Connect to Veterinary Medicine: March 2006

March 2006

Welcome to Connect to Veterinary Medicine, the latest news and information for alumni and friends of the College of Veterinary Medicine!

What's going on at the College of Veterinary Medicine? Every day our faculty, staff and students are making a difference in the health and well-being of animals. And now you can read about it in Connect to Veterinary Medicine, our new way of keeping alumni and friends connected to the college. Connect will be sent to you once a month, and replaces the Speculum, our alumni magazine. We hope you enjoy it!

Ticks and genomics

Rikihisa research reveals emerging pathogens

Ehrlichiosis is no star of science. This emerging disease has an awkward name, vague flu-like symptoms, and a nasty habit of being caused by bacteria that live inside ticks and flatworms.

It sickens not only humans, but also dogs, cattle, sheep, and other animals. In the U.S., most human cases have been linked to ticks.

A recent study by Dr. Yasuko Rikihisa, OSU professor of Veterinary Biosciences, and researchers from the Institute for Genomic Research, reports the complete genomes of three emerging pathogens that cause ehrlichiosis and compares the genomes with those of 16 other bacteria with similar lifestyles. The study also reports new genes that allow the bacteria to evade a host's immune system, adapt to new niches and more. Their research has uncovered clues as to how the bacteria infect such diverse animals in different parts of the world.

Read more information about Dr. Rikihisa's study.

Teaching, research, service

Greyhound wellness care and rescue at the Veterinary Hospital

Over the past decade, The Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center has become a respected resource for Greyhound wellness care and rescue operations. Most recently, under the coordination of Dr. Guillermo Couto, professor of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, the hospital has expanded its service effort with the Greyhound Adoption of Ohio organization to perform spays and neuters for rescued racing dogs in need of homes.

The program is part of the Junior Surgery Operative practice rotation where third-year veterinary students perform spays and neuters under faculty supervision. After the dogs are spayed or neutered, they are available for adoption; in fact, many of them have already found adoptive "parents" even before arriving to OSU. Most of the dogs adopted by OSU Veterinary Hospital employees or students become part of the college's blood donor program.

The spay/neuter clinic is also a way of obtaining important patient data for research studies on the health of the Greyhound. Currently investigators are exploring a number of issues including why Greyhounds commonly bleed after surgery, why they have low blood (serum) protein, and why some of them spill protein through the kidneys.

The program is an ideal example of how the Veterinary Hospital fulfills the college's mission of teaching, practice, research, and community service. Visit the web site for more information about the Greyhound Health and Wellness program and the Animal Blood Bank.

Read the full version of this article.

Animal envy

Hamlin presents University Distinguished Lecture

Dr. Robert Hamlin, professor of Veterinary Biosciences, presented the University Distinguished Lecture to a full house on February 15. Dr. Hamlin, one of only university two faculty chosen each year for this award, spoke on the amazing physical and physiological abilities of animals. If humans had these attributes, said Dr. Hamlin, no one would suffer from heart failure, and fighter pilots could tolerate enormous rates of acceleration without fainting during flight.

"It's lucky we're so smart," said Hamlin, suggesting that humanity's technological prowess has, to some extent, given us the capability to act and react like animals.

For more information on Dr. Hamlin's University Distinguished Lecture, see the onCampus newspaper article or watch the speech.

A dean and a scholar

Rosol receives University Distinguished Scholar Award

For the third year in a row, a faculty member from the College of Veterinary Medicine has received Ohio State's Distinguished Scholar Award. This year, it was the dean of the college, Dr. Tom Rosol.

The Distinguished Scholar Award recognizes exceptional scholarly accomplishments by senior professors who have compiled a substantial body of research, and are chosen by a committee of senior faculty at the university. President Karen Holbrook, Provost Barbara Snyder, Senior Vice President for Research Douglas Kniss, and others presented Dean Rosol with the award.

Dr. Rosol has maintained an extramurally funded research laboratory for more than 20 years, and has conducted a broad and successful range of investigations in cancer research benefiting both animals and humans. He has remained productive in his research program even with his administrative duties. Last year he was elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Dean Rosol supports research at all levels at the university and encourages young people to pursue a research career. Congratulations!

A national issue

OSU offers MPH degree in veterinary public health

The veterinary sciences are relevant to more than just animal health; they also play an important role in protecting public health. More than 200 infectious diseases can be transmitted from animals to humans, including West Nile virus, rabies, and emerging diseases in the news such as SARS and avian influenza. Food or waterborne diseases caused by pathogens such as Salmonella and E coli are transmitted through animals as well.

Today it's more crucial than ever for public health practitioners to understand the interaction of human and animal health, through training in the epidemiology and ecology of zoonotic diseases. That's why Ohio State's College of Veterinary Medicine and School of Public Health have partnered to create a veterinary public health specialization as an option within the Master of Public Health degree. Applications are being accepted for the program; see the web site for more details.

Stay connected

Join the OSU Veterinary Medicine Alumni Society

A great way to "stay connected" with classmates, colleagues and the College of Veterinary Medicine is by joining the OSU Veterinary Medicine Alumni Society. We truly are striving to be the biggest and the best and had more than 1700 dues paying members in 2005. Your annual dues go a long way in supporting the current veterinary students—the Society's number one priority. In addition to student activities and projects, the Society supports several alumni receptions at national veterinary meetings and College/alumni publications.  Our web site has more information on the veterinary alumni society.