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Jonathan Clayton and Kevin Lang awarded IonE Mini Grant

Jonathan Clayton, a DVM/PhD dual-degree candidate, and Kevin Lang, a postdoctoral fellow and PhD student in the comparative and molecular biosciences graduate program, have been awarded an IonE Mini Grant for the project "Dioxin Contamination in Vietnam: Harnessing Untapped Microbial Communities for Bioremediation."

Carol Cardona and Zheng Xing had Research article published in Journal of Virology

A novel mechanism of viral evasion of host innate immunity is unveiled in a research article, “Evasion of Antiviral Immunity by Sequestration of TBK1/IKK¤Á/IRF3 into Viral Inclusion Bodies,” in the March issue of Journal of Virology. The finding, reported by Dr. Zheng Xing, associate professor, Dr. Carol Cardona, professor, and their team, demonstrates that inclusion bodies, the unique structure that forms in virus-infected cells, could be used by viruses to sequester signaling components, critical in the induction of antiviral interferons. The article was selected by the editors of Journal of Virology as an "article of significant interest" and recommended to Faculty of 1000 (F1000) Prime Report by Professor Grant McFadden, associate editor of PLoS Pathogen.

Functions of inclusion bodies in immune regulation are not well understood. Dr. Xing’s group found that the nonstructural protein NSs of a new bunyavirus, severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus, forms inclusion bodies in infected cells. Interestingly, NSs interacts with TBK1, a key kinase in the interferon (IFN) signaling pathway, and sequesters IKKε and IRF3 as well as TBK1 into inclusion bodies. As a result, the activated IRF3, a transcription factor, fails to be translocated into the nucleus, IFN-β induction is compromised and viral replication increased, providing a new mechanism of viral immune evasion.
See the Spotlight feature and Direct link to the article.  

Michael Murtaugh Lab Creates Test to Detect Virus Killing Pigs

Story about the silent but deadly pig virus and lab testing results featured on KSTP, Channel 5 and 45 news. Link can be found here.

Timothy Johnson, Carol Cardona, and colleagues explore light turkey syndrome in PeerJ article

A collaborative research team led by Dr. Tim Johnson (CVM), Dr. Carol Cardona (CVM), and Dr. Sally Noll (Animal Science) recently published "Succession of the Turkey Gastrointestinal Bacterial Microbiome Related to Weight Gain" in the peer-reviewed, open-access journal PeerJ. This work is part of a project funded by the Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council aimed at "light turkey syndrome," a widespread, multimillion-dollar problem affecting commercial turkey growers in Minnesota. Characterized by lower weight in market-age turkeys, light turkey syndrome does not appear to involve a known bacterial or viral pathogen. To better understand the syndrome, Tim and his team are working in collaboration with the turkey industry to study the totality of healthy bacteria in the turkey gut, also known as the microbiome. In the PeerJ article, they identify a number of bacteria that are defining markers of the succession of bacteria in the turkey gut. These bacteria changed earlier in heavier-weight turkey flocks than they did in flocks of lower weights. What's next? The team is working to identify ways to modulate the turkey gut microbiome early in a bird's life, in the hope of resolving light turkey syndrome. Researchers are using DNA sequencing-based approaches to identify antibiotic-free ways to improve gut health and weight gain in turkeys.

Anil Thachil is board certified

Dr. Anil Thachil, post-doctoral associate in the Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Department, passed his American College of Veterinary Microbiologists (ACVM) general exam and is now certified by the ACVM as a diplomate in virology.

Kent Reed recognized as top expert in turkey research; U of M a leading institution

In observance of Thanksgiving last week, Expertscape recognized the leading experts and institutions in the field of turkey science—and Dr. Kent Reed, professor in the Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Department, was on a short list of the leading experts in the world. The leading institutions include the University of Minnesota, along with the Agricultural Research Service (U.S. Department of Agriculture), Ohio State University, North Carolina State University, and University of Arkansas.

Morris Animal Foundation highlights Tiffany Wolf

"Foundation Fellow Steps Up to Help Primates," a story on the Morris Animal Foundation website, profiles Tiffany Wolf, a PhD candidate in the comparative and molecular biosciences graduate program. Tiffany's research focuses on understanding the epidemiology and impacts of respiratory diseases, particularly tuberculosis, on the chimpanzees in Gombe National Park in Tanzania.

Points of Pride Research Day Poster competition winners

Hemant Kumar Mishra and Nandita Mirajkar received awards from Mark Rutherford, associate dean of graduate programs; Srirama Rao, associate dean for research; and Trevor Ames, dean; at the college's annual Points of Pride Research Day on October 2.

Dr. James Mickelson and Dr. Shea Anderson published a paper in the September/October 2013 issue of the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine

Coat Color Genotypes and Risk and Severity of Melanoma in Gray Quarter Horses, by R.B.C. Teixeira, A.K. Rendahl, S.M. Anderson, J.R. Mickelson, D. Sigler, B.R. Buchanan, R.J. Coleman, and M.E. McCue. Drs. Raffaella B. Teixeira and Molly McCue are with the Veterinary Population Medicine Department. Drs. S.M. Anderson and Jim Mickelson are with the Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Department.

Sung Gil Ha, Ph.D., & Srirama Rao, Ph.D., College of Veterinary Medicine

Research led by Gil Ha and Rao uncovers gene’s contribution to asthma susceptibility. Health Talk.

Kevin Lang is Vaughn Larson awardee

PhD candidates Kevin Lang and Carlos Andres Diaz have been selected by their peers as the 2013 Vaughn Larson awardees. This award honors Dr. Vaughn Larson, who earned his DVM and PhD degrees from the CVM. A CVM faculty member for more than 20 years, Larson conducted research on animal cancers. The award recognizes scholarly achievement and community leadership.

Michael Murtaugh issued patent

Dr. Michael Murtaugh, professor in the Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Department, and Craig Johnson were recently issued a U.S. patent for their intellectual property, Identifying Virally Infected and Vaccinated Organisms. Learn more .

Srirama Rao appointed to national search committee

University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler has appointed Dr. Srirama Rao, associate dean for research and professor, Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine; and professor, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, Department of Medicine, Medical School, to the University's national search committee for a new vice president for health sciences and dean of the Medical School. Learn more

 Lawsonia intracellularis tests-Connie Gebhart, 3/11/13

"Lawsonia intracellularis Tests: How Do They Measure Up?" a story in The Horse, discussed Dr. Connie Gebhart's research and presentation at the 2012 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention.

Research on declining moose population

"GPS Will Help Biologists Address Decline of Moose," an article in the January 5 issue of the Star Tribune, included a photo of Dr. Tiffany Wolf, a PhD student in the comparative and molecular biosciences graduate program, and quoted CVM alumna Dr. Erika Butler, class of 2006.

Pam Skinner and collaborator awarded $3.7 million for HIV/AIDS research

Pam Skinner, PhD, associate professor in the Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Department, and longtime collaborator Liz Connick, MD, professor in the University of Colorado School of Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases, have been awarded a five-year research grant totaling more than $3.7 million from the National Institutes of Health. Ultimately, the research could contribute to the development of a protective vaccine or cure for HIV-1, the most common and pathogenic strain of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), the virus that causes AIDS. The project, titled “Mechanisms Underlying Persistent Lentivirus Replication in Follicular T Cells,” started December 1 and will continue for five years. Learn more 

Turkey genome project

"Turkey Genome Leftovers," a story posted on BioTechniques.com on November 24, included an interview with Dr. Kent Reed, professor, who is part of an international consortium of turkey genome researchers. Kent was also interviewed for "Pass the Turkey Genome," a story about how researchers are using genomics to breed a better Thanksgiving bird, on the MIT Technology Review site.

Morris Animal Foundation thank-you video includes Jonathan Clayton

DVM/PhD student Jonathan Clayton, who was a Morris Animal Foundation Veterinary Student Scholar in 2010, is part of the foundation's thank-you video for donors. Please click link for details. 

American Association of Veterinary Immunologists Distinguished Veterinary Immunologist 2012 Award goes to Michael P. Murtaugh, PhD

CVM Recipient with the Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences 

VBS student Jonathan Clayton: Efforts to repopulate endangered Asian primate populations could be improved through a better dietary understanding

Article published in Health Talk, the University of Minnesota's Academic Health Center online Newsletter. Read article here for details.

Debate over antibiotic use in animal agriculture, 10/8/12

An article in the September issue of Food Nutrition & Science examined the controversy over the unregulated use of antibiotics in America's food supply and featured a debate between Dr. Randall Singer, associate professor at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, and Dr. Meghan F. Davis, postdoctoral fellow with the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Read the article online here.


Randy Singer is among authors of CAST Commentary, 9/24/12

Dr. Randy Singer, associate professor in the Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Department, was one of a team of authors from several universities of the CAST (Council for Agricultural Science and Technology) Commentary "The Direct Relationship between Animal Health and Food Safety Outcomes." Based partially upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture, the paper addresses many topics, including antibiotic use in animals, animal housing, organic production, and One Health. Download the commentary

Randy Singer responds to reports of superbug, 7/30/12

Dr. Randy Singer, associate professor in the Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Department, was interviewed by several news organizations and media outlets, including ABC News, The Atlantic, the National Chicken Council, and the International Food Information Council, about the lack of a relationship between antibiotic use in chickens and multidrug resistant E. coli urinary tract infections in women. Read more: 

  • ABC News: "Report: Superbug Dangers in Chicken Linked to 8 Million At-Risk Women" 

  • The Atlantic: "How Your Chicken Dinner Is Creating a Drug-Resistant Superbug"

  • National Chicken Council: "Scientists Question ABC News Report Linking Antibiotic Resistant Bladder Infections to Chicken; Say Chicken is Safe"

  • Food Insight: "Tarred and Feathered: The Facts about Antibiotics, Poultry, and Drug Resistance"

Pat Goodman Published in PNAS

Uckun, F., P. Goodman, H. Ma, I. Dibirdik, S. Qazi, CD22 exon deletion as a pathogenic mechanism of human B-precursor leukemia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 2010. 107(39): p.16852-7.


Kent Reed interviewed on WCCO TV

Kent Reed, Ph.D., associate professor in the Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Department, was interviewed for a WCCO TV story about a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant to finish sequencing the turkey genome. The story is online at http://wcco.com/pets/u.of.m.2.1334772.html



Tom Fletcher, professor in the Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Department, reports that the Veterinary Anatomy site received 3,970 visits from 48 states and 95 countries in the month of October, 2009



Dr. Kent Reed and colleagues publish paper in Journal of Immunology

"Defining the Turkey MHC: Sequence and Genes of the B Locus," by former graduate student Lee D. Chaves, Stacy B. Krueth, and Kent M. Reed, associate professor, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, was published in the Nov. 15 issue of The Journal of Immunology. www.jimmunol.org/cgi/content/full/183/10/6530.  It was also featured "In This Issue," which highlights articles that are among the top 10 percent of articles published in the journal. A corresponding ImmunoCast of In This Issue can be found on The Journal of Immunology Web site at www.jimmunol.org/rss/jipodcast.dtl.



U of M, Virgina Tech awarded grant to complete sequencing of turkey genome

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded a two-year, $908,280 grant to the University of Minnesota Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences and Virginia Tech to finish sequencing the genome of the domesticated turkey, Meleagris gallopavo. The funding will be used by the Turkey Genome Sequencing Consortium to complete the genome sequencing using next-generation sequencing platforms, assemble the genome sequence, and identify genes and functions in the final genome sequence by use of a sophisticated annotation pipeline. The award will also help establish a bioinformatics and comparative genome resource for both chicken and turkey.   The consortium, which includes Dr. Kent Reed, associate professor in the Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, has generated about 90 percent of the sequence necessary for the project. The data will be released to GenBank in the near future.



U Of M Researchers Get Grant To Study Turkey DNA

Minnesota is the largest producer of turkeys nationwide.  WCCO highlighted the research of Dr. Kent Reed, "{We} essentially make turkeys healthier so we can have less antibiotics in the system, just breeding better birds. One of the things we work on is muscle development, and structure and that has to do with meat quality, taste for example. The more you know about the genome, the more you can do."
WCCO – TV   To view: http://wcco.com/pets/u.of.m.2.1334772.html



Dr. Jim Mickelson and Dr. Stephanie Valberg In the News

Two U of M researchers found similarities in the DNA of horses and humans and a possible genetic cause of muscle disorders in both. More than a decade ago, two University of Minnesota professors thought the idea of decoding a horse's DNA was a "pipe

dream." Please click on Star Tribune link for details.


A canine DNM1 mutation is highly associated with the syndrome of exercise-induced collapse


Edward E Patterson, Katie M Minor, Anna V Tchernatynskaia, Susan M Taylor, G Diane Shelton, Kari J Ekenstedt & James R Mickelson.

Edward Patterson and colleagues report that a missense mutation in the gene encoding dynamin 1 (DNM1) is associated with exercised-induced collapse in Labrador retriever dogs. This is the first documented mutation in DNM1 in mammals and suggests a critical role for dynamin 1 in maintaining proper neurotransmission under conditions of high synaptic activity.



Officials seek limits on livestock antibiotics

Proposals to ban the use of antibiotics as a livestock growth promotant could drive up farmers costs without improving public health, skeptical lawmakers said on Wednesday…Although Danish Veterinary and Food Administrator Per Henriksen said the Danish experience yielded good results, Randall Singer, associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, pointed out that livestock health suffered in Denmark after the ban.
One Health



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