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CVM News

* Veterinary Biosciences Contributes to Three-part Mission
* Awards to Build New Laboratory Space Total $3 Million
* College Participates in Dedication of War Dog Memorial
* Two Longtime Equine Friends Die in October
* Research News from the College of Veterinary Medicine
* Annual Road Race for Animals
* Award-Winning EVP Starts in September
* New Faces
* Oncology Client Shows Appreciation for Jewel
* Dandy Doodles!

Veterinary Biosciences Contributes to Three-part Mission
by Dr. David Gross, Department Head

[Dr. David Gross]I'm pleased to give an overview of the activities of the Department of Veterinary Biosciences. Our faculty, consisting of 17 men and 8 women from across the United States as well as from the Indian subcontinent, Kenya, Spain, and Australia, participate in all facets of the University's mission of teaching, research, and service.

For professional veterinary students and graduate students, we provide instruction in gross, microscopic, and developmental anatomy; neurobiology; physiology; pharmacology; and toxicology. While all faculty members in the department hold a PhD degree, 12 also have a DVM (or equivalent). Three members are board certified in toxicology, one in veterinary clinical pharmacology, and one in veterinary internal medicine.

Our research, currently attracting nearly $7 million in funding, addresses problems critical to human, domestic animal, and wildlife health. Areas of emphasis include sex steroid hormones and related chemical compounds and their effects on male and female reproductive function; immune function; behavior and cognition; myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury; and other basic physiological phenomena. In addition we have researchers working on problems of equine exercise physiology, photo-immunity, pharmacokinetics, skin and ocular toxicities, and bone physiology.

We are in the second year of a five-year National Institutes of Health Training Grant in Reproductive Toxicology—the first and only NIH Training Grant in the College. Collaborative research programs link us to such other University of Illinois departments as Animal Sciences, Molecular and Integrative Physiology, Food Science and Human Nutrition, Cell and Structural Biology, Bioengineering, Physics, and Chemistry. Our faculty members also collaborate with colleagues across the country and in Europe and Latin America.

A current initiative within Veterinary Biosciences is the establishment of a Center for Estrogen and Steroid Research. While we seek support through the NIH and other funding agencies, these sources limit funds for major equipment and other research infrastructure. We are asking our alumni to help us identify private sources that may offer support for specific items of equipment, fellowships for post-DVM graduate students, endowments for support of educational activities of the Center, and a host of other needs.

Lastly, our faculty provide clinical service in the areas of pharmacology, toxicology, and environmental/ecosystem health to veterinarians, animal owners, and governmental and non-governmental agencies. We also engage in academic service within the University and serve the scientific community through funding agency review study sections, journal editorial boards, and involvement in professional and scientific societies.

The Department of Veterinary Biosciences is committed to excellence in achieving the mission of the University. We look forward to continuing our efforts to educate new generations of veterinarians and other scholars, contributing to scientific discovery, and serving the public and the biomedical community.

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Awards to Build New Laboratory Space Total $3 Million

The National Institutes of Health has awarded the College of Veterinary Medicine a $1.5 million grant for design, construction, and renovation of state-of-the art research laboratories in currently unfinished space on the second and third floors of the Veterinary Medicine Basic Sciences Building.

The University of Illinois will match that amount to complete the project, which will provide 11,374 net square feet of space to be used to support NIH-funded research projects in infectious diseases.

The new laboratory space will be used by Drs. Paul Cooke, Roberto Docampo, Rex Hess, Lois Hoyer, Uriel Kitron, Jianyong Li, and Silvia Moreno. Some of the grant also goes toward fixed equipment costs for the new research area housed in the Departments of Veterinary Pathology and Veterinary Biosciences.

The plans call for shared cold, freezer, and instrument rooms on the second floor and shared isotope, cell/tissue culture, and freezer-supply/storage rooms on the third floor. In addition, the project calls for faculty and student offices on both floors.

The estimated date for completion of the project is August 2003.

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College Participates in Dedication of War Dog Memorial

On October 31, a memorial for dogs that served in World War II and their handlers was dedicated at the U.S. Marine Corps Headquarters in Quantico, Va. The memorial, the gift of retired small animal veterinarian Dr. C. David McLaughlin ('66) and his wife Do, features a life-size statue of a Doberman created by sculptor Susan Bahary.

[Dr. William Putney (left) greets dog handler Jack Moore as Mrs. Do and Dr. C. David McLaughlin look on]
Dr. William Putney (left) greets dog handler Jack Moore as Mrs. Do and Dr. C. David McLaughlin look on after the dedication of “Always Faithful.”

The McLaughlins selected two veterinarians who had worked with war dogs to be honorees at the dedication ceremony.

Dr. Erwin Small, associate dean for alumni and public affairs and professor emeritus at the College, was with the Seventh War Dog Platoon of the United States Marine Corps, serving from April 1944 to May 1946 and again from October 1950 to December 1951. He and his dog saw combat on Iwo Jima.

Also honored was Dr. William Putney (Auburn '43), former commanding officer of a war dog platoon who participated in the 1944 invasion of Guam and has written the book, Always Faithful, A Memoir of the Marine Dogs of WW II.

Dean Herbert Whiteley conveyed the remarks of Dr. Small, who was unable to attend the ceremony. Dr. Rosemary J. LoGiudice, president of the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association, and Dr. James Brandt, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association, were among those attending the event.

"To be able to honor our country, the heroic war dogs and their handlers, and the veterinary profession with one special gift is an opportunity and privilege that comes only once in a lifetime," says Mrs. McLaughlin.

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Two Longtime Equine Friends Die in October

[Troubadour and Dr. Dee Ann Kuster]] The College notes the deaths in October of two horses that had served in its education and outreach mission for many years. Troubadour, a 16.2-hand black-brown Trakehner came to the College in December 1995 as part of an estate gift from Mrs. Edith Kosterka, of Wayne, Ill.

His illustrious career in dressage competitions included serving as the reserve mount for Christine Stuckelberger at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Korea. Stuckelberger, an Olympic gold medalist from Switzerland, called Troubadour "the best Trakehner in the world."

As recently as 1998, the year he turned 25, Troubadour performed in demonstrations at horse events in Illinois, ridden by Dr. Dee Ann Kuster (right with Troubadour), a 1998 graduate of the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Wilt, a quarter horse, was involved in the education of two decades of veterinary students. A local breeder donated Wilt to the College in 1981 because Wilt suffered a neurologic disease that made him unsuitable for sale. Wilt overcame this disorder and was used to teach basic horse handling techniques.

Dr. Gordon Baker, chief of staff for the Large Animal Clinic, remembers Wilt as having "a real personality."

"Everybody loved him because he was such a friendly old beast," Dr. Baker says.

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Annual Road Race for Animals

[Nadia Ibreheim (at right) University of Illinois graduate student and her CCI dog,Tully]The 8th Annual Road Race, held September 9, raised more than $2,000 for Canine Companions for Independence, according to Elizabeth Papp, third-year student and chair of the Omega Tau Sigma Road Race Committee. CCI is a non-profit organization that provides canine companions for disabled individuals free of charge. Nadia Ibreheim (at right), a University of Illinois graduate student with cerebral palsy, brought her CCI dog, Tully, to the event and spoke about the wonderful gifts a service dog brings to its owner. A local CCI puppy raiser also spoke.

The 5K run/walk, designed to encourage physical activity and health awareness for people and their pets, is the largest and most productive OTS event all year and requires many hours of volunteer coordination. The Hill's Student Feeding Committee was a major sponsor of the 2001 race. CCI, which relies on contributions from organizations like OTS, spends more than $10,000 to raise and train each animal.

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Award-Winning EVP Starts in September

Veterinarians who are opening a new practice, seeking to improve the value of their practice, or looking for a way to rejuvenate their interest in the profession should enroll in the latest class of the Executive Veterinary Program. The EVP in Practice Management is designed to motivate and enhance business, communication, and strategic planning skills. Experts from around the country will lead discussions and exercises in such topics as understanding communication differences, compensating staff, setting and collecting fees, and achieving personal financial success. For more information, contact Dr. Christine Merle at 217/333-2907 or visit www.EVPillinois.org on the Web.

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Oncology Client Shows Appreciation for Jewel of Program

by Michelle Lohmann

[Greg Barber's dog, Hal, who underwent cancer treatment]While his dog Hal was undergoing cancer treatment here, Greg Barber drove from Chicago to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital every week.

"Greg and Hal had a very special relationship," says Dr. Tim Fan, one of the oncologists who treated Hal.

Dr. Fan says Barber and Hal developed a good relationship with the oncology department and Barber frequently brought pizzas and donuts for the staff to show his appreciation for their work.

Now Barber is showing his appreciation to the oncology staff once more, although not in edible form. Barber and his partner, Mariusz Bialas, recently moved the jewelry store they have operated for 16 years in downtown Chicago to a street-level location in Arlington Heights. They are offering a donation program at the store that would benefit the oncology program.

Any time patrons of Keswick Jewelers mention that they are University of Illinois graduates or students, and make a purchase of over $50, 10 percent of the total will be donated to the oncology program.

Keswick's is a "pet-friendly" store, which means pets are welcome to come inside while their owner's shop. Barber or Bialas will provide every four-legged shopping companion with water and treats.

In addition to this program, Barber plans to host an open house in his store (on 69 South Evergreen Avenue) this spring. A percentage of the proceeds will be given to the oncology program.

Barber feels this is his way of thanking oncology for the help they provided. "Everybody is so great down there," Barber says. "They are one of the best in the nation. I saw a real caring in a lot of the people."

For more information about Keswick Jewelers and the donation program call 847/394-9365 or visit their Web site at keswickjewelers.com.

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Dandy Doodles!

Signed drawings from Al Pacino (right), Chevy Chase, Leonardo DiCaprio (left), Steve Martin, Elton John, and other celebrities and wildlife enthusiasts will go up for bid at the first-ever auction to benefit the Wildlife Medical Clinic. Please mark your calendars for the "Doodle for Wildlife Auction," to be held April 12 in Urbana, and visit www.cvm.uiuc.edu/wmc/ for event registration information.

[Leonardo DiCaprio's signed drawing] [Al Pacino's signed drawing]

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