th e NEWS FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA COLLEGE OF VETERINARY MEDICINE
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Zoo medicine faculty member receives CTSI training grant to further
knowledge, teaching in translational science
R amiro Isaza, D.V.M., an associate professor of small
animal clinical sciences at the University of Florida
College of Veterinary Medicine, has been selected as one
of six UF faculty members to receive KL2 Scholarships through A
UF's Clinical and Translational Science Institute.
Isaza, who currently serves as chief of the zoological medicine
service, is the only veterinarian in UF's first group of KL2
designees. The KL2 program provides training and professional
development as well as salary, research and tuition support for a
minimum of two years to faculty members who are pursuing a
graduate-level degree in a multidisciplinary area of clinical
research. Scholars receive an appreciation of diverse clinical
research disciplines, an understanding of methodological and
analytic concepts necessary to design rigorous clinical research
and an opportunity to apply their knowledge through a mentored 4'
research experience that leads to future grant proposals.
The program is part of the much broader CTSI, which was
established at UF in 2008 as the university developed its programs
before receiving a highly competitive and very prestigious
Clinical and Translational Science Award from the National
Institutes of Health in July 2009.
"Translational medicine as we think of it within the veterinary
field is primarily basic research and how we can apply it to
animals," Isaza said. "But this program seeks ways of applying our
veterinary knowledge to human health. So I've chosen to pursue a
master's degree in public health and focus my training and interest
on how non-domestic species can cause disease in people."
Isaza said he will focus on the occupational risks faced by
people such as zookeepers, wildlife professionals and even pet
owners who work with non-domestic species.
"I'm pretty wellversed in the diseases these animals have, but I
want to communicate effectively with the human health
professionals about how these animal diseases can impact human
health," he said, adding that he felt honored to receive the grant
because it afforded him a unique opportunity to cross-train his
"The concept of one health, one medicine is only as good as
how well faculty are able to teach the students," he said.
"Ultimately I want to teach the students the importance of an MPH
degree and how to communicate with human health professionals
as well as with clients. This scholarship gives me the opportunity
to bridge that gap."
Marian Limacher, M.D., heads up the CTSI's training and
professional development program, which includes the KL2
"We're excited about that quality and potential of our first
KL2 awardees," Limacher said. "These young professionals have
the opportunity to forge new collaborations and develop new
insights into research that will improve the health of the
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New Ph.D. recipient brought experience, credibility to UF's AQuatic Animal Health Program
Bob Bonde, right, and his wife, Cathy Beck, left. are shown in Belize with a healthy wild female manatee that had been captured for a health assessment and was subsequently released.
(Photo courtesy of Bob Bonde)
S t may have taken federal research biologist Bob Bonde six years to finish his Ph.D.,
but as he puts it, he's never let his schooling interfere with his education.
"Much of the information utilized for my dissertation dates back to when I started
working on manatees more than 30 years ago," said Bonde, who successfully defended his
dissertation, which focused on population genetics of the manatee, in November at the UF
College of Veterinary Medicine. He will officially receive his degree December 18 during
UF's graduate program commencement exercises.
Bonde has spent his entire professional career working with both the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service and the U.S. Geological Survey, where he was assigned to work on
population research for the manatee.
"I have always had an interest in genetics and understand the value as it relates to
conservation of this endangered species," Bonde said. "My interests are broad, but my
doctoral program focused only on the manatee genetics issues. I was able to juggle the
other responsibilities of my job and still get the genetics program underway."
To date, the manatee genetics samples Bonde has amassed over the last 20 years have
provided three other Ph.D. projects, one in the Department of Fisheries in 2000, one in the
College of Medicine in 2007 and one in the College of Veterinary Medicine in 2008.
Currently Bonde's name is associated with some 65 scientific publications. In 2006,
he co-authored a book, The Florida Manatee: Biology and Conservation, with Dr. Roger
Reep, a professor of neuroscience in the CVM's department of physiological sciences.
Bonde and Reep have a professional relationship going back more than 20 years.
"Perhaps more than any other single individual, Bob Bonde represents the face of the
manatee community in Florida," Reep said. "Whether organizing medical assessments of
wild manatees, being interviewed for television documentaries or doing his own
trailblazing research on manatee genetics, Bob is thoughtful, kind and encouraging to
Reep added that Bonde's genuine love of manatees and his dedication to promoting
healthy interactions between humans and manatees are accompanied by an unwavering
positive attitude that is "sweetly contagious."
In turn, Bonde called Reep an enthusiastic scientist and said he had been fortunate to
be able to work with Reep on the manatee book.
"It was a culmination of a lot of experience and information on the manatee," he said,
adding that book profits are donated to a fund to reward and acknowledge students in the
CVM graduate program.
The future should offer an opportunity to make further use of the material collected
more recently, Bonde said.
"I suspect not much will change at my end," he said. "I love my job and the agency I
work for and embrace being part of the planning for the future. In that future, I hope that
genetics will shed
some light on the
issues and provide us
with better opportuni-
ties for the next
generation of scien-
He added that he .
very much wanted to .
remain a part of that
process and to .
continue his affiliation
with the CVM.
"I have never
worked with a more
pleasant person," Reep
said. "It has been a
revelation to watch Bob Bonde monitors the heart rate of a manatee calf that had been recently
Bob organize the rescued in Belize. (Photo courtesy of Bob Bonde)
He takes a group of 30 chilly people that have never worked together before, speaks gently
to them about what to expect, leads by example and good humor," Reep said. "Amazingly,
these events go off with no complaints I have ever heard."
Bonde's wife, Cathy Beck, has worked side by side with her husband for 32 years on the
manatee project for USGS. Beck, a wildlife biologist, manages the Manatee Individual
Photo Identification System, a computerized archive of sighting and life history data on
individual manatees from throughout the southeastern United States.
"We are a team, and continue to work hand in hand on many issues," Bonde said. "That
will not change, as our passions are much the same. Recently we have spent more time
together working on international sirenian projects in Belize and Australia."
Dr. Ruth Francis-Floyd, who directs UF's Aquatic Animal Health program, said that
having Bonde in the aquatic animal health graduate program has been "a total privilege."
"His participation gave our fledgling program instant credibilityy" she said. "He has led
by example and we are so proud to have his good name associated with the University of
Members of the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine Emergency Treat-
ment Service and Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program at UF teamed up with forensic veterinar-
ian Melinda Merck of the ASPCA and partners from other regional and national humane
agencies, to help triage and treat approximately 600 cats following the closure of the 10th Life
Sanctuary in Hendry County, Fla.
A preliminary assessment during an unannounced visit to the sanctuary by Merck, Dr. Julie
Levy, the local sheriff, animal control officers, and cruelty experts from HSUS and the ASPCA,
Upon hearing the group's conclusion that the sanctuary was operating far below the
standard of humane care and that a criminal investigation was underway, the sanctuary owner
agreed to surrender all 600 cats to LaBelle Animal Control, a small rural facility with only nine
cat cages. The owner agreed to keep the sanctuary open for several weeks to allow an orderly
disposition of the cats.
UFVETS ran a field hospital at the sanctuary Nov. 23-25, and with a team of approximately
50 interagency volunteers, triaged all 600 cats, providing physical examinations, FeLV/FIV/
HW tests, parasite treatment, and medical treatment as needed. Volunteers from Tampa's Bay
Area Disaster Animal Response Team ran the sheltering and adoption side of the intervention.
"This was a heartwarming experience in which local, regional, and national organizations
came together with little advance notice to participate in one of the five largest cat rescues ever
conducted," said Rachel Michaud, coordinator of the shelter medicine program. "Animal
shelters sent their staff members and volunteers trained in disaster response traveled to this
isolated part of the state to pitch in."
Ten cats were brought back to UF for surgery and additional care. Most cats were already
spayed, neutered, and microchipped. Several important infectious diseases have been identi-
fied in the population, and although many of the cats are ill, the team hopes to save as many as
possible. As of 12/10/09, more than 250 cats had been transferred to other welfare agencies.
Approximately 100 critically ill cats were euthanized at the scene, and 30 cats are receiving
veterinary care. All of the friendly cats have been removed from the sanctuary, but more than
200 feral cats await news of new opportunities for them.
"The feral cats present our greatest challenge," Levy said. "They are healthy but too wild to
place in new homes. We are looking for farms that need mousers or existing managed colonies
that can accommodate a few more cats."
Dr. Brian DiGangi, a UF shelter medicine resident who served as medical director, said that
although the overall situation was unfortunate, the experience provided him with a rare
opportunity to see all the resources available to the veterinary community in the state of
Florida as well as how quickly those resources could be put into use.
"I have no doubt that we made a huge impact on the lives of hundreds of animals in just a
few days," he said. "As an added bonus, this whole process helped raise awareness throughout
the veterinary school community of the problem of animal hoarding."
In addition to Levy, DiGangi and Michaud, other participants from UF included John Haven
from UFVETS, who served as in the incident commander of the scene; David John, Josh
Fleming and Dr. Roger Clemmons, all from UF VETS; Shelter medicine resident Dr. Cate
McManus and Dr. Laura Andersen from the shelter medicine program.
Dr. Laura Anderson of UF's shelter medicine team (in foreground); Dr. Gloria Lividas of Palm Beach Animal Control,
Dr. Julie Levy, Dr. Cate McManus and Dr. Brian DiGangi of UF's shelter medicine team, Dr. Roger Clemmons, from
UF's VETS team and Allison Cardona from AS PCA prepare for another busy day during the South Florida cat
rescue Nov. 23-26. (Photo courtesy of UFVETS)
Dr. Julie Levy of the UF CVM's shelter medicine team and Jane Berry from Tampa Bay S PCA/DART at work
during the South Florida cat rescue operation Nov. 23-26. (Photo courtesy of UFVETS)
Semi-feral, blind cat finds loving home,
thanks to rescue efforts
One semi-feral cat found at the sanctu-
ary lost both eyes to infection.
The team learned that the cat had lived
for more than a year caged alone in a barren
wood and wire enclosure smaller than a
"This cat became an iconic symbol of
the project for me," said Dr. Julie Levy,
Maddie's Professor of Shelter Medicine at sam, i. sloi mniig iinproemeni eer,,, aav
UF and leader of UF's shelter team. "In a hr"" nr o. .,ner sayi
misguided attempt to save the life of this
cat, she was placed in a situation that
deprived her of any kind of enrichment or companionship.
"Sheltering agencies have to take responsibility for assuring quality of
life in addition to quantity of life," Levy added.
Following the closure of the sanctuary, the blind cat -- now named Sami -
- was adopted by a cat lover from Pompano Beach who took the cat into her
home and turned her into a lap cat.
"When I heard about this totally blind and hostile cat, I raced to adopt
her," said Sami's new owner, Lynn Francis. "I am so delighted with the
progress this cat has made in just 11 days. It's amazing what feeling safe
and feeling love can do. Thank God for Dr. Levy."
UF wishes to thank the ASPCA, which provided an $8,000 grant to cover
Ihe costs of Ihe UF VETS aclivilies in the rescue, including equipment
purchase. Iravel, vaccines and medications for Ihe cals. In addition.
IDEXX Laboratories donated more Ihan $10,000 woilh of diagnostic
services to evaluate sick cats and to screen each cat for infectious
Dr. Cate McManus of UF's shelter medicine team and Debbie Fuller of Polk County Animal Control/Sheriff's
Office. (Photo courtesy of UFVETS)
Shown left to right are Debbie Fuller of Polk County Animal Control/Sheriff's Office; Dr. Robin Valentine, Palm Beach
County veterinarian and volunteer; Dr. Cate McManus, UF CVM shelter medicine team and Dr. May-Li Culpers
representing Tampa Bay's SPCA/DART. (Photo courtesy of UFVETS)
Career fair showcases senior students,
Twelve veterinary practices and more than 30 students participated in the
college's third employment fair, held in November in Room VS-20 of the small
The Florida Veterinary Medical Association generously stepped in to assist
with costs related to the fair and also by promoting the event to all FVMA
"The FVMA sent out an announcement, set up a registration Web site, posted
student resumes for employers to view, provided lunch as well as snacks and
beverages throughout the day," said Erin Sanetz, an administrative assistant with
"The same day, we scheduled the photographer to come in and take senior
composite photos," Sanetz said. "I think it was a great idea to have their compos-
ite photo session scheduled on the same day. This encouraged students to attend
a professional employment fair as they were already dressed up for photos."
She added that students were urged to attend the employment fair, even if it
was their intention to complete an internship following graduation.
"In today's economy, it is practical to keep options open, and it was also an
excellent chance to brush up on interview skills, and to network with future
employers," Sanetz said. adding that both employers and students gave excellent
feedback after the event.
"Employers love the exclusivity of meeting with UF students and students love
the opportunity to meet potential employers without the added expense of
traveling," Sanetz said.
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CVM toxicologist receives prestigious
UF Foundation research professorship
N ancy Denslow Ph.D., a professor of
toxicology at the University of
Florida's College of Veterinary
Medicine, has received a UF Research
Foundation professorship. Sponsored by the
university's Division of Sponsored Research,
the professorships are awarded to tenured ,
faculty campuswide for distinguished
research and scholarship. The honor includes a
a $5,000 salary increase each year for three ... .
years and a one-time $3,000 award for
Denslow's research interests include the
identification of molecular biomarkers for
evaluating adverse effects in fish exposed to
environmental contaminants. Denslow has
been a pioneer in developing and applying
these techniques to the area of environmental
Specifically, she is interested in defining
the molecular mechanisms of endocrine-
disrupting compounds that adversely affect Dr. Nancy Denslow
reproduction. Her research covers species that
include largemouth bass, fathead minnow, sheepshead minnow, zebrafish and marine organ-
isms such as queen conch and coral.
From field studies conducted in central Florida lakes, Denslow and her team developed a
largemouth bass model to chart normal reproductive parameters for both males and females and
to identify how organochlorine pesticides and other endocrine-disrupting compounds alter
reproduction. Using next-generation sequencing technologies, she has obtained more than
16,000 gene sequences for these species that were used to create microarrays and a database for
proteomics experiments. The microarrays have been useful to find molecular pathways of
toxicity for contaminant exposure. Using zebrafish microarray analysis as a tool, she has also
worked to better understand the effect of nanomaterials on fish health, specifically the molecu-
lar level changes that occur upon exposure.
Denslow's work has been supported by major extramural grants from the National Institutes
of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Science Foundation. In
addition, she contributed to the creation of two UF spin-off companies, EcoArray and Banyan
Biomarkers Inc. She has developed commercial products including several monoclonal
antibodies that are specific to the presence of egg yolk protein in the blood of fish after
exposure to estrogen or estrogen-like products. These antibodies were licensed and are now
In 2007, Denslow received the veterinary college's Pfizer Award for Research Excellence
for her discoveries.
A member of UF's veterinary college faculty since 2004, Denslow previously served for 15
years as director of UF's Protein Chemistry and Molecular Biomarkers Core Facility in ICBR.
She is currently an associate editor for Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety. She serves as
a junior councilor in the Molecular Biology Specialty Section for the Society of Toxicology
and previously served on the executive board of the Association for Biomolecular Research
Facilities. She is also a member of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and the American
Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
"Topping Out" celebration marks milestone in
Small Animal Hospital construction
D ozens of construction
workers and project
supporters were on hand for
the Topping Out Celebra-
tion for the University of
Florida's new small animal -
hospital officially known
as the CVM Education and
Clinical Research Center -
held Thursday, Dec. 3, in
what will be the atrium area.
A barbecue luncheon
was provided, courtesy of
PPI/Charles Perry Construc-
"The Topping Out
celebration represents a
milestone in the construc- -, ,-,,', d ,Urr,- 1r, l I ,r ,,p111.- C parim'r ',1 miall ',,mal ,,. ~l
tion of this very important n tic, n i ..,,,, ia .i: n ,.,.,, ,,,rn.Ir. i r a,, 1 .,.r1
project'" said Kurt Taubel, ,-0.3 1r :. n,,--i :,r ,,:,,,r:.,, ~,, -, 11:.,, ,,,31.vr .3 ., i,, ,1 : ,-
senior project manager for ,,,"r-w: n.n t .,:,r r :,I ,- r ':r, Pn:,,I.:, r,, -.ar.an .,' a ,
PPI/Charles Perry Construc-
"The milestone of completing the structure leads to the emphasis being on the interior
build-out of the project."
Taubel added that the celebration also allows for the owner/user group to "capture a feeling
for their project as it comes to fruition, and to give acknowledgment to the subcontractors who
have worked hard to get the project to this milestone."
1-- ni.-a z imlni mi a i: z n.-., to on F .'I"j I i,, .1i I .'W.r Pnil Him i i in r.-ni
1,.Iir ni.l 11 in im zp.-.n r, F .,I,, I I Pn.-.i.:. r C .31