1. Kansas State University
  2. »Division of Communications and Marketing
  3. »K-State Today
  4. »Phi Zeta Research Day showcases research efforts among students and faculty in the...

K-State Today

April 2, 2019

Phi Zeta Research Day showcases research efforts among students and faculty in the College of Veterinary Medicine

Submitted by Joe Montgomery

Second-year student Meghan Lancaster explains her poster research project

The College of Veterinary Medicine hosted its annual Phi Zeta Research Day on March 26.

"This was a wonderful success, featuring an inspiring and insightful keynote address by Dr. Luis Montaner, who is a world-renowned HIV researcher and professor at Philadelphia's Wistar Institute," said Raelene Wouda, president of the Kansas State University Sigma Chapter of the Society of Phi Zeta and assistant professor of oncology. "Dr. Montaner is director of the beat-HIV collaborative, and most importantly, he is a K-State alumnus. His keynote was followed by an afternoon of oral research presentations, describing basic or applied science investigations taking place at the college, and a poster session, proudly sponsored by Royal Canin."

Phi Zeta Research Day spotlights the research efforts of graduate students who are working toward a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Master of Science, Master of Public Health and/or a doctorate in the College of Veterinary Medicine. The annual event is organized by the Sigma Chapter of the Society of Phi Zeta, a professional honors society whose name is based on the Latin word philozoi, which means "love for animals." The chapter's mission is to promote scholarship and research that improves the health and welfare of animals.

"The Phi Zeta Research Day is a wonderful opportunity for the College of Veterinary Medicine to recognize our students' exceptional scholarly and research achievements," Wouda said. "This year's oral and poster abstract submissions by our students were of an outstanding quality, reflecting the diversity and impact of the research emerging from the college. Here at K-State, we strongly encourage students to become actively involved in either clinical and/or laboratory-based research programs. We hope these opportunities will inspire them to incorporate research in their future veterinary careers. The combination of a veterinary degree and research experience makes our students uniquely qualified to be highly successful scientists, capable and eager to contribute meaningfully to the continual advancement of veterinary, human and public health."

This year's award recipients were announced at a reception and ceremony that also included the presentation of several endowed scholarships.

The prestigious Zoetis Award for Veterinary Research Excellence, which is presented each year to an outstanding faculty member selected by the college. Wenjun Ma, associate professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology, was announced as the 2019 recipient of the Zoetis award.

"Dr. Ma is an exceptional molecular virologist, working at the forefront of many important viral diseases of domestic and wild animals and humans," said Frank Blecha, associate dean for research. "His research is particularly focused on influenza virus where he studies mechanisms of infection, pathogenesis, surveillance, genetic aspects of influenza virus virulence and transmissibility, and animal models. Dr. Ma supports his extensive research program with funds from several agencies, but primarily the National Institutes of Health — receiving over $4 million from the NIH over the last five years. His most recent NIH grant aims to understand the ecology of bat influenza A-like viruses and address their potential threats to other species, including humans."

In addition the scholarship and awards, the Sigma Chapter of the Society of Phi Zeta initiated new members, whose nominations are based on notable academic achievements. Below is a list of the award and scholarship categories and awardees.

Oral presentations

Applied Sciences category awardees:

First place — Miriam Martin, doctoral student in physiology, "A field study to investigate the effect of Zuprevo administered alone or in combination with Banamine transdermal on the health and well-being of transported feedlot calves on arrival at the feedlot."

Second place — Aurelio Cabezas, doctoral student in pathobiology, "A description of the U.S. livestock industry: Spatial and network analysis of Interstate Certificates of Veterinary Inspection animal movements."

Third place — Kaitlynn Schuck, master's student in biomedical science, "In situ hybridization for detection of Rift Valley fever virus."

Basic Sciences category awardees:

First place — Ana Stoian, doctoral student in pathobiology, "Infectious dose of African swine fever virus when consumed naturally in liquid or feed."

Second place — Jinhwa Ransburgh, research associate, "Bat influenza vectored NS1-truncated live vaccine protects pigs against heterologous virus challenge."

Third place — Fangfeng Yuan, doctoral student in pathobiology, "Isolation and characterization of a divergent strain of porcine sapelovirus from swine farm in U.S."

Clinical Sciences category awardees:

First place — Gail Huckins, zoological medicine intern, "Pharmacokinetics of oral mavacoxib in Caribbean flamingos (Phoenicopterus ruber ruber)."

Second place — Dana White, resident and master's student in veterinary biomedical science,
"Radiographic angles for determination of atlantoaxial instability."

Third place — Peter Cho, fourth-year veterinary student, "Evaluation of Multiple Doses of a Long-acting Oral Opioid Containing an Abuse Deterrent in Dogs."

Poster presentations

Applied Sciences category awardees:

First place — Emily Johnson, undergraduate in animal sciences and industry, "Rehabilitation of the osteological specimens using an alkali-, acid- and enzymatic-based solutions."

Second place — Brianna Salgado, undergraduate in animal sciences and industry, "Development of Local Kansas E. coli UTI Antibiograms to Improve Antimicrobial Stewardship in Companion Animal Medicine."

Third place — Ally Fitzgerald, third-year veterinary student, "Clinical efficacy of an oral long-acting analgesic with a human abuse deterrent in perioperative dogs," and Emma Winkley, master of public health and fourth year veterinary student, "Maximizing usability of veterinary hospitals for clients with mobility disabilities."

Basic Sciences category awardees:

First place — Sarah Stuebing, fourth-year veterinary student, "Assessing the likelihood of epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus-2 infection in Culicoides sonorensis."

Second place — Jacob Herford, third-year veterinary student, "Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs reduce vas deferens epithelial MRP4 expression and prostaglandin export."

Third place — Akash Aryal, Manhattan High School senior, "A novel relational optimization and predictive modeling of the PubChem Bioassay database."

Special awards and scholarships:

Benjamin and Catherine Kurz Research Scholarship — Zackery Bieberly, second-year veterinary student.

Miller Pathology Scholarship Award — Haley Blazek, third-year veterinary student.

Dr. Harish C. and Ved K. Minocha Scholarship — Vlad Petrovan, doctoral candidate.