News and notes on Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine students, faculty, and staff
Some recent, notable accomplishments by the faculty, staff and students in the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech:
Drs. Jolynne Tschetter of Pembroke, Va., research assistant professor, Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences; Bill Huckle of Blacksburg, associate professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology; and Willard Eyestone of Blacksburg, research associate professor, Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences; were awarded funding by the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine Internal Research Grants Competition for their proposal entitled “Reprogramming Somatic Cells to Pluripotency by Forced Expression of Oct4 and Nanog.”
Eyestone and Oscar Peralta of Santiago, Chile, a Ph.D. student in Eyestone’s laboratory; attended the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Reproduction in San Antonio, Texas, where Oscar presented his abstract entitled “Prion Expression in Male and Female Ruminant Reproductive Systems” and Eyestone presented his abstract “Quantitative Expression Analysis of Oct4 and Nanog in Day 8 vs. 14 Bovine Embryos.”
In addition, Eyestone delivered an invited talk entitled “Pluripotnet and Multipotent Stem Cells” at the Annual Meeting of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists in Tucson, Ariz.
In addition, Peralta recently won a competitive fellowship to attend the NIH-sponsored national Graduated Research Festival where he presented “Characterization of Prion Gene Expression in Bovine Embryonic, Fetal and Adult Tissues.” He also received first place honors in the Graduate Student Oral Presentation Competition during the college’s Annual Research Symposium.
Drs. Bill Pierson of Check, Va., associate professor, Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, and interim director of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital; and John Dascanio of Blacksburg, associate professor, Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences; recently participated in the International Faculty Development Program at Virginia Tech’s Center for European Studies and Architecture in Riva San Vitale, Switzerland.
Dr. Iveta Becvarova of Blacksburg, a clinical instructor in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, has passed her board examination and is now a diplomate in the American College of Veterinary Nutrition.
Dr. Tom Caruso of Blacksburg, director of research initiatives in the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, has become a funded participant in the NIH National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid (caBig™) Data Sharing and Intellectual Capital (DSIC) workspace.
Dr. Philip Sponenberg of Blacksburg, a professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, recently traveled to Bulgaria to help with dog, sheep, goat, and horse conservation projects.
In addition, Sponenberg gave two presentations during the 114th Annual Meeting of the American Veterinary Medical Association: “Using Livestock Guardian Dogs Successfully” and “Veterinary Needs of Rare Breed Small Ruminants.”
Dr. Dee Whittier of Blacksburg, a professor in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, recently received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of County Agents Association in Grand Rapid, Mich.
Dr. Fernando Castro, a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, presented two lectures, “Evolution of the clinical and surgical management of equine colic: a review of the last 30 years” and “Diagnosis and treatment of suspensory desmitis in horses,” and served as an evaluator during the 3rd International Symposium on the Equine Athlete in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Dr. Michael Leib of Christiansburg, Va., the C.R. Roberts Professor of Small Animal Medicine in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, presented six and a half hours of continuing education during the 144th Annual Meeting of the American Veterinary Medical Association: Introduction to GI endoscopy, Upper GI endoscopy, colonoscopy, therapeutic endoscopy, and How I diagnose Giardia.
In addition, Leib recently provided five hours of continuing education during the Maryland Veterinary Medical Association 14th Annual Ski Seminar.
Drs. Philip Pickett of Blacksburg, professor, and Jonathan Abbott of Blacksburg, associate professor, both faculty members in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, recently participated in the James River Kennel Club Dog Show. Picket conducted a Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF) clinic and Abbott conducted a heart screening clinic.
Dr. Beverly Purswell of Blacksburg, a professor in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, was recently honored with the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
Dr. Nammalwar Sriranganathan of Blacksburg, a professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, recently received the Virginia Tech Outstanding Dissertation Advisor award in the “Science and Engineering Category.”
Dr. Martin Furr, the Adelaide C. Riggs Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center, was recently promoted to professor and Adelaide C. Riggs Chair of Equine Medicine.
Dr. X.J. Meng of Blacksburg, was recently promoted from associate professor to professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology.
Dr. Siba Samal of College Park, Md., dean of the college's University of Maryland-College Park’s campus, recently received the University of Maryland’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR) Alumni Chapter 2007 Excellence in Research Award and the AGNR 2007 Dean Gordon Cairns Award for Distinguished Creative Work and Teaching in Agriculture.
Dr. Shireen A. Hafez of Blacksburg, who received her Ph.D. from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 2005, had one of her images from her dissertation selected as the cover illustration for Anatomical Record, the most prestigious and widely-read anatomy journal in the world.
Alicia Feagins of Atlanta, Ga., a Ph.D. student in the lab of X.J. Meng in the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, recently received a student travel award to attend the 2007 American Society for Virology 26th Annual Meeting at Oregon State University to present her research on Hepatitis E Virus.
Tonya Sparks of Chittenango, N.Y., a member of the Class of 2009, was elected president of the national Veterinary Business Management Association.
Dr. Mohamed Seleem of Assiut, Egypt, a post-doctoral research associate, recently received the Virginia Tech Outstanding Dissertation in Science and Engineering award.
Jonathan Miller, a member of the Class of 2007, recently received the 2007 D.C. Academy Companion Animal Resident Clinical Teaching Award.
Christopher Paige of Tolland, Conn., a member of the Class of 2007, recently received the 2007 Bente Flatland Resident Award.
The Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine (VMRCVM) is a two-state, three-campus professional school operated by the land-grant universities of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg and the University of Maryland at College Park. Its flagship facilities, based at Virginia Tech, include the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, which treats more than 40,000 animals annually. Other campuses include the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Va., and the Avrum Gudelsky Veterinary Center at College Park, home of the Center for Government and Corporate Veterinary Medicine. The VMRCVM annually enrolls approximately 500 Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and graduate students, is a leading biomedical and clinical research center, and provides professional continuing education services for veterinarians practicing throughout the two states. Virginia Tech, the most comprehensive university in Virginia, is dedicated to quality, innovation, and results to the commonwealth, the nation, and the world.