Tuberculosis Researcher Named Technician of the Year
Crystle Shanley, who assists with tuberculosis research, was named 2014 CSU Animal Care Program Technician of the Year.
After nearly a decade dedicated to tuberculosis studies, Crystal Shanley, a research associate in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, recently was named the 2014 CSU Animal Care Program Technician of the Year for excellence in the care of animals used in research and teaching.
“Crystal has been our lead in all our Biosafety Level 3 studies,” said Ian Orme, a University Distinguished Professor renowned for tuberculosis research. “She has the highest level of integrity and responsibility, as I am sure the staff at Laboratory Animal Resources will strongly attest.”
Orme credits Shanley for developing protocols that aided development of bedaquiline, the first TB drug approved in more than 40 years.
“She turned a very difficult procedure into a virtually stress-free procedure, which has already been adopted by other laboratories in the TB field,” Orme said.
The CSU Office of the Vice President of Research gives the Technician of the Year award to people who demonstrate a positive attitude, high-level performance and exemplary care for a variety of species used in university teaching and research.
“The research inspires me,” said Shanley, who began pursuing work in biosafety and infectious disease research while attending North Dakota State University. “I am doing what I love and have been lucky enough to have had Dr. Orme’s guidance.”
Shanley has traveled with CSU researchers to South Africa, one of the world’s most difficult TB hot spots. There, she was part of a CSU team to train research collaborators from Harvard University in techniques used to safely investigate transmission of highly virulent TB from humans to animals.
“It was clear that she had complete command of the technology. My South African colleagues were favorably impressed by her patience in training them in very challenging new methods,” said Edward Nardell, associate professor at Harvard Medical School.
Past recipients from the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences include Jennifer Suddreth, Lisa Mangin, Christina Fallgren and Elisa French.
The Eyes Have It: CSU Veterinarians Pitch in for Vision
Service dogs visited the CSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital for vision checks during National Service Animal Eye Exams.
Ophthalmologists at CSU’s James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching examined the eyes of about 40 service dogs during National Service Animal Eye Exams, an annual event sponsored by the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.
Participating vet hospitals provide free eye exams for local service animals. After all, these companions must see not only for themselves – but on behalf of all the people they help.
Among the dogs visiting CSU were three Labrador retrievers that help kindergartners and first-graders in local special-education programs; one of the dogs also aids patients at the Medical Center of the Rockies.
Dr. Katie Freeman, a CSU veterinary ophthalmologist, said: “This is a great way to give back to our community, especially to these dogs that help our community on so many levels. It’s a way for us to thank the dogs and their caretakers for their hard work, and it allows us to detect issues early that may interfere with their jobs.”
The national Service Animal Eye Exams have been held each May since 2008 as a way to support animals that are critical to the health and well-being of their human friends. More than 22,000 service animals have been examined through the program.
Environmental Medicine Symposium Highlights Research
The Center for Environmental Medicine hosted about 100 student researchers and others at its second spring symposium, which focused in part on One Health opportunities that advance science at the interface of human, animal and environmental health.
“Human influences on the environment can have repercussions in unforeseen ways that can impact the health of entire ecosystems,” said Ron Tjalkens, the center’s associate director. “Human impacts on the environment powerfully influence the spread of disease and the effects of environmental toxicants.”
The symposium in late April helped students better understand the interconnectedness of fields including toxicology, infectious disease, epidemiology, nutrition and environmental chemistry – and to gain a sense of career possibilities.
“Everything connects with our class discussions. It helps us further understand the subject and opens our eyes to what we could be doing with our degree,” said Jason Geohring, toxicology graduate student.
About two dozen CSU students presented information about their research projects. Also participating were students from the University of Colorado – Denver and University of Wyoming.
Arielle Hinds, a doctoral candidate in environmental health, presented research that grew from a question she had while working as a waitress: How dirty is money? The resulting project is titled, “Determining illicit drug on the hands of high volume money collectors using LC-MS/MS.”
She noted that curiosity is a strong motivator. “I think it’s important to inspire people to do research and to look at questions outside of their comfort zone,” Hinds said.