Phi Zeta Research Emphasis Day Award Recipients

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 24, 2016

 

Phi Zeta 2016

 

BATON ROUGE—On September 28, the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine (LSU SVM) hosted its annual Phi Zeta Research Emphasis Day—a day established to promote research in schools of veterinary medicine, to recognize research conducted by veterinary students, House Officers (residents and interns), graduate students and faculty, and to encourage veterinary students to pursue careers in research.

 

Phi Zeta is the national veterinary honor society, which recognizes and furthers scholarship and research in matters pertaining to the welfare and diseases of animals. The importance of this day to the LSU SVM is underlined by the fact that the Veterinary Teaching Hospital is closed except for emergencies to allow all students and House Officers to participate.

 

Phi Zeta Day provides an opportunity for national experts to speak to students on current research in various fields and to present a picture of global veterinary research. This year’s speakers were Sue VandeWoude, DVM, DACLAM, associate dean for research and professor of comparative medicine in the department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology at Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Science, and Kirstin Barnhart, DVM, PhD, DACVP, associate director for Abbvie. Dr. VandeWoude’s presentation was entitled, “Filling the Veterinary Research Pipeline,” and Dr. Barnhart’s presentation was entitled, “Evolution of a Veterinary Career: from general practice to comparative pathology.”

 

Veterinary and graduate students, House Officers, faculty and staff presented current biomedical research that is relevant to diseases of man and animals. Student entries are made in two categories: the doctoral student competition and the undergraduate, veterinary student, Master’s degree, House Officer and post-doctoral competition. First-, second-, third-, and fourth-place monetary awards were given in these categories.

 

This year, 17 PhD students submitted posters for the competition. In the undergraduate, veterinary student, MS degree student and House Officer competition, there were 29 posters for consideration in the Basic Research category, 17 in the Clinical Research Category and nine in the Post-Doc Category. Two faculty members had posters in the non-competing category. Posters are judged by volunteers from government agencies, LSU and Tulane University, medical centers, veterinary hospitals and private industry.

 

Veterinary students who participate in the LSU SVM’s Summer Scholars Program enter their research projects for consideration on Phi Zeta Emphasis Day. Each year, veterinary students apply to participate in the Summer Scholars Program, in which they develop research proposals with the guidance of a faculty member and conduct research throughout the summer. The 2016 Summer Scholars Program is funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Merial Veterinary Scholar Program, the Morris Animal Foundation, the Kenneth F. Burns Trust, the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, Zoetis and the LSU SVM.

 

Winners in the PhD category were as follows.

 

There was a tie for first place in the PhD category. First place went to Tanyawan Suantawee, MSc, exchange PhD student in the department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences (CBS). Suantawee is from Bangkok, Thailand, and her project was entitled, “Cyanidin Activates Voltage-Dependent L-Type Ca2+ Channels to Increase Intracellular Ca2+ and Insulin Secretion from Pancreatic β-cells.” Her faculty mentor is Henrique Cheng, DVM, MS, PhD, associate professor in CBS. First place also went to Farhana Musarrat, BSc, MS, PhD student in the department of Pathobiological Sciences (PBS). Musarrat is from Dhaka, Bangladesh, and her project was entitled, “Deletion of the Aminoterminal 38 Amino Acids of HSV-1 Glycoprotein K (gK) alters binding of Glycoprotein B (gB) to AKT, AKT phophorylation and intracellular calcium signaling.” Her faculty mentor is Konstanin Kousoulas, MS, PhD, professor in PBS, director for the Division of Biotechnology & Molecular Medicine, associate vice chancellor for LSU Research & Economic Development.

 

Second place went to Elizabeth Griggs, MS, PhD student in PBS. Griggs is from Baton Rouge, La., and her project was entitled, “Edwardsiella ictaluri Effector Protein EseK Vaccine Potential for Enteric Septicemia of Catfish in the Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus)” Her faculty mentor is Ronald Thune, MS, PhD, professor and head of the PBS department.

 

There was a tie for third place in the PhD category. Third place went to Chelsey Leisinger, MS, PhD student in VCS. Leisinger is from Cedar Falls, Iowa, and her project was entitled, “Effects of repeated partial thaw and refreeze on post thaw parameters of stallion semen cryopreserved in cryovials.” Her faculty mentor is Dale Paccamonti, DVM, MS, DACT, professor of theriogenology and head of the department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences (VCS). Third place also went to Sagar Paudel, DVM, PhD student in PBS. Paudel is from Nepal, and his project was entitled, “Pulmonary Host Defense During Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus Pneumonia.” His faculty mentor is Samithamby Jeyaseelan, DVM, PhD, professor in PBS.

               

Winners in the Basic Research student competition, including Master’s, undergraduate, veterinary students, and interns and residents were as follows.

 

First place went to Joselyn Knowling, undergraduate researcher working in PBS. Knowling is from Bogalusa, La., and her project was entitled, “Both Interleukin (IL)-1α and IL-1β Contribute to Host Protection against Pulmonary Klebsiella pneumoniae Infection.” Her faculty mentor is Samithamby Jeyaseelan, DVM, PhD, professor in PBS.

 

Second place went to Morgan Rash, veterinary student in the Class of 2018. Rash is from Biloxi, Miss., and her project was entitled, “The Effect of Cryopreservation on the Size of the Canine Meniscus.” Her faculty mentor is Karavanir Aulakh, MS, BVSc & AH (LSU SVM 2007), MS, DACVS-SA, assistant professor of companion animal surgery in VCS.

 

There was a three-way tie for third place in the Basic Research Student Competition category. Third place went to Amber Moses, veterinary student in the Class of 2019. Moses is from Metairie, La. and her project was entitled, “Changes in Periarticular Bone Secondary to Osteoarthritis in Chikungunya-infected and Naïve Mice.” Her faculty mentor is Margaret McNulty, PhD, assistant professor in CBS. Third place also went to Carolyn Benedetto, veterinary student in the Class of 2018. Benedetto is from Crowley, La., and her project was entitled, “Assessing mental health and identifying major stressors among Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine students and alumni.” Her faculty mentor is Joseph Taboada, DVM, DACVIM-IM, professor in VCS and associate dean for veterinary education and student affairs. Third place also went to Kelsey Koenig, veterinary student in the Class of 2018. Koenig is from Ellicott, Md., and her project was entitled, “The Effect of Oral Sodium Bicarbonate ‘Milkshake’ on Serum Total Carbon Dioxide Concentration (TCO2) in Horses.” Her faculty mentor is Levant Dirikolua, DVM, MVSc, PhD, professor in CBS.

 

Winners in the Clinical Research student competition, including Master’s, undergraduate, veterinary students, and interns and residents were as follows.

 

First place went to Cole Sandow, DVM (LSU SVM 2013), equine surgery resident in VCS. Sandow is from Baton Rouge, La., and his project was entitled, “Ex vivo Assessment of Structural Integrity of Digital Lamellar Explants and Preliminary Effects of High Concentrations of Insulin.” His faculty mentor is Susan Eades, DVM (LSU SVM 1982), PhD, DACVIM-IM, Paula and Milton W. Shepard professor in VCS.  

 

Second place went to Alyssa Scagnelli, DVM, zoological medicine intern. Scagnello is from Staten Island, N.Y., and her project was entitled, “Effects of Therapeutic Plasma Exchange on Serum Immunoglobulin Levels in a Dog with Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia.” Her faculty mentor is Mark Acierno, DVM, MBA, DACVIM-IM, professor of companion animal medicine in VCS. 

 

Third place went to Aubrey L. Hirsch, DVM, companion animal medicine resident in VCS. Hirsch is from Topeka, Kan., and her project was entitled, “Congenital Non-Inflammatory Vacuolar Myopathy with Excessive Autophagy in a Young Golden Retriever.” Her faculty mentor is Amy Grooters, DVM, DACVIM-IM, professor of companion animal medicine in VCS.

 

Fourth place went to Aubrey L. Hirsch, DVM, companion animal medicine resident in VCS. Hirsch is from Topeka, Kan., and her project was entitled, “Exogenous Thyrotoxicosis Secondary to Consumption of a Commercial All-meat Jerky Treat in Two Dogs from the Same Household.” Her faculty mentor is Jon Fletcher, DVM (LSU SVM 2005), DACVIM, assistant professor of companion animal medicine in VCS.

 

Winners in the Post-doctoral category were as follows.

 

First place went to Liliang Jin, MS, PhD, post-doctoral researcher in PBS. Jin is from of Dongyang, Zhejiang, China, and his project was entitled, “NLRP3 Inflammasome Modulates Neutrophil Function during Polymicrobial Sepsis.” His faculty mentor is Samithamby Jeyaseelan, DVM, PhD, professor in PBS.

 

Second place went to Sangeetha Ravi Kumar, BSc, MSc, PhD, post-doctoral researcher in PBS. Kumar is from Bangalore, India, and her project was entitled, “Acute Ethanol Exposure Impairs Antibacterial Defense via Suppression of Neutrophil Extracellular Trap (NET) Formation in Polymicrobial Sepsis.” Her faculty mentor is Samithamby Jeyaseelan, DVM, PhD, professor in PBS.

 

Third place went to Ashlyn Harmon, MS, MS, PhD, post-doctoral researcher in CBS. Harmon is from of Holden, La., and her project was entitled, “Reduced Lung Function in Adult Mice after Exposure to Environmentally Persistent Free Radicals is preceded by Vascular Injury.” Her faculty mentor is Tammy Dugas, PhD (LSU SVM 1996), professor in CBS.

 

Phi Zeta would like to take this opportunity to thank the poster judges: Diana Coulon, DVM (LSU SVM 2011), LSU AgCenter Biotechnology Laboratory; Jason Dufour, DVM (LSU SVM 1998), assistant professor, Tulane National Primate Research Center; Ken Eilertson, PhD, Tulane University School of Medicine; Tekeda Ferguson, PhD, assistant professor, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, School of Public Health; Triva Frasier, PhD, LaCell LLC; Jeff Hobden, PhD, associate professor, Microbiology, Immunology, and Parasitology; Deepak Kaushal, PhD, professor, Tulane National Primate Research Center; Chat Kleinpeter, DVM, owner and founder, Kleinpeter Equine Veterinary Services, LLC; Jessica Martinez, DVM, MS, Eye Center for Animals; Patricia Marullo, DVM, LVMA president, veterinarian, Broussard Veterinary Clinic; David McDougal, PhD, assistant professor, Pennington Biomedical Research Center; Ken McMillin, PhD, professor, LSU Animal Science; Mike MacLellan, PhD, assistant professor, School of Kinesiology; Tanya Mestayer, DVM, veterinarian, Acadiana Animal Veterinary Clinic; John Moreau, MS, DVM (LSU SVM 1999), veterinarian, Lafayette Animal Emergency Clinic; Veronica Musgrove, Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry; Kevin Reed, MD, FCCP, associate dean, Louisiana State University School of Medicine; Jennifer Rood, PhD, professor, chief, Clinical Research Laboratory, chief, Mass Spectrometry Laboratory, Pennington Biomedical Research Center; and Neely Walker, MS, PhD, LSU AgCenter.

 

This day would not be possible without the support of Boehringer Ingelheim, Dechta Veterinary Products, Elanco, Fisher Scientific, Merial, Nestlé Purina, VWR, Zoetis and Merck Animal Health.

 

Phi Zeta Research Emphasis Day is sponsored by the Tau Chapter of the Society of Phi Zeta, which was established on March 30, 1977, with Dr. C.W. Titkemeyer as Chapter President. Phi Zeta is the abbreviation of the Greek word Philozoi, which means “love of animals.”

 

The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine is one of only 30 veterinary schools in the U.S. and the only one in Louisiana. The LSU SVM is dedicated to improving the lives of people and animals through education, research and service. We teach. We heal. We discover. We protect.

 

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