VBS News Highlights
Dr. Christina Clarkson featured in promotional video for Global Programs and Strategy Alliance
Associate Professor Christina Clarkson was able to transform her professional communication course to include more global and intercultural learning; the collaboration included inviting veterinarians from 17 countries to dialogue with her students about veterinary practices and values around the world as well as introducing students to different communication styles to prepare them for future work with clients from many diverse background. Please click on link to read more and watch video.
Tim Johnson Publishes papers in mBio and Nature
"Evolutionary History of the Global Emergence of the Escherichia coli Epidemic Clone ST131" was published in mBio this month. Please click this link to read full paper. And, "Opioid-induced gut microbial disruption and bile dysregulation leads to gut barrier compromise and sustained systemic inflammation" was published in Mucosal Immunology with Sabita Roy's group in February 2016. Please click this link to read full paper.
Kari Ekenstedt quoted in San Jose Mercury News
Kari Ekenstedt was quoted in the article, San Jose dogs, owners join DNA studies to help find cures. "There's a misconception out there that purebred dogs are automatically across the board less healthy than mixed dogs," says Dr. Ekenstedt. Please click on link to read full article.
Kent Reed to be Awarded new USDA NIH Grant
"USDA National Needs Fellowship for Enhancing Animal Production: Addressing National Need in Poultry Production," was recommended for funding by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Higher Education National Needs Fellowships Program (NNF).
Please click on this link to learn more about the program.
Michael Murtaugh wins Swine Research Awards funded through the Respiratory Disease Research Board and the ASSV Foundation
The Respiratory Disease Research Board with support from Boeringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc. (BIVI) has awarded Dr. Michael Murtaugh for his "Pen-Side Respiratory Pathogen Identification," study. Dr. Murtaugh was also awarded from the AASV Foundation for his "Toward Animal Challenge-Free Prediction of Vaccine Efficacy" study. Chuck Zimmerman with Animal.AGWired interviewed Dr. Murtaugh who said his research is focused on pig health, particularly how pigs respond to infection. He noted they have done a lot of work in the PRRS virus since PCV2 emerged in 2006 and PEDv. “In general, we’re trying to understand how pigs respond immunologically to viral infection because we think that information has value in understanding the mechanisms that underlie protective vaccine impacts, and it tells us what about the virus needs to be targeted for effective protection.”-Murtaugh. Please click on this link to hear full interview.
Kakambi Nagaraja Awarded USDA NIFA AFRI Grant
Dr. Kakambi Nagaraja, professor in the Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Department, has been awarded a grant from the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Foundational Animal Health and Disease Program. Dr. Nagaraja will use his award to study clostridial dermatitis, a disease of economic concern in turkeys. Part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture, AFRI is is the nation’s premier peer-reviewed competitive grants program for fundamental and applied agricultural sciences. Dr. Nagaraja's proposal ranked #2 out of 76 research proposals; the panel placed it in the "outstanding" category.
Clostridial dermatitis is an emerging condition in turkeys and broiler chickens in the U.S. According to the Poultry Site, around 40 percent of turkey farms report some issues. Birds succumbing to the infection have necrosis of the skin and subcutaneous tissue, usually involving the breast, abdomen, wing, or thigh, and die quickly after being infected. Controlling clostridial dermatitis is difficult because managing the growth of clostridia is challenging, especially during the birds’ growth phase.
Researchers Awarded Five-year NIH Grant to Explore Treatment for Ovarian Cancer
Dr. Bruce Walcheck, professor in the Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Department; his co-principal investigator, Dr. Dan Kaufman, professor of medicine in the Minnesota Stem Cell Institute; and Bruce's coinvestigator Dr. Jimmy Wu, associate professor in the Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Department, were recently awarded a National Institutes of Health (NIH) research project grant totaling approximately $2.25 million in total costs over five years. The grant, “Blocking NK Cell Shedding of CD16A to Increase Cancer Cell Killing,” investigates CD16a shedding by natural killer (NK) cells as a mechanism of resistance to therapeutic monoclonal antibodies in ovarian cancer patients. CD16a is a molecule found on the surface of natural killer cells.
Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecologic malignancy, and the survival rate of women with epithelial ovarian cancer has changed little in the last 30 years. Various therapeutic antibodies have emerged as effective targeted therapies for the treatment of several human malignancies, but this treatment has provided only limited responses in patients with advanced ovarian cancer. This new research, which will be performed by a team of basic and physician-scientists with expertise in immunology, stem cell biology, genetic engineering, ovarian cancer clinical research, and immunotherapies, will provide a unique approach to bolster the efficacy of therapeutic antibodies.
Pam Skinner Awarded MN-REACH and NIH Grants
Research by Dr. Pam Skinner, associate professor, on CD8 T-cell immunotherapy to functionally cure HIV has been funded by MN-REACH, a joint effort between the University of Minnesota and the National Institutes of Health. As an NIH Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hub, MN-REACH is committed to improving health care by fostering the development and application of therapeutics, preventives, diagnostics, devices, and tools. REACH Hubs provide educational opportunities for innovators as they develop their product, establish novel partnerships within and beyond the university, strengthen existing alliances between stakeholders, and create cultural and systemic changes to more rapidly move from breakthrough innovations to products that will have health, economic, and societal impact. Learn more about MN-REACH.
Meanwhile, Pam’s project “Pre-Clinical Development of Anti-HIV Chimeric Antigen Receptors” has been funded by the National Institutes of Health Bench-to-Bedside Program. The Bench-to-Bedside Program funds research teams seeking to translate basic scientific findings into therapeutic interventions for patients and to increase understanding of important disease processes.
Mathur Kannan Receives Research Grant
CVM researchers are constantly in the process of planning, writing, and submitting grant applications. For NIH grants,they go through a receipt and referral, peer review, and awards process, all of which can take nearly a year. If the process is successful, the researcher’s institution receives a “notice of award” and the researcher receives a congratulatory e-mail. Dr. Mather Kannan has been awarded NIH grants for “MicroRNA Regulation of CD39” and “MicroRNA Regulation of CD38 and Chemokine Genes in Human Airway Smooth Muscle.”