September 13, 2019
National organization presents prizes to K-State professor and pupil
Ally Fitzgerald, third-year veterinary student, left, and Butch KuKanich, professor of veterinary clinical pharmacology and assistant head of the anatomy and physiology department, at the recent Biennial Symposium of the American Academy of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics.
A professor and his research student from the College of Veterinary Medicine recently earned accolades at an international conference in Overland Park.
Butch KuKanich, professor of veterinary clinical pharmacology and assistant head of the anatomy and physiology department in the College of Veterinary Medicine, along with Ally Fitzgerald, a third-year K-State veterinary student from Lakewood Ranch, Florida, were chosen as recipients of prestigious awards from the American Academy of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics at its Biennial Symposium on Aug. 24.
KuKanich received the academy's Teaching Award, given in recognition of significant teaching activities in veterinary clinical pharmacology and therapeutics. The award is presented every other year at the Biennial Symposium to recognize exceptional and sustained service either to the academy or to the profession of veterinary, comparative pharmacology or therapeutics at large.
"I am honored to receive this award," KuKanich said. "I believe that our primary job as faculty is to teach veterinary and graduate students making this award so meaningful. The night was even more rewarding since two outstanding K-State veterinary students, Ally Fitzgerald and Ron Orchard were with me, presenting our research at the symposium."
KuKanich earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 1997. After four years in private practice, he entered the doctoral program in comparative biomedical sciences at North Carolina State University that he completed in 2005. He is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology. KuKanich has been on the faculty in the College of Veterinary Medicine at K-State since 2005.
KuKanich's research interests include improving pain treatment in animals, drug interactions and drug metabolism.
Fitzgerald won the Graduate Student Research Award from American College of Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology and the American Academy of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics for her oral presentation, "Evaluation of a Novel Opioid Formulation Containing an Abuse Deterrent in a Clinical Trial of Dogs Undergoing OHE." In this clinical trial, Fitzgerald worked alongside KuKanich, assisting with initial patient exams, surgical preparation and subsequent evaluations and data collection. Ally participated through the Veterinary Research Scholars Program at K-State.
"It is such an honor to have been chosen for this award," Fitzgerald said. "I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to present our research findings at the AAVPT Biennial Symposium and learn from leading veterinary pharmacologists. I thoroughly enjoyed working with Dr. KuKanich and the rest of the research team on this project. I gained a true appreciation for the large-scale impact clinical research can have on the veterinary profession as a whole. I hope to see this methadone formulation available to veterinarians around the country."
The Graduate Student Research Award is given every year to recognize research excellence in clinical and/or basic pharmacology for residents and graduate students.