The Veterinary Community
USDA shows off a facility for research
A new building in Ames, Iowa, represents years of efforts to modernize key research facilities and to increase collaboration in the field of animal health.
On July 3, the U.S. Department of Agriculture dedicated a high-containment large animal facility in Ames that combines several research buildings. The new building is the second component of a multiple-phase, $460 million project to update and consolidate the USDA's National Animal Disease Center, National Veterinary Services Laboratories, and Center for Veterinary Biologics—which already share a common location.
Together, the three USDA units form the National Centers for Animal Health. The AVMA has advocated for the consolidation and modernization efforts since 1995. Last year, the Executive Board approved a policy to support sufficient operational funding for the new Ames facilities.
On hand during the dedication of the high-containment large animal facility were members of Iowa's congressional delegation, Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns, and the AVMA's 2006-2007 president and president-elect—Drs. Roger K. Mahr and Gregory S. Hammer.
The new building will allow employees to work with a variety of endemic, zoonotic, and foreign animal diseases at biosafety level 3—agriculture. The facility features extensive air filtering and waste treatment. Construction lasted more than three years and cost about $85 million.
The 155,000-square-foot building will house cattle, bison, elk, deer, reindeer, sheep, and hogs. Employees who work in the new facility will conduct research, diagnostics, and training. They also will test vaccines and evaluate biological products.
The first component of the Ames modernization project was a new laboratory, which the USDA completed in 2004. Another laboratory and a low-containment large animal facility are still under construction.
When the project concludes, the National Centers for Animal Health will feature about 1 million square feet of laboratory and research facilities. The USDA expects to finish by 2009.
New building to advance study of tuberculosis
Two veterinarians who study tuberculosis can't wait to move their research into the new high-containment large animal facility at the National Centers for Animal Health in Ames, Iowa.
Drs. Mitchell V. Palmer and W. Ray Waters are veterinary medical officers with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which began tuberculosis research in 1992 to respond to an increasing prevalence of the disease in cattle.
Dr. Palmer said the main objectives of the research are to improve diagnostic tests for Mycobacterium bovis, to explore the immunopatho-genesis of the infection, and to develop vaccines. The researchers study tuberculosis in cattle and in wildlife such as white-tailed deer.
Studying tuberculosis creates challenges because it is infectious to humans and many other animals. The researchers can study M bovis only at facilities that meet high biosafety standards and that can house large animals.
The new high-containment large animal facility provides enough space for additional animals in evaluations of diagnostics and vaccines. The architects also designed rooms specifically to accommodate the behavior of wildlife so that researchers can handle animals more safely.
Dr. Waters said the facility is safer in terms of containment, too, partly because it is one big building rather than several smaller ones.
AAVMC names Pappaioanou next executive director
The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges announced Aug. 8 that Dr. Marguerite Pappaioanou will become its next executive director Nov. 1. She succeeds Dr. Lawrence E. Heider, who will retire Oct. 30.
“We could not be more pleased with the selection of Dr. Pappaioanou as head of the AAVMC,” said Dr. Tim Boosinger, dean of Auburn University School of Veterinary Medicine and head of the search committee. “She brings a wealth of experience in international public health, infectious disease crisis management, and health science policy to this position, and we look forward to her visionary leadership in tackling the challenges facing our profession in the years ahead.”
Dr. Pappaioanou holds a joint appointment as professor of infectious disease epidemiology in the School of Public Health and College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota.
Prior to her academic appointments at Minnesota, Dr. Pappaioanou held numerous positions at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most recently as acting deputy director in the Office of Global Health in 2004, and associate director for Science and Policy from 1999-2004.
This July, she was named to serve on the AVMA One Health Initiative Task Force.
Dr. Pappaioanou earned her DVM degrees at Michigan State University and is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine.
University of Missouri welcomes new dean
The University of Missouri-Columbia has appointed Dr. Neil Olson as dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, effective Sept. 1. Dr. Cecil Moore had been serving as interim dean since the departure of Dr. Joe Kornegay last October.
Dr. Olson said the strengths of the MU veterinary college include expertise in infectious diseases, outreach programs to the state and region, and collaborations throughout the campus and the country.
Previously, Dr. Olson had been associate dean for research and graduate studies at the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine since 1998. He also had served as director of graduate programs, the Summer Research Internship Program, and the Biomedical Imaging Center.
Dr. Olson's research has focused on cardiopulmonary health and disease. He was a member of the national board of directors for the Comparative Respiratory Society in 1985 and 1991. He has been a chairperson at annual meetings of the Conference of Research Workers in Animal Diseases and the Comparative Respiratory Society.
Dr. Olson graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1975 and earned a doctorate in physiology from Michigan State University in 1982.
Cornell opens $55 million animal care facility
In June, Cornell University celebrated the opening of the East Campus Research Facility, a 79,000-square-foot animal research building five years in the making. The ECRF is expected to be fully operational by this fall.
Located at Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine, the ECRF will be a key part of Cornell's New Life Sciences Initiative, a $600 million, university-wide campaign to enhance and support life sciences research and education.
“Though veterinarians and biomedical scientists in our college will comprise a substantial contingent of (the ECRF) users, the collaboration among these individuals will ensure that this is truly a building for all of Cornell's life sciences,” said Dr. Donald F. Smith, who completed his 10-year deanship with the veterinary college in June.
Together with the animal facilities in Cornell's Life Sciences Technology Building, the ECRF will enable researchers to help advance human and animal health through the safe, humane, and judicious use of animals in research and teaching.
The ECRF features state-of-the-art cage washing and storage rooms with strict safety protocols for preventing cross-contamination of approximately 45,000 mice and other animals, including chickens, woodchucks, rats, guinea pigs, and hamsters.
ACVCP announces diplomates
The American College of Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology certified two new diplomates following the certification examination it held May 19-20 in Monterrey, Calif.
The new diplomates are Drs. Alan Chicoine, Saskatoon, Canada; and Chantal Lainesse, Markham, Canada.
Event to raise awareness of rabies prevention
The inaugural World Rabies Day will take place on Sept. 8. The goal of the event is to increase awareness about rabies prevention. The Alliance for Rabies Control, a United Kingdom-based charity, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are coordinating the event, which has attracted support from groups such as the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), World Veterinary Association, AVMA, American Animal Hospital Association, and Student AVMA.
In recognition of World Rabies Day, events are planned on or around Sept. 8 in the United States, Canada, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, and the United Kingdom. Each event is unique.
To get involved in World Rabies Day, visit www.worldrabiesday.org .
FDA issues final rule on MUMS
In the July 26 Federal Register, the Food and Drug Administration issued final regulations to implement the Minor Use and Minor Species Animal Health Act of 2004. These regulations describe the procedures for designating a new animal drug as a minor use or minor species drug. Such designation establishes eligibility for the incentives provided by the MUMS act (Public Law 108-282).
This final rule, which will take effect Oct. 9, 2007, can be viewed online at www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/.
The MUMS act amended the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to establish new regulatory procedures that provide incentives to make more drugs legally available to veterinarians and animal owners for the treatment of minor animal species and for uncommon diseases in major animal species. These incentives include exclusive marketing rights associated with the conditional approval or approval of designated new animal drugs.
Designation of a new animal drug as a MUMS drug also provides eligibility for grants to support designated new animal drug development. The 2004 act authorized the grant money, and now that the final rule was published July 26, the agency can start to seek the actual funding. The agency intends to publish an update when it acquires the new funds.
For further information, contact Dr. Bernadette Dunham, Center for Veterinary Medicine (HFV-50), Food and Drug Administration, 7519 Standish Place, Rockville, MD 20855; Bernadette.Dunham@fda.hhs.gov; or phone, (240) 276-9090.
APHIS proposes to increase user fees for diagnostics
The Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has announced a proposal to increase user fees for veterinary diagnostic services.
The APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories and other authorized sites perform identification, serology, and other laboratory tests and provide diagnostic reagents and other diagnostic materials and services. During fiscal years 2008 to 2012, APHIS proposes to increase user fees incrementally to reflect the costs of providing these diagnostic services.
The APHIS proposal is to base the fees on direct labor, administrative support, premium costs, agency overhead, and departmental charges. About 76 percent of the fees would change in total by $10 or less. In addition, APHIS does not charge fees for tests in the context of disease control or eradication programs.
The full proposal with a list of fees appears in the July 23 Federal Register, available at www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/.
Parties may submit comments until Sept. 21 by visiting www.regulations.gov, selecting APHIS from the agency drop-down menu, clicking Submit, and then selecting APHIS-2006-0161; or by mailing an original and three copies to Docket No. APHIS-2006-0161, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.
Study describes pathology of feline heartworm disease
Researchers at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine recently released a study that shows that heartworms do not need to reach maturity to cause pathologic conditions in cats.
The study, which builds on previous research, was conducted by Dr. A. Ray Dillon and Byron Blagburn, PhD, and was published in a special Parasitology Supplement to the journal Veterinary Medicine. The goal of the study was to document in detail the progression of feline heartworm disease and to better understand the origin of lung lesions. The study was also designed to assess the efficacy of a preventive product.
Dr. Tom Nelson, immediate past president of the American Heartworm Society, said the work by Drs. Dillon and Blagburn should help defeat lingering skepticism in the veterinary community about pathogenicity of infections with juvenile heartworms in cats.
From the AVMA
AVMA releases updated euthanasia guidelines
The AVMA recently updated its 2000 Report of the AVMA Panel on Euthanasia, now called the AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia. The guidelines are available at www.avma.org by clicking on the dark blue Issues bar.
In July 2006, the Executive Board approved a recommendation that the AVMA convene a panel of scientists at least once every 10 years to review all literature that scientifically evaluates methods and potential methods of euthanasia for the purpose of producing the AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia.
During interim years, requests for inclusion of new or altered euthanasia procedures or agents in the guidelines are evaluated by the Animal Welfare Committee.
Revisions are based on a thorough evaluation of the available science and require Executive Board approval. The first interim revision, also approved in July 2006, is the addition of a physical method (maceration) for euthanasia of chicks, poults, and pipped eggs.
Substantive interim additions to the guidelines are indicated by underlined text.
For ease of navigation, each item in the table of contents for the AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia is hyper-linked to the relevant area within the document.
Washington, D.C., hosts AVMA
The one-health concept was an overarching theme throughout the 144th AVMA Annual Convention, July 14-18 in Washington, D.C.
The convention attracted 10,339 attendees, breaking the previous record of 10,191 that was set at the 2006 convention in Honolulu.
Julie L. Gerberding, MD, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and administrator for the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, was keynote presenter at the Opening Session, sponsored by Hill's Pet Nutrition. Dr. Gerberding said that veterinarians and physicians must present a seamless front to protect human and animal health in a small world.
Two special sessions on the one-health concept were held July 16. One session focused on emerging global animal health threats. At the other session, organized veterinary and human medical professionals discussed the need for the two groups to work together to more effectively prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases affecting people and animals.
Attendees chose from more than 1,000 continuing education sessions with 600-plus speakers. More than 300 exhibitors were featured in the exhibit hall.
Dr. Gregory S. Hammer assumed the AVMA presidency, succeeding Dr. Roger K. Mahr. The AVMA House of Delegates elected Dr. James O. Cook as president-elect and re-elected Dr. Charles M. Hendrix as vice president. Drs. Larry R. Corry and Gary S. Brown declared their candidacies for 2008-2009 AVMA president-elect and vice president, respectively.
During its session, the House of Delegates approved a resolution stating the AVMA's opposition to using information from companion animal microchip databases for purposes of marketing or referral. The HOD voted to begin holding a regular winter session in addition to its current regular annual session.
The 2006-2007 Executive Board held its final meeting July 12. Dr. James O. Cook, then District IV representative and board chair, announced members of the One Health Initiative Task Force. Dr. Lonnie J. King, director of the CDC's National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases, will chair the task force.
Board members approved a recommendation from Dr. James E. Nave, the AVMA globalization monitoring agent, to host a meeting of a working group of international veterinary college and school accreditors. Their job will include examining what changes are necessary to make it feasible to conduct cooperative/joint accreditation site visits to veterinary colleges and schools.
The board approved a proposal from the Communications Division to provide select information on veterinarians from the AVMA member record database to the National Academy of Sciences on a one-time basis for its analysis as part of the project “Assessing the current and future workforce needs in veterinary medicine.” In June 2006, the board had approved $200,000 to partly fund the NAS study.
On July 18, the 2007-2008 Executive Board conducted its first meeting and welcomed two new members: Drs. Joseph H. Kinnarney of Reidsville, N.C., District III, and (in absentia) Janver D. Krehbiel of Mason, Mich., District V. The board elected Dr. Larry Corry, District IV, as its chair.
The HOD elected 17 new council members; among them were the following: Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents—Dr. John T. Waddell, Sutton, Neb., representing private clinical practice, predominantly food animal; Council on Education—Dr. Herbert E. Whiteley, Urbana, Ill., representing veterinary medical research; Dr. Nathan D. Voris, Columbia, Mo., representing private equine clinical practice; Dr. William S. Swecker, Blacksburg, Va., representing large animal clinical science; and Dr. Robert B. Cherenson, Turlock, Calif., representing private food animal clinical practice; Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine—Drs. Tracy S. DuVernoy, Silver Spring, Md., and Bhushan M. Jayarao, University Park, Pa., representing public health agencies or the armed forces; and Dr. Donald E. Hoenig, Belfast, Maine, representing agricultural agencies; and Council on Research— Dr. G. David McCarroll, Goldsby, Okla., representing private clinical practice; and Drs. Don Reynolds, Ames, Iowa, and Kent Lloyd, Davis, Calif., representing veterinary medical research.
Dr. William J. McEniry of Ashton, Ill., received the 2007 AVMA Award at the Opening Session of the convention. The award recognizes distinguished contributions to the advancement of veterinary medical organizations. Also honored were Dr. Samuel Costello, Warren, Ohio, Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award; Dr. Catherine Lund, Providence, R.I., Meritorious Service Award; and AVMA President's Award—Drs. Bruce W. Little, Schaumburg, Ill.; Dennis M. McCurnin, Baton Rouge, La.; and Janis H. Audin, Schaumburg, Ill.
During the President's Installation Luncheon, July 17, the following AVMA awards were presented: Dr. James P. Reynolds, Visalia, Calif., Animal Welfare Award; Dr. Susan Stein Cook, Williamston, Mich., Charles River Prize; Drs. Leon H. Russell Jr., College Station, Texas, and Primo Arambulo III, Washington D.C., Karl F. Meyer-James H. Steele Gold Head Cane Award; Dr. John R. Gorham, Pullman, Wash., Lifetime Excellence in Research Award; Dr. Michael M. Pullen, White Bear Lake, Minn., AVMA Public Service Award; Bernard E. Rollin, PhD, Fort Collins, Colo., AVMA Humane Award; Dr. M.D. “Mo” Salman, Fort Collins, Colo., XII International Veterinary Congress Prize; Dr. Stephen A. Hines, Pullman, Wash., Student AVMA Teaching Excellence Award in Basic Sciences; and Dr. Robert J. Callan, Fort Collins, Colo., Student AVMA Teaching Excellence Award in Clinical Sciences.
For biographic sketches of the award winners and other highlights of the AVMA convention, visit www. avma.org and click on Convention News.
Donlin, Simmons depart AVMA
Dr. Janet D. Donlin resigned as AVMA assistant executive vice president, effective Aug. 1, and accepted a position as chief of the Veterinary Business Channel with Hill's Pet Nutrition Inc. On July 31, Dr. Donald G. Simmons retired as director of the AVMA Education and Research Division.
Dr. Donlin joined the AVMA as an assistant director in the Scientific Activities Division in 1991. Five years later, AVMA Executive Vice President Bruce W. Little named her associate executive vice president. The board elected her assistant executive vice president in June 2004.
At Hill's, Dr. Donlin will be the company's strategic liaison to the veterinary profession in North America.
“With her wealth of experience at the AVMA, academia, and in veterinary practice medicine, Dr. Donlin is a great asset to Hill's and the veterinary profession,” said Justin Skala, president of Hill's Pet Nutrition, North America.
Dr. Simmons joined the AVMA in 1996 to head up the newly formed Education and Research Division. In addition to accompanying the AVMA Council on Education on numerous site visits to domestic and foreign veterinary schools, he was instrumental in the AVMA's securing reciprocity agreements with Canada and Great Britain that allowed U.S.-trained veterinarians to practice abroad.
“In my opinion, Don Simmons was instrumental in solidifying the Council on Education as the premier accrediting agency in our profession,” observed Dr. H. Fred Troutt, immediate past chair of the COE.