Past Phi Zeta Award Recipients

 

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, and House Officer competition. First-, second- third-, and fourth-place monetary awards were given in these categories. Below are descriptions of the projects that received awards in 2014 and 2013.

 

2014

This year, 21 PhD students submitted posters for the competition. In the undergraduate, veterinary student, MS degree student, and House Officer competition, there are 18 posters for consideration in the Basic Research category and 23 in the Clinical Research Category. Ten faculty and post-doctoral fellows have posters in the non-competing category.  

 

Winners in the PhD category were as follows:

First place went to Victoria I. Verhoeve of St. Petersburg, Fla., PhD student in the Department of Pathobiological Sciences (PBS), for her projected entitled, “Identification of a full length transcript encoding a putative relish-type NF-kB protein, DvRelish, in Dermacentor variabilis.” Her faculty mentor was Kevin Macaluso, PhD, professor in PBS.

 

There was a tie for second place. The winners were Rahul Dange of Sindewahi, Chandrapur, Maharashtra, India, PhD student in the Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences (CBS) and Ahmad Saied, DVM, DACVP, from Jordan, PhD student in PBS. Dange’s project was entitled, “Inhibition of TLR4 within the PVN attenuates hypertension and inflammatory signaling cascade in spontaneously hypertensive rats,” and his faculty mentor was Joseph Francis, BVSc, MVSc, PhD, professor in CBS. Saied’s project was entitled, “The role of HSV-1 gK in the immunopathogeneis of herpes keratitis,” and his faculty mentor was Konstantin “Gus” Kousoulas, PhD, associate vice chancellor for the LSU Office of Research & Economic Development, director of the Division of Biotechnology & Molecular Medicine.

 

There was also a tie for third place, which was awarded to Wei Duan of Wu Han China, PhD student in Veterinary Clinical Sciences (VCS), and Wentao Li of Linyi, Shandong, China, PhD student in CBS. Duan’s project was entitled, “Canine adipose tissue derived multipotent stromal cells harvested from infra-patellar and subcutaneous adipose tissue have similar in vitro behavior,” and his faculty mentor was Mandi Lopez, DVM, MS, PhD, DACVS, professor in VCS. Li’s project was entitled, “Spt5-RNA polymerase II domain-specific interactions: Promoting transcription elongation and repressing transcription coupled DNA repair,” and his faculty mentor was Shisheng Li, MS, PhD, associate professor in CBS.

               

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

First place was awarded to Kenneth Kim, DVM, of Port Allen, La., anatomic pathology resident in PBS, for his project entitled, “Pathology of dengue virus infection and replication in an Ag129 mouse model of antibody dependent enhancement.” Kim’s faculty mentor was Noboku Wakamatsu Utsuki, DVM, PhD, DACVP, DAVCPV, associate professor in PBS.

 

Second place was awarded to Taylor Ferguson of St. Martinville, La., for her project entitled, “CXCL1 is essential for regulating host defense against gram-positive pneumonia.” Ferguson is an undergraduate student working in the LSU SVM Lung Biology Laboratory under the guidance of Samithamby jeyaseelan, DVM, PhD, professor in PBS. Her stipend was funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant entitled, "Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD)."

 

Third place was awarded to Zachary Fitzpatrick of Holden, La., undergraduate student in the College of Science majoring in biochemistry, for his project, “Exploiting extracellular vesicles to enhance the clinical utility of adeno-associated virus vectors.” His faculty mentors were Casey Maguire, PhD, assistant professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, and Konstantin “Gus” Kousoulas, PhD, associate vice chancellor for the LSU Office of Research & Economic Development, director of the Division of Biotechnology & Molecular Medicine.

 

Fourth place was awarded to Cristina Terhoeve of Baton Rouge, La., a second-year medical student at the LSU Health Sciences Center, for her project entitled, “Chronic Alcohol consumption alters adult stromal cell expansion, multipotentiality, gene expression and trabecular bone density in a dose dependent manner.” Her faculty mentor was Mandi Lopez, DVM, MS, PhD, DACVS, professor in VCS.

 

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

First place went to Jorge Vila, DVM (LSU SVM 2007), MS (LSU SVM 2012), of Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico, cardiology resident, for his project entitled, “Rapid right ventricular pacing for interventional procedures in dogs: safety and rate titration.” Dr. Vila’s faculty mentor was Romain Pariaut, DVM, DACVIM, DECVIM, associate professor of veterinary cardiology in VCS.

 

Second place went to Stuart Walton, BVSc, BScAgr, of Charlestown, New South Wales, Australia, small animal internal medicine resident, for his project entitled, “Innovative treatment of meloxicam intoxication via Therapeutic Plasma Exchange (TPE).” Dr. Walton’s faculty mentor was Mark Acierno, DVM, MBA, DACVIM, professor of companion animal medicine in VCS.

 

Third place went to Olivia Oubre* of Lafayette, La., veterinary student in the Class of 2017, for her project entitled, “The effect of diet composition and luminal ingesta on intestinal mucosal echogenicity in healthy dogs.” Oubre’s faculty mentors were Lorrie Gaschen, DVM, Dr.med.vet., PhD, Dr.habil., DECVDI, professor of veterinary radiology, and Abbigail Granger, DVM, DACVR, assistant professor of diagnostic imaging, both in VCS.

 

Fourth place went to Keith Jarrett* of New Orleans, La., veterinary student in the Class of 2017, for his project entitled, “Tomography for improved anatomical understanding.” Jarrett’s faculty mentor was Cathryn Stevens-Sparks, MS (LSU SVM 1999), PhD (LSU SVM 2012), instructor in CBS.

 

2013

There were 20 entries in the doctoral competition, 16 in the basic research competition and 23 in the clinical research competition. Eleven faculty members and post-doctoral fellows also presented non-competing research posters.

 

Winners in the PhD category were as follows:

First place went to Lisa Brown of Tyler, Texas, PhD student in the Department of Pathobiological Sciences, for her project entitled, “A Murine Model of Rickettsia felis Transmission between Co-Feeding Cat Fleas, Ctenocephalides felis.”  Her faculty mentor is Kevin Macaluso, MS, PhD, professor in Pathobiological Sciences.

 

The second place winner was Liliang Jin of Dongyang, Zheijiang, China, PhD student in the Department of Pathobiological Sciences, for his project entitled, “Critical Role of CXCL1 in Polymicrobial Sepsis.”  His faculty mentor is Samithamby Jeyaseelan, DVM, PhD, professor in Pathobiological Sciences.

 

Third place went to C. Brad Wilson of Crestview, Fla., PhD student in the Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences, for his project entitled,” Inflammation and Oxidative Stress are Elevated in the Brain, Blood, and Adrenal Glands During the Progression of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in a Predator Exposure Animal Model.” His faculty mentor is Joseph Francis, BVSc, MVSc, PhD, professor and interim department head in Comparative Biomedical Sciences.

               

Fourth place went to Javier Jarazo, of Buenos Aires, Argentina, PhD student in the LSU Department of Animal Science, for his project entitled, “Pilot Study: Effect of Tissue Source on Adult Equine Multipotent Stromal Cell Pluripotency Induction with Synthetic mRNA.” His faculty mentor is Mandi Lopez, DVM, MS, PhD, DACVS, associate professor in Veterinary Clinical Sciences.

 

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

The first place winner was Sarah McReynolds* (Class of 2016) of River Ridge, La., for her project entitled, “Aging of Inhibitory Circuits in the Central Auditory System.” Her faculty mentor was Charles Lee, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences. Her project was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

 

The second place winner was Jon Bova, DVM (LSU SVM 2011), of Fayetteville, Ark., laboratory animal medicine resident, for his project entitled, “Bupivacaine Mandibular Nerve Block Enhances Surgical Analgesia in Yucatan Miniature Swine during Mandibular Condylectomy Surgery.” His faculty mentor is Mandi Lopez, DVM, MS, PhD, DACVS, associate professor in Veterinary Clinical Sciences.

 

There was a tie for third place, which went to Amanda Cathey* (Class of 2016) of Mandeville, La., and Erica Paxton* (Class of 2016) of Bossier City, La. Cathey’s project was entitled, “Inhibition of the TRPM7 Channel Enhances Osteogenesis in Late Passage Bone Marrow Stem Cells of Mice,” and her faculty mentor was Henrique Cheng, DVM, MS, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences. Paxton’s project was entitled, “Localization and Characterization of Progenitor Cells in the Equine Laminitic Hoof,” and her faculty mentor was Mandi Lopez, DVM, MS, PhD, DACVS, associate professor in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences. Cathey’s project was funded by the National Institutes of Health, and Paxton’s research was funded by Merial.

 

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

First place went to Melissa White* (Class of 2016) of Baton Rouge, La., for her project entitled, “Antibacterial properties of activated mesenchymal stem cells.” Her faculty mentors were Steven Dow, DVM, MS, PhD, DACVIM, professor; and Valerie Johnson, DVM, DACVECC, post-doctoral fellow, both in the Clinical Sciences Department at the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. White’s project was conducted at CSU in Fort Collins and was funded by the Kenneth F. Burns Trust. She worked on a laboratory animal externship at CSU, as well as her Summer Scholars project.

 

Second place was awarded to Sara Joyner Ramos (Class of 2015) of Mandeville, La., for her project entitled, “Directly measured blood pressure from divergent arteries in anesthetized dogs.” Her faculty mentors are Anderson da Cunha, DVM, MS, DACVA, assistant professor of veterinary anesthesiology in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences; and Mark Acierno, DVM, MBA, DACVIM, associate professor of companion animal medicine in Veterinary Clinical Sciences.

 

There was a tie for third place, which went to Jonuel Cruz-Sanabria* (Class of 2015) of Fajardo, Puerto Rico, and Vivianna Le Donne, DVM, PhD, of Carbonia, Sardinia, Italy, a clinical pathology resident in the Department of Pathobiological Sciences. Cruz-Sanabria’s project was entitled, “Validation of a colic prediction model,” and his faculty mentor Frank Andrews, DVM, DACVIM, professor of veterinary medicine in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences and director of the Equine Health Studies Program (EHSP). His project was funded by the EHSP. Dr. LeDonne’s project was entitled, “Candida glabrata candiduria in a diabetic cat,” and her faculty mentor was Stephen Gaunt, DVM (LSU SVM 1977), PhD, DACVP, professor of veterinary clinical pathology in Pathobiological Sciences.