University of                  Dr. Jill Shiffman did her       Medicine in Austria.
       Dr. Michael Leib, professor,      Georgia in 2003.                     pre-veterinary coursework at                  Dr. Katherine Wilson
Department of Small Animal                      Dr. Kim Vande Vyvere          Drew University in New Jersey          is a new resident/graduate
Clinical Sciences, made a                did her undergraduate work in        and received her BA from the           student in large animal
number of continuing education           Animal Science at the University     University of Michigan. She            medicine. She earned her
presentations at the Atlantic Coast      of Manitoba and received her         earned her DVM from Ross               BA in Interdisciplinary Studies
Veterinary Conference in Atlantic        DVM from the University of           University in 2003. Dr. Shiffman       at Miami University and
City, New Jersey. Those talks            Saskatchewan in 2000. She has        has joined the college as a            received her DVM from Ohio
included “Diagnostic approach            been in private practice for a few   large animal medicine/equine           State University. Dr. Wilson
to chronic diarrhea,” “Icterus: a        years and has joined the college     ambulatory intern.                     completed an internship in
diagnostic approach,” “Acute             as a small animal intern.                   Dr. Ondrej Becvar has           large animal medicine/equine
diarrhea: diagnostic approach,”                 Dr. Megen Daugherty           joined the college as a resident/      production management
“Chronic vomiting: a diagnostic          is a new resident/graduate           graduate student in Food Animal        medicine at the VMRCVM.
approach and the role of                 student in the field of small         Ambulatory and Production
Helicobacter,” “Acute pancreatitis       animal medicine. She earned          Management Medicine. Dr.
in dogs” and “Giardia infection in       her BS in Zoology and her DVM        Becvar received his DVM from
dogs and cats.”

                                                                                                       Virginia-Maryland 19
                                              working relationships with organized        Diseases (CMMID), was named
                                              veterinary medical associations and         associate dean for research and graduate
                                              guiding the development of the Marion       studies in early 2001.
                                              duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in             “As a founding faculty member
                                              Leesburg.                                   in the college, Gerhardt has a broad
                                                    Recently, he led efforts to           sense of the college’s heritage
                                              integrate the veterinary college as a       and aspirations,” said McNamee.
                                              working partner with Tech’s College of      “Moreover, he’s been at the forefront
                                              Engineering and Wake Forest University      of our university’s efforts to develop
                                              in the hybrid School of Biomedical          vision and capacity in biomedical
                      Dr. Peter Eyre          Engineering. He has also helped craft       sciences research. We’re fortunate he’s
                                              a major affiliation for the VMRCVM           available to serve at this important time
 Eyre:                                        with the university’s new Institute for
                                              Biomedical and Public Health Sciences
                                                                                          in the history of the college and the
                                                                                          university.”
 continued from page 1.
                                              (IBPHS).                                          Since joining the faculty in 1978,
 Dean for Research and Graduate                     Eyre was serving as president of      he has established an international
 Studies Dr. Gerhardt Schurig interim         the Association of American Veterinary      reputation for his work in developing
 dean.                                        Colleges (AAVMC) and resigned               vaccines against bovine brucellosis,
      “Peter Eyre has played a                that position simultaneously with his       a zoonotic disease that causes
 historic role in building a nationally       deanship. He served for several years       reproductive problems in cattle and
 recognized veterinary college and            on the AAVMC board, he has worked           undulant fever in humans. The RB-51
 helping Virginia Tech develop an             on the American Veterinary Medical          brucellosis vaccine he developed has
 array of important new biomedical            Association’s Council on Government         become the global “gold standard” in
 health initiatives,” said McNamee.           Relations, and provided leadership for      bovine brucellosis control and played a
 “His exemplary scholarship,                  many other professional associations. He    major role in the virtual eradication of
 prodigious work ethic, and sense             is a nationally recognized advocate for     the cattle disease in the United States.
 of diplomacy have helped him lead            curricular reform in veterinary education   Most recently, he was appointed to
 in a way that invited partnerships           and has spoken frequently on the topic at   lead the university’s new Institute for
                                              forums and meetings around the nation.      Biomedical and Public Health Sciences.
                                                    Eyre is a recipient of the Norden           Schurig earned his DVM degree
    Since his appointment,                    Award for Distinguished Teaching and        in 1970 from the University of Chile.
                                              the Sigma Psi Award for Excellence          After earning M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in
Eyre has presided over the                    in Research. He has been honored for        immunology from Cornell University,
development of a $32 million                  outstanding leadership by the Virginia      Schurig spent two years working in the
enterprise that has graduated                 Veterinary Medical Association,             Department of Veterinary Science at the
                                              the Maryland Veterinary Medical             University of Wisconsin at Madison.
more than 1500 veterinarians                  Association, and the Blue Ridge             He has directed the college’s World
and established a national                    Chapter of the Public Relations Society     Health Organization Collaborating
reputation for excellence in                  of America. Prior to assuming the           Center for Veterinary Education in
public practice veterinary                    deanship of the VMRCVM, Eyre served         Management and Public Health, served
                                              as Chairman of the Department of            as head of the college’s Department of
medicine.                                     Biomedical Sciences at the University of    Veterinary Biosciences, and he helped
                                              Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College in      create CMMID 1987. During his seven-
 and moved us all forward. We                 Ontario, Canada, where he also served as    year tenure as head of that center, it
 are profoundly grateful for his              associate director of the Canadian Centre   established itself as a major research and
 contributions and accomplishments            for Toxicology.                             development center focused on creating
 and wish him well.”                                He holds a BVMS degree,               vaccines and improved diagnostic tests
      Since his appointment, Eyre             the MRCVS diploma in veterinary             for several economically significant
 has presided over the development            medicine, and B.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in    infectious animal diseases.
 of a $32 million enterprise that             pharmacology, all from the University of          Schurig is a member of
 has graduated more than 1500                 Edinburgh in Scotland.                      numerous professional societies,
 veterinarians and established a                    As a biomedical researcher, Eyre      including the American Association
 national reputation for excellence in        has been responsible for the acquisition    for the Advancement of Science, the
 public practice veterinary medicine.         and completion of over $1.2 million in      American Association of Veterinary
      Eyre presided over the creation         sponsored grants and contracts, and has     Immunologists, and the American
 of the College Park, Maryland based          authored 350 scientific publications,        Society for Microbiology. He has
 Center for Government and Corporate          including more than 200 in refereed         received several major teaching
 Veterinary Medicine and led a series         journals.                                   and research awards, including the
 of initiatives that fortified the political                                               1986 Beecham Award for Research
 and economic underpinnings of the            Schurig Interim Dean                        Excellence.
 partnership between Virginia and                  Schurig, a veterinary immunologist           A national search to identify and
 Maryland in the late 1980’s. He is           and former director of the Center for       recruit a new permanent VMRCVM
 also credited with building strong           Molecular Medicine and Infectious           dean is underway.

virginia-maryland 20
                                                                                                        Delegate Jim Shuler (right
                                                                                                        foreground) and former
                                                                                                        VMRCVM Dean Peter
                                                                                                        Eyre (left foreground) hold
                                                                                                        a copy of the General
                                                                                                        Assembly resolution while
                                                                                                        Mrs. Joyce Morgan (left),
                                                                                                        Virginia Tech President Dr.
                                                                                                        Charles Steger (center),
                                                                                                        and Delegate David Nutter
                                                                                                        (right) look on.


Virginia General Assembly                                                               and colleagues that followed in a local
                                                                                        Richmond restaurant, Eyre said it was
                                                                                        the most spectacular recognition he had
Recognizes Former Dean Eyre                                                             ever received.
                                                                                               “This is so special,” he said,
      In an event that crowned an            Brooks, and long-time administrative       expressing gratitude for Shuler’s
18-year career at the helm of the            assistant Joyce Morgan at his side, Eyre   leadership role in the recognition.
Virginia-Maryland Regional College           stepped forward to face Speaker of the     “It’s been a privilege to work in the
of Veterinary Medicine, former Dean          House William Howell while Shuler          Commonwealth of Virginia. What a
Peter Eyre was formally recognized           addressed the chamber.                     privilege it has been to be a part of the
in the Virginia State Capitol with a              Shuler spoke of Eyre’s 18 years of    Virginia Tech community.”
joint resolution of commendation             exemplary service as the second dean             Virginia Tech President Charles
passed and presented by the Virginia         of the VMRCVM, and the important           Steger praised Eyre for the scholarship,
House of Delegates and Senate.               contributions that the college makes to    leadership, wisdom and sense of humor
      Shortly after the Assembly was         a healthy Commonwealth of Virginia.        he brought to the task of building the
convened on January 22nd, Delegate           After that the formal resolution of        college after he was recruited as dean in
Jim Shuler was granted the floor to           commendation was read to the entire        1985. Invoking a metaphor, Steger said
recognize members of the Virginia            chamber by House of Delegates Clerk        that Eyre had inherited a “struggling
Veterinary Medical Association               Bruce Jamerson. Eyre then received         adolescent” of an institution and
gathered in Richmond for the                 a 15-second standing ovation from          guided its development into that of a
organization’s annual legislative            everyone gathered in the Virginia House    “promising young adult.”
work-day.                                    of Delegates.
      Following that, Shuler asked                During a luncheon for close friends   Please see Assembly page 22
for permission to conduct a “center-
aisle” presentation and invited the
Virginia Tech alumni serving in the
House of Delegates to join him as he
called Peter Eyre forward.
      With Virginia Tech President
Charles Steger, Maryland Deputy
Secretary of Agriculture John
Dignitaries and friends joined Eyre for
a commemorative luncheon following
the presentation. From left, Dr. John
Brooks, Deputy Secretary, Department
of Agriculture, State of Maryland; Eyre;
Jo Evans, Delegate Shuler’s Legislative
Assistant; Mrs. Shelley Duke, Head of
the Equine Medical Center’s Council;
Dr. G. Frederick Fregin, former director
of the Equine Medical Center; Virginia
Tech President Dr. Charles Steger; retired
Virginia Tech Board of Visitors Member
Cecil Maxson; Richmond veterinarian Dr.
Charles Hickey; and Virginia Tech Director
of Governmental Relations Ralph Byers.

                                                                                        Virginia-Maryland 21
                                                                Commonwealth of Virginia
                                                                   General Assembly
                                                                  House Joint Resolution No. 43
                                                   Whereas, Dr. Peter Eyre served with distinction from 1985 through
                                                   2003 as the second dean in the history of the Virginia-Maryland
                                                   Regional College of Veterinary Medicine; and

                                                   Whereas, the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary
                                                   Medicine is a nationally recognized college of veterinary medicine that
                                                   includes flagship campus facilities at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, the
                                                   Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, and the
                                                   Avrum Gudelsky Veterinary Center at the University of Maryland at
Former Virginia Veterinary Medical Association
President Dr. John Wise congratulates Eyre         College Park; and
following the presentation.
                                                   Whereas, Dr. Eyre earned a BVMS degree and the MRCVS Diploma
      Dr. G. Frederick Fregin, who retired         in veterinary medicine, and B.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in pharmacology,
in 2003 after 20 years as the founding             all from the prestigious University of Edinburgh in Scotland; and
director of the Marion duPont Scott Equine
Medical Center spoke of the special role
                                                   Whereas, throughout his 18-year tenure as dean of the Virginia-Maryland
that Eyre played in stabilizing and fostering
the development of the Leesburg facility.          Regional College of Veterinary Medicine Dr. Eyre distinguished himself as
“He was my mentor and my model,” said              a visionary who led his college with a strong sense of integrity, encouraged
Fregin, who now resides in Texas. “I always        high standards of performance conducted himself with a sense of diplomacy
followed his lead. He was good counsel.”           that invited partnership and collaboration, and helped Virginia Tech make
      Sumpter Priddy, former president of          important advancements in the biomedical sciences; and
the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association
and long-time Richmond lobbyist recalled           Whereas, as a result of Dr. Eyre’s leadership and the excellence he inspired
the struggle to found the school in the 1970’s     in others, the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary
and congratulated Eyre for his role in turning     Medicine developed into a $32 million enterprise that has graduated more
it into what it is today.                          than 1,500 veterinarians and earned a national reputation for excellence
      Maryland Deputy Secretary of
                                                   in its veterinary public practice training programs; and
Agriculture John Brooks termed what Eyre
had done for the VMRCVM a treasure on the
order of the Blue Ridge and the Shenandoah         Whereas, as a result of Dr. Eyre’s leadership, the Virginia-Maryland
Valley. “Without Peter at the helm, we             Regional College of Veterinary Medicine has brought national recognition
would not have the regional college that we        to the Commonwealth of Virginia and to the State of Maryland for their
have today,” said Brooks, a prominent figure        highly successful administration of a regional professional school that
in national organized veterinary medicine          is regarded as a national model of interstate cooperation, innovation, and
who is also closely affiliated with the             efficiency and has fulfilled the vision of its founders; and
University of Maryland at College Park.
      Richmond veterinarian and professional       Whereas, Dr. Peter Eyre has made lasting and important contributions
leader Dr. Charles Hickey recalled the             to society and to the veterinary profession throughout his career, received
turbulence that existed in the relationship
                                                   numerous commendations for excellence, and provided voluntary
between the state organized veterinary
medical community and the college when             leadership for several professional organizations and societies, including
Eyre was recruited in 1985. Hickey said that       service as president of the American Association of Veterinary Medical
Eyre’s sense of diplomacy played a pivotal         Colleges; now, therefore be it
role in building the solid relationship that has
been enjoyed by the college and statewide          Resolved by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, that the
practitioners since then.                          General Assembly express its deep appreciation to Dr. Peter Eyre for
      Former member of the Virginia Tech           his exemplary and meritorious service to the Commonwealth and to the
Board of Visitors Cecil Maxson humorously          nation, and, be it
declared himself an “architecture college
bigot” as he rose in praise of Eyre’s career,      Resolved further that the clerk of the House of Delegates prepare copies
but added “Peter won me over.”
                                                   of this resolution for presentation to Dr. Peter Eyre in recognition of
      A framed copy of the General Assembly
resolution was presented to Eyre and another       his achievements and to the college so that it might be displayed as a
was presented to the college for permanent         testimonial to Dr. Eyre’s lasting contributions and the college’s noble
display.                                           causes.

virginia-maryland 22
Speaker of the House William Howell stands
in front of the House of Delegates shortly after
convening the House to conduct the business
of the Commonwealth of Virginia on January 22.
One of the first matters of the day was to pay
tribute to former Dean Peter Eyre.



                                                     In Memoriam
 “Patron” Saint of Veterinary                      Canada and a Ph.D. from Utrecht University           “It was a great experience for me
 Nutrition Mara Dies                               in the Netherlands.                            because I had a lot of responsibility with
                                                         Garcia was a specialist in animal        a lot of authority,” he reflected during an
       The veterinary profession and the           reproduction who joined the VMRCVM             interview conducted with Jeff Douglas
 VMRCVM lost a leader and a friend                 faculty in July 2001. He had teaching          in 1985.
 with the passing of Dr. Jack Mara, former         responsibilities in both the DVM                     Duke joined the VVMA on January
 Director of Professional Affairs for Hill’s       professional and graduate education            1, 1938, held all of the major offices
 Pet Products.                                     programs. He also was a member of the          in the VVMA and served as an AVMA
       Mara, who was perhaps more                  college’s Production Management team.          Delegate for 16 years.
 singularly identified with veterinary                    “Dr. Antonio Garcia was a valued               The man who quipped that
 nutrition than any other veterinarian             friend and colleague who made significant       veterinarians can be as “ornery as catfish”
 besides the late Mark Morris, died at 78          contributions to the teaching, service, and    had a big heart when it came to clinical
 in Topeka, Kansas.                                research programs of the Department of         practice.
       A graduate of the New York State            Large Animal Clinical Sciences,” said Dr.            Reflecting on the depression-era, he
 College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell         Craig Thatcher, DLACS head. “I believe,        recalled that “I can remember taking pigs
 University’s Class of ’51, Mara left              however, that Antonio most enjoyed teaching    and corn and hound-dogs and shotguns
 private practice in 1978 to join Hill’s.          and mentoring students and they appreciated    and rifles and eggs” in payment for
       He was a tireless advocate for              his dedication to their learning and his       services rendered.
 veterinary nutrition and a firm believer in        wonderful sense of humor.”                           Watson’s contributions to veterinary
 veterinary continuing education.                                                                 medicine at Virginia Tech and in Virginia
       As a result of Mara’s leadership,           “Duke” Watson, 89                              are memorialized through the college’s
 Hill’s became a major corporate supporter               The college community mourns the         “Douglas F. “Duke” Watson Heritage
 of most of the major continuing education         passing of Dr. Douglas F. “Duke” Watson,       Room.”
 meetings hosted by professional societies         89, who was a major figure in the history of
 and specialty organizations in the country.       veterinary medicine at Virginia Tech.          Dr. John H. Stone
       He also played a significant role                  Watson retired from Virginia Tech
 in providing support for educational              in 1979 as Head of the Department of                 Dr. John H. Stone, 49, a member
 programs in veterinary clinical nutrition         Veterinary Science.                            of the VMRCVM’s Class of ‘94, died
 and helped Dr. Craig Thatcher establish                 Born in Oregon in 1913, Duke did         in November from pancreatitis. Stone
 the college’s widely acclaimed veterinary         undergraduate work at the University of        practiced at Bristol Animal Clinic in
 nutrition programs in the mid-1980’s.             Maryland and earned his V.M.D. from the        Bristol, Virginia and was active in the
                                                   University of Pennsylvania. Following          raising of Polled Hereford cattle. He
  Dr. Antonio Garcia                               service as a Lieutenant Colonel in World       is survived by his wife Terry Hopkins
                                                   War II, he spent ten years in Peru as          Stone; his children, Farnham and Evelyn;
       Faculty-member Dr. Antonio                  superintendent of a major ranching operation   his parents and his siblings.
 Garcia who died during an accident that           that supported a mining community of
 occurred while working on a house he              20,000 people.
 was building.                                           During that time he oversaw 12
       Garcia earned his undergraduate             ranches on 1.25 million acres with enormous
 degree from Unam University in Mexico             livestock operations… herds of 225,000
 City, Mexico and his DVM from the                 sheep, 17,000 livestock, 1500 horses and
 University of Mexico. He earned an MS             mules, 12,000 hogs and 7500 goats.
 from the University of Saskatchewan in


                                                                                                  Virginia-Maryland 23
                             Graduation 2003




College Graduates
20th Class
      Twin brothers who began
their affiliation with the Virginia-
Maryland Regional College of
Veterinary Medicine through the
Minority Academic Opportunities
Program were among the 88 DVM
students awarded diplomas during the
College’s 20th annual commencement
ceremony in Blacksburg.
      Erick and Shawnne Spencer of
Hyattesville, Maryland, the first twins
to ever graduate from the regional
veterinary college, began their
studies in 1998 through an innovative
program designed to provide research
and educational opportunities for
qualified minority students.
      Each worked on a M.S. degree
in the veterinary medical sciences
graduate program in addition to their
work in the four-year professional
curriculum. Erick plans to conduct
a post-graduate clinical internship
at Washington State University and
Shawnne will enter private practice.
      Erick and Shawnne are members
of a class that saw the changing of
the millennium, the collapse of the
technology bubble and the horrific
attacks on the World Trade Center
and the Pentagon on September
11. In a series of ceremonial end-
of-the-year events filled with tears,
sighs of relief, pride-filled hearts
and the occasional shriek of joy, the
VMRCVM graduated its 20th class of
veterinarians during Virginia Tech’s      Above, graduating twins Erick and Shawnne
                                          Spencer. Left, graduate Courtney Anders
annual commencement ceremonies in         beams with pride and happiness. Above
Blacksburg.                               right, Dr. William Tyrell, ’92, was honored as
      Almost a thousand people            the 2003 Outstanding Alumnus.

virginia-maryland 24
gathered to witness the newest class         William D. Tyrell, Jr.
of DVM’s receive their academic              (’92) was honored
hoods and diplomas jointly awarded           as the College’s                                       Left, former Dean Peter Eyre
                                                                                                    addresses his last graduating class.
by Virginia Tech and the University          Outstanding Young
of Maryland, then be sworn into              Alumnus for 2003.
the profession by reciting “The                   During the
Veterinarian’s Oath.”                        College’s Annual
      Graduates also heard a humorous        Awards Luncheon,
and inspirational address from Dr.           Dr. Bob Brown, a
Martha Larsen, a professor of radiology      long-time friend of
in the Department of Small Animal            the college, took
Clinical Sciences, who captured the          the podium near the
spirit of the new veterinarians’ four        conclusion of the
years of hard work in a colorful series of   ceremony to unveil a
anecdotes and maxims.                        major surprise.
      “You’re not gonna make as much              Characterizing
money as your M.D. colleagues,” Larsen       former Dean Peter
said wryly. “But you do get to hug, kiss,    Eyre’s 18 years of
fondle and caress your patients.”            leadership for the
      Eighty-eight DVM degrees, four         College as filled with “courage” and
Ph.D. degrees, 17 M.S. degrees and nine      “foresight” in the face of “adversity,”
Certificates of Residency were awarded        Brown then unveiled a cast bronze
during the ceremony.                         bust of Eyre that he commissioned and
      Dr. Chip Godine, president of the      donated to the college. He credited Eyre
Virginia Veterinary Medical Association,     with building a college once hamstrung
administered the “Veterinarian’s Oath,”      with wavering political and economic
and Dr. Perry S. Crowl, president            support into one that is now recognized
of the Maryland Veterinary Medical           nationally and globally.
Association, welcomed the new                     In response, a surprised Eyre said
veterinarians on behalf of organized         achieving institutional excellence is the
veterinary medicine.                         product of a team effort. “We can stand
      Dr. Lynne B. Oliver, the Class of      up now and be counted,” said Eyre.
2003 valedictorian, was presented with       “This is very touching. It truly is a
the Richard B. Talbot Award, and Dr.         college recognition.”
                                                                                           Above, Class of 2003 Representatives Michael
CALS Dean Swiger Inducted into Dalton Society                                              Kowalewski, Billy Danowitz, and former
                                                                                           Director of Student Affairs Dr. Phil Sponenberg
     Recently retired dean of the            Dr. “Andy” Swiger was inducted into           pose in front of the Class of 2003 gift.
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences     the “John N. Dalton Society” by the
                                             VMRCVM during 2003 graduation                 Flagpole Installation
                                             ceremonies.
                                                   That group memorializes the
                                                                                           2003 Class Gift
                                             late Virginia governor who signed                  To commemorate the victims of
                                             legislation creating the college and          September 11 and make a patriotic
                                             honors an elite group of friends who          statement, the class elected to donate an
                                             have made enduring contributions to the       American flag and pole as the traditional
                                             development of the VMRCVM.                    class gift to the college. A thirty-foot
                                                   Swiger was honored for the strong       bronze pole has been installed and a
                                             working partnership he helped foster          bright red, white and blue American
                                             between the CALS and the VMRCVM.              flag now flaps in the breeze adjacent
                                                   The cooperative relationship            to the main entrance of the Veterinary
                                             is credited with helping provide              Teaching Hospital.
                                             unprecedented levels of service for                During his address, Class of 2003
                                             both Virginia agriculture and the state’s     President Michael J. Kowalewski said
                                             veterinary profession.                        the flag-gift was a permanent expression
                                                                                           of gratitude “for the many freedoms we
                                                                                           enjoy every day.”
                                                                                                 Former Dean Peter Eyre
                                                                                           characterized the gift as “possibly the
                                                                                           most magnificent gift we have ever
                                             Former College of Agriculture and Life        received from a graduating class.”
                                             Sciences Dean Dr. Andy Swiger was
                                             inducted into the “John N. Dalton Society.”

                                                                                           Virginia-Maryland 25
                        development
                      Development Report from the                                        a Memorandum of Understanding for
                                                                                         collaborative education and research
                      Blacksburg Campus                                                  with the University of Maryland School
                                                                                         of Medicine – Baltimore in areas of
                       by E. Frank Pearsall, II, DVM,’84                                 Public Health and Food Safety.
                                                                                              In summary, we continue to do an
      It has been another very good        college was the initial interim director      outstanding job of caring for animals
 year for the College of Veterinary        of this new institute. With Dr. Eyre’s        through our Veterinary Teaching
 Medicine as we raised $4,148,625          need to step down from the deanship,          Hospital, of preparing extraordinarily
 - $5,291,982 depending on how you         Dr. Schurig was tapped to be the interim      bright students for careers in clinical
 count some planned gifts, which           dean and so could not continue in his         veterinary medicine, public health,
 puts us behind only Athletics and         position at the institute. This will not,     medical research, regulatory medicine,
 Engineering for percentage growth         however, diminish our role there. In          and academia, and in conducting an
 over last year or dollars raised. For     fact, of the three first areas of focus        expanding array of research. Each and
 a young college with a small alumni       for IBPHS, we will be front and center        every one of these aspects of what
 base and a small development staff,       on two; infectious disease and food           we do is poised for amazing growth
 we recognize that we are blessed by       safety. The new College of Science,           opportunities. We are running hard to
 the outstanding generosity of many        the College of Agriculture and Life           make them all a reality and a source of
 friends.                                  Sciences, and our college will play a         pride for Virginia Tech, the University of
      We are pleased that a second         big role in building the infrastructure of    Maryland, and our friends everywhere.
 development officer for our college        the new Life Sciences complex on our          Thank you for your partnership in
 is to be hired soon which will expand     side of campus to support this institute’s    making it all happen!
 our ability to build relationships        work. Additionally, we are working on
 with the increasing number of
 traditional friends of veterinary
 medicine, as well as with those new
 friends who are impressed with the
 involvement of our college in basic
 medical research at the molecular
 level (cancer, vaccine development),
 with our role in public health and
 animal origin infectious diseases
 (Foot and Mouth Disease, Mad              From left, Dr. Laura Leib,
 Cow Disease, Monkey Pox, and              Dr. Michael Leib, Dr. Kent
                                           Roberts, Mrs. Shirley
 SARS, and Mad Cow Disease), as            Roberts, Mrs. Nhury
 well as with bioterrorism defense in      Schurig, former Dean
 light of the use or threat of animal      Dr. Peter Eyre, Interim
 diseases directed against the human       Dean Dr. Gerhardt
 population (anthrax, tularemia,etc.).     Schurig, and Mrs. Margo
                                           Eyre.
      The year has seen many changes
 on campus. We are the only college
 not to be restructured and are seeing     Generations for the Profession:
 tremendous opportunities open up
 with the new research institutes. We      The Roberts Legacy
 have and will have an increasing          By Jenise L. Jacques
 role in the School of Biomedical
 Engineering and Science, the                    Heeding the call of service, Kent       in the college. From a second floor office
 collaborative effort of VT’s College      Roberts, fresh faced and full of pride,       in the VMRCVM, he edits the quarterly
 of Engineering, the Wake Forest           decided to enlist in the Navy one week        Virginia-Maryland Veterinary Notes,
 University School of Medicine, and        after his high school graduation and serve    a newsletter that supports the outreach
 our college. This school is part of the   in World War II. He was 17 years old.         program of the Veterinary Teaching
 Institute for Critical Technology and           Sixty years later, the passion that     Hospital.
 Applied Science (ICTAS). Our other        stirred Kent to fight for what he believed          Kent’s late father Dr. Clarence
 and larger involvement will be in the     in still prevails. A much respected           Roger Roberts (“C.R.” as he was known),
 Institute for Biomedical and Public       veterinarian, Kent is one of the founding     had a strong influence on Kent’s future.
 Health Sciences (IBPHS). We were          faculty members of the VMRCVM. He             Father and son attended the veterinary
 pleased that Dr. Gerhardt Schurig,        served as its first director of continuing     college at Cornell University. C.R. was
 former associate dean for Research        education. Officially retired since 1995       in the Class of ‘22 and Kent graduated in
 and Graduate Studies within the           from this post, Kent still plays a key role   1951.
virginia-maryland 26
      After practicing in Morrisville,
New York, C.R. began working for               Gifts of $10,000 or more Received or
Sheffield Farms as a field veterinarian
in upstate New York. In 1930 the               Pledged July 1, 2002 – June 30, 2003
family moved to New Jersey and C.R.
commuted to New York City. Fifteen                Herman & Mildred Corder Trust                      W. R. Winslow Residuary Trust -
                                            - $2,477,547 for the Herman and Mildred            $25,764 for scholarship support. This brings
years later in 1945, he became president    Corder Endowed Scholarships. Herman                the Trust’s generous and loyal support for
of Sheffield Farms. Sheffield Farms was       and Mildred were founding members of the           the college and its students to $495,326 since
then bought by National Dairy, which        Arlington Animal Welfare League.                   1987.
owned Kraft Cheese and Breyers Ice                Florence K. Roberts - $298,186                     Evelyn E. & Richard J. Gunst
Cream. C.R. became the president of         to establish the C. R. Roberts Endowed             Charitable Lead Trust - $25,121 for small
                                            Professorship of Clinical Veterinary Medicine      animal research bringing the generous
Sealtest Foods, the milk and ice cream      in honor of her late husband, Dr. C. R.            support of the Trust to $174,355 continuing
division of Kraft. Because of mandatory     Roberts, and her son, Dr. Kent C. Roberts, a       the service to animals begun in Mr. Gunst’s
retirement C.R. had to leave Sealtest in    founding faculty member of the VMRCVM.             corporate career creating and marketing pet
1965. “He hated to give it up as he was           Estate of Helen Mahin - $250,000             products.
                                            initial distribution to establish the Dr. & Mrs.         Marion Bradley Via Memorial
right where he wanted to be,” recalls       Dorsey Taylor Mahin Endowed Professorship          Foundation - $18,000 for the Peter L. Via
Kent.                                       to recognize excellence in small animal            Scholarship during this period continuing
      Kent’s father was a member of the     clinical medicine.                                 the commitment to recognizing excellence in
first class to graduate from the four-year         Dorothy A. Metcalf - $150,000 for the        our students. This brings the total support to
veterinary program and was Cornell’s        Metcalf Professor of Veterinary Informatics        $72,000.
                                            and the Metcalf Human Interaction Fund.                  James M. and Eleonore E. Stevens
oldest living veterinary college alumnus    This brings her support to $1,198,000.             - $17,500 for the Stevens Family Animal
when he died in 1999 at the age of 99.            Dr. JoAnne S. O’Brien - $100,000             Assistance Funds to assist animals in
      Kent decided while he was in the      in support of small animal theriogenology          our hospital so that those which can be
Navy that he would study veterinary         research, an area of great interest to Dr.         reasonably helped to recover and live out a
                                            O’Brien as a both a veterinarian and a top         full life are given that chance. Their support
medicine and was accepted into the          Chow Chow breeder. This brings her support         for these funds plus the Stevens Scholarship
veterinary college at Cornell. The          to $240,000.                                       Endowment brings their support for the
                                                  Mrs. Frances Farr Young - $50,000            college to $307,000.
Please see Roberts page 38                  for the Tyler J. and Frances F. Young                    Carilion Biomedical Institute -
                                            Professorship in Bacteriology honoring her         $16,600 in gift-in-kind medical equipment
                                            husband’s career and their joint commitment        for research and service along with hands-on
Leib Named to                               to the veterinary profession. This brings her
                                            commitment to the college to $250,000 in
                                                                                               training in its use for our faculty and staff.
                                                                                                     Abbott Laboratories - $16,000 for
                                            support of their scholarship and professorship     neurology and pain management research to
New Roberts                                 endowments.                                        further enhance our research expertise.
                                                  The Widgeon Foundation, Inc. -                     Anonymous Trust - $16,000 for
Professorship                               $45,000 to support a publication written by        molecular tool equine research from a good
                                            Anne Nock and distributed by CENTAUR,              friend of the college supporting cutting
      Dr. Michael S. Leib has been          the Center for Animal Human Relationships,         edge equine research. This brings the total
named the “C.R. Roberts Professor           promoting and explaining the benefits of            generosity to $50,500.
                                            therapy dogs.                                            Gojo Industries - $15,000 for zoonoses
of Clinical Veterinary Medicine as                William F. Sr. and David W. Morrisette       and public health epidemiology research.
the result of an endowment provided         - $40,172 for the Nancy P. Morrisette                    Maryland Kennel Club - $14,000
by the estate of the late C.R. Roberts      Memorial Endowed Scholarship based on              for their named scholarships for students in
in accordance with the wishes of his        need and relevant family circumstances.            each class pursuing a career in small animal
family.                                           Estate of Dorothy D. Wornom -                veterinary medicine, whether practice,
                                            $33,692 to establish the Dorothy Wornom            research, or education.
      Leib, a professor in the Department   Endowment for scholarship support reflecting              Kindy French - $10,000 for Dr. Mike
of Small Animal Clinical Sciences,          her love of dogs and other animals.                Leib’s gastroenterology research pushing the
is a nationally recognized veterinary             Virginia Beef Industry Council -             boundaries of our knowledge. This brings
gastroenterologist who joined the           $25,750 for Beef Quality Assurance Program         her total support to $60,000 on behalf of her
                                            educational outreach support.                      dogs, Barry, Savannah, and Bonnie Blue.
Virginia-Maryland Regional College of
Veterinary Medicine more than 20 years
ago.                                        The Campaign Steering
                                            Committee for the
      Leib frequently lectures around the   university’s upcoming
nation on gastroenterology, endoscopy,      capital campaign visited
and other topics.                           the VMRCVM recently. The
      He earned a B.S. from Emory           committee is comprised of
University, his DVM from the                friends and alumni who have
                                            agreed to play a major role
University of Georgia and a M.S.            in the upcoming campaign
from Colorado State University. Leib        which is expected to raise
conducted a residency in internal           in the vicinity of $800 million
medicine at Colorado and is board           for the university by the
                                            end of the decade. Interim
certified by the American College of         Dean Schurig and other
Veterinary Internal Medicine.               college officials took the
      Leib is the recipient of numerous     group on an extensive tour
college and university teaching awards,     of the college. Here, Schurig
including a prestigious Wine Award.         points out some things in
                                            the MDL labs.
                                                                                               Virginia-Maryland 27
Endowed
Professorship In
Veterinary College
Honors Young (’34)                       The late Tyler J.
                                         Young and his wife
      One of the VMRCVM’s leading        Frances pose with
infectious diseases specialists has      two of their beloved
been named to a recently created         pets.
endowed professorship that honors a      Photo courtesy of
veterinarian who studied at Virginia     Auburn University.
Tech almost 60 years ago.
      Bacteriologist Thomas J.           business and management support,             generous gifts that promote faculty
Inzana has been named the “Tyler J.      he operated veterinary practices in          excellence and provide educational
and Frances F. Young Professor of        Memphis and Kingsport, Tennessee             opportunities for future generations of
Bacteriology.” Inzana, former director   for 28 years. Throughout his career in       students at both the VMRCVM and the
of the college’s Center for Molecular    private practice, he remained active in      Auburn University College of Veterinary
Medicine and Infectious Diseases, is     public practice, conducting laboratory       Medicine.
a microbiologist who has invented        and field work for the U.S. Army, the               The new Tyler J. and Frances F.
several vaccines.                        Florida Department of Agriculture            Young Professorship is a compelling
      The endowed professorship          and the United States Department of          new expression of their shared
has been made possible by a donor-       Agriculture.                                 commitment to the profession, and
directed addendum to a more than               In 1980, ever-reluctant to “retire,”   Inzana’s appointment is an exceptional
$1 million bequest proffered in the      Dr. Young and Frances moved to               affirmation of the late Dr. Young’s
late1990’s that is now generating        Opelika near the Auburn University           appreciation for the important role
immediate resources to fund the          campus, where he continued to serve          that the science of bacteriology plays
endowed professorship. Other             his profession through that university       in animal and human health and well-
provisions of the gift have been         as an adjunct professor and a USDA           being.
funding student scholarships since its   laboratory scientist. He finally retired            “I’m honored to be selected for this
inception.                               in 1992, 52 years after earning his DVM      prestigious professorship,” said Inzana.
      Bacteriology was an intriguing     degree.                                      “We live in an age where infectious
discipline for the late Tyler J. Young         Tyler and Frances Young were           diseases pose a major threat to public
(’34, ’38), who earned a B.S. in         more than life-time companions;              health and animal productivity. I hope
biology and an M.S. in pathobiology      their lives together were intrinsically      that my work will reflect well upon
and bacteriology from Virginia Tech      connected by a shared commitment to          his career and his desires to serve the
during the Great Depression-wracked      serve humanity and the animal kingdom        profession in the future.”
1930’s. He grew up during a period       through the profession of veterinary               Inzana is a noted molecular
of American history characterized        medicine. Tyler served as president          microbiologist who has generated more
by infectious disease scourges that      of the Southern Veterinary Medicine          than $4 million in extramural funding
devastated farmers’ herds and flocks      Association, was recognized as the           and been awarded three patents for
through mortality, quarantines and       Tennessee Veterinarian of the Year in        intellectual properties arising out of
depopulations.                           1967 and earned many other honors and        research that has led to the development
      After earning a degree in          commendations for service. Frances           of vaccines for economically important
veterinary medicine from the Auburn      served as president of the Southern          agricultural diseases.
University College of Veterinary         Veterinary Medical Association                     Most recently, Inzana has been
Medicine in 1940, Young served his       Auxiliary and was recognized as              awarded a $1 million grant from the
country in World War II and landed on    the 1990 “Layman of the Year” by             U.S. Army to develop a vaccine for
the beaches of Normandy during the       the Alabama Veterinary Medical               tularemia, a bacterial disease that is
second wave of the D-Day invasion.       Association.                                 caused by an organism listed as a
He left the armed forces with five              Though Tyler passed away in 1996,      Category A bioterrorism agent by the
battle stars, having achieved the rank   and Frances is now enjoying the peace        Centers for Disease and Control in
of Lieutenant Colonel.                   and tranquility of her retirement years,     Atlanta.
      Then, with his beloved wife        the Young’s life-long involvement with
Frances at his side providing            veterinary medicine lives on through         Please see Young page 38

virginia-maryland 28
                    Lynn Young
                    Director
                    Alumni Relations
                                             Alumni Society news




      The VMRCVM Alumni Society
held their first regional alumni event
in Tyson’s Corner on May 21 at
Morton’s of Chicago Steakhouse. The
dinner was sponsored by Hill’s and
the VMRCVM Dean’s Office. Over              Above, Alums gathered
                                           at Morton’s at Tyson’s
45 DVM’s attended. On June 1,              Corner. From left,
the classes of ’88, ’93, and ’98 held      VMRCVM Director of
their class reunion at the National        Development Dr. Frank
Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland. A         Pearsall (’84), Dr. Bill
reception followed at McCormick &          Tyrell (’92), and other
                                           alums enjoy the evening.
Schmick Seafood Restaurant. Over 80
alumni, friends, and family attended.
The VMRCVM also participated in
                                                                      Alumni are playing an important role in the College’s new
the Virginia Tech Farm and Family                                     mentorship program. Here, Associate Dean Dr. Grant Turnwald
Showcase.                                                             facilitates discussion during the mentorship portion of the VVMA
      The VMRCVM hosted an                                            fall meeting.
alumni reception on July 20 in
                                           ation regarding upcoming alumni                  initiated student visits for seniors who
Denver in conjunction with the
                                           events. You may also have your practice          are on rotation. If you are interested in
AVMA Conference; around 80 alumni
                                           added to the alumni list by e-mailing            serving on the Alumni Society board
and friends attended. The VVMA
                                           Lynn at youngl@vt.edu.                           of directors or holding a regional event
mentor-mentee meeting was held in
                                              The veterinary hospitals and                  in your area, please contact Alumni
Blacksburg on October 3. Over 100
                                           associated VMRCVM alumni provide                 Society President Bill Tyrrell at
students and veterinarians participated
                                           a reference and a helpful tool for self-         wtyrrell@aol.com or 703-517-6128.
in the program. The second regional
alumni dinner was held in Richmond
on January 28 at the Hermitage
Country Club. The dinner was
sponsored by Hill’s.
                                                                2004 Schedule of Events
      The next reunion will be held for
                                             April 3              VMRCVM Open House
the classes of ’84, ’89, ’94, and ’99 on
the weekend of August 20-21, 2004 at         May 14               VMRCVM Graduation
Alumni Society Board Member Beth             June 20-24           Maryland Veterinary Conference; Cambridge, Maryland,
Kirby’s farm in McCoy. This will                                  http://www.mdvma.org
mark the first time that four classes         July 24-28           American Veterinary Medical Association Convention,
celebrate their anniversaries together.                           Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, http://www.avma.org
On Friday, August 21, we will hold a         August 20-21         8/20 - Alumni Society Recognition Reception for
recognition reception in honor of Dr.                             Dr. Peter Eyre
Peter Eyre.                                                       8/21 - VMRCVM Reunion for Classes ’84, ’89, ’94, and ’99
      For the first time, the VMRCVM                               in Blacksburg, Virginia
will hold a pre-game tailgate event          November 18          VMRCVM pre-game tailgate -- Hokies vs. Terrapins
on November 18 at the VMRCVM
                                                                  three hours prior to kickoff
-- Virginia Tech vs. Maryland at Lane
Stadium.                                      Each of these events will provide you with the opportunity to interact with
      Be sure to check out the                other alumni. You will be receiving specific information regarding the
VMRCVM alumni web site at                     times and venues of these events prior to the event.
http://alumni.vetmed.vt.edu for inform-


                                                                                             Virginia-Maryland 29
  News from the leesburg campus




 Leadership Changes
 Announced At
 Equine Medical
 Center Fregin
 Retires, White
 Interim Director
      Dr. Nathaniel White has been
 named interim director of the Marion
 duPont Scott Equine Medical Center
 in Leesburg, Virginia. White,
 succeeds Dr. G. Frederick Fregin, the
 center’s founding director.                Captain Lisa Amoroso joined the Army
      White joined the center as            following the completion of a residency
 assistant director in 1985 and             program at the Equine Medical Center and
                                            now cares for the horses of the “Caisson
 was appointed the Theodora Ayer            Platoon.” Right, Captain Amaroso poses with
 Randolph Professor of Equine Surgery       Sergeant Andy Lacy, a veterinary technician
 in 1987. He is an internationally          who also works with the horses.
 recognized expert in equine colic and


    White joined the center as              “The Old Guard’s”
assistant director in 1985 and              Caisson Platoon
was appointed the Theodora
Ayer Randolph Professor of                  Counts On EMC
Equine Surgery in 1987. He is                     Black and white television images       shaded lanes with a flag-draped coffin
an internationally recognized               of the funeral caisson carrying the           carried on caissons originally built
                                            recently assassinated President John F.       in 1918 to carry 75 mm cannons and
expert in equine colic and                  Kennedy to his interment at Arlington         artillery supplies.
musculoskeletal disorders.                  National Cemetery are considered                    Eight funerals a day are conducted
                                            some of the most memorable of the 20th        with full military honors that include the
 musculoskeletal disorders.                 century.                                      caisson procession and a 21-gun salute.
      “Dr. White brings to this job               Since then the gallant, handsome              It is a dignified, precise ritual, one
 enormous achievement in scholarship,       steeds and disciplined, steely-eyed           that speaks of duty, honor and service
 research and clinical care, strong         soldiers of the 3rd United States Infantry    in a way that offers a poignant and
 familiarity with the center’s heritage     Regiment’s Caisson Platoon have               eloquent salute to centuries of American
 and aspirations, and a sincere desire to   solemnly conveyed many thousands              patriotism and sacrifice.
 move the center forward,” said Peter       of others to their final resting place               Stabled in historic brick buildings
 Eyre, former dean of the Virginia-         at America’s most revered national            at Fort Myer, Virginia, the 45 horses
 Maryland Regional College of               cemetery.                                     called upon to pull the caissons
 Veterinary Medicine, which operates              Eight times a day, five days a           are housed and cared for under the
 the EMC as one of three regional           week, the highly trained horses and           watchful eye of Captain Lisa Amoroso,
                                            infantrymen of “The Old Guard” assume         a veterinarian with the U.S. Army’s
                                            their mounts on McClellan saddles and         National Capital District Veterinary
 Please see White page 32
                                            begin a slow, deliberate journey down         Command who serves as head

virginia-maryland 30
 veterinary officer for the post.                 “We have a really good working                In addition to providing routine
       Amoroso, who became interested      relationship with them,” said Amoroso.        health care for the 45 horses in the
 in a career as a military veterinarian    “They do what we need to have done,           platoon, she cares for 22 working dogs,
 while conducting a three-year internal    when we need it.”                             as well as companion animals owned by
 medicine residency at the Marion                Center technical staff and clinicians   local military personnel. About 30% of
 duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in     are fond of the animals and enjoy the         her time is spent doing food inspection
 Leesburg, considers it her dream job.     opportunity to care for animals that play     work for the base.
       “It’s a huge honor,” says           such an important role in the ceremony.             Says Amoroso of the residency
 Amoroso, in an equine treatment                 “We take pride in caring for those      she conducted at the EMC, which is
 room located in one of the red brick      horses, just as we do all of our patients,”   considered one of the nation’s most
 historic stables located on Fort Myer,    said Dr. Nat White, interim director of       prestigious equine referral centers:
 which lies immediately adjacent to        the EMC. “But the sense of military                 “We got to do a lot of things that
 Arlington’s 280,000 graves and the        history, tradition and American heritage      most residents don’t get to do in terms of
 Pentagon. “I love it. It’s busy. It’s     that’s involved with ‘The Old Guard’          seeing a case through,” she said. “It was
 very busy.”                               and Arlington… that does make it              very difficult. But it was so worth it.”
       Amoroso joined the military in      something special.”
 May 2003, and reported for duty at
 Fort Myer in December 2003 following
 several months of training at the
 United States Army Health Sciences
 Center in San Antonio, Texas.                  EMC to host “Tuesday Talks” lecture series
       The horses used by “The Old
 Guard” are largely draft-horse crosses,               The Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center is featuring
 she says. They are even training                it’s popular “Tuesday Talks” lecture series this winter. The informal
 some wild mustangs brought to Fort              lectures feature Equine Medical Center faculty and guest speakers
 Myer through the Bureau of Land                 discussing topics of interest in equine veterinary medicine.
 Management’s wild pony rescue
 project.                                        This winter four lectures will be offered:

                                                    December 9, 2003
    It is a dignified, precise                         Alternative Therapies -- Do They Have a Place in Veterinary
ritual, one that speaks of duty,                      Medicine?
                                                         Dr. Mark Crisman, VMRCVM, Blacksburg Campus
honor and service in a way
                                                    January 20, 2004
that offers a poignant and                            Prevention and Treatment of Salmonella and Other Infectious
eloquent salute to centuries                          Intestinal Diseases,
of American patriotism and                               Dr. Harold C. McKenzie, III, Marion duPont Scott Equine
sacrifice.                                                Medical Center
                                                    February 17, 2004
                                                      Growth, Nutrition, and Development of the Equine Athlete,
                                                         Dr. W. Burton Staniar, Middleburg Agricultural Research and
       She handles most of the routine
                                                         Extension Center
 veterinary tasks associated with
 maintaining the health of the herd                 March 16, 2004
 on site, but she’s happy to have the                 Update on EPM Diagnosis and Treatment,
 Equine Medical Center located just a                    Dr. Martin Furr, Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center
 half-hour away in Leesburg. The base
 has referred more than 50 cases over                  Lectures begin promptly at 7:00 p.m. in the Equine Medical
 the years, for treatments ranging from          Center’s Library. No fee is charged for the lectures, but seating
 colic problems to lameness to airway            is limited and reservations are required. Additional information
 disorders.                                      is available from the “educational opportunities” link at
       Early in the 1990’s the herd had          equinemedicalcenter.net.
 a lot of Shires, according to Amoroso,
 which tended to have more colic                       To be included in the Center’s continuing education mailing list,
 problems. Those problems have                   call Ann Nadjar at 703-771-6843 or e-mail anadjar@vt.edu.
 largely abated with the development
 of the more cross-bred herd, she said,
 though they still suffer the occasional
 colic.
       For those times when advanced
 diagnostic and therapeutic support is
 required, Amoroso and her colleagues
 routinely rely upon the EMC.
                                                                                         Virginia-Maryland 31
White:
continued from page 30.
campuses.
      “He envisions levels of clinical
and research excellence that are very
consistent with the goals that Virginia
Tech has set for the decade ahead,”
he continued. “We are pleased about
his leadership and excited about the
future.”
      White earned his DVM degree
from Cornell University in 1971 and
completed an internship and residency
program in equine surgery at the
University of California at Davis. He
also earned a MS degree in pathology
from Kansas State University. He
is board certified by the American
College of Veterinary Surgery (ACVS)
and he has served as Chairman of the
Board of Regents of the ACVS and
President of the ACVS Research and            Participants in the Equine Laser Surgery Course sponsored by the American College of
Education Foundation.                         Veterinary Surgeons perfect the finer points of endoscopic laser surgery.
      White currently serves as director
of the ACVS Veterinary Symposium,
a major international veterinary           Second Annual Veterinary Roundtable
continuing education event. He is a
past member of the national Board of       held at EMC
Directors of the American Association
                                                Michael Erskine, DVM, a                         “I was pleased with the productive
of Equine Practitioners, and holds an
                                           VMRCVM alumnus and EMC Council                  discussion and exchange of ideas at our
adjunct faculty appointment at the
                                           Member, served as moderator of the              July meeting,” said Dr. Erskine. “We
University of Maryland at College
                                           hospital’s second annual veterinary             will continue to fine-tune the date and
Park.
                                           roundtable to discuss “The Referral:            content of future roundtables. Summer
      White has published 139
                                           A Key to Progressive Practice.” Panel           meetings have provided an excellent
publications in refereed academic
                                           participants included Dr. Richard               opportunity to introduce referring
journals and has authored several
                                           Forfa of Monocacy Equine Veterinary             veterinarians to new faculty members
textbooks, including The Acute Equine
                                           Associates, along with EMC faculty              and residents who they’ll be working
Abdomen, Current Techniques in
                                           members Ken Sullins and Harold                  with in the future.”
Equine Surgery and Lameness, and the
Handbook of Equine Colic.                  McKenzie.
      As assistant director for clinical
services at the center, White has
supervised all aspects of clinical care
at the advanced equine referral center
which treats about 2400 horses a year
with a full-time staff of 60 employees.
      He has also worked closely
with the Marion duPont Scott Equine
Medical Center Council, an advisory
organization that develops private
support and provides operational
guidance for the center that has
become an integral part of the regional
horse industry.
       “Dr. Fregin has done a terrific
job of establishing this center as a
world class equine hospital,” said
White. “He has brought us to a
level where we are poised for major           Work is underway on the installation of a standing MRI unit at the EMC. The standing MRI
progress, and I’m excited about this          will enable clinicians to accurately image the lower leg without anesthesia. The MRI is
                                              expected to be put on line in early 2004. Center officials believe it will be one of the first
opportunity to play a role in that.”          two such units available in the United States.
virginia-maryland 32
Right, farriers Matt
Hatcher and Michel
Powers.

Far right, from left
to right, farriers
Michel Powers, Paul
Goodness, and Darren
Wall.

Farrier Shop Facilitates Farrier and
Veterinarian Collaboration
     Renovations and upgrades to         and improve equine performance.
the Equine Medical Center’s farrier           Delaware-based Thoroughbred
shop have been completed thanks to       Charities of America holds an annual
a generous grant from Thoroughbred       dinner and stallion season auction to
Charities of America, Ltd.               raise funds for national distribution
     Holding stalls, rubber flooring,     among organizations helping horses
a new ceiling, upgraded lighting and     through rescue, rehabilitation and
an equipment room make it easier         research.
for veterinarians and farriers to
                                         Photos courtesy of
collaborate on treatments that address   Robert Cohencious/CPTV
painful laminitis, resolve lameness


Equine Medical Center Appoints                                                 Members of the newly-formed EMC
                                                                          Veterinary Advisory Board include:
Veterinary Advisory Board                                                 Dr. Scott Anderson, Woodside
Members                                                                       Equine Practice, Ashland, Virginia
                                                                          Dr. Paul Anikis, Piedmont Equine
     A Veterinary Advisory Board comprised of Virginia and                    Practice, Marshall, Virginia
Maryland based equine practitioners has been established to help
the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center continue its                Dr. R. Reynolds Cowles, Jr., Blue Ridge
quest to provide excellence in equine healthcare for the region.              Equine Clinic, Free Union, Virginia
     Like members of the Equine Medical Center’s Council,                 Dr. Michael Erskine, Damascus Equine
Veterinary Advisory Board members will provide advice and                     Associates, Woodbine, Maryland
counsel to the Center’s director and staff as they develop                Dr. Richard Forfa, Monocacy Equine
policies and procedures designed to meet the needs of the equine              Veterinary Associates, Beallsville,
industry and the constituencies it serves. Members will also                  Maryland
work to facilitate communication with clients and other referring         Dr. Deborah Graham,
veterinarians.                                                                Davidsonville, Maryland
     “Servicing the needs of referring veterinarians is key to            Dr. Paula Horne, Hoof and Paw
the Equine Medical Center’s success,” said Dr. Nathaniel A.                   Veterinary Service, Purcellville,
White, II, interim director of the Marion duPont Scott Equine                 Virginia
Medical Center. “This group of experienced practitioners will
provide valuable advice about the hospital’s function, business           Dr. William McCormick, Middleburg
practices and communications with veterinarians and clients. By               Equine Clinic, Middleburg, Virginia
working as a team, the regional veterinary community can share            Dr. Nicholas Meittinis, Maryland
technology and expertise to raise the level of horse health care              Veterinary Group, Laurel, Maryland
and advance the profession. I am pleased with the new board               Dr. Carol Sabo, Haymarket Veterinary
members’ willingness to help in this effort.”                                 Service, Haymarket, Virginia


                                                                                   Virginia-Maryland 33
 Dr. Ken Sullins,
 Professor of Equine
 Surgery, and Mrs.
 Shelley Duke, Chair
 of the Equine Medical
 Center Council, were
 among those who took
 the podium to “roast”
 Dr. Fred Fregin.


 Honorary Roast held for EMC’s Founding Director
                                                 Dr. G. Frederick Fregin, the Jean Ellen duPont Shehan Professor and
                                            Founding Director of the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center, was
                                            saluted in a retirement roast held at the Center.
                                                 Fregin was the hospital’s first employee when hired in 1983, and his career as
                                            Professor and Director spanned 19 years. During his tenure Fregin presided over
                                            the center’s establishment as a world-class equine referral hospital.
                                                 Fregin’s professional acumen, cheerful demeanor and administrative skills all
                                            played a key factor in his efforts to guide the center’s growth and development.
                                                 Fregin has joined his wife Laura in Texas where she is attending divinity
                                            school. Since retirement, Fregin has remained active with development and
                                            community relations activities at the Center.



                                            Joseph Keusch, MFH, a member of the Equine
                                            Medical Center Council, served as master
                                            of ceremonies at the retirement “roast” for
                                            Dr. Fred Fregin.


Thoroughbred Charities of America, Maryland Horse Industry Board
Award Grants for Equine Medical Center Research Center
       The Marion duPont Scott Equine      health topics, according to Dr. Nathaniel      research contributions in the areas
 Medical Center in Leesburg has            A. White II, Interim Director of the           of colic and other gastrointestinal
 been awarded a $25,000 grant from         Equine Medical Center.                         disorders, Equine Protozoal Myelitis
 Thoroughbred Charities of America               “Virginia Tech President Dr.             (EPM), surgery, lameness and
 and a $5,000 grant from the Maryland      Charles Steger has set a goal for the          cardiopulmonary function over the past
 Horse Industries Board to help            university to be placed among the top          20 years, White said.
 construct and equip new laboratory        30 research institutions in the country              The centralized Northern Virginia
 facilities designed to support its        by 2010,” said Dr. White. “Equine              location of the Equine Medical Center’s
 growing equine research program.          Medical Center faculty, working here           equine research laboratory will also
       The new facilities will encourage   at the center and in collaboration with        facilitate collaboration with other private
 greater collaboration among faculty       colleagues on our other campuses, are          and public sector research groups
 and graduate students working at          a part of the process that will achieve        interested in promoting the health and
 the Equine Medical Center, on the         President Steger’s vision. We are              well being of horses in the Mid-Atlantic
 Virginia-Maryland Regional College        grateful to Thoroughbred Charities             region and beyond, according to White.
 of Veterinary Medicine’s College          of America and the Maryland Horse                    Thoroughbred Charities of
 Park, Maryland and Blacksburg,            Industry Board for their investment in         America, based in Middletown,
 Virginia campuses, and at Virginia        this emerging area of emphasis for us.”        Delaware, was founded in 1990 when
 Tech’s Middleburg Agricultural                  Though widely regarded as a              a small group of Mid-Atlantic horse
 Research and Extension (MARE)             clinical center, the Equine Medical            people, including Ellen and Herb Moelis
 Center on a broad range of equine         Center has made significant clinical            and Mrs. Allaire duPont, gathered
virginia-maryland 34
together for a dinner and auction                in grants to 29 organizations to help            for the remainder of the 2004 schedule,
to benefit and promote the well                   build awareness of and involvement               and she will continue to assist Virginia
being of retired racehorses. Since               in the horse industry through research,          Tech’s Director of Equine Fund-Raising
that time, a board of directors was              education and promotional activities.            Programs Katherine Larmore on other
established and TCA’s fundraising                More than one-third of the horses treated        special initiatives.
efforts expanded dramatically. Last              at the EMC are from Maryland.                          Nadjar decided to reduce her full-
year, the organization’s annual auction                                                           time work commitments to concentrate
of stallion seasons and equine and
sporting artwork raised over $1.1
                                                 Nadjar Steps Down                                more on a family business and a new
                                                                                                  home in Alexandria.
million. TCA’s Board of Directors                As EMC Development                                     Nadjar has played an important
distributed those funds to more than                                                              role on a number of institutional
60 rescue, retirement and research               Assistant Director                               advancement programs at the EMC.
organizations.                                        Ann Nadjar, who has served as               In addition to assisting Larmore with
      The Maryland Horse Industry                assistant director of development at the         development activities, Nadjar has
Board was created in 1998 to replace             Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical               run a number of important community
the State Board of Inspection of Horse           Center for the past four years, has              relations and special event programs.
Riding Stables. The purpose of the               resigned her full-time responsibilities at             She has also worked closely with
Board is to promote the horse industry           the Equine Medical Center.                       VMRCVM Public Relations director
in Maryland and to license boarding                   Nadjar, who discontinued full-time          Jeffrey Douglas on a number of
and rental facilities in the state.              work at the EMC on January 9, 2004,              public relations, media relations and
Grants are awarded each year from a              will continue to work part-time for              publications programs.
fund produced by fees collected on               the Equine Medical Center. She will                    Prior to joining the EMC,
the sale of equine feed. In 2003, the            continue running the popular “Tuesday            Nadjar worked with the National
Board distributed more than $52,000              Talks” community information program             Communications Association.

                                                     News & Notables
       Dr. David Adam Castrillo who              Two Clinical Instructors                         University of London and her Certificate in
completed a residency at the Equine Medical                                                       Veterinary Anesthesia. She conducted an
Center, was awarded first place for his poster
                                                 Join EMC Faculty
                                                                                                  internship at the Equine Referral Hospital of
“Effect of botulinum toxin type – B in the              Dr. Jennifer Brown joined the EMC’s       the Royal Veterinary College and joined the
external anal sphincter of horses” at the        faculty as a clinical instructor in emergency    EMC staff as a resident/graduate student in
American College of Veterinary Surgeons          care and equine surgery. Dr. Brown received      equine medicine.
meeting held in Washington, D.C.                 her DVM degree from Washington State                   Dr. Angela Borchers received
       Dr. Jennifer Brown received a second      University and completed an internship           her veterinary medical degree from the
place award in the Residents’ Forum for her      at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in            School of Veterinary Medicine in Hannover,
presentation “The effect of laryngoplasty on     Lexington, Kentucky. Her surgery residency       Germany and did her doctorial thesis on
upper airway noise in horses with laryngeal      was completed at Michigan State University.      osteochondrosis dissecans in foals. She has
hemiplegia,” at the American College                    Dr. Elena Garcia Seco has joined          practiced in England, Ireland and Germany
of Veterinary Surgeons meeting held in           the EMC with a temporary appointment as          and serves as an intern in equine medicine
Washington, D.C.                                 a clinical instructor in equine surgery. Dr.     and surgery.
       Dr. Elena Garcia Seco received            Garcia graduated with honors from the                  Dr. Cheryl L. Fite received her DVM
second place for her poster “Measurement         National University of Mexico, School of         from St. George’s University School of
of cartilage stiffness in the femoropatellar,    Veterinary Medicine. She completed her           Veterinary Medicine at St George’s, Grenada
trasocrural and metatarsophalangeal joint as     internship in equine medicine, surgery and       in the British West Indies. She attended
the indicator of cartilage pathology” at the     theriogenology at Louisiana State University     the Oklahoma State University College of
American College of Veterinary Surgeons          and her residency in equine surgery at           Veterinary Medicine for her fourth year clinical
meeting held in Washington, D.C.                 the University of Missouri. Dr. Garcia also      rotations. She has joined the EMC staff as an
       Dr. Harold C. McKenzie III was            competes in show jumping on a national and       intern in equine medicine and surgery.
promoted from clinical instructor to assistant   international level.                                   Dr. James B. Joyce earned his BS at
professor in equine medicine. Dr. McKenzie                                                        the U.S. Naval Academy. Subsequent to
has published two first author papers this        EMC Welcomes New                                 service as an active-duty officer in the U.S.
year. The first was entitled “Characterization                                                     Navy, he earned his DVM from the University
of antimicrobial aerosols for administration
                                                 Residents and Interns
                                                                                                  of California at Davis. Dr. Joyce conducted
to horses” and was published in Veterinary              Dr. Cortney E. Henderson received         an internship in equine medicine and surgery
Therapeutics. The second paper was               his BS in Biomedical Science and his DVM         at the EMC.
entitled “Aminoglycoside antibiotics in the      in 2002, both from Texas A&M University.               Dr. Marta M. Wereszka received her
neonatal foal” and was published in the          He then completed a one-year internship          veterinary medical degree from Murdoch
Compendium on Continuing Education of the        at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in            University in Perth, Australia. Prior to
Practicing Veterinarian.                         Lexington, Kentucky, and joined the EMC          obtaining her degree, she worked as a track-
       Dr. Lucas G. Pantaleon, resident, was     staff as a resident/graduate student in equine   work rider at Ascot Racecourse in Perth, as
the first author of a review article entitled     surgery.                                         a veterinary nurse in a small animal hospital
“Equine Fetal Growth and Development”                   Dr. Christina A. Hewes received her       and as a veterinary science demonstrator
which was published in the Compendium            BS in Biology from Boston College and her        for second year horse-handling skill classes.
on Continuing Education of the Practicing        DVM from the University of California, Davis.    Dr. Wereszka recently worked with Dr. Martin
Veterinarian.                                    She conducted a large animal internship,         Furr in the EMC’s neonatology service and
       Dr. Kenneth E. Sullins, professor, was    equine emphasis, at Washington State             now serves as an intern in equine medicine
the subject of an article in Lightnews, a        University and joined the EMC staff as a         and surgery.
newsletter published on behalf of Lumenis™.      resident/graduate student in equine surgery.
The article was entitled “Laser Treatment for           Dr. Emma Mitchell received her B.
Horses – Versatile, Comfortable, Effective.”     VetMed from the Royal Veterinary College,


                                                                                                  Virginia-Maryland 35
 Equine
 Acupuncture
 Credible
 Alternative,
 Crisman Tells
 EMC Audience

 A full house was on hand to hear
 VMRCVM associate professor
 Dr. Mark Crisman discuss equine
 acupuncture as part of the
 “Tuesday Talks” series.

      A capacity crowd turned out                 According to its precepts, health            Crisman said his exposure to
for the first 2003-2004 “Tuesday             is maintained by balancing the “yin”         eastern medicine has encouraged him to
Talks” presentation to hear equine          and the “yang,” said Crisman, who is         take a broader, “whole-horse” approach
veterinarian Dr. Mark Crisman               a traditionally trained internist who is     to treating all of his cases. “I was a
talk about equine acupuncture and           board certified by the American College       skeptic,” he said. “Then I went and took
alternative medicine.                       of Veterinary Internal Medicine.             the course,”
      Crisman, an associate professor             Energy – or “Qi” (pronounced                 “I’m not saying that one is right
in the Virginia-Maryland Regional           “chee” and roughly translates to “vital      and one is wrong,” he continued. “It
College of Veterinary Medicine’s            energy”) – flows through the body             gives you another set of glasses to look
Department of Large Animal Clinical         through a complex network of 12 major        at the problem with.”
Sciences, provided an overview              meridians, according to Crisman.                   He said he finds acupuncture
of equine acupuncture and how he                  “When the flow of Qi is                 particularly useful in the management of
uses it in clinical practice during his     interrupted,” he said, “there is disease.”   chronic pain and in diagnostics.
presentation.                               Acupuncturists “rebalance” the energy        A number of “western” studies have
      He outlined the traditional           system by inserting needles at precisely     attempted to apply western “principles”
Chinese approach to medicine, which         targeted “accu-points” that have been        to assess the effectiveness of
takes a wholistic approach to health        carefully located through thousands of       acupuncture, but most of the studies are
and well-being and considers elements       years of Chinese practice.                   inconclusive, he said.
such as lifestyle, diet, exercise, herbal         Crisman said that acupuncture                “Western” medical beliefs suggest
remedies and acupuncture.                   is used to treat a variety of disease        that acupuncture may work through
      Acupuncture goes back at              problems in the horse, including             vaso-dilation and through stimulating
least 3,000 years, said Crisman,            gastrointestinal, respiratory,               the release of neuro-transmitters. There
who became a certified equine                neurological, musculoskeletal and            is some evidence to suggest that it
acupuncturist about five years ago.          reproductive disorders.                      stimulates the immune system as well,
                                                                                         Crisman said.
                                                                                               While much about how it works
                                                                                         remains veiled in mystery, Crisman
                                                                                         believes that equine acupuncture is a
                                                                                         viable complement to western medicine
                                                                                         that “bridges the gap between medicine
                                                                                         and surgery.”




                                                                                         Steve Hummer, EMC physical plant
                                                                                         supervisor, stands in front of the newly
                                                                                         completed Isolation Unit. The long-awaited
                                                                                         facility will open in Winter 2004 and includes
                                                                                         eight stalls and a number of advanced
                                                                                         management and biosecurity features.

virginia-maryland 36
News from the maryland campus




Maryland Campus
Presents Fellowship
Program



                                                      Fellowship participants had an opportunity to tour a number of government
                                                      facilities in the Washington D.C. area. Above, the veterinary students meet with
                                                      Dr. Stephen Sundlof (seated on right), head of the Food & Drug Administration’s
                                                      Center for Veterinary Medicine.


      Leaders at the college’s Center
for Public and Corporate Veterinary     CGCVM Renamed Center for Public and
Practice at the College Park Campus
presented a two-week summer
                                        Corporate Veterinary Medicine
fellowship program for DVM                    The Center for Government and            veterinarians are in “veterinary public
students from around the nation         Corporate Veterinary Medicine has              practice” which the AAVMC defines
which was focused on bioterrorism,      been renamed the Center for Public and         as “a new form of veterinary practice
agroterrorism, and homeland             Corporate Veterinary Medicine.                 emphasis that encompasses public
security.                                     The change has been made to              health, epidemiology, food safety,
      The “Summer Fellowship            better reflect the scope and importance         infectious diseases, zoonotic diseases,
Program in Science, Technology          of modern veterinary public practice           basic sciences, laboratory animal
and Public Policy: Implications for     and to make the center’s name                  practice, veterinary college faculty, and
Veterinary Medicine” is designed        more consistent with the way other             practices supporting human health.”
to provide registrants interested       organizations and institutions refer to              These opportunities are available
in public practice to become more       that sector of the veterinary profession,      in both the public sector (international,
familiar with the leaders and           according to Dr. Bettye Walters, who           federal, state, and local) as well as the
programs shaping that aspect of the     serves as director.                            private sector (private industry, not for
contemporary profession.                      “We believe this move will further       profit organizations and foundations,
Eleven students from veterinary         enhance and strengthen our commitment          animal and animal product advocacy
colleges around the nation              of addressing the need for an adequate         organizations), according to Walters.
participated in the event,              supply of well trained veterinary human        About 2500 veterinarians are employed
which included field visits and          resources to serve the public good,” said      in federal governmental agencies, 700 in
presentations from government           Walters.                                       state governments, 1600 in industry, and
agencies and professional                     Over the past decade, the number         250 are in academia and extension, she
organizations. The event                of opportunities for veterinarians to          said.
was sponsored by NutraMax               pursue careers outside of the realms of              Along with the AAVMC, the
Laboratories and Merck Research         traditional private practice has greatly       Journal of the American Veterinary
Laboratories and coordinated by Dr.     increased, Walters said.                       Medical Association uses the term
Ted Mashima.                                  The Association of American              “public practice” in its classified
                                        Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC)            advertisements to refer to veterinarians
                                        estimates that approximately 5,000             in the above referenced disciplines

                                                                                       Virginia-Maryland 37
who are seeking employment.
Governmental agencies such as            Interim Dean Appointed on Maryland Campus
the United States Department of
Agriculture’s Animal and Plant                A new interim dean of the                    University. He was named a University
Health Inspection Service (APHIS)        University of Maryland at College                 Distinguished Professor at Maryland in
and the Food Safety and Inspection       Park’s College of Agriculture and                 1995 and has chaired the Department of
Service (FSIS) are beginning to          Natural Resources has been named.                 Agricultural Resources and Economics.
use the term public practitioners             Agricultural economist Dr. Bruce                  Former Dean Dr. Tom Fretz has
or public practice veterinarians for     Gartner has held faculty appointments             resigned to assume a new federal post
professionals within their employ        at North Carolina State and Texas A&M             with the USDA.
as well.
      Over the years, the terms                                             News Briefs
“government practice” and
                                               Dr. Ted Mashima associate director          of the American Association of Zoo
“government veterinarian” have           of the Center for Public and Corporate            Veterinarians in Minneapolis, Minnesota. An
acquired an archaic and even             Veterinary Practice, has been elected             article written by Wolf entitled “Spring viremia
negative connotation, Walters said.      Secretary for the American College of             of carp: animal health policy considerations”
Being a “government veterinarian”        Zoological Medicine for the 2004-2005             and an article written by Blasier entitled
                                         term. Established in 1983, the ACZM is an         “Endangered species recovery plans:
or doing “government work” is not        international veterinary specialty organization   considering parasite conservation” were each
perceived as being an interesting        recognized by the American Veterinary             published in the AAZV Proceedings. Their
or challenging career choice for         Medical Association for recognizing               work was produced as a result of the rotation
students who are overwhelmingly          veterinarians with special expertise in           they conducted in the Center for Public and
influenced to go into traditional         zoological medicine. Mashima also serves as       Corporate Veterinary Medicine.
                                         the college’s administrative officer.
private clinical practice, she said.           Drs. Karen Wolf and Megan Blasier
      “This presents an unnecessary      made presentations at the 2003 Conference
barrier when our profession is
attempting to encourage our best
and brightest students and recent        Young: continued from page 28.                    their friendship through college. After
graduates to consider specialties in          Inzana also brings considerable              they married, Shirley joined Kent for
public health, food safety, pathology,   teaching experience to the endowed                graduate studies at Cornell University.
laboratory animal medicine,              professorship. His research                             Upon graduation, Kent worked in
toxicology and other disciplines         achievements help illuminate the “real-           a dairy practice in Frederick, Maryland,
in the domain of public practice                                                           and then migrated south to Loudoun
                                         world” importance of microbiology
as viable career options,” Walters                                                         County, Virginia, where he established
                                         for DVM students enrolled in the
wrote in a proposal seeking the name                                                       his own veterinary practice and animal
                                         microbiology sections as well as
change.                                                                                    hospital. Kent enjoyed a thriving
                                         those fourth-year students studying
                                                                                           veterinary business and Shirley helped
                                         microbiology during the Laboratory
                                                                                           with the office work. They raised three
Career Transitions                       Services clerkship. Inzana is also
                                                                                           daughters and a son in Purcellville,
Symposium Held At                        currently mentoring five post-DVM and
                                                                                           Virginia.
                                         non-DVM graduate students, helping
Maryland Campus                                                                                  In 1979, Dick Talbot, founding
                                         them prepare for careers in veterinary
                                                                                           dean of the VMRCVM at Tech and a
       A two-day “Career Transitions     and medical microbiology.
                                                                                           personal friend, asked Kent to come
 for Veterinarians” symposium was             A former director of the Center
                                                                                           to Blacksburg to help build a new
 recently held at the College Park       for Molecular Medicine and Infectious
                                                                                           veterinary college from the ground
 campus.                                 Diseases, Inzana also serves as
                                                                                           up. Kent’s history as president of the
       The goal of the conference        Director of Clinical Microbiology
                                                                                           Virginia Veterinary Medical Association
 was to provide information for          in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital
                                                                                           made him an obvious candidate. He
 veterinarians seeking to find new        and conducts teaching, service, and
                                                                                           seized the opportunity and made history
 career opportunities in government      research through his appointment
                                                                                           once again—this time on the campus of
 and corporate veterinary medicine,      as a professor in the Department of
                                                                                           Virginia Tech.
 according to Dr. Bettye Walters,        Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology.
                                                                                                 After a year of selling the
 director of the Center for Public and   He is a diplomate of the American
                                                                                           concept of the veterinary college in the
 Corporate Veterinary Practice.          Board of Medical Microbiology and a
                                                                                           veterinary community, the school was
       About one in every four           Fellow of the American Academy of
                                                                                           launched and Kent was appointed its
 veterinarians are employed in the       Microbiology.
                                                                                           first director of continuing education.
 public or corporate sector, she said.
       Speakers included officials from
                                         Roberts: continued from page 27.                  Kent says he felt well equipped to
                                                                                           share the knowledge he had received.
 the Food & Drug Administration, the     summer before his first year in                    “I think I had a little insight into what
 USDA, the National Cancer Institute,    veterinary college, Kent worked in                veterinarians wanted and what I could
 the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps          Rockport, Massachusetts, a seaside                do to supply that.” Trips across the
 and many other public and private       area north of Boston. That is where he            state soon dotted his calendar, as he
 organizations.                          met his future wife, Shirley Fulton. The          worked to promote the benefit of having
                                         two stayed in contact and continued               a growing veterinary teaching hospital

virginia-maryland 38
as a resource to veterinarians in the        Clinical Veterinary Medicine” is the first     “By doing this, I honored my father’s
region.                                      clinical position funded on the college’s     memory and helped the college too.”
      With knowledge and personal            Blacksburg campus and is a rotating                In April 2003, Kent and Shirley,
growth at the forefront of the Roberts’      five-year appointment. “I wanted to            along with Kent’s mother, Florence,
philosophy, it is not surprising that        honor my father who was an outstanding        were inducted as new Senior
the family recently established an           individual, and perpetuate his name           Benefactors in the “Ut Prosim Society”
endowed professorship to honor Dr.           outside the family,” says Kent. Because       at Virginia Tech. Clearly, the Roberts
C.R. Roberts in perpetuity for his           the veterinary college is still relatively    family is the true embodiment of Ut
pioneer work in the field of corporate        new and is working to build its alumni        Prosim, “That I May Serve.”
veterinary medicine. The “C.R.               base, Kent says creating the endowed          Jenise Jacques is a writer in the
Roberts Endowed Professorship of             professorship was a “win-win” situation.      university’s Office of Development.



“Mad Cow”
    continued from page 1.
      But prions behave very differently
than these more common disease-
causing organisms, explains Eyestone.
Normal, non-pathogenic prions
are actually a form of protein that          Dr. Will Eyestone
                                             joined the college
naturally occur in all mammals, though       after working with
scientists remain uncertain about the        PPL Therapeutics,
exact purpose they serve in advanced         the Scotland based
mammals like humans. Transmissible           organization that
spongiform encephalopathies like BSE         cloned the first animal
                                             in history, Dolly the
and new variant Creutzfeldt-Jacob            Sheep.
Disease (vCJD), the human form of the
disease, are believed to occur when the      nerves, and then migrate to the spinal        been that informative to us and we are
non-pathogenic prions that normally          cord and brain. The process takes years,      hoping that the cow will be more so.”
reside in mammalian nervous systems          Eyestone says, which accounts for the               The core objective of the NIH grant
are converted into abnormal pathogenic       five to seven year incubation period that      is to produce a cow that is genetically
forms.                                       characterizes both the animal and human       incapable of producing prions, and then
      Proteins, the building blocks of       forms of the disorder.                        determine whether or not the viability and
metabolic processes, are long chains               While scientists don’t know how         function of the animal has been affected
of amino acids that fold in upon             to stop the pathogenic process once it        by the lack of the prion. Once the cow
themselves in predictable patterns and       gets underway, some, like Eyestone            is cloned in late 2004, the researchers
shapes that result from the bio-electrical   and Huckle, are interested in creating        will conduct a number of behavioral and
relationships that exist between             an animal that lacks the genomic              physiological evaluations of the animal.
individual molecules, according to           architecture to code for the production of          If efforts to produce a normally
Eyestone. Proteins normally “fold” in        normal prions.                                functioning cow that lacks the genetic
only one way. But when the “normal”                “In order to be susceptible to prion    ability to code for the production of
prions are exposed to pathogenic             disease, the individual has to be able to     prions are successful, the researchers
prions, they begin to “fold” in another      express the prion,” says Eyestone, who        may have identified a strategy for finally
way that leads to disease.                   is using the same somatic cell transfer       containing the risks of this ominous
      In the case of BSE and vCJD,           technology to clone a cow without             disease.
pathogenic prions introduced from            normal prions that PPL used to create               While the prospects of “cloning”
contaminated food sources interact           Dolly the sheep and Mr. Jefferson, the        prion free cattle on the scale of America’s
with normal prions in the body and           first cloned calf.                             100 million head cattle herd may seen
transform them into the lethal agents              Basically, the process involves         daunting, Eyestone points out that
that eventually create the “Swiss            taking somatic cells harvested from an        with the widespread use of artificial
cheese-like” lesions in the brain that       animal and replacing the nucleus of           insemination in modern agriculture, great
cause the devastating neurological           that cell with the nucleus of another         strides could be made in as little as six or
symptoms of the disease.                     cell that possesses the desired genetic       seven generations.
      The pathogenic prions that are         characteristics, then implanting that               On a smaller scale, sub-populations
ingested by cattle in contaminated           embryo into the animal for a normal           of prion-free cattle could be produced for
feed do not seem to be affected by           gestational development period.               use in other tasks such as the production
the normal enzymatic activity of the               “We know that if you knock out          of pharmaceutical compounds that
digestion process, explains Eyestone.        these prion proteins in laboratory mice       are eventually used in people, thereby
The prions pass through the wall of the      that there is no apparent negative effect,”   eliminating the risk that a drug produced
gut and are subsequently absorbed by         said Eyestone. “We know that this prion       to promote human health and well-being
innervated lymphatic tissues, where          does not appear to be required for normal     might accidentally cause the deadly
they eventually accumulate in the            functions of life. But the mouse has not      neurological condition.
                                                                                           Virginia-Maryland 39
                                                                                                             Photo by Jerry Baber
   Former Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine Dean Peter Eyre was recognized for his 18 years of service to the
   Commonwealth of Virginia with a joint resolution of commendation passed by the Virginia General Assembly. Here, Eyre is congratulated
   by members of the Virginia House of Delegates on the floor shortly after Delegate Jim Shuler concluded the rare “center-aisle”
   recognition ceremony in the Virginia State Capitol. Standing and applauding on Eyre’s left are Delegates Jim Shuler and Dave Nutter.




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