Graduate students at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine took top honors in both categories of the annual scholarly article competition sponsored by Phi Zeta, the international honor society of veterinary medicine.
Dr. Jamie Stewart, a PhD candidate in the laboratory of Dr. Fabio Lima, received the award for best basic research manuscript for Nerve Growth Factor-Beta, Purified from Bull Seminal Plasma, Enhances Corpus Luteum Formation and Conceptus Development in Bos Taurus Cows, published in Theriogenology in January 2018. Dr. Stewart previously completed a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 2013, a master’s of science degree in 2015, and a clinical residency in theriogenology (animal reproduction), all at Illinois.
An article entitled Downregulation of CXCR4 Expression and Functionality After Zoledronate Exposure in Canine Osteosarcoma, with lead author Dr. Mark Byrum, a second-year oncology resident, was selected in the clinical or applied research category. This article was published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine in 2016, shortly after Dr. Byrum completed his DVM degree at Illinois. His research mentor is Dr. Tim Fan.
“Drs. Stewart and Byrum both participated in the college’s Summer Research Training Program, which facilitates a research-focused career. Even from their earliest days as veterinary students, Mark and Jamie exhibited a strong interest in and aptitude for research,” said Dr. Lois Hoyer, associate dean for research and advanced studies and professor of pathobiology. “I couldn’t be more pleased by their success and well-deserved recognition.”
Each of the 30 Phi Zeta chapters (28 at U.S. and 2 at Caribbean veterinary colleges) may nominate one student in each research award category. Nominees for the award must be a veterinarian involved in a graduate or research program within the past two years and must be the first author of a paper that has been either accepted for publication or already published in a peer-reviewed journal.
Recipients are selected by a five-person committee made up of members of different Phi Zeta chapters.
Drs. Stewart and Byrum were announced as the winners of the Illinois Phi Zeta Mu chapter literary awards at the college’s annual Research Day celebration in April, and were forwarded as the chapter’s nominees in the overall Phi Zeta competition.
The primary objective of the Phi Zeta veterinary honor society is to recognize and promote scholarship and research in matters pertaining to the welfare and diseases of animals. The research awards, which were established in 1978, come with an engraved plaque and a $1,000 check.
In 2017, an Illinois doctoral student, Dr. Alycen Lundberg, received the clinical research award for her paper “Pharmacokinetics and derivation of an anticancer dosing regimen for the novel anti-cancer agent isobutyl-dexoynyboquinone (IB-DNQ), a NQO1 bioactivatable molecule, in the domestic felid species.”