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K-State Today

March 19, 2020

College of Veterinary Medicine hosts annual Phi Zeta Research Day

Submitted by Piper Brandt

Students present research posters at Phi Zeta Research Day

The College of Veterinary Medicine celebrated student research projects with the annual Phi Zeta Research Day on Tuesday, March 3.

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 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.

Students and faculty began the day with lunch and a keynote address by Adam Boyko, associate professor in biomedical sciences at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. The title of the lecture was "Dog DNA: a Journey of Discovery and a Quest for Healthier Dogs."

"Dr. Boyko's keynote speech was thoroughly engaging and highlighted a new and rapidly growing field in veterinary medicine — genetic analysis," said Nora Springer, assistant professor and president of Phi Zeta. "Several students have mentioned an interest in veterinary genetics as a career option after hearing Dr. Boyko's presentation."

Boyko's research focuses on genomic investigation of dogs as a model of genetic disease and evolutionary genetics. One aspect of this work is understanding the evolution and genetics of village dogs, the semi-feral pariah dogs found in much of the world today.

The keynote lecture was followed by a formal poster session and oral abstract presentations by undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate researchers affiliated with the college.

"Phi Zeta Day showcases the depth and breadth of research in the College of Veterinary Medicine," Springer said. "It's also a wonderful opportunity for veterinary students, graduate students and house officers to practice their presentation skills in a supportive environment. We hope that research opportunities during veterinary, graduate and postdoctoral training inspires incorporation of research in their future careers."

Oral presentations

Applied/Clinical Science category awardees:

  • First place — Zackery Bieberly, third-year veterinary student, for "Long acting injectable methadone for post-operative analgesia."
  • Second place — Tera Brandt, third-year veterinary student, for "Insulin expression patterns in canine insulinomas."
  • Third place — Alyson Fitzgerald, fourth-year veterinary student, for "Detecting and Quantifying Marijuana Metabolites in Serum and Urine of Dogs Affected by Marijuana Toxicity."

Basic Science category awardees:

  • First place — Chandramouli Kondethimmanahalli, research associate, for "Proteomics analysis reveals distinct protein expression in infectious and replicative forms of Ehrlichia chaffeensis."
  • Second place — Naveen Jonnalagadda, master's student in biomedical science, for "Antibacterial Effects of Equine Adipose Mesenchymal Stromal Cell Derived Exosomes against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus."
  • Third place — Swetha Madesh, master's student in biomedical science, for "The canine host appears to serve as a sentinel species for tick-borne diseases caused by Anaplasma, Ehrlichia and Borrelia pathogens impacting human health in the USA."

Poster presentations

Applied/Clinical Science category awardees:

  • First place — Daniel Madden, master's student in biomedical science, for "Development of a Novel Lateral Flow Assay for Detection of African Swine Fever Virus Antigen in Whole Blood."
  • Second place — Joshuah Klutzke, fourth-year veterinary student, for "Evaluation of Hematocrit in Juvenile Dogs Presenting for Routine Ovariohysterectomy or Neuter."
  • Third place — Brandt Skinner, master's student in biomedical science, for "Isolation and Characterization of Two Anaplasma marginale Isolates from a Kansas Beef Cattle Herd."

Basic Science category awardees:

  • First place — Yvonne Wikander, master's student in biomedical science, for "Prevalence of Cytauxzoon felis carriers in the domestic cat population of eastern Kansas, a preliminary report."
  • Second place — Sarah Krueger, third-year veterinary student, for "Evaluation of Amblyomma americanum vector competence for Anaplasma marginale."
  • Third place, three-way tie — 
    • Adrienne Wright, doctoral student in physiology, for "Genetic and replication analysis of highly virulent Feline Calicivirus isolate, KS-2019"
    • Brandon Verkinderen, third year veterinary student, for "Effect of kinase inhibitor treatment on Rift Valley Fever Virus replication."
    • Deepa Upreti, doctoral student in physiology, for "Water extract from Euglena gracilis prevents lung carcinoma growth in mice via attenuation of myeloid-derived suppressor cells and granulocyte populations."

Special awards and scholarships

Benjamin Kurz Research Scholarship: Marissa Komp, second-year veterinary student. 

Miller Pathology Scholarship Award: Keith Lewy, fourth-year veterinary student.

Dr. Harish C. and Ved K. Minocha Scholarship: Changin Oh, doctoral student in pathobiology; Ana Stoian, doctoral student in pathobiology; Yin Wang, research assistant and doctoral student in pathobiology.

Zoetis Research Award for Excellence in Research by a Faculty Member: Mike Sanderson, diagnostic medicine and pathobiology professor.

ASR Ganta Graduate Award: Krishani Perera, doctoral student in pathobiology.