Posted: May 14, 2013
The broad range of cancer studies taking place at the University of Guelph will be showcased at the 2013 Cancer Research Symposium hosted by the U of G Institute for Comparative Cancer Investigation (ICCI).
The symposium takes place Thursday, May 23 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Room 1714 of the OVC Lifetime Learning Centre.
This year’s keynote speaker is Dr. David Argyle, the William Dick Professor of Veterinary Clinical Studies and Dean of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Edinburgh. He is an RCVS/European specialist in veterinary oncology (the highest designation awarded by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons) and board-certified in veterinary oncology by the European College of Internal Medicine. Argyle is also co-scientific editor of the Journal of Veterinary and Comparative Oncology.
Argyle’s talk, “A funny thing happened to me on the way to malignancy: Can comparative biology inform rational cancer drug development?” will take place at 3:30 p.m.
Dr. David Argyle
“Despite an exponential growth in our understanding of cancer biology, for some cancers such as pancreas and gastric cancer, survival times have not improved in the last 100 years. Fundamental studies on tumor cell heterogeneity, cancer stem cells, metastasis programs and cellular targets have demonstrated significant promise in identifying therapeutic targets. Although several molecularly targeted drugs have entered clinical trials, failure to respond and the development of drug resistance remains a significant problem. In addition, we still rely on quite rigid linear drug testing pathways to move promise into clinical reality, a situation that is becoming unsustainable.”
Argyle’s lecture will explore how our changed understanding of classical cancer biology needs to inform drug development pathways. It will look at advances in comparative cancer and stem cell biology in dogs and cats, and how studies on naturally occurring malignancies in our domestic species may open up new clinical avenues in both human and veterinary oncology.
All interested members of the university committee are invited to attend. Registration is free and includes lunch. The deadline for registration is May 17. Visit the ICCI website to register and / or complete the abstract submission form.
Posted: May 6, 2013
The Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare (CCSAW) invites you to the sixth annual Animal Welfare Research Symposium on May 15.
The symposium promotes animal welfare research and education at U of G by providing faculty and students with a forum to explore important topics in this expanding field.
This year’s keynote speaker is Dr. Janice Siegford, who will discuss “The behavior and welfare of laying hens in aviaries: challenges and possibilities for gathering data.”
Siegford is an assistant professor in the Animal Behavior and Welfare Group in the Department of Animal Science at Michigan State University. Her research examines the impacts of management practices and environment on the behaviour and welfare of production animals. She also works to develop non-invasive, automated methods for collecting behavior and welfare data from animals in their home environments. Currently she is working to develop a wireless sensor that can provide information about individual laying hens in non-cage housing systems. She is also studying the behavior of dairy cows in a robotic pasture-based milking system, with particular attention to behaviors that affect efficiency of robot use.
The symposium will take place Wednesday, May 15 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Room 1800, Pathobiology / AHL building.
Visit the CCSAW website for more information, or register online today as space is limited. Registration is free and includes lunch but donations of $10 for students and $20 for faculty members are gratefully accepted. Donations will be accepted the morning of the symposium at the registration desk.
Posted: April 29, 2013
The Department of Population Medicine is celebrating its 25th anniversary on Friday with a special symposium based on the theme, “The Many Faces of Population Medicine.”
The daylong event will feature poster sessions with students and alumni exploring past, current and future trends in research, teaching and service. There will also be talks by current faculty members including Paula Menzies, Karen Morrison, Andrew Papadopoulos, Olaf Berke, Michele Guerin and Jason Coe as well as retired professors Wayne Martin and Walter Johnson.
The symposium will take place Friday, May 3 from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. in Room 1714, OVC Lifetime Learning Centre. Following the symposium, the celebration moves to the Bullring at 6 p.m.
Posted: April 12, 2013
A diagnostic test intended to improve treatment of human breast cancer is now under investigation by University of Guelph researchers for potential use in dogs with lymphoma.
Prof. Brenda Coomber, Biomedical Sciences, leads researchers in the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) in a new study meant to improve cancer therapy for dogs. She’s working with Prof. Paul Woods, Clinical Studies, and Prof. Dorothee Bienzle, Pathobiology, on a project funded by a $27,000 grant from the OVC Pet Trust Fund.
Lymphoma in dogs is one of the most common types of cancer in companion animals; it resembles non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in people. Canine patients with this disease undergo chemotherapy involving multiple rounds of four drugs.
In about four out of five dogs, this treatment leads to complete remission of the cancer, measured by shrinkage of lymph nodes to normal size. But about half of those dogs with complete remission will suffer a relapse within six months and will need new treatment.
Second-line therapies exist to treat dogs that fail to achieve remission and those that relapse and develop resistance to existing drugs. Currently, all dogs are treated using the standard approach; second-line therapies are used when that approach fails.
Clinicians need a better way to tell sooner which dogs will have a longer remission and which ones will have a short remission or none at all, says Coomber.
For more, see the story in At Guelph.
Posted: April 9, 2013
Faculty members are reminded that time is running out for retrieving old radiographs before they are destroyed.
If you have radiographs that you would like retrieved and stored in your office or lab, please contact Tanis Comrie before Monday, April 15.
The OVC has been maintaining radiographs in off-site storage for a number of years. Radiographs from admit years 1996 to 2001 are kept in London, Ont. and radiographs from 2002 to 2009 are stored at 21 College Ave. W, across the street from the Small Animal Clinic.
The cost considerations of storing these are significant and due to the fact that they are rarely accessed, the Dean’s Council has determined that radiographs from admit years 1996 to 2007 will be destroyed.
Electronic storage of the images was considered but there is noticeable loss of resolution in the scanning process, making the images not suitable for research purposes, so this option will not be pursued.
Posted: April 8, 2013
The 2013 Chappel Memorial Lecture features a researcher whose work has been instrumental in uncovering the role of protein kinase C enzymes in heart function, leading to new treatments for heart attack patients.
Stanford University Prof. Daria Mochly-Rosen will discuss “From basic research in heart disease to anti-Leishmaniasis treatment: academic path of translational research.
The talk will take place Tuesday, April 9 at 4 p.m. in Room 1714 of the OVC Lifetime Learning Centre.
A biochemist by training, Mochly-Rosen is the associate dean for research and George Smith Professor in Translational Medicine at the Stanford, where she leads a multi-disciplinary research lab that includes chemists, biochemists, biologists and physician scientists. Her basic research discoveries have led to the development of a number of new drugs to treat human diseases.
The annual Chappel Lecture was established by 1950 OVC graduate Clifford Chappel in memory of his father, to give students and faculty the opportunity to meet internationally known scientists.
Posted: April 4, 2013
As a high school student in Belgium, Vincent Defalque hadn’t even considered veterinary medicine. He wanted to study oceanography and marine mammals, and attended an open house at the University of Liège in Belgium to learn more about the program. Coincidentally, the veterinary medicine department had an open house on at the same time and Defalque decided to check it out. He told the veterinary medicine representatives about his interests in marine mammals, and they persuaded him that a degree in veterinary medicine would be more useful.
Defalque still thought he’d use that degree to study animals living in the ocean, until a friend’s dog developed severe allergies. As Defalque – still a student – observed the testing and treatment process, he realized how fascinating it was and decided to specialize in veterinary dermatology.
Dermatologists who work with humans often provide cosmetic surgery and anti-aging treatments as well as treat skin cancers and diseases such as lupus. A veterinary dermatologist, though, deals most often with allergies.
“Most of our patients are itchy dogs and cats,” says Defalque. “I also see a lot of animals with ear diseases. True skin diseases like lupus are very rare in animals.” Dermatology is one of the less-common specialties: there are fewer than 600 veterinary dermatologists in the world and only about 300 in North America.
Its rarity as a specialty is rather surprising. Defalque points out that many of the most common reasons for visits to the vet are related to dermatology. In a list compiled by VPI Pet Insurance, the top three claims made for dog visits to the vet were for ear infections, skin allergies and “hot spots” (pyoderma); in cats, skin allergies and ear infections were two of the top 10. All of these fit under the dermatology umbrella. Defalque also cares for horses and exotic pets with skin problems.
For more, see the story in At Guelph.
Dr. Vincent Defalque shares a playful moment with a cat named Darwin.
Posted: April 1, 2013
A Biomedical Sciences professor and a former OVC staff member were among three U of G recipients of 2013 William Winegard Exemplary Volunteer Involvement Awards last week from the United Way of Guelph Wellington Dufferin and the Volunteer Centre of Guelph/Wellington.
Now in their seventh year, the awards highlight volunteerism by members of the U of G community. Dr. Brad Hanna and Jennifer Beehler, a former Clinical Studies staff member who is now administrative secretary to the chair of Geography, received their awards in a ceremony at McLaughlin Library along with Fawn Turner, a PhD student in Plant Agriculture.
See the OVC Bulletin for more.
Posted: March 21, 2013
Prof. Marie Holowaychuk enjoys writing, but her teaching and clinic duties in Clinical Studies have often kept her from cranking out those all-important research papers. Looking for help with managing her writing time, she signed up last summer for a new series of writers’ workshops for early career faculty run by Elizabeth Stone, dean of the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC).
Now Holowaychuk attends monthly sessions to discuss academic writing challenges and solutions along with members of all four OVC departments under Stone’s mentorship. Aimed at non-tenured faculty within five years of their appointment, the workshops are intended to help assistant professors write anything from grant applications to journal articles in more productive ways.
Those writing projects are important, says Stone. But they often fall to the bottom of the pile for busy faculty members. “There are a lot of other things that pull on them for their time.” Referring to the new workshops, she adds, “This is not so much about how to write but about how to get the writing done.”
For more, see the story in At Guelph.
Posted: March 18, 2013
The Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) will be featured in a new promotional video to begin airing on public television channels in the United States this spring.
The eight-minute video highlights OVC teaching and research facilities, and includes interviews with University of Guelph president Alastair Summerlee, OVC dean Elizabeth Stone, faculty, students and graduates.
The video was commissioned by Summerlee to mark the college’s 150th anniversary in 2012 and its many achievements.
Interviews and voice-overs discuss OVC’s growth and development, and underline connections between animal and human health, especially in cancer and cardiology research.
Stone said the project was “an opportunity to help spread the word about OVC, especially how the college is helping shape the future of veterinary education and research, to a new and diverse audience.”
The OVC video will run regularly before and after programs airing on several channels, including the Fox Business Network and public TV affiliates.
The company has also produced two commercial-length segments about OVC to air beginning in April.
For more, see the U of G campus bulletin.