Noted Chemist Discusses Health Innovations in Distinguished Lectureship
One of the nation’s top chemical engineers visited Colorado State University on Oct. 4 to discuss his investigation into human-health therapies created with use of nanotechnology that allows manipulation of matter on the atomic and molecular scale.
Joseph DeSimone, Chancellor’s Eminent Professor of Chemistry at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, delivered a talk called “Co-opting Moore’s Law: Design of Shape-specific Particulate-based Vaccines and Therapeutics.”
DeSimone was invited for the 2013 Distinguished Lectureship presented by Zoetis and the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
Known as an innovative polymer chemist, DeSimone seeks new treatments for cancer, novel vaccines, new drug delivery systems, and biomaterials such as cardiovascular implants. He has won many professional awards; has presented TED talks about his work; and is a member of is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and National Academy of Engineering.
“Dr. DeSimone is pushing the boundaries of next-generation healthcare with innovative technologies borrowed from microelectronics,” said Sue VandeWoude, associate dean for research in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. “We were pleased to host him at CSU to help spark ideas in our own scientific community.”
CSU Diagnoses Equine West Nile Virus and Tracks Summer Outbreak
Maintaining its critical role in understanding pathogen movement through wild and domesticated animals, Colorado State University’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories diagnosed Colorado’s first summer case of equine West Nile Virus, and continued its diagnostic role through the season.
Hana Van Campen, professor of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology at CSU, said the clinical signs of West Nile Virus encephalitis are similar to those of other infectious diseases that affect the equine nervous system.
“The majority of horses, like people, that become infected with West Nile Virus do not show any signs of illness,” said Van Campen, who works for the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories. “In a small percentage of infected horses, the virus reaches the brain and spinal cord. These horses may have a fever, be lethargic, stop eating, and have muscle twitching, tremors, incoordination, and weakness progressing to recumbency.”
There are three types of vaccine available to protect horses against severe disease caused by West Nile Virus; Van Campen urges vaccination.
At CSU’s Veterinary Diagnostic Lab, a crew of 80 runs about 500,000 tests a year – roughly 2,000 a day – to help diagnose and monitor sick pets and livestock on behalf of practicing veterinarians, animal owners, and government agencies.
The state veterinarian’s office reports illnesses that affect livestock, and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment report diseases that are a potential threat to public health. But the CSU Diagnostic Lab is central to all this work, making diagnoses that allow the public, policy makers, and animal owners to understand disease prevalence.
Center for Companion Animal Studies Tests Fluid Recuperation Diet
The Colorado State University Center for Companion Animal Studies is collaborating with Belgium-based company Viyo International on a study meant to save dogs with parvovirus infection whose low-income families cannot afford the animals’ medical care.
The study is supported with a $100,000 donation from Viyo International as part of a research and training collaboration called “Partners in Clinical Excellence.” The project will provide sick dogs with complete treatment from clinicians and veterinary students at CSU’s James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital, said Dr. Michael Lappin, the veterinarian leading the study and director of the CSU Center for Companion Animal Studies.
Dogs with canine parvovirus infection often suffer severe intestinal illness. Vaccination prevents spread of the contagious and often-fatal disease, but once dogs have contracted parvovirus they typically require hospitalization.
The Center for Companion Animal Studies will provide dogs in the study with free needed treatment, including administration of Viyo Recuperation Diet, a liquid formulation marketed by Viyo International that is designed to help pets recover after surgery and severe gastrointestinal disease. The center will evaluate the effectiveness of Viyo Recuperation Diet, which is designed as a palatable and low-calorie recovery fluid.
In another study, the Center for Companion Animal Studies will evaluate use of Viyo Recuperation Diet in the treatment of cats with chronic kidney disease, a significant cause of death in older cats. Cats with the disease often are difficult to manage because of appetite loss, a problem the liquid formula is meant to improve.
Famed Biologist Discusses Behavior’s Affect on the Brain
A guest biologist from Stanford University discussed the influence of behavior on brain development at Colorado State University in late September.
“How Does Social Behavior Change the Brain,” delivered by noted biologist Russell Fernald, was part of the Frontiers in Biomedical Sciences Seminar Series, which annually presents speakers who are internationally known for leading-edge work in biomedical sciences.
“Dr. Fernald has been a pioneer in trying to understand the impact of specific brain cells on complex behaviors, and the impact of complex social behaviors on individual brain cells,” said Stuart Tobet, professor in the CSU Department of Biomedical Sciences. “His studies point toward how we can begin to unravel the functions of specific genes in the context of animal or human behavior."
The Frontiers in Biomedical Sciences Seminar Series is sponsored by the Department of Biomedical Sciences and other academic and research units on campus.
Veterinary Teaching Hospital Offers Free Rabies Vaccinations to the Public
In response to a significant rise in rabies in northern Colorado, Colorado State University veterinary students and clinicians partnered with the Larimer Humane Society to offer two free rabies vaccination clinics to the public in mid-August.
The team representing the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital helped vaccinate a total of 334 animals for 175 families in Larimer County. Vaccinations were donated by Boehringer-Ingleheim.
Colorado Horse Rescue Honors VTH Equine Services
The Equine Medicine and Surgery team at the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital was honored in September during Divine Equine, a benefit for the nonprofit Colorado Horse Rescue, and Dr. Eileen Hackett accepted the award on behalf of the CSU equine team.
Hackett is a volunteer for Colorado Horse Rescue and has developed a close relationship with the Longmont-based nonprofit. She is the principal investigator in the CSU Preclinical Surgical Research Laboratory and is part of the team that provides critical and emergency care to large animals at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
CSU Veterinary Resident Receives AKC Fellowship
Dr. Dan Regan, veterinary resident of anatomic pathology, has been selected as the Colorado State University recipient of the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation Clinician-Scientist Fellowship.
Regan was selected to represent CSU based on his research in Dr. Steve Dow’s laboratory involving novel myeloid cell targeted therapeutics for prevention of tumor metastasis and for amplification of tumor vaccine immunity. The fellowship includes an award of $10,000 in research contributions, and his work will be featured on the AKC webpage.
The Canine Health Foundation asked top colleges of veterinary medicine to recommend fellowship recipients who demonstrate enthusiasm and promise in pursuing careers in canine health research. The scientific contributions of Drs. Anne Avery, Steve Dow, and Doug Thamm helped CSU to join the fellowship-recipient pool, leading to the award for Regan.
College Offers Post-Bachelor’s, Pre-Health Training Through Online Plus
This fall, the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences began offering Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Health courses through OnlinePlus.
The courses enable students to start or change careers while improving understanding of science. Students have the opportunity to complete prerequisites, improve grades in previously taken courses, and understand fundamental science and life-science theories – leading to more competitive application to health professional programs or industries.
The online courses meet the same content requirements as on-campus equivalents and are taught by the same Colorado State University faculty. CSU transcripts do not differentiate between on-campus and online courses, but students are responsible for consulting with an admissions counselors and verifying that these courses can be accepted in the programs they plan on applying. Check out the course selection.