Research Day

Each spring, the college sets aside a day to celebrate our diverse research activities and to build our research community.


Research Day features formal presentations as well as afternoon poster session, where college researchers including veterinary students, graduate students, trainees, staff, and faculty members present their research progress. A keynote speaker from outside of the college, whose work broadly addresses college research efforts, is selected.

Research Day is also a time to recognize outstanding effort with the presentation of graduate student awards and the initiation of new members into Phi Zeta, the honor society of veterinary medicine.

The Pensinger Lecture in Comparative Medicine; Keynote Address

After completing his DVM at the University of Illinois in 1960, Dr. Robert Pensinger studied at the University of Pennsylvania under David K. Detweiler, who has been called the “Father of Veterinary Cardiology.” Dr. Pensinger went on to practice as a veterinary cardiologist in Santa Cruz, Calif. In 2003, he and his wife established the Dr. Robert and Cynthia Pensinger Fund to support an annual lecture in comparative medicine.

The 2024 Pensinger Lecturer

Kurt Hankenson Headshot

Dr. Kurt Hankenson received his BS and DVM from the University of Illinois (1990, 1992), an MS from Purdue University (1997) and his PhD from the University of Washington, Department of Biochemistry (2001). A former equine veterinarian, he began his independent research career at the University of Michigan in 2002. In 2006 he moved to the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine, where he was the inaugural holder of the Dean W. Richardson Chair for Equine Disease Research. He returned to the University of Michigan in 2017 as a Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery. Dr. Hankenson is an American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) Young Investigator award winner (2002), received a John Haddad Fellowship from the ASBMR (2003), and in 2008 was the first veterinarian awarded the Fuller Albright award by the ASBMR. He is currently president of the Orthopaedic Research Society, the largest musculoskeletal research society in the world.

Dr. Hankenson has published over 130 peer-reviewed manuscripts. He is a former member of the NIH Skeletal Biology Structure and Regeneration (SBSR) study section, served as a member of the Scientific Medical Advisory Council (SMAC) for the Canadian Arthritis Network (CAN), the Research Advisory Council (RAC) for the Grayson Jockey Club, and as permanent member of the Veterans Affairs Medical Council Endocrinology B (EndoB) study section. He currently is Chair of the Med9 study section for Research Foundation Flanders (FWO). He chaired the 2022 FASEB conference, “The Matricellular Proteins: Fundamental Concepts and New Directions.”

Dr. Hankenson is the past-President of Advances in Mineral Metabolism (AIMM), a prior member of the ASBMR Council, past-Treasurer of the ORS-International Section for Fracture Repair, and was the founder and Chair of the ORS-Preclinical Models Section. He is also a past-member of the Research and Administration Advisory Committee for the Bone and Joint Institute, Western Ontario University and is a past-Chair of the North American Veterinary Regenerative Medicine Association. He is former Editor in Chief for Clinical Reviews in Bone and Mineral Metabolism and is an Associate Editor for Connective Tissue Research. He is an Editorial Board member of the Journal of Orthopaedic Research and the Journal of Experimental Orthopaedics. He was previously an Editorial Board member for the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.

Dr. Hankenson has been the recipient of numerous extramural grants as both PI and co-investigator (NIH, DoD, and DOE), receiving over $30 million dollars in extramural funding since 2002. He has submitted two US patents related to therapies to accelerate bone formation and repair, and founded a startup company, Skelegen LLC. Programmatically, his laboratory studies stem cell osteoblast differentiation. His research is highly collaborative and is focused on translating novel basic research findings to clinically applicable therapies to heal and restore lost bone.

He has been an instructor of biochemistry, bioengineering, anatomy, and histology courses, He has played an active role in training undergraduate, professional, and graduate students in research, and over 25 post-doctoral fellows have trained in his laboratory. He has also played an active role in mentoring junior faculty at Penn and Michigan, helping them to achieve NIH funding and promotion. He led curriculum change efforts while at the University of Pennsylvania, where he also served as the co-director of the PennVet summer research program.


LAC 100, Veterinary Teaching Hospital Animal Clinic

8:00 a.m.

Peter Constable, Dean

Presentation of Graduate Student Awards
Annette McCoy, Interim Dean of Research and Advanced Studies

  • Joseph A. Alberts Award, for an outstanding College of Veterinary Medicine graduate student
  • Dr. Victor E. O. (Ted) and Carroll J. Valli Award, for an outstanding graduate student in pathology or clinical pathology

Miranda Vieson, Secretary, Mu Chapter of Phi Zeta

  • Phi Zeta Literary Award — Basic Science
  • Phi Zeta Literary Award — Clinical Applied Science

Phi Zeta Initiation
Annette McCoy, Associate Professor
President, Mu Chapter of Phi Zeta

Student Lightning Talks
Six student abstracts will be selected. The presenting author will have 3 minutes and one PowerPoint slide to present a preview of their poster and attract an audience for the Poster Session. Faculty judges will evaluate the quality of the lightning talk and the poster presentation and award prizes of $500 that can be used toward research-related activities. Three total prizes will be given. Speaker names and presentation titles will be announced no later than March 31, 2024.

  • Rebecca Bishop
    Stability of Gastric Fluid and Fecal Microbial Populations in Pastured or Stabled Horses
  • Samantha Hammack
    Serial Measurements of Circulating Myokine Levels in Exercised Foals: A Pilot Study
  • Yishan Kuo
    Single-Dose, Intravenous and Oral Pharmacokinetics of Isavuconazole in Dogs
  • Jinrui (Grace) Lyu
    The GABAA Receptor α5-selective Positive Allosteric Modulator, MP-III-022, Attenuates Postoperative Cognitive Impairments in Aged Mice Via Distinct Mechanisms
  • Ji-Eun Oh
    Neonatal Exposure to Estrogen Impairs the Ovulation Machinery
  • Zunaira Shoaib
    Bone Mechanics Influence Cancer Stem Cell Formation in Osteosarcoma


9:00 a.m.
Pensinger Lecture in Comparative Medicine
Kurt D. Hankenson, DVM, MS, PhD
Henry Ruppenthal Family Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Bioengineering
Associate Chair for Research, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
University of Michigan Medical School

Molecular and cellular determinants of bone regeneration: The long road to developing new treatments for bone healing


10:15 a.m.

Student Speaker Competition
Six student abstracts will be selected. The presenting author will have 12 minutes for their presentation and 3 minutes to answer audience questions. Faculty judges will evaluate the quality of the presentation and three speakers will win $1,000 that can be used toward research-related activities. Speaker names and presentation titles will be announced no later than March 31, 2024.

  • Mary Bunnell
    Selective Deletion of ESR1 in ESR2 Lineage Cells Causes Infertility in Female Mice
  • Jacob Maxon
    Prenatal Exposure to a Phthalate Mixture (PHT MIX) Causes Sex-specific and Dose-dependent Changes in Adult Social Behavior
  • David Minich
    Dental Disease of Domestic Rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus): Treatments, Complications, and Outcomes (51 Cases)
  • Matheus Moreno Passos Barbosa
    Anchored Immunotherapy with Canine Interleukin-12 (IL-12) is Safe and Induces Therapeutic Responses: Preliminary Results of an Exploratory Phase I Clinical Trial in Dogs with Advanced Melanoma
  • Tara Prezioso
    A Network Evaluation of Human and Animal Movement Data Across Multiple Swine Farm Systems
  • Jessica Wagner
    Single-dose Pharmacokinetics of Intranasal Levetiracetam in Healthy Dogs

Atrium, Veterinary Medicine Basic Sciences Building

12 noon

Boxed Lunch (must be registered for afternoon session to receive lunch)

12:30 p.m. 2:30 p.m.

Odd numbered posters will be presented from 12:30-1:30 pm.
Even numbered posters will be presented from 1:30-2:30 pm.

Poster Session


Zoetis Logo

Research Day activities are co-sponsored by Zoetis, Boehringer Ingelheim, Phi Zeta, and the College of Veterinary Medicine Office of Research and Advanced Studies.