th e NEWS FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA COLLEGE OF VETERINARY MEDICINE
Thompson named dean at University of Tennessee's veterinary college
BY SARAH CAREY
A s you would expect for someone who has been a part of college life at the UF CVM
for 32 years, Executive Associate Dean Jim Thompson has a long list of memories
which he considers treasures. He reflected on some of those as he prepares for his
next career adventure as dean of the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, a
job he will begin officially Oct. 1.
Thompson remembers early morning and late evening walks along and across the old
railroad tracks, long since removed, into Shands at UF for classes as a graduate student
studying immunology and medical microbiology and as a veterinary student in the late 1970s
- back when Shands consisted of only a medical science building, communicore, pharmacy
wing, and dental tower; well before an east hospital wing, an academic research building, or
the Brain Institute were even being considered.
After receiving his D.VM. and Ph.D. degrees from UF, Thompson completed a residency in
small animal medicine and was subsequently hired as an assistant professor of small animal
"I was asked to bring oncology forward in the school and I began that process," he said.
"It's great to see that the college has fulfilled that vision now with its stellar oncology team.
When the new small animal hospital is built, we will have a complete facility dedicated to
companion animals and which will include radiation therapy as well as state-of-the-art
diagnostic imaging. So mission accomplished, as far as I'm concerned."
Although he could have continued his promising career as a talented oncology clinician
- Thompson holds board certification in small animal medicine, immunology and oncology
- his orientation changed permanently after the college went through a Total Quality
Management process in 1996. His involvement drew the attention of former dean Richard
Dierks, who noted Thompson's detail-oriented approach to problem solving.
"Dr. Nancy Bailey was in the process of leaving the position of associate dean of students
and instruction and I was asked if I'd be willing to put my name in the hat to be considered,"
Thompson said. "I saw this as an opportunity to work with students and faculty to apply the
detail-oriented traits I have in order to improve delivery of the curriculum and make things
flow better. That's how I got into administration."
Among his fondest memories during his 10 years as academic dean was the challenge of
establishing the sophomore coating ceremony as a college tradition. Not only is there now a
formal ceremony each year acknowledging incoming junior students' transition into clinics,
but students now wear white coats in the clinics not the blue coats of yesteryear.
"At the time I became academic dean, all the students still wore blue coats, but I noticed
that all the other Health Science Center students wore white coats," Thompson said. "It's a
symbol of professionalism. I worked hard with the faculty to convince them our students
should be granted the privilege of wearing white coats and assured them that clients would still
understand and appreciate the difference between students and faculty. The significance of the
"white coat ceremony" is that it enables us to clearly say to the students, 'we welcome you into
our hospital and ask you to now shoulder the respected responsibilities expected of all health
One of the more difficult decisions he made during his first year as academic dean related
to testing environment.
"I felt strongly that students sitting side by side during rigorous exams might be tempted
to breach their ethical conscience and that as a teaching faculty we should strive to create a
testing environment that provided no temptation for students undergoing stressful, high stakes
testing." Thompson said. "I remember clearly the initial controversy of requiring students to be
separated during our mid-term and final examinations. Students said, 'you should trust us.
Faculty said, 'There's no room to spread the students out and you should trust them.' But this
was done for the right reasons for both the students and the college."
When former college dean Joseph DiPietro left in 2006, Thompson was named interim
dean of the college while a search was conducted for the permanent dean. Soon after Dr. Glen
Hoffsis was hired as dean in late 2006, Dr. Ron Gronwall retired from his position as executive
associate dean and Hoffsis asked Thompson to take the job. After being named executive
associate dean, Thompson continued as academic dean until Dr. Tom Vickroy was named
interim associate dean for students and instruction in late 2007. So the last few years have seen
Thompson working two jobs simultaneously, not once but twice.
"All of these jobs have been great opportunities to grow and to understand the college at
even deeper levels," Thompson said.
"Also, we didn't have the money we needed in order to hire people into permanent
positions, and I felt I could continue to handle multiple positions as we moved into the
beginnings of this budget crisis."
As executive associate dean, Thompson's challenges include streamlining day-to-day
operations in the college and the Veterinary Medical Center and making sure people have the
right resources to do their jobs.
"I've always viewed this job as one of knocking
Dr Jim Thompson
"I've always viewed this job as one of knocking down barriers," Thompson said.
Thompson's wife, Joan, the college's pharmacist, will remain in Gainesville temporarily
but will join him soon in Knoxville. He said he is thrilled to be embarking on a new career at
Tennessee, but added that "UF will forever be in my blood."
"I'm not ending old relationships," he said. "I feel like a dragon protecting my treasures,
which are people and ideas and integrity. The University of Florida holds all the treasures that a
dragon would want."
Farewell send-off held for departing CVM
administrator at he heads for Tennessee
A farewell presentation and party were held in Dr. Jim Thompson's honor on Sept. 23. In photo, Dean Glen
Hoffsis is shown with Thompson's wife, Joan, as together they unveil the portrait that will now hang, along
with other former college deans and interim deans, in the dean's conference room. Many members of the
college's faculty, staff and student body attended the gathering, along with several longtime associates of
Thompson's from the UF Health Science Center, the main campus and the Florida Veterinary Medical
Harvey named to
CVM small animal clinical sciences department chair
receives the AVMA's International Veterinary Congress Prize
Dr. Colin Burrows, chairman of
the department of small animal
clinical sciences and chief of staff of
UF's small animal hospital, recently
received the American Veterinary
Medical Association's 2007 12th
International Veterinary Congress
Awarded during the AVMA's
annual meeting in July, the prize
recognizes outstanding contributions
to international understanding of
Burrows is a board-certified
veterinary internist, specializing in the
study of canine and feline gastrointes-
tinal, hepatic and pancreatic disease.
His research has focused on canine
gastrointestinal motility in health and
disease, and on the relationship
between diet and gastrointestinal
He has delivered continuing
education presentations in more than
50 countries and is an honorary
member of both the Austrian and
Russian Small Animal Veterinary Associa-
Burrows has also served as coordinator
of the NorthAmericanVeterinary Confer-
ence since 1980 and currently serves as the
NAVC's executive director.
J ohnHarvey, D.VM., Ph.D., has been
named executive associate dean of the
University of Florida College of Veterinary
Medicine, effective Oct. 1.
Harvey was a founding member of the UF
veterinary college's faculty in 1974 and has
served as chairman of the college's depart-
ment of physiological sciences since 1995. As
executive associate dean, Harvey will be in
charge of internal college operations.
"Dr. Harvey has a long history with this
college and great institutional knowledge,"
said Glen Hoffsis, D.VM., the college's dean.
"He will be an excellent right-hand person to
have in this position and I am delighted that
he has agreed to accept the job."
Harvey replaces James Thompson, D.VM.,
Ph.D., who held the post of executive
associate dean since 2006 and has left the
college to become dean at the University of
Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine.
A Kansas native, Harvey earned both his
bachelor's and D.VM. degrees from Kansas
State and his Ph.D. from the University of
California-Davis. He is board-certified in
clinical pathology by the American College
of Veterinary Pathologists.
Harvey's research interests are compara-
tive hematology and erythrocyte enzyme
deficiencies. He discovered and named the
Anaplasma platys organism that infects
platelets in dogs and, along with co-workers,
first recognized and reported four inherited
erythrocyte enzyme deficiencies.
Among the honors Harvey has received
are the UF Norden Distinguished Teacher
Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award from
the American Society for Veterinary Clinical
Pathology, the Award for Outstanding
Contributions to Animal Clinical Chemistry,
Division of Animal Clinical Chemistry,
American Association for Clinical Chemistry,
and the Alumni Recognition Award from
Kansas State University College of Veterinary
A former president of the American
Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology and
the International Society for Animal Clinical
Pathology, Harvey also served a four-year
term on the Morris Animal Foundation's
scientific advisory board. He has published
160 journal articles and book chapters
concerning comparative hematology and has
presented more than 230 scientific and
continuing education talks and seminars.
More photos from Thompson farewell send-off
Senior Vice President for Health Affairs Doug Barrett, left, with Dr. Jim Thompson and Dean Glen
Hoffsis during Thompson's farewell party on S ept. 23. (Photo by Sarah Carey)
Members of the Florida Veterinary Medical Association honored Thompson with a plaque of
appreciation. From left to right in photo are Phil Hinkle, FVMA's executive director; Dean Glen
Hoffsis; Dr. Steve Shores, representing FVMA; Dr. Jim Thompson; Dr. Ernie Godfrey, representing
FVMA; and Dr. Richard Wilkes, representing FVMA. (Photo by Sarah Carey)
Congratulations in order
Congratulations to Drs. Carrie
Goldkamp and Jennifer McCown for
passing their qualifying and certifying
examinations with the American
College of Veterinary Internal Medi-
Congratulations also to Dr. Jeremy
Frederick and Jacob Johnson for
passing their qualifying examinations
in ACVIM and the American College
of Veterinary Anesthesia, respectively.
UF student wins competition
at theriogenology meeting
.J ll..h Phll.l. 5 ll ell .11 hl: ,1A ,lh
Dr Jin ,,, n. lF 1Jdr 1 Miie,,.> |)r)p
., chhllaired Ihe C inll'Illlhllo
UF veterinary student Justin
Phillips, class of '09, won first place
in the Student Case Presentation
Competition at the 2008 American
College of Therionology meeting,
held in St. Louis Aug. 12-16.
Phillips' presentation was on "A
Breeding Related Vaginal Lacera-
tion in a Mare."
VMC's first-ever hemodialysis
treatment performed on bull terrier
awaiting kidney transplant
...Bull terrior now recuperating from successful surgery
at University of Pennsylvania, thanks to unique collaboration
Junior veterinary students Robin Mclntyre and Christopher Gautier were amount those involved with Zansi's care
at the VMC. (UF CVM Photo)
Dr. Carsten Bandt monitors Zansi's progress during one of several dialysis treatments she received at UF's
Veterinary Medical Center prior to having kidney transplant surgery at the University of Pennsylvania.
(UF CVM Photo)
BY SARAH CAREY
T hanks to a unique collaboration between the University of Florida and the University
of Pennsylvania, a 14-month-old bull terrier named Zansi is recuperating well at her
home in St. Petersburg after successful kidney transplant surgery Sept. 4.
The case represented the first time a patient has received hemodialysis at the UF Veterinary
Medical Center and the second time a dog has received a kidney transplant at the University of
Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. Zansi's litter mate, Toni, provided the donor
kidney, said their owner, Jennifer O'Brien. The dogs were imported from a South African
"Zansi and Toni are both doing wonderfully," O'Brien said Sept. 14. "As far as I can tell,
everything is going great."
Soon after Zansi arrived from South Africa, O'Brien noticed she was not eating well and
was drinking large amounts of water. Eventually she found an internal medicine specialist in
Clearwater who diagnosed kidney disease.
"I began pounding the pavement, doing a lot of research on the Internet to see what our
options were," O'Brien said. Although a few other veterinary hospitals in the United States can
provide canine kidney transplants, she determined that Penn Vet was logistically her best
option for the procedure. There was one problem, however after the rigorous workup process
Zansi underwent at Penn Vet, she was not medically stable enough for surgery.
While equipped to perform the transplant operation, Penn Vet's hemodialysis program is on
hold. Hemodialysis is a procedure through which kidney function is mechanically taken over
until the patient is stable enough to receive a donor kidney.
The roles of both veterinary colleges were critical in Zansi's care, which led to a first-of-its-
kind collaboration between the two institutions.
"We were lucky enough to come across Dr. (Carsten) Bandt and the University of Florida,"
Bandt, an assistant professor of critical care and emergency medicine at UF, has a back-
ground is in hemodialysis and nephrology.
Through hemodialysis, symptoms known as uremic syndrome witnessed through
clinical signs such as loss of appetite, weakness, seizures and vomiting can be greatly
reduced or eliminated.
"There are only a few veterinary centers capable of doing intermittent hemodialysis,"
Bandt said. Because of Bandt's expertise, UF joined that elite group and Zansi became the first
patient ever to receive the procedure at UF veterinary hospital.
Hemodialysis treatments typically last between five and six hours and most dogs need
three treatments per week, Bandt said. Zansi, who still had some kidney function, was able to
get by with two weekly treatments.
"She was a rare exception, but she did very i\ %II Bandt said.
Following her treatments, Zansi was deemed stable enough for surgery after gaining weight
and displaying an improved appetite and attitude. On Aug. 31, Zansi and Toni headed to
Pennsylvania for the transplant operation.
Drs. Lillian Aronson and Heidi Phillips performed the surgery. Phillips said transplants
are not recommended for all dogs with kidney disease. Animals with infections or recurring
infections or that have cancer are not good candidates for kidney transplants, she said. Aronson
initiated Penn Vet's feline renal transplantation program, which recently celebrated its 100t
"It is a rare procedure in dogs," Phillips said. "We can only use dogs that are related to each
other at this time. In cats we can use unrelated donors, because they are able to suppress their
Shown at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine following Zansi's successful kidney
transplant surgery are Zansi and Toni's owner, Jennifer O'Brien, left; Dr. Heidi Phillips, kneeling with Zansi and Toni;
and Dr. Lillian Asonson and Lynn Beale at center and right. (Photo courtesy of the University of Pennsylvania)
immune system with medication. They respond to the immune suppression medication better
than dogs do."
O'Brien called Penn's veterinary team "very gracious and professional."
"I also feel very strongly about UF, as I come from a family of Gators," she said. "We have
had such a positive experience and I am so impressed with all of the people in the dog
nephrology world. They are some of the nicest people I have ever come across."
The message O'Brien would most like to convey, however, is for people with dogs in need
of such treatments to know there are options for them to receive help.
"I would like to see these options more accessible and more available to the pets that
need them," she said.
New Comparative Orthopedics
Laboratory dedicated in memory
of the late Dr. Rob Parker
Dr. Dan Lewis, professor of surgery in the College of Veterinary Medicine's department of small animal
surgery, is shown with special guest Elizabeth Parker Griseck, daughter of the late Dr.Robert B. Parker.
Lewis holds the plaque that will be displayed in the new laboratory. (Photo by Sarah Carey)
College of Medicine Interim Dean Michael Good and Dr. Tom Wright, a professor of orthopedic surgery
with the College of Medicine's department of orthopaedics and rehabilitation, were among the guests.
(Photo by Sarah Carey)
Mieko Dunn, assistant director of research; Dr. MaryBeth Horodyski, associate professor and research director
with the College of Medicine's department of orthopaedics and rehabilitation; and Dr. Peter Gearen, chairman of
the College of Medicine's department of orthopaedics and rehabilitation, holding a device known as a fixator,
which is used to stabilize joints as they heal after surgery. (Photo by Sarah Carey)
(Photo by Sarah Carey)
I n the first formal recognition of a collaboration that has spanned more than 30 years,
University of Florida doctors who treat both humans and animals came together on
campus recently to dedicate the new Comparative Orthopaedics and Biomechanics
Laboratory in memory of the late Dr. Rob Parker, a former UF small animal orthopedic surgeon
who was killed in a car accident this past year.
The UF College of Medicine's department of orthopaedics and rehabilitation's biomechan-
ics laboratory, formerly housed in the UF Health Science Center, has been renamed to reflect
the physician/veterinarian collaboration and is now located in the UF College of Veterinary
Medicine's academic building.
More than 60 people from both colleges gathered there on the evening of Sept. 10 to hear
brief presentations about the benefits of the intercollegiate collaboration and tour the new lab.
"We needed to expand our laboratory space for gene therapy and stem cell research, so we
decided to move our biomechanics laboratory," said Dr. MaryBeth Horodyski, an associate
professor and director of the department's research program. "The department looked at several
options, including renting space in town and building another facility."
At some point, Horodyski and Dr. Anthony Pozzi, an assistant professor of surgery at the
UF College of Veterinary Medicine, began communicating and discussion soon emerged
between faculty members from both colleges about space possibilities within the veterinary
"Once space was identified, several renovations needed to be made," Horodyski said.
"Once those were complete, we moved our entire laboratory from the medical science building
over to the veterinary academic building."
A major piece of equipment that needed to be accommodated was a multiaxial mechanical
testing system (also known as an MTS), used for testing joints in cadaver specimens and which
can be used for both animal and human species.
Administrators from both colleges all said that one key advantage of the formal collabora-
tion will be the ability to submit stronger grant proposals.
"Many funding organizations clearly like to see translational research across a university
and this new laboratory will clearly align the researchers from both colleges to be better
positioned to apply for certain grants," Horodyski said.
Parker, whose name is on the plaque hanging outside of the laboratory, had been a charter
member of the veterinary college faculty when the college opened its doors in 1977.
"For 20 years, the name Rob Parker was synonymous with small animal orthopedics in the
state of Florida," said Dr. Dan Lewis, a professor of small animal surgery at UF and longtime
friend and colleague of Parker's.
"It only seemed fitting as we brought this joint venture together that we dedicate the new
lab in his memory."
Dr. Steve Ghivizzani, an associate professor in the College of Medicine departments of orthopaedics and
rehabilitation and molecular genetics and microbiology; Dr. Scott Banks, an assistant professor of mechanical
and aerospace engineering and an affiliate faculty member in the College of Medicine department of
orthopedics and rehabilitation; and Dr. Antonio Pozzi, an assistant professor of surgery in the department of
small animal clinical sciences at the College of Veterinary Medicine.
(Photo by Sarah Carey)
Dr. John Harvey, executive associate dean; Dr. Dan Lewis, professor of surgery in the College of Veterinary
Medicine's department of small animal clinical sciences; Dr. Antonio Pozzi, assistant professor of surgery in
the department of small animal clinical sciences; and Dean Glen Hoffsis gather in the new laboratory
following the dedication ceremony Sept. 10. (Photo by Sarah Carey)