November 14, 2011

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students:

College Updates

Congratulations to Dr. Yasuko Rikihisa, professor in the Department of Veterinary Biosciences! She was named The Ohio State University 2011 Innovator of the Year by Dr. Caroline Whitacre, vice president in the Office of Research, at Research Day last week. Dr. Rikihisa has spent much of her research career focused on understanding and diagnosing a number of tick-borne diseases that infect farm animals, dogs, cats, and people. Her work has been successfully translated into commercial products and services by Ohio State licensees. Revenue from these licenses have made the College of Veterinary Medicine the leading commercialization revenue-producing college at Ohio State for the past five years.

I want to acknowledge Dr. Gustavo Schuenemann, assistant professor in the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, and Dairy Extension Specialist, who was nominated for the Early Career Innovator of the Year award. His focus on translation of research findings to dairy farm applications has resulted in the development of an innovative, proprietary model to simulate a dairy herd of virtually any size. You can read the details of their work on our webpage and more details about Dr. Rikihisa’s award at the Office of Research page.

Congratulations also go out to Dr. Kathleen Boris-Lawrie, David White Professor of Veterinary Biosciences in the college, who has been selected to lead a new Life Sciences Network (LSN) for Ohio State. The LSN will help bring together faculty, graduate students, and others to address important topics in life sciences research and graduate education across campus. This is an important leadership position for the university, and I am sure Dr. Boris-Lawrie will do an excellent job.

Cathy Bindewald, our new Chief Information Officer, would like to thank everyone who has already changed the password for their Ohio State name.number account. If you have not changed your password yet, you can change it by logging onto http://my.osu.edu  After this initial change, everyone will be prompted to change their Ohio State name.number password every 90 days.

Campus Updates and Partnerships

The Research Day events hosted by the Office of Research – at which Dr. Rikihisa received her award - showed a great spotlight on some of the important projects taking place across campus. Many faculty and staff from our college attended this event, and we are fortunate to be part of this great university. The college's biomedical, agricultural, and clinical research programs are part of the important competitive advantage and distinguishing features of our college.

We visited with Dr. Whitacre recently to review our progress and discuss the future of the Public Health Preparedness for Infectious Diseases (PHPID) program at Ohio State. Program Director Kat Marriott has emphasized a new strategic planning effort and is preparing a five-year plan for research initiatives. The College of Veterinary Medicine was one of the founders of this important initiative, funded more than five years ago by the Provost's "Targeted Investments in Excellence" program. Several faculty in our college were hired as part of this program, and their interdisciplinary work is a model for similar initiatives across the country. Drs. Li Wu and Xin Li, both in Veterinary Biosciences, and Drs. Armando Hoet and Rebecca Garabed, both in Veterinary Preventive Medicine, hold positions funded in part through the PHPID, and their work is critical to the future success of this program. The PHPID is considered to be the most successful program of the 10 funded projects within the TIE initiative. A new shared faculty position emphasizing One Health is also being sought now as part of the PHPID.

We recently met with several development officers from the colleges of the health sciences to discuss opportunities for collaborations in fundraising. Donors are recognizing the importance of interdisciplinary programs in understanding global health and preventing the spread of infectious diseases. Several of the health sciences deans are supporting the concept of a multi-disciplinary and multi-college effort in Global Health programs focused on health disparities and challenges in Africa. We will continue to explore opportunities for research and funding in this arena.

I had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Mark Morrison, professor in the Department of Animal Sciences in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and in the Department of Microbiology. He is interested in forming a new collaborative network at Ohio State engaging researchers who study the microbiome – the thousands of species of microbes that share our bodies, and populate other living organisms on the Earth. He recently published a study looking at digestive microbes from a species of wallaby that work to reduce methane gas emissions. His work could have implications for nutrient retention in livestock, and we are looking at ways to potentially work together.

Alumni and Fundraising

We welcomed college alumnus Dr. Ron Lyman (DVM 1977) to campus last week, who offered a presentation on some of his research promoting wound healing with the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. He conducts this research as part of his clinical practice at the "Animal Emergency and Referral Center" in Ft. Pierce, Florida. His work has shown promising results, and he gave an interesting talk about his use of hyperbaric oxygen. Our clinical faculty is assessing the use of this technique and deciding on its possible application in the VMC.

Last week, we attended a meeting of the Lima-area Veterinary Medical Association. My thanks goes to Dr. Michelle Harcha and Katie Kostyo for arranging this event, and to Karin Zuckerman, director of the VMC, for her presentation to the veterinarians at the meeting. I believe that is important to attend events such as this one to interact with our alumni and referring veterinarians. I appreciate the opportunity to share our accomplishments with them, and enjoy hearing their comments, reflections, and questions. We will continue to expand and accelerate our outreach opportunities.

Student Accomplishments

I had the opportunity to join Elizabeth Coppelman, third year veterinary student and member of the inaugural class of Schweitzer Fellows, along with her mentor Dr. Carlos Pinto, at a reception at the home of Drs. Stephen and Patricia Gabbe. This national program helps to fund special projects supporting the health needs of underserved communities. Elizabeth's equine therapy project has been featured on the national website of the program. Recruitment has begun for the next class of fellows, and information is available here. We want to encourage our students to get involved with this program. Selected students receive funding and then become "Fellows for Life" so they can mentor future fellows.

Dean Lonnie King