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K-State Today

June 7, 2022

College of Veterinary Medicine appoints Nagaraja and Shi for Upham and Appleton professorships

Submitted by Joe Montgomery

T.G. Nagaraja and Jishu Shi

T.G. Nagaraja, university distinguished professor of veterinary microbiology in the diagnostic medicine and pathobiology department, and Jishu Shi, professor of vaccine immunology, have been selected for prestigious named professorships in the College of Veterinary Medicine. Each professorship appointment, one of which is newly created, is for three years.

Nagaraja is the new holder of the Dr. Roy Walter Upham Endowed Professorship.

Nagaraja’s appointment is 70% research and 30% teaching. His research expertise is in gut microbiology of beef cattle, focused primarily on the role of rumen microbes in function and dysfunction of the rumen, and on foodborne pathogens, particularly Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli and salmonella in cattle. His research is a blend of basic and applied studies and involves collaborative interactions with epidemiologists, molecular biologists, pathologists and ruminant nutritionists.

Included in Nagaraja's teaching responsibilities are veterinary bacteriology and mycology lecture and laboratory for sophomore Doctor of Veterinary Medicine students, ruminant digestive physiology for freshman Doctor of Veterinary Medicine students and two graduate courses — rumen metabolism and rumen microbiology. Additional responsibilities include serving as the college’s director of graduate programs in pathobiology and veterinary biomedical science.

“For nearly 25 years, T.G. has been a role model and mentor for veterinary and graduate students, and faculty,” said Derek Mosier, professor and department head of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology. “His achievements as a researcher and educator exemplify those qualities represented by the Dr. Roy Walter Upham Professorship. This is a well-deserved recognition of his contributions to the college.”

In the Department of Anatomy and Physiology, Jishu Shi is the inaugural recipient of the Dr. Wayne and Hilda Appleton Endowed Professorship. Appleton graduated in the class of 1942 and served as a mixed animal practitioner and swine producer.

During his 14-year career at K-State, Shi has attained national and international recognition for his research focused on advancing our understanding of swine immunology, especially as it pertains to the development of vaccines and diagnostic assays to combat swine fevers.

Shi is also the founding director of the U.S.-China Center for Animal Health, a K-State-based training center that improves the bilateral collaboration in veterinary education and research and assists U.S. animal health companies to access the Chinese market.

“I am delighted Dr. Shi has been named the inaugural recipient of the Dr. Wayne and Hilda Appleton Endowed Professorship,” said Hans Coetzee, university distinguished professor and head of anatomy and physiology. “In respect of Dr. Appleton’s career, Dr. Shi’s accomplishments in swine immunology make it fitting for him to be the first recipient of this professorship. As founder of The U.S.-China Center for Animal Health, Dr. Shi’s leadership has been a point of pride for our department, college and university for the past 12 years.”

In addition to these newly appointed professorships, nine other faculty in the College of Veterinary Medicine currently hold endowed professorships or chaired positions:

• Robert Larson, The Edgar E. and M. Elizabeth Coleman Chair.
• Mike Sanderson, The W.S. and E.C. Jones Departmental Chair of Clinical Epidemiology.
• Kenneth Harkin, Steven and Colleen Hodes Professorship in Veterinary Medicine.
• Walter Renberg, Roy and Lucille M. Doughman Professorship.
• David Renter, Dr. Robert MacDonald Professorship in Veterinary Medicine.
• Michael Apley, The Edwin J. Frick Chair.
• Thomas Schermerhorn, Morgan K. "Al" Jarvis Chair in Veterinary Medicine.
• Ellyn Mulcahy – James B. Nichols Master of Public Health Professorship.
• Mary Bagladi-Swanson, Pet Tribute Professorship.

Selections for the new professorships were chosen by a committee composed of College of Veterinary Medicine faculty Matt Basel, Diane Mason, Jordan Gebhardt and James Roush.