Research Track

Hello and welcome to the 2021 SAVMA Symposium Research Track! You will hear from lecturers speaking on a wide array of topics from the One Health approach to the COVID-19 pandemic, to the veterinarian’s role in honey bee care. You’ll hear from PhD’s, DVM’s, and dual DVM/PhD professionals who are top in their field and utilize research as a means to improve the welfare of people, animals, and insects alike. Research is the backbone of all medical and scientific advancements; come and learn what new advancements are on the horizon of veterinary research!

Nanomedicine Application / Novel SARS-2
  • Robert DeLong, PhD
  • Kansas State University
  • Description: This lecture will express preliminary COVID-19/nanoparticle research and the applications that nanomedicine has currently
  • Bio: Dr. DeLong completed his PhD at Johns Hopkins and post-doctoral studies at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine (UNC-SOM) sponsored by a National Research Service Award and F-31 fellowship from NIH. During the first part of his career he worked as a scientist, senior scientist, group leader and then manager at GeneMedicine in the California bay area and at PowderJect Vaccines in Madison, WI. His groups supported the characterization, formulation and process of gene-based medicines and DNA vaccines in partnership with Boehringer-Ingleheim and GlaxoSmithKline leading to two IND filings. Between 2004 to 2007 he began transitioning back to academia as a visiting scholar back at UNC-SOM, teaching undergraduate Chemistry and Biology and helped a good colleague establish the Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology on which he still serves as an executive editorial board member.  He was tenured in the Biomedical Sciences at Missouri State University in 2013 and moved the laboratory to Kansas State University (K-State) in the Department of Anatomy and Physiology as a core founding faculty member in the Nanotechnology Innovation Center and as a member of the Johnson Cancer Research Center. Dr. DeLong has received patents for his work in multiple different countries including a U.S. patent in 2013 and 2018. His group has received funding for its research from the National Institute of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the American Physiology Society and other smaller fellowships from local, state and federal agencies to his students. He has mentored more than 67 students at all levels and published with 38 different undergraduate students.  Lab alumni have established their medical, veterinary, scientific or academic careers throughout the US and in Japan. Dr. DeLong served as guest editor of Nanomaterials in 2019 and is currently serving a term as US editor of Nature Communications Biology. Since coming to K-State, he has served on multiple grant review panels for National Institute of Health and the National Science Foundation and as an ad-hoc reviewer for the Oak Ridge National Lab, the Austrian and Israeli Science agencies for proposals involving the nanobio interface.  In 2015 he was nominated by colleagues for the ACS Langmuir lecture, and he has given invited presentations twice at NIH, two Gordon conferences, the Faraday Discussion, Energy Materials and Nanotechnology, Nanotoday and the Controlled Release Society.
Translational Oncology Research
  • Mary Lynn Higginbotham, DVM, MS, DACVIM
  • Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Description: This lecture will delve into veterinary oncology and the advancements we have made recently.
  • Bio: Mary Lynn Higginbotham, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Oncology). Received my DVM degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Performed a rotating small animal internship at the Veterinary Specialists of Rochester in Rochester, NY. Returned to the University of Missouri for my Master’s degree and Oncology Residency. Following my residency I entered specialty practice in the Kansas City area for a brief stent and then entered academic practice at Auburn University. After 4 years at Auburn University I returned to the Mid-West and am now an Associate Professor at Kansas State University.
Mitigating the Risk of Introducing African Swine Fever Virus in Feed
  • Megan Niederwerder, DVM, PhD
  • Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Description: This lecture will discuss foreign animal diseases, particularly relating to swine and the U.S. current biosafety status.
  • Bio:  Dr. Megan Niederwerder, DVM, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University. Dr. Niederwerder earned her DVM and practiced as a veterinarian for 3 years prior to obtaining her PhD and starting her career in academia. She directs an internationally recognized research program in viral diseases of swine with focus areas on 1) the gut microbiome and porcine respiratory disease and 2) the risk and mitigation of foreign animal diseases in feed. She is the author or co-author of 33 peer-reviewed publications and she has delivered 50 invited presentations at national and international meetings. Dr. Niederwerder enjoys mentoring graduate students and increasing veterinary student interest in research and discovery as a career.
Effects of Lotilaner on Lone Star Ticks – generously sponsored by IDEXX

  • Brian Herrin, DVM, PhD, DACVM
  • Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Description: This lecture will discuss novel veterinary parasitology with regards to treatment and ongoing clinical research.
  • Dr. Brian Herrin is an assistant professor at the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He graduated from Oklahoma State University for both his DVM and PhD. His current research focus is on the control of ticks and fleas on companion animals. Some of his recent interests are on surveillance of ticks and tick-borne diseases of horses and the evaluation of diagnostic assays for tick-borne diseases.  Although his research focus is on ticks, Dr. Herrin enjoys working with all parasites of veterinary importance through the diagnostic service and teaching/outreach opportunities.
Managing Pain in Small Animal Medicine
  • Butch KuKanich, DVM, PhD, ACVCP
  • Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Description: This lecture will explore small animal pharmacology principles and treatment.
  • Bio: Dr. KuKanich is a Professor at Kansas State University. He earned his DVM from Virginia Tech in 1997 and his PhD in 2005 from North Carolina State University. Dr. KuKanich earned Diplomate status in the American College of Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology in 2004. He has 7 years clinical experience in companion animal and emergency medicine prior to earning his PhD. Dr. KuKanich’s research interests focus on companion animal pharmacology including analgesia, drug interactions and drug metabolism. A 2020 study ranked Dr. KuKanich as a top 2% veterinary researcher in the world. He has also earned multiple teaching awards from the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine as well as the American Academy of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics.
How Antiviral Drugs Are Developed in the Context of FIP
  • Yunjeong Kim, DVM, MS, PhD, DACVM
  • Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Description: This lecture will discuss Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) and the current clinical resources available.
  • Bio: Dr. Kim is an associate professor at the Department of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University. She earned her DVM from Seoul National University and received her PhD at the Ohio State University. She completed a postdoctoral training at Basic Research Laboratory/HIV drug resistance program, National Institutes of Health. Her research focuses on the antiviral drug discovery for human and animal viral diseases and pathogenesis of animal viral diseases. She is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Microbiologist.
One Health Approach to the Current SARS-COV-2 Pandemic Crisis
  • Juergen Richt, DVM, PhD
  • Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Description: This lecture will discuss the One Health approach to the current SARS-COV-2 pandemic crisis.
  • Bio: Dr. Richt came to Kansas State University in 2008 as The Regents Distinguished Professor and Kansas Bioscience Eminent Scholar. In 2010, he became Director of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases (CEEZAD) and in 2020 Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Center on Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (CEZID). He received his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from the University of Munich and a PhD in Virology and Immunology from the University of Giessen, both in Germany. After coming to the United States in 1989, he completed three years of postdoctoral/residency studies at The Johns Hopkins University and later served for eight years as a Veterinary Medical Officer at the National Animal Disease Center (USDA-ARS) in Ames, Iowa. He has edited several books, published more than 260 peer-reviewed manuscripts and raised more than $60 million in grants for veterinary research. 
Veterinarians Role in Translational Medicine
  • Fred Clubb, DVM, MS, PhD, DACLAM
  • Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
  • Description: This lecture will discuss the veterinarians role in translational research.
  • Bio: Dr. Clubb received his D.V.M. degree in 1971 from Auburn University, Alabama. He served 5 years in the US Air Force (Captain). In 1981, he received his Ph.D. in Experimental Pathology from the University of Alabama in Birmingham, College of Medicine. He is a Diplomate of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine and on the Board of Directors for the Texas Society of Biomedical Research.  He has served as medical consultant and/or member of medical advisory boards for over 30 biomedical companies.  He has published more than 250 manuscripts, abstracts, and book chapters in the field of comparative Cardiovascular Pathology, implantable biomechanical devices and Laboratory Animal Research.  Since joining the faculty at Texas A&M University as professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Veterinary Pathobiology and College of Engineering, Department of Biomedical Engineering, he has served as a Fellow in the DeBakey Cardiovascular Center and is a member and chairperson of the Selection Committee for the College of Veterinary Medicine. He also serves as TAMU Student Faculty Advisor for both the PreVet Society and Aggie Special Olympics Texas Volunteers. Furthermore, Dr. Clubb served as the Director of Cardiovascular Pathology Research at the Texas Heart Institute in the Texas Medical Center, Houston, Texas.  He is Director of Electron Microscopy, Department of Pathology, St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, Houston, Texas and a member of the Texas Heart Institute’s Professional Staff.  Plus, he serves as a Faculty member of the joint (TAMU/THI) Center for Cell and Organ Biotechnology. His interests and experience are in Translational research with the bringing of implantable Cardiovascular and other implantable devices from Preclinical animal studies to Clinical studies in humans as part of the FDAs Good Laboratory Practices (GLP-animal studies) and Good Clinical Practices (GCP-human studies). Plus, he provides a Transmission Electron Microscopic Pathology service (specialty – subendocardial biopsy and renal biopsy specimens) to St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, Texas Medical Center (and other local hospitals).  He has been actively involved with submissions to the FDA (two intravascular coronary artery stents, superficial femoral artery stent, three ventricular assist devices and an abdominal aortic aneurysm stent), European Regulatory Affairs (ventricular assist device and biomechanical valve/aortic position), and Japan Regulatory Agency (cerebral aneurysmal occluding stent). His laboratory currently supports human clinical studies requiring GCP-FDA and/or European Union (EEC Directives) approval for Ventricular Assist Device support. Currently, six device companies are using this service. Over the last 46 years he has done GLP pathology evaluations for over 70 different types of implantable cardiovascular devices (ranging from occlusive devices [PFOs, PDAs and aneurysm coils], cardiac pacers, defibrillators, pacer leads, trans-septal sensors, biomechanical valves, ventricular assist devices, total artificial hearts and intravascular stents). His Laboratory is one of the first on TAMU Campus to be both GLP and GCP compliant by TAMU’s Office of Research Compliance.
How to Measure Metabolism in Athletes With Animal Models
  • Mike Davis, DVM, PhD, DACVIM
  • Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Description: This lecture will discuss how to measure metabolism in athletes with animal models
  • Bio: Dr. Michael Davis is a veterinary physiologist, internist, and sports medicine specialist at Oklahoma State University, where he is the director of the Comparative Exercise Physiology Laboratory.  He conducts research on elite canine and equine athletes to help understand how these animals develop their athletic capacity, as well as what causes (and how to prevent) exercise-induced diseases and injuries.  In addition to his laboratory facilities in Stillwater Oklahoma, he also maintains a laboratory in rural Alaska where he conducts frequent studies and educational programs using elite racing sled dogs.
Venom Research
  • Lyndi Gilliam, DVM, PhD, DACVIM
  • Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Description: This lecture will delve into equine venom research and the progress made in the field and abroad.
  • Bio: Dr. Lyndi Gilliam was born and raised in Cheyenne, Wyoming. She grew up riding and showing horses. She received her bachelor’s in animal science and doctor of veterinary medicine from Oklahoma State University. After graduation she entered a private mixed animal practice in Dalhart, Texas for two years before returning to Oklahoma State for a residency in equine internal medicine and a PhD in veterinary biomedical sciences. Dr. Gilliam’s research interests have centered around the effects of snake venom in the horse and treatments for snake envenomation. She also has interests in equine infectious diseases and pharmacology.  In her free time she enjoys supporting her children’s extracurricular activities and being outdoors.
The Role of the Veterinarian in Honey Bee Medicine
  • Brittany Kyle, DVM, MS
  • Honey Bee Veterinary Consortium
  • Description: This lecture will discuss honey bee medicine.
  • Bio: Dr. Britteny Kyle is a board member of the Honey Bee Veterinary Consortium, a group of several hundred members from all segments of veterinary medicine and animal science who care about bees and beekeeping.  Dr. Kyle has served in multiple capacities on the board including being President of the organization in 2020.  She has been studying honey bee medicine for a number of years, and manages a small handful of colonies just because she finds honey bees so fascinating!  She is passionate about educating veterinarians, student veterinarians, and the public about issues surrounding honey bees and other pollinators.  In 2020 she returned to the Ontario Veterinary College where she is currently working toward a Masters in Epidemiology studying American Foulbrood prevalence and preventative practices.