Groundbreaking held for new small animal hospital
By Sarah Carey
that we would
have the finest
hospitals in the
this college for
the future as
far as any of
us can see.
- Glen Hoffsis
F friends of the
University of Florida
College of Veterinary
Medicine joined adminis-
trators, faculty, alumni and
students on the UF campus
Nov. 21 to celebrate a
red-letter day in the life of
the college: a groundbreak-
ing ceremony for its new
$58 million small animal
Members of the pet-
owning public, including
current and former
hospital clients as well as
representatives from the
Florida Veterinary Medical
Association, and practitio- .7
ners from all over the state-
and political dignitaries Pictured from left to right at th
animal hospital are UF proves
packed the college's Alec Sheri Holloway; UF's vice pre
P. and Louise H. Courtelis Oelrich; sophomore veterinary
Equine Hospital audito- Jimmy Cheek; UF's senior vic
rium while various speakers president of agricultural affair
small animal clinical sciences
offered perspective on the
monumental occasion. Then the group gathered outside,
adjacent to the site of the new building, officially known
as the Veterinary Research and Education Center, for the
symbolic breaking of the ground.
ie groundbreaking ceremony for the University of Florida's new small
t Joe Glover; college dean Glen Hoffsis; small animal hospital manager
sident for research and graduate studies Win Phillips; state Sen. Steve
y student Caty Love; UF's senior vice president for agricultural affairs
e president for health affairs Doug Barrett; University of Tennesee vice
s and former UF College of Veterinary Medicine dean Joe DiPietro; and
department chairman Colin Burrows.
"I'd like to acknowledge Louise Courtelis for her many
contributions in getting us where we are today," said the
college's dean, Glen Hoffsis. He said Courtelis and her late
continued on page 8
Message from the Dean
Florida Veterinarian is pubL'listled Ly
the University of Floncda College of
Veterinary Medicine lor alumni and
friends. Suggestions and comments
are welcome and should be emnailed to:
Sarah Carey. Flonrida Vetennarian editor.
at: careys'...vetmed.u fl.edu.
Check out the college web site at:
Glen F. Hoffsis
Executive Associate Dean
Interim Associate Dean
for Students and Instruction
Thomas W. Vickroy
Associate Dean for Research
and Graduate Studies
Charles H. Courtney
Senior Director of Development
and Alumni Affairs
Director of Public Relations
Sarah K. Carey
Coordinator of Alumni Affairs
Jo Ann Winn
Small Animnal Hospital
Large Ani-mal Hospital
13.521 392- ""2229 '
College Administration and Dean's
i;.f.2i 392-2213. e'a.. 520,'
Devel.,oprnent and AlLiumnin Aairs
i352'i 3929-22'1 e\,t. 5200
The Best of Times and the
Worst of Times
This line from Dickens' "A Tale of Two Cities"
truly characterizes the state of the College of
Veterinary Medicine as we enter 2009. The worst of
times relates to the state contribution to the college's
operating budget, which could incur another devas-
tating cut some predict could reach 10 percent. This
coupled with the 14 percent reduction we endured last
year would place the college in considerable jeopardy.
It seems incongruous that simultaneously with this
calamity, the college is experiencing some of the best of
times and notable successes.
The most visible advancement relates to the new
small animal hospital. Groundbreaking took place
Dean Glen Hoffsis in November for this state-of-the-art, $58 million
hospital. This 90,000 square-foot facility will contain
many innovative features, including dedicated service rounds teaching rooms, a combined
reception and waiting area, a cancer unit with a linear accelerator, interventional cardiology,
critical care and emergency suites, and much more. It is projected to require about 18 months
Also in November, the college had its accreditation site team visit. This process is conducted
by the American Veterinary Medical Association's Council on Education every seven years. The
process was very educational for the faculty, staff, students, and alumni who participated in the
four-day review. The preliminary report was favorable, although the council expressed concerns if
our budget was cut further. I want to thank everyone who participated in the various meetings. I
also want to convey a special thanks to Richard Wilkes of St. Petersburg for his excellent work as
the Florida Veterinary Medical Association's representative on the site team.
The University of Florida has produced yet another dean. Dr. Eleanor Green, chairman of
the department of large animal clinical sciences since 1996, was recently appointed dean of the
College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University. Although we will miss her, we are very
proud of her accomplishments and wish her well in this new adventure.
College faculty members continue to achieve great success in research grants, gifts and
contracts to support their work. One example is the new $4 million grant from Maddie's Fund
to establish a Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program at UE The program was envisioned and led by
Drs. Julie Levy and Cynda Crawford. The program will reach the far corners of the state and will
provide teaching opportunities for veterinary students.
Finally, I want to express my gratitude for the tremendous support the college enjoys from its
alumni, FVMA, clients and friends. We need and appreciate your support, whether the times are
good or bad.
Underwater treadmill now available for VMC patients
By Sarah Carey
V veterinarians at the University of Florida
Veterinary Medical Center now have a
new tool for helping Fido get back on his feet:
an underwater treadmill.
A ribbon-cutting to celebrate the launching
of this new rehabilitative treatment modality,
part of the UF Veterinary Rehabilitation and
Fitness Center, was held Sept. 15 and included
a demonstration of the new treadmill, which
is housed in the VMC between the small and
large animal hospitals and adjacent to the
equine treadmill room.
Several UF faculty and staff members, along
with special guests Victoria Ford and Dr.
Janine Tash, owner of Aalatash Veterinary
Hospital and member of the UF CVM class
of '83, attended the event. The treadmill was
made possible through financial gifts from
Ford, who is past treasurer of the Pals & Paws
dog agility group in Jacksonville and a dog
agility friend of Tash's.
"After competing in agility for 12 years, I
observed all the injured dogs going to Aiken,
S.C. for treatment and wondered why the UF
veterinary school was not their choice," Ford
said. "I learned that UF had no such program
and the agility dogs needed special treatment."
Tash was meanwhile working on Ford's two
competition dogs and mentioned the need for
an underwater treadmill.
"I saw a need and was able to assist the
veterinary school in acquiring it with a gift of
$60, 000," Ford said.
After a meeting with college administra-
tors, Ford learned that not only did agility
dogs have rehabilitation needs -- so did other
canine athletes as well as surgical and neuro-
She subsequently decided to support this
goal by establishing the James Edmundson
Ingraham Endowed Fund in Veterinary
Medicine with an additional gift in memory
of her great-grandfather, a businessman,
entrepreneur, and railroad company executive
whom Ford describes as "a moving force in the
development of the state of Florida from the
1880s through the early 1900s."
"I am excited to be a part of the develop-
ment of the small animal rehabilitation area
in the veterinary hospital and look forward
to its growth," said Ford. She also made an
additional donation toward creating a small
animal rehabilitation area in the soon-to-be-
constructed new Veterinary Research and
Education Center, which includes a new small
tion program will
be staff surgeon
Kristin Kirkby, a
2003 graduate of
the UF veteri-
nary college who
in small animal
surgery. Kirkby is
now pursuing a
services are now
being offered to
certain VMC H
clients, primarily .
muscle loss, which Dr. Kristin Kirkby smiles at h
often results from Davies monitors operation c
often results from participated in the treadmill
orthopedic or neu-
"There is a huge benefit for dogs with spinal
cord injury that are unable to or have diffi-
culty walking on land," Kirkby said.
Large animal patients are also benefiting
from the new treadmill.
"The goal is to reduce pressure on the
muscle groups and to allow for weightless
movements as part of physical therapy to
improve muscle strength," said equine resident
Johanna Elfenbein (class of'07), adding that
the major problem with recumbence -- the
inability to stand -- in large animals is that
their large muscle groups have decreased blood
flow, causing muscles to die over time.
"Certainly having the treadmill available to
us for this purpose is great," Elfenbein said.
Kirkby would like to see the service expand
in the near future make use of other reha-
bilitation modalities such as low level laser
therapy, therapeutic ultrasound and shock
"One of the big things we plan to push for
is weight loss," she said. "Most overweight
dogs have some form of arthritis; picture the
overweight Lab with bad hips. We envision
a wellness center that would provide exercise
er dog, Bailey, while veterinary technician Wendy
f the new underwater treadmill. Bailey gamely
demonstration during the ribbon-cutting event.
and nutrition therapy, along with pain man-
agement and rehabilitation."
Kirkby said the buoyancy of the water
decreases the impact of an animal's weight
on its joints, and the resistance provided by
walking in water builds muscle.
"Depending on the height of the water, you
can target different muscle areas and joints,"
Many other veterinary colleges and hospitals
are now making use of aquatic therapy for
small animals, but UF is the only one in South
Georgia and North Florida.
"My vision is that we will become very
much a leader in clinical services but also
in research to validate why we're doing
this," Kirkby said, adding that part of
her doctoral work will involve evaluating
objective outcome measures to be used with
"For example, is the underwater treadmill
at elbow height for 10 minutes better than for
five minutes at carpal height? Certainly thus
far, there are big gaps in evidence and there
has been very little objective data provided to
prove this technique works." 490
FLORIDA VETERINARIAN 3
Interventional therapy saves dogs with liver conditions
By Sarah Carey
When Delilah, a 6-month-old Labrador Retriever, came to the
University of Florida Veterinary Medical Center in July, she
was much smaller than normal size for her breed and her liver had
almost completely stopped functioning.
"From the beginning, we noticed that she was very sick," said
Delilah's owner, Robin Fish of New Port Richey, adding that the AKC-
registered chocolate Lab was one of 11 puppies in a litter the Fish
family helped raise. "She'd snap back for awhile, but never played like
the other puppies and she was very
listless. Soon after their second
shots, she became extremely ill,
with severe fevers."
Delilah had a congenital intrahe-
patic portosystemic liver shunt, a
life-threatening condition through
which blood bypasses the liver,
leading to organ failure. Because
surgery to treat these types of cases
is extremely difficult and often
not an option, as was the case
with Delilah, UF veterinarians
took a different approach, using
minimally invasive interventional
therapy to perform a transvenous
coil occlusion of the shunt,
enabling the circulatory blood
flow to be redirected through its
Today, Delilah is one of two Dr. Shannon Holmes, left, Dr. Herb N
Schmidt, right, are shown watching
canine patients to have been of a catheter that goes from the jugu
successfully treated at UF for guidance. The screens that the team
this condition through the use images of the catheter in the body, a
i within the desired vessel.
interventional therapy, which
employs diagnostic imaging to
guide minimally invasive procedures. Typically the imaging modalities
used for interventional procedures are ultrasound and fluoroscopy, but
sometimes they involve CT and MRI.
In fact, Fish was so excited by Delilah's outcome at UF that she
mentioned it to another couple she met at a social function whose dog
suffered from the same condition.
That dog soon became UF's second success story for this particular
type of treatment.
"People are excited about these new interventional techniques, but
few veterinarians have the ability to do it just by themselves," said vet-
erinary cardiologist Herb Maisenbacher, a clinical assistant professor
of cardiology at the UF VMC whose primary interest is in vascular
procedures. "I wouldn't attempt this unless surgeons or radiologists
were there to help me. We all bring different skill sets to the table,
which makes it possible."
Various specialized needles, introducers, catheters, guidewires and
other devices are used to access the body in interventional therapies.
Although interventional techniques have been used for years in
human medicine, its use in veterinary medicine is in its infancy in
many respects, with only one formal training program in existence
at the University of Pennsylvania UF's VMC has implemented a
team approach in which several specialty services are involved in the
planning and execution of many interventional therapies.
"This approach has only improved the care of our patients and our
ability to offer cutting edge treatment," Maisenbacher said. "It's a
realm with a lot of promise and very few limitations. There are many
organ system diseases that can be treated by these procedures."
UF cardiologists were trained three years ago by interventional
veterinary specialist Chick
SWeiss from the University of
n Pennsylvania. Delilah's case gave
Sthe UF team its first opportunity
to make use of these new skills.
SThe procedure involves placing a
widebore catheter in the jugular
vein; using fluoroscopy, or
real-time X-rays, to locate the
vascular shunt; placing a metal
stent in the vena cava and finally
deploying coils to create the
generally include shorter hospital
stays and reduced mortality rates,
but most importantly, these
techniques offer alternative treat-
ments of conditions for which
nbacher, center, and Dr. Mandi no standard treatments may
screens that snow ifouroscopic images
lar vein into the liver with fluoroscopic
is watching show the fluoroscopic
allowing them to move it into position
exist, or for which the standard
treatment usually surgery -
offers unacceptable risk. But the
procedure's cost can be in the
thousands of dollars.
"The metal stent alone costs $1,500," Maisenbacher said. "The
good thing is, we can take a dog that is very sick and turn it into a
Veterinary radiologist Shannon Holmes said that currently inter-
ventional radiology is used at UF to treat intrahepatic portosystemic
vascular anomlies, patent ductus arteriosus, tracheal collapse, urethral
obstructions and to deliver regional chemotherapy via arteries
supplying a tumor.
"It truly is a team approach, as many specialists are often involved
in the procedure," Holmes said. "It requires an excellent knowledge
of three-dimensional radiologic anatomy and is an exciting field of
radiologic practice that is rapidly expanding, especially in veterinary
As for Delilah, Fish said she is "doing beautifully."
"I told the doctors at UF, I didn't know what to do for them or how
to thank them, so I just sent them another liver shunt dog so they
could save another life," Fish said. "I was blessed enough to be able to
give them another dog to help." 49a
4 FLORIDA VETERINARIAN
Equine reproduction service going mobile
By Sarah Carey
A mobile service for equine reproduction at the University of
Florida aims to better serve area horse breeders while simultane-
ously moving students at the UF College of Veterinary Medicine more
frequently into the field.
"The approach to medicine on the road is different than in the
hospital, regardless of what service you are associated with," said Scott
Bailey, D.V.M., a Kansas State University veterinary alumnus who
recently completed his residency in theriogenology at UF's College of
Bailey, a board-certified reproduction specialist, spent 10 months
at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute in Lexington, Ky., during his
residency. He hopes to expand the ambulatory service in mid-Febru-
ary, at the start of Thoroughbred breeding season.
"I think our students will benefit greatly from seeing how routine
breeding is handled in the field, as opposed to the more advanced
kinds of cases they would typically see at the UF Veterinary Medical
Center," Bailey said. Because the UF VMC is primarily a referral
center, a more typical horse reproduction case seen in the hospital
might consist of a mare at high risk for losing a foal.
Breeding management is also not typically as intense in the field
as in the hospital, where most patients are sent to address fertility
"Although there are different ways to get a mare pregnant
depending on the breed of the horse and the owner's wishes, field
breeding management would typically involve three to five prebreed-
ing examinations, as well as postbreeding health checks and subse-
quent pregnancy examinations," Bailey said.
With Thoroughbreds, a breed in which artificial insemination
is prohibited, ovulation must be predicted far enough in advance to
"book the stallion," Bailey said. In the case of Arabians, quarter horses,
and warmbloods, artificial insemination is the preferred breeding
method. The veterinarian's role would
then be to examine the mare to predict
ovulation and inseminate the mare.
Post-ovulation checks are recommended
to monitor the mare's uterine health 0 E-mail a
and subsequent examinations would
be performed throughout the horse's
pregnancy. In order to meet
"There is increasing demand in the college print
Alachua County and northward in the Web-based publ
state for specialty services," Bailey said. increasingly iimp
"Specialty care on an ambulatory basis is your e-mail addr
much more available south of Gainesville Information we n
than north of here." address. All other
He added that although many equine reference to you
veterinarians offer excellent breeding client, etc.
management services, specialists in the You can confirm
area have additional expertise to offer. cvmalumniaffair
Although UF used to provide an
ambulatory reproduction service, in
recent years the time spent on such calls
has dwindled and only two university-
owned farms are presently
As a clinical instructor,
Bailey says he has the inter-
est and flexibility to make
a mobile reproduction
"I'm pretty excited about
it," he said. "The No. 1
complaint we hear from
students has been that there is
a lack of real-world experi-
ence at the university at
any university. I think our
students will benefit from
obtaining a more varied view .,
of how veterinary practice is
conducted in the field." Dr. Scott Bailey
No additional overhead
costs were needed to begin the program, since UF already owns the
needed vehicles and medical equipment, Bailey said.
"What will happen is that students who are on their two-week
theriogenology rotation will spend an entire week going out to private
farms on the ambulatory service versus going to the UF-owned Horse
Research Center only a few times," Bailey said.
He hopes to enlist a handful of farms with 15 to 20 mares that the
service could visit regularly throughout the horse breeding season, but
says he won't limit the service if he received requests from farms with
Anyone seeking more information about the mobile equine repro-
duction program should call 352-392-2229 and ask for Scott
address updates needed
the University of Florida's Green Initiatives, more of
publications will become electronic publications or
lications. Communications via e-mail are becoming
ortant, as well as being the "green' thing to do. Be sure
ess is up-to-date so you aren't left out.
ieed from alumni includes name, class year. and e-mail
'rs, we need name and e-mail address and some
r affiliation to the college, i.e. you are a donor, a friend, a
your e-mail address by sending a note to
; 'vetmed.uIl.edu or faxing this info to 352-392-8351.
FLORIDA VETERINARIAN 5
Honors, Awards, Appont'ments& Announcements
honored by alma mater
Iowa State University's College of
Veterinary Medicine dean John Thomson,
left, presents Dr. Maarten Drost with the
Stange Award in late October.
Maarten Drost, D.V.M., an emeritus
professor of theriogenology at the University
of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, has
received the prestigious 2008 Stange Award
from his alma mater, Iowa State University.
The award was presented Oct.25 at ISU in
Created in honor of the late Charles H.
Stange, D.V.M., a former ISU College of
Veterinary Medicine dean, the award is that
institution's premier recognition given to
veterinary medical alumni. Recipients are rec-
ognized for outstanding professional achieve-
ments in education, government, industry,
practice or other professional endeavors in
A 1962 graduate of the ISU veterinary
college, Drost served on the faculty of
the College of Veterinary Medicine at the
University of California, Davis, at Cornell
University's College of Veterinary Medicine
and at State University in Utrecht, the
Netherlands. He was a visiting professor at
Colorado State University's embryo transfer
unit, worked in private practice and served as
a captain in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps
before joining UF's veterinary college as a
founding faculty member in 1977.
A world-renowned expert in the field of
ruminant reproduction, including embryo
transfer technology, Drost was a pioneer in
the area of fetal surgery and demonstrated
the role of the fetus in parturition in sheep
by performing bilateral adrenolectomies in
1968. Drost's team at UF was responsible for
the world's first embryo transfer to result in
the birth of a water buffalo calf in 1983, a
landmark achievement that led to production
of the first buffalo calves in Europe in 1985
using the same technique.
6 FLORIDA VETERINARIAN
Drost retired in 2003 but has remained
involved in the profession through his devel-
opment of a slide database as a teaching tool
for veterinarians and veterinary students.
His Web site, "The Drost Project Visual
Guide," includes guides to bubaline, equine
and canine reproduction and provides visuals
for veterinarians and veterinary students
wanting information about the male or female
bovine reproductive systems as well as learning
opportunities for those who wish to brush
up on reproductive technology embryo
transfer, artificial insemination or ultrasonog-
raphy, to name a few.
Small animal surgery
resident honored for
ur. uune ivi. uuval, cnair OT me omani
Animal Residents' Forum, presents
the First Place Research Presentation
Award to Dr. Stanley Kim from the
University of Florida.
Stanley Kim's presentation, titled "Effect
ofTibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy and
Tibial Tuberosity Advancement on Three
Dimensional Stifle Kinematics" received first
place in the research category of the residents
competition at the annual American College
of Veterinary Surgeons meeting, held
Oct. 23-25 in San Diego.
The presentation was an extension of Kim's
masters's thesis project, which he is working
on in collaboration with Drs. Antonio Pozzi
and Dan Lewis and the newly established
Comparative Orthopaedics laboratory.
"Stan's presentation set the standard for
visual special effects in the residents' competi-
tion, but he also handled some pretty difficult
questions from two reviewers in superb
fashion," said Dr. Gary Ellison, small animal
Ellison added that he appreciated the
support given by the Office of Research and
Graduate Studies for the four-year combined
master's/ residency program, which was only
established a few years ago.
New interim department
Ph.D., a professor
in the University of
Florida College of
has been named
acting chairman of
the college's depart-
ment of physiological
was effective Oct. 1. Dr. Paul Davenport
College Dean Glen Hoffsis appointed
Davenport, who had been associate
department chairman, to the acting chair-
man position after former department
chairman, John Harvey, D.V.M., Ph.D., was
named executive associate dean of the UF
A physiologist, Davenport's work focuses
primarily on the study of animal and human
behavioral control of breathing and respiratory
His work relating to respiratory function
has benefited Parkinson's patients, asthmatic
children, U.S. Navy divers and the actor
Christopher Reeve, among others.
Davenport was the recipient of the Pfizer
Award for Research Excellence in the UF
College of Veterinary Medicine in 2001.
In 2003, he received the UF Research
Foundation professorship, sponsored by the
university's Division of Sponsored Research.
He has been a member of the UF veterinary
college faculty since 1981.
New senior development
has been named
senior director of
alumni affairs at the
University of Florida
College of Veterinary
Medicine. Legato has
25 years of fundrais-
ing experience in
nine of which have Karen Legato
been at UF's veterinary college. She has
worked with donor events, corporate solicita-
tions and campus campaigns and was formerly
the college's director of development and
AoAors, Awards A intments& An
alumni affairs. She replaces Zoe Seale, who has
become the new senior director of develop-
ment and alumni affairs at UF's College of
Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Legato's promotion was effective Oct. 27.
A member of the UF veterinary college's
development staff since 1999, Legato holds
a bachelor's degree in communication from
Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock,
Pa. She worked from 1984-1999 at Slippery
Rock as both an executive assistant and a
special events coordinator in the university's
advancement office. Prior to that, she worked
for seven years as a farm manager and equine
trainer at Arcadian Arabians in Slippery
Rock, and for nine years as the executive
secretary to the president of General Nutrition
Corporation in Pittsburgh.
In her most recent position at the veterinary
college, in addition to fundraising for the
college, Legato was responsible for cultivat-
ing relationships among several constituen-
cies, including alumni, donors, grateful
clients of UF's veterinary hospitals and others
from various animal-oriented clubs and
Most people think of development as "just
fundraising" but there is more to it than that,
"My goal is to educate people who already
have an interest in the college's mission of
teaching, research and patient care about ways
in which their contributions can meaningfully
advance that mission," Legato said. "We aren't
just asking people for money; we are establish-
ing and nurturing relationships and providing
opportunities for people to give financially to
a cause they already believe in."
In the nine years Legato has been at UF, the
college has consistently been ranked in the top
10 of the 28 fundraising units across campus,
both in terms of money raised and percentage
of goal achieved.
UF scientist speaks at centenary
University of Florida infectious disease specialist Anthony Barbet,
Ph.D., has attended many professional meetings in his 30-year
career, but never anything quite like the Onderstepoort Centenary
Pan African Veterinary Conference and Celebration, held Oct. 6-9
in South Africa.
The Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute's 100 years of existence
is a big enough deal that South Africa issued a special postage
stamp in honor of it. Even the country's president showed up as
guest of honor.
"When South Africa was being settled, they needed animals for Dr. Tony Barbet
11 Dr. Tony Barbet
several reasons, including transport in the region," said Barbet, a
professor in the UF College of Veterinary Medicine's department of
infectious diseases and pathology who was one of only two United States scientists invited to
speak at the conference.
"As settlements began moving northward, all kinds of animal diseases were discovered,
including rinderpest, babesiosis, anaplasmosis, heartwater, African horse sickness, trypano-
somiasis and others. Many people who were moving northward lost a lot of their animals;
rinderpest wiped out most of the cattle in the country and African horse sickness wiped out
most of the horses," he said.
Onderstepoort's first director, Sir Arnold Theiler, is known as the father of veterinary
science in South Africa. A veterinary bacteriologist who also was a researcher, a teacher
and an administrator in his lifetime, Theiler in 1896 created a vaccine to combat the
dreaded disease of rinderpest. As a direct result of his efforts, the disease was controlled in
South Africa. Under Theiler's leadership, many local diseases were researched and vaccines
developed at Onderstepoort, which remains an important part of South African academic
and professional culture.
Among the guests at the conference were several of Theiler's descendants, including his
granddaughter, Elizabeth Theiler-Martin, daughter of Max Theiler, who won the Nobel Prize
for developing a vaccine for yellow fever.
Barbet said he and Theiler-Martin struck up an interesting conversation in which he
told her that the West Nile virus vaccine for horses developed by Dr. Maureen Long of
UF actually involves the insertion of West Nile virus genes into her father's yellow fever
"You can actually trace the origin of her West Nile vaccine back to Max Theiler's vaccine
since it is a combination of both viruses," Barbet said. "Ms. Theiler-Martin did not know
about this, and I'll bet Max wouldn't have thought his vaccine would wind up being used in
a vaccine that helped the United States combat a different disease."
Barbet, whose research interest is in defining molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis in
tropical and emerging diseases, development of recombinant vaccines and improved diagnos-
tics, presented an abstract on "Persistence Mechanisms in Tick-Borne Diseases."
"I talked about some of the work Dr. (David) Allred has been doing on Babesia and I've
been doing on Anaplasma and heartwater, and about some of the work I did before I came
to UF relating to African sleeping sickness," Barbet said. "Most of these organisms have
similar methods to be persistent in animals."
He said he hoped to cultivate future relationships with South African scientists, hopefully
through collaborations with the UF veterinary college.
"They actually have quite a need to train up some of their scientists in some of the interests
we have here at UF," Barbet said. He felt there were training opportunities for South African
students to pursue graduate research degrees in Veterinary Medicine and the new Emerging
At left in this photo
collage is the postage
stamp issued by the
South African govern-
ment in honor of the
100th anniversary of
the creation of Ondes-
Institute. At right in the
photo is a frontal view
of the Institute.
FLORIDA VETERINARIAN 7
continued from page 1
Dr. Julio Ibanez, a member of the college's charter
class of '80 and former alumni council president,
and his wife, Maria, drove to Gainesville from
Miami for the event.
Sophomore veterinary student Caty Love, left, spoke during the groundbreaking ceremony, representing
the student body. With her is classmate Shannon McDonald.
husband, Alec, helped to mobilize donors on
behalf of the college years ago, leading to the
present project's ultimate success as well as
other endeavors that proceeded it, including
the equine hospital built in 1994.
"She visualized that we would have the finest
hospitals in the country, which now position
this college for excellence in the future as far as
any of us can see," Hoffsis said.
One of the early fundraising efforts
Courtelis led was known as "No More Band-
aids," symbolizing the end of temporary
solutions to the small animal hospital's over-
crowding problems. Previously the idea was
so daunting to college administrators that only
sporadic renovations to the existing hospital,
in business since the college opened in 1977,
were thought possible.
Over a period of several years, the college
was able to raise $4.4 million in private
gifts, which was then supplemented by state
equipment and matching funds to meet the
projected cost of construction.
Former college dean Joseph DiPietro, who
left UF two years ago to become vice president
of agriculture at the University of Tennessee,
returned to Gainesville for the ground-
breaking. He, too, shared memories of the
long road to success and paid tribute to the
"I remember that we were on the heels of
the 'It's Performance that Counts' UF Capital
Campaign, which was named after the slogan
the Courtelises use at their farm," DiPietro
said. That particular fundraising campaign
took place in the late 1990s.
"We had a meeting with Mrs. C., which
is what I called her. She may have been a
bull-dog when she got behind something,
but I have always called her a fairy godmother
for this college."
That meeting led to more discussion
about what was needed and how it could be
financed, DiPietro recalled.
"Then we developed a spirit, and then it was
one fundraising event after the other," he said.
Dr. Colin Burrows, chairman of the
department of small animal clinical sciences
and chief of staff of the small animal hospital,
acknowledged the efforts of DiPietro and
Hoffsis, as well as former executive associate
dean Dr. Jim Thompson, for the "countless
hours" they spent to bring the project to
He also paid tribute to the small animal
clinical sciences faculty with lines from a
sonnet by John Milton.
"They also serve who only stand and wait,"
Burrows said. "This faculty and staff has served
for more than 30 years. I don't know how
many animals we have treated; it has to be in
the hundreds of thousands. We have served,
but we have stood and waited."
Soon after the college's inception in the late
1970s, it experienced sick building syndrome
was placed on limited accreditation by the
American Veterinary Medical Association. A
new equine hospital and veterinary academic
building were constructed subsequently, and
hospital services now include cardiology and
oncology, among others, Burrows said.
"We've grown not only our patients, but the
services we offer, and we are now parallel with
human medicine in many areas," he said. "It
wouldn't have been possible without the hard
work and dedication of many people."
Caty Love, a sophomore veterinary student
who is her class president, said her class would
be the first to experience some part of their
clinical education in the new building.
"A more impressive hospital makes for
more and better veterinarians, and that is the
ultimate goal," Love said.
The new facility is expected to be completed
by late 2010. -4
8 FLORIDA VETERINARIAN
Transplantation background aids student's UF studies
By Sarah Carey
A after graduation from the University of
Southern California in 1992, at the
time most veterinary students are entering
D.V.M. programs, Max Polyak planned to
be a diplomat. Toward that end, he partici-
pated in a medical relief team, flying critically
injured civilians out of Bosnia during that
country's civil war.
The experience changed him forever.
"The longer I was there, the more I realized
it was the diplomats who were screwing things
up," said Polyak, now a sophomore veterinary
student at UF "The people having the biggest
impact were the physicians and nurses -- the
medical folks on the ground."
Polyak continued to nurture his overseas
travel bug, traveling to England where he
received a master's degree in natural sciences at
the University of Cambridge. With an eye on
medical school, Polyak wound up back in the
U.S., working in Cornell University's trans-
plant surgery department.
The 10 years he would spend there allowed
him to cultivate a unique niche.
Focusing on techniques to improve the
function of transplanted organs, Polyak
developed the department's clinical and
research laboratory, which became the largest
of its kind in the country. He focused on the
time period when a donor organ is outside of
the body prior to being transplanted into the
"We formulated different types of drugs that
we would infuse into organs so they'd function
better," Polyak said. "When you watch ER,
you see an Igloo cooler with an organ inside
of it being rushed to the emergency room. We
changed that paradigm. We would hook the
organ up to a machine to trick it into thinking
it is still inside the body."
This technique, now in practice at several
transplantation centers in the U.S., gives
medical personnel more time to test the organ
for viability and to share the organ with recipi-
ents across the country.
Polyak's personal research involved develop-
ing the drug solution that is used to perfuse
the organ and perfecting the machine used to
optimize organ viability.
"I was really close to going to medical school
and the surgeons I worked with really wanted
me to stay," said Polyak. "But I knew it wasn't
Now 39 and the father of a 4-year-old
son, Polyak said he always wanted to be a
Sophomore veterinary student Max Polyak is
shown at work at the organ perfusion laboratory
at UF & Shands.
veterinarian like his own father and brother.
"This was a different route for going back to
when I was a kid, so I decided not
to pursue human medical school and to apply
to vet school," Polyak said.
He applied to the University of California/
Davis, the University of Pennsylvania and
UF, and was accepted at all three schools. But
Polyak was Florida bound.
"There were two main things," he said.
"I wanted a warm climate and Florida had
relatively small classes, unlike the other places.
Plus, I'd heard from so many people about
their positive experiences at UF, and I knew
of the reputation of the equine program.
Ultimately, I just had the right feeling about
Soon after moving to Gainesville, Polyak
was contacted by some of his UF contacts
from the human transplant world.
"They said, 'we heard you were here in
Gainesville and we want to start a clinical
service to machine-perfuse donor kidneys for
our patients,'" Polyak recalled. "They knew
about my experience and asked if I would help
set up an organ perfusion lab, so we started
talking and got everything approved."
In the past year, the Shands Transplant
Center at UF's organ perfusion labora-
tory, which Polyak directs, has increased the
number of kidney transplants performed at
UF & Shands by 120 percent.
"When you have this capability, you have a
way to predict the success of the transplant,"
said Polyak. "We are now taking organs we
wouldn't have even considered years ago and
actually using them. It's remarkable to see
when someone unusually healthy and gracious
enough to be an organ donor, who can be 70
or 80 years old, can still save someone's life by
donating a kidney or two kidneys or a liver."
Being a veterinary student and simulta-
neously holding down a job directing the
perfusion lab is not as difficult as it might
appear, primarily because many procedures
can be scheduled and he works with a
committed staff, Polyak said.
Although he has a proven track record
and publications in several peer-reviewed
journals relating to human transplantation,
Polyak recently has worked closely with UF
large animal surgeons David Freeman and
Ali Morton on publications relating to
"We are delighted to have him involved
in our research on improving survival in
ischemic-injured equine colon," said Freeman,
who is associate chairman of the department
of large animal clinical sciences, associate chief
of staff of the Alec P. and Louise H. Courtelis
Equine Hospital and director of the Island
Whirl Colic Research Laboratory.
"Max is a remarkable individual and has
accomplished more before he earns his profes-
sional degree than many accomplish after-
wards, in veterinary or human medicine."
He said Polyak was "great to work with,"
calling him a "true team player with an honest
and realistic approach to his work, backed by a
deep knowledge of transplant technology."
Polyak said he is excited about the possibil-
ity of future human and veterinary medicine
collaborations in the area of transplantation
"We now have a series of experiments that
are ongoing," he said. "The goal is to use tech-
niques that are proven in the human organ
transplant field to improve healing in surgical
In the future, Polyak said he may consider
pursuing a Ph.D. and likes contemplating
a career in academic veterinary medicine or
possibly equine practice.
"The area of equine veterinary medicine is
certainly the most attractive to me," he said. -01
FLORIDA VETERINARIAN 9
Dr. Jim Himes, longtime dean of students, dies at 89
By Sarah Carey
Filled with sadness for the passing of a man who helped define
the UF College of Veterinary Medicine, friends and family
transformed a memorial service Nov. 19 into a passionate celebra-
tion of the life of longtime faculty member and dean of students
Dr. Jim Himes.
Past and present CVM students, faculty and administrators as well
as members of Himes' family shared their memories of a man who
was born in Ohio, but who called Gainesville home for more than
People reminisced and paid further tribute to the late dean emeritus
of students and instruction at the college, who meant more than
words could express to so many of them. The Office of Students and
Instruction arranged a tribute to Himes inside the lobby of the VAB,
with photos taken over the years and awards that had been important
Himes came to UF in 1965 as an assistant professor of veterinary
science in the College of Agriculture and in 1973 received a joint
appointment in the newly-forming College of Veterinary Medicine.
He was appointed director of the Office of Veterinary Medical
Education for the college in 1975 and served as assistant dean and
later associate dean in charge of students and instruction until he
retired in 1992.
Even after retirement, he kept the college close to his heart.
"He was just an extraordinary person who made this college his
family until about a month ago," recalled the college's dean, Glen
Dr. James Albert Himes
Beloved friend, mentor, colleague
Dr. Glen Hoffsis, Dr. Jim Himes and Dr. Link Welborn stand together
following the announcement at 2008 NAVC alumni reception that the
$100,000 threshold had been reached to endow the James Himes
10 FLORIDA VETERINARIAN
"He made eye contact; he looked directly at you and smiled,"
recalled Alexa McDermott, senior class president.
Link Welborn, D.V.M., a member of the college's class of'82 and a
driving force behind the college alumni council's creation of the James
A. Himes Alumni Scholarship, remembered meeting Himes while a
pre-veterinary student in 1977. At that time, Himes was the college's
associate dean for students and instruction.
"The period of preparation for veterinary school, and the applica-
tion and interview process, is a stressful time for every student, and it
was no different for me," he said. "However, Dr. Himes' quiet, warm,
reassuring manner relieved as much of the anxiety as was possible. He
made every student feel as if he cared for them and I'm convinced that
he did genuinely care for all of us."
Welborn said the creation of the Himes Alumni Scholarship came
after a suggestion from the college's former dean, Joe DiPietro, to
the alumni council about a scholarship fund. The scholarship idea
languished a bit, until it was connected to Himes.
"In 1998, it occurred to me that if fundraising was to be success-
ful, we needed to create an emotional attachment to the scholarship,"
Welborn said. "Naming it to honor Himes was obvious, since he had
touched the lives of virtually every alumnus in such a positive way."
In 2008, the Himes Alumni Scholarship reached the $100,000
threshold needed to qualify for state matching dollars, thanks to
support from the many College of Veterinary Medicine alumni and
friends who remember him so well. 4ak
Editor's Note: For longer version of story, go to the December issue of
the Veterinary Page at: **. ... ... ..' ..'
Recollecting Dr. Jim Himes Alumni celebrated Himes'
life at this year's North
EL HEi: .. E-z I,, Conference in Orlando
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arrived early at the reception.
Editor. ,S otN . L....r. .. 0 r
Dr. Jo Ann Daniels, '03, Dr. Paul Gibbs,
professor of infectious diseases at UF, and Dr.
Tara Anderson, '03.
New forensics program to investigate crimes
By Czerne Reid
Call it "CSI: Animal Edition." But this
isn't television. In this real-life drama,
necropsies, assessment of skeletal remains for
abuse and trauma, and crime scene analysis of
hair, fibers and bloodstains are used to solve
cases of cruelty to animals.
University of Florida officials announced
in January that they are partnering with
the American Society for the Prevention of
Cruelty to Animals to form the first Veterinary
Forensic Sciences Program dedicated to the
teaching, research and application of forensic
science in the investigation and prosecution
of crimes against animals. The program will
handle cases from around the country -
possibly up to 200 within the first two years
- and provide consultancy and training.
Additional details were presented at the North
American Veterinary Conference in Orlando.
The collaboration between the university
and the ASPCA started a year ago, when
the two institutions organized a conference
on the use of forensic science to investigate
animal cruelty. Coordinators expected only
a few dozen attendees, but instead were met
by nearly 200 people from across the United
States and nine other countries.
That unanticipated interest helped fuel the
development of the new program.
"This is a newly emerging field," said
forensic toxicologist Bruce Goldberger, Ph.D.,
director of the William R. Maples Center for
Forensic Medicine at UF "We are translat-
ing our knowledge of forensic science to a
new field devoted to solving crimes against
The Veterinary Forensic Sciences Program
will dramatically increase the number of
professionals trained in forensic investiga-
tion of animal cruelty cases by potentially
hundreds each year, Goldberger said. In so
doing, it could also help uncover instances
where the abusers are also targeting people,
Housed at the Maples Center, the new
program is being established with a $450,000
gift $150,000 a year for the next three
years from the ASPCA.
Over the last few years, the number and
stringency of laws relating to animal cruelty
has increased. Penalties can include extended
prison time, such as in the high-profile dog
Dr. Bruce Goldberger, director of the William R. Maples Center for Forensic Medicine at UF.
fighting case involving professional football
player Michael Vick.
"That means the standards of investiga-
tions and of the science used in document-
ing what has happened to animals are much,
much higher than even five years ago," said
Randall Lockwood, Ph.D., ASPCA senior vice
president for anti-cruelty field services.
There is no national tracking of animal
cruelty cases the new Veterinary Forensics
Sciences Program will allow for better col-
lection of such data. On the basis of media
accounts, the animal advocacy Web site
pet-abuse.com reports 1,620 cases in 2008.
The ASPCA investigates at least 200 cruelty
cases a year. Scenarios include simple neglect,
abandonment, animal hoarding and blood
sports such as dog fighting.
Lt. Sherry Schlueter, who calls herself the
"original animal cop," is credited with starting
- in the early 1980s the first animal
cruelty investigation unit within a law enforce-
ment agency. Today she is section supervisor
of the Special Victims and Family Crimes
section of the Broward County (Florida)
Sheriffs Office. She said the new program
will help protect not only animals, but also
humans who might be harmed by the same
assailants. She heads one of the first police
units in the country in which officers are
"cross-trained" to recognize and investigate
links between animal abuse and violence
against humans, including child abuse,
domestic violence and sexual abuse.
She works to educate fellow officers and
others about that link.
"My goal was always to get law enforce-
ment to recognize animal cruelty for the
crime it is," she said. "Victims are victims -
and batterers are batterers and it shouldn't
matter what species, what age, what gender."
The new program at University of Florida
will offer undergraduate and postgraduate
courses and continuing education for veteri-
narians, law enforcement personnel, animal
control officers and others. Courses include
forensic entomology, buried-remains excava-
tion, bloodstain pattern analysis, bite-mark
analysis and animal crime scene process-
ing. Training will be done in classroom
settings, online and through the just-formed
International Veterinary Forensic Sciences
One such course to be offered next
12 FLORIDA VETERINARIAN
In The News
Gracie graces the Swamp
spring through the University of Florida's
College of Veterinary Medicine will include
seminars on various forensics topics, as well
as a mock trial in which students will play
the defendants in animal-cruelty cases. Real
prosecutors and media professionals will take
part to enhance the learning experience. t
Often, veterinarians presented with cases
of animal abuse or neglect are not sure what
to look for to establish cause and manner .
of death, or to prove that a crime was
"Veterinarians are frequently asked to
participate in cruelty investigations, yet
we don't receive special training on that in
veterinary school," said Julie Levy, D.V.M.,
Ph.D., director of Maddie's Shelter Medicine
Program at the University of Florida. "There is
a substantial unmet need for that training to
be provided to veterinarians." 44
Dr. I lood, I hcC-all clase of '86E.i5 pi:luied ,.ilh UF Piesideni Eeine
I lachen in the Piteident'l Eo during the 2ci. 25 UF hoirec:ominii game.
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Honored for skills with exotic pets
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of the ',ea,. an honor betoned
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animal piactlione ele, ed
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Dr. Julie Levy fir.mt re,:ipiert of the a,.,'ard in 1999.
FL:FHILE, ETERIN-RHI-N 13
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1 FL, _:,Iu-1 ETEF IN l- -N
UF scientists to play key roles in National
Children's Health Study
By Sarah Carey
n tists with the
University of Florida
colleges of Veterinary
Medicine and Public
Health and Health
Professions will help
mental testing and
ments for Florida's
component in an Dr. Nancy Szabo
national study aimed at improving the health
of America's children.
UF's component of the $54 million Florida
contract amounts to approximately $10
million, administrators said.
Nancy Szabo, Ph.D., director of the
Analytical Toxicology Corps Laboratory and
a research assistant professor with the College
of Veterinary Medicine, and Natalie Freeman,
Ph.D., associate professor and interim director
of the College of Public Health and Health
Professions' environmental health program -
both ofwhom are affiliated with UF's Center
for Environmental and Human Toxicology
- will partner with lead investigator Mark
Hudak, M.D., a UF pediatrician at Shands-
Jacksonville, on UF's piece of the project
known as the National Children's Study.
One of the largest collaborative efforts in
health-related research ever, the NCS will
involve a consortium of federal partners
including the National Institutes of Health,
the U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services, the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention and the U.S. Environmental
The NCS's goal is to ultimately enroll
100,000 children nationally. To that end, the
NIH has selected 105 counties in the country,
including four in Florida, to participate. Each
urban county selected will ultimately assemble
a group of 1,000 children and rural counties
will assemble a group of 600 children all of
whom will be followed prenatally and through
the first 21 years of life.
In Florida, the University of Miami's Miller
School of Medicine will be taking the lead
role as the Florida coordinating center. The
University of South Florida and the University
of Central Florida are also involved. UF's
efforts will primarily focus on 600 children
from Baker County, although Freeman and
Szabo will also participate in the Orange and
Hillsborough county sites.
"Having Mark Hudak as principal investiga-
tor of the Baker location makes a lot of sense
during the first years of the study, since the
primary focus will be on recruiting women
before and during pregnancy and following
them through delivery," said Freeman, whose
background is in residential exposure assess-
ment with a particular focus on children. She
and Szabo also are excited about the potential
for additional intercollege collaborations that
may ensue at UF from spin-off studies.
Freeman said the NCS is essentially an
observational exposure assessment study as
well as a longitudinal epidemiology study.
Environmental assessments will include
household, air, water and soil around the
household. More specific decisions relating
to which contaminants will be analyzed
are expected to be finalized in the next few
months. Specific contaminants to be tested
will vary by region.
"We will gather information about
lifestyle activities and collect environmen-
tal samples for analysis of a wide range
of agents," Freeman said. "Hopefully this
data will provide information about what
children are exposed to and how it impacts
She added that the Florida contract
should provide for many jobs in Dade,
Hillsborough, Orange and Baker counties,
and ought to be a welcome boon for the
entire state in lean economic times.
"It is expected that the folks manning the
phone banks, trained for home visits and
the collection of various environmental/
biological samples will come largely from
the area," said Szabo, whose primary role
will be to provide quality control and
quality assurance for the Baker County piece
of the study.
"This extends beyond the collection or
manipulation of data; it involves verification
and evaluation of the personnel involved, bio-
logical and environmental protocols, sampling
and site activities and verification/evaluation
of corrective actions," Szabo said.
Although most of the time-consuming,
routine efforts for Baker County such as
phone banks, surveys, site visits for collection
of biological and/or environmental samples,
have been subcontracted to a company that
has its own quality control system, its activities
will still be monitored and confirmed by UF
The NCS coordinating center has not yet
finalized decisions regarding what analyses
will be conducted or who will provide those
analyses on collected environmental and bio-
Freeman said that besides Szabo's role in
monitoring quality assurance and control -
which Freeman called "critical" for a study of
this size it was possible that other veteri-
nary medical faculty who conduct research
relevant to both humans and animals might
at some point be involved in other aspects of
"One of the focuses of the NCS is trying
to understand the development of asthma,"
Freeman said. "In the veterinary college, there
Dr. Natalie Freeman
already is an established group conducting
Along with asthma, however, diabetes,
obesity and autism are specifically stated
interests within the NCS. Szabo and Freeman
both said all these areas could afford the
possibility of future intracollege collaborations
"As time goes by and the Florida branch of
the NCS gets started, other opportunities of
this nature will surely appear," Szabo said. -a#
FLORIDA VETERINARIAN 15
A new equine lecture series for the
horse-owning public will kick off with a
presentation on "Lameness in the Horse,"
by Dr. Matt Brokken. All lectures will be
held at UF's Alec P. and Louise H. Courtelis
Equine Hospital in the auditorium. Other
lectures are scheduled monthly through May.
For more information, go to: http://www.
The Class of 1984 will celebrate its Silver
Society Weekend, sponsored by the UF
Alumni Association. Go to: www.ufalumni.
ufl.edu and look for Silver Society. For more
information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
or call (352) 392-2213, ext. 5013.
The college will hold its annual professional
coating ceremony for the Class of 2011
at University Auditorium. For more
information, e-mail email@example.com,
or call (352) 392-2213, ext. 5013.
Commencement exercises for the Class of
2009 will be held at UF's Phillips Center for
the Performing Arts. For more information,
UF UNIVERSITY of
College of Veterinary Medicine
P.O. Box 100125
Gainesville, FL 32610-0125
Fly like an eagle
L, nod \'/ile. Eaglie-\"/alacri cooidirnatoi fol ,udubon of Florida il-l anrid
Di. Copper At -en-Pal.rie,. a :oolo.lic.:al medicine iesideni
at UF'. College of Veterinar, r medicine. prepare to release an Amri-iic: an
Bald Ea:ile inlo Irie I.,. dio rieai Croi. ,Cree- Fla.. orn Ocl. 1 4. Tr e eaile
,.al-edI s-.eeral stlep.s before it fle .' 10 i top of a nreai, tle. 'fne.v it
',ai jOined b., another eagle. Originall. a good airiaritan found The bird
in The sanie aiea. unable Io ,.,al-. and i arn.poiied ii 1o UF' 'elerinar,
I ledi:al C.en le foi iheatmeni until it repaired iI stien,.7ri and '*as
released 0I Audobon foi fuilriei rerabiliialion.