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Faculty and Staff News

Published: Nov 1, 2021

Matthew Atherton, BVSc, PhD, began his new role as Lecturer in Clinical Immunology-Oncology. In addition, he published Lenz J, Assenmacher C-A, Costa V, Louka K, Rau S, Keuler N, Zhang PJ, Maki RG, Durham AC, Radaelli E, and Atherton MJ, “Increased Tumor- Infiltrating Lymphocyte Density Is Associated with Favorable Outcomes in a Comparative Study of Canine Histiocytic Sarcoma,” Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00262-021-03033-z. The paper was also featured in the Veterinary Cancer Society’s newsletter on August 24, 2021.

Dr. Gary AlthouseGary Althouse, DVM, PhD, MS, DACT, was recognized as the 2021 Theriogenologist of the Year at the American College of Theriogenologists general conference in Omaha in July. He is the founder and director of Penn Vet’s Reference Andrology Laboratory, which provides critical research and clinical services in food animal production in the US and abroad. In addition, the 2021 World Health Organization laboratory manual has incorporated several publications from the Althouse laboratory in its new recommendations for the examination and processing of human semen.

Dr. Linda BakerLinda Baker, VMD, MS, received the Distinguished Veterinary Service Award by the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association for her contributions to the Pennsylvania dairy industry, specifically recognizing her commitment to both the science and the skills necessary to steward healthy, productive, and profitable herds of cattle.

William Beltran, DVM, PhD, published Mbefo M, Berger A, Schouwey K, Gérard X, Kostic C, Beryozkin A, Sharon D, Dolfuss H, Munier F, Tran HV, van Lohuizen M, Beltran WA, and Arsenijevic Y, “Enhancer of Zeste Homolog 2 (EZH2) Contributes to Rod Photoreceptor Death Process in Several Forms of Retinal Degeneration and Its Activity Can Serve as a Biomarker for Therapy Efficacy,” International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2021, https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22179331. He also published Aguirre GD, Cideciyan AV, Dufour VL, Ripolles-García A, Sudharsan R, Swider M, Nikonov R, Iwabe S, Boye SL, Hauswirth WW, Jacobson SG, and Beltran WA, “Gene Therapy Reforms Photoreceptor Structure and Restores Vision in NPHP5- Associated Leber Congenital Amaurosis,” Molecular Therapy, 2021, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ymthe.2021.03.021.

Tonya BennettTonya Bennett, MLA, was elected to the Penn Professional Staff Assembly (PPSA), which provides a forum for staff to engage in dialogue about issues facing the University and higher education. She is also one of two recipients of the EDUCAUSE 2021 Rising Star Award, which recognizes early-career IT professionals who demonstrate exceptional leadership and accomplishments in information technology in higher education.

Leonardo Brito, DVM, PhD, DACT, was elected vice president of the American College of Theriogenologists. He was also a member of the committee that selected the recipient of the Research Award from the National Association of Animal Breeders; the award will be presented to the winner during the association conference in October.

Kara Brown, VMD, DACVSMR, successfully passed the board certification exam for the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation. Having completed her residency and examination, she is now a Diplomate of the College.

Jen-Yun Chou, MSc, PhD, received the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare’s 2021 Early Career Animal Welfare Researcher of the Year Award. The award recognizes innovative research activities aimed at advancing animal welfare and improving the understanding of animal welfare challenges.

Bruce Freedman, VMD, PhD, was appointed chair of the Gene Therapy and Vaccines (GTV) graduate group.

Angela Gaesser, DVM, DACVS, successfully passed the board certification exam for the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. Having completed her residency and examinations, she is now a Diplomate of the College.

Fuyu Guan, PhD, published Guan F, You Y, Fay S, Li Xi, and Robinson MA, “Novel Algorithms for Comprehensive Untargeted Detection of Doping Agents in Biological Samples,” Analytical Chemistry, 2021, https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.analchem.1c01273.

De’Broski Herbert, PhD, University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann appointed Herbert to Presidential Associate Professor. Presidential Professorships are awarded by the University president to exceptional scholars, at any rank, who contribute to faculty eminence through scholarship and diversity across the University.

Rebecka Hess, DVM, MSCE, published Shea EK and Hess RS, “Assessment of Postprandial Hyperglycemia and Circadian Fluctuation of Glucose Concentrations in Diabetic Dogs Using a Flash Glucose Monitoring System,” Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 2021, https://doi.org/10.1111/jvim.16046. She also published Shea EK and Hess RS, “Validation of a Flash Glucose Monitoring System in Outpatient Diabetic System,” Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 2021, https://doi.org/10.1111/jvim.16216. In addition, she gave a virtual talk on Addison’s disease at Curso Internacional De Endocrinologia Veterinaria, Sedivet, Santiago, Chile on August 13, 2021.

Andrew Hoffman, DVM, DVSc, DACVIM, received the George B. Wolff Legislative Leadership Award from the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association for his dedicated legislative advocacy on behalf of the veterinary profession at the state and federal levels.

Heather Hunchuck, imaging and sports medicine technician at New Bolton Center, was awarded PVMA’s Veterinary Assistant of the Year Award. She was honored for her outstanding service, skills, character, and dedication, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic as she stepped into a critical role to address the demands of the hospital.

Chris Lengner, PhD, published Simeonov KP, Byrns CN, Clark ML, Norgard RJ, Martin B, Stanger BZ, Shendure J, McKenna A, and Lengner CJ, “Single-Cell Lineage Tracing of Metastatic Cancer Reveals Selection of Hybrid EMT States," Cancer Cell, 2021, https://www.doi.org/10.1016/j.ccell.2021.05.005. He also published Kolev HM, Tian Y, Kim MS, Leu NA, Adams-Tzivelekidis S, Lengner CJ, Li N, and Kaestner KH, “A FoxL1-CreERT-2A-tdTomato Mouse Labels Subepithelial Telocytes," Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 2021, https://www.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcmgh.2021.05.009.

Timothy J. Manzi, VMD, ACVR, ACVR-EDI, passed his examination to become board- certified in Equine Diagnostic Imaging, the ACVR-EDI subspecialty.

Jennifer Reetz, DVM, DACVIM (LA), DACVR, won the 2021 Faculty Teaching Award, awarded by Penn Vet residents.

Emily Rule, VMD, DABVP, passed the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners certifying examination to become a Diplomate of the ABVP, certified in Equine Practice. 

Dieter Schifferli, PhD, DrMedVet, published Dehinwal R, Cooley D, Rakov AV, Alugupalli AS, Harmon J, Cunrath O, Vallabhajosyula P, Bumann D, and Schifferli DM, “Increased Production of Outer Membrane Vesicles by Salmonella Interferes with Complement- Mediated Innate Immune Attack,” mBio, 2021, https://www.doi.org/10.1128/mBio.00869-21.

Deborah Silverstein, DVM, DACVECC, spoke at the Argentina Vet School Conference in July 2021. In addition, she published Chalifoux NV, Hess RS, and Silverstein DC, “Effectiveness of Intravenous Fluid Resuscitation in Hypotensive Cats: 82 Cases (2012–2019),” Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, 2021, https://doi.org/10.1111/vec.13072. She also published Buriko Y, Hess RS, Pfeifer JM, and Silverstein DC, “Utility of the Sonoclot Analyzer to Assess Hyperfibrinolysis in Dogs,” Veterinary Clinical Pathology, 2021, https://doi.org/10.1111/vcp.12953. And she published Chalifoux NV, Spielvogel CF, Stefanovski D, and Silverstein DC, “Standardized Capillary Refill Time and Relation to Clinical Parameters in Hospitalized Dogs,” Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, 2021, https://doi.org/10.1111/vec.13088.

Boris Striepen, PhD, professor of Pathobiology, has been named the Mark Whittier and Lila Griswold Allam Professor of Microbiology and Immunology. The Professorship was established in 1980 by Elizabeth R. Moran in honor of Dr. Mark Allam.

Vince Thawley, VMD, DACVECC, received the Zoetis Distinguished Teacher Award and the Class of 2022 Philadelphia Campus Teaching Award at the SAVMA award ceremony in May.

Charles Vite, DVM, ACVIM (Neurology), joined the Canine Committee of The Seeing Eye, located in Morristown, New Jersey. He spoke about developing therapies for pediatric neurodegenerative disorders at the Korat School of Veterinary Medicine Departmental Seminar; about gene therapy for Niemann Pick type C disease at the Gene Therapy Symposium for Veterinary Summer Research Students organized by Michigan State University Veterinary Medical Center; and about canine and feline models of neurological disease at the 13th Comparative Medicine Resource Directors Meeting, Office of Research Infrastructure Program, NIH. And he served as special government Employee and consultant for the FDA’s Cellular, Tissue, and Gene Therapy Advisory Committee in September 2021.

 

New Leadership Roles

Brady Beale, VMD, DACVO, instructor in Clinical Ophthalmology, appointed to hospital director and chief medical officer of Ryan Hospital.

Igor Brodsky, PhD, associate professor of Pathobiology, appointed to chair of the department of Pathobiology.

Amy Durham, MS, VMD, DACVP, associate professor of Anatomic Pathology, appointed to assistant dean of Education.

Evelyn Galban, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Neurology), associate professor of Clinical Neurology, chief of Neurology and Neurosurgery at Ryan Hospital, appointed to associate hospital director.

Elizabeth Mauldin, DVM, Dipl. ACVP & ACVD, professor of Dermatopathology, academic head of Penn Vet Laboratory of Pathology and Toxicology, appointed to associate chair of the department of Pathobiology.

Mark Oyama, DVM, MSCE, DACVIM (Cardiology), Charlotte Newton Sheppard Endowed Chair of Medicine, professor of Cardiology, appointed to interim chair of the department of Clinical Sciences and Advanced Medicine.

From left to right, top row: Brady Beale: Igor Brodsky; Amy Durham; Bottom row: Evelyn Galban; Elizabeth Mauldin; and Mark Oyama.
From left to right, top row: Brady Beale: Igor Brodsky; Amy Durham; Bottom row: Evelyn Galban; Elizabeth Mauldin; and Mark Oyama.

 

Faculty Retirements

The 2020-2021 academic year saw the retirement of several key faculty members with years of distinguished service who have played a significant role in shaping Penn Vet into the premiere institution that it is today.

Gustavo Aguirre, VMD, PhD, professor of Medical Genetics and Ophthalmology, Department of Clinical Sciences and Advanced Medicine.

Narayan G. Avadhani, PhD, professor of Biochemistry and the Harriet Ellison Woodward Professor of Biochemistry, Department of Biomedical Sciences.

Peter Dodson, MSc, PhD, professor of Anatomy, Department of Biomedical Sciences, and professor of Paleontology, Department of Earth and Environmental Science.

Diane J. Gaertner, DVM, Dipl. ACLAM, associate vice provost for University Laboratory Animal Resources and professor, Division of Laboratory Animal Medicine, Department of Pathobiology.

David T. Galligan, VMD, MBA, professor of Animal Health Economics and the Marilyn M. Simpson Endowed Professor of Animal Health Economics, Department of Clinical Studies at New Bolton Center.

Thomas J. Nolan, PhD, adjunct professor of Parasitology, director of the Clinical Parasitology Diagnostic Laboratory.

Shelley Rankin, PhD, professor of Microbiology, head of Diagnostic Services, chief of Clinical Microbiology

Virginia B. Reef, DVM, Mark Whittier and Lila Griswold Allam Professor of Medicine, Department of Clinical Studies at New Bolton Center.

James A. Serpell, PhD, Marie A. Moore endowed Chair of Animal Ethics & Welfare.

From left to right: Thomas Nolan; Shelley Rankin; Narayan Avadhani; Peter Dodson; James Serpell, and Gustavo Aguirre.
From left to right: Thomas Nolan; Shelley Rankin; Narayan Avadhani; Peter Dodson; James Serpell, and Gustavo Aguirre.

 

Grants

Gustavo Aguirre, VMD, PhD, received an 18-month, $74,160 grant from the Poodle Club of North America Foundation for Genetic Test Development for Inherited Eye Disease in Poodles. The grant spams from July 1, 2021 to December 31, 2022. He also received a $87,173 grant from the American Spaniel Club Health & Rescue Foundation for Molecular Genetic Studies of Inherited Cataracts in the American Cocker Spaniel. The grant spans from January 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022.

Jorge Alvarez, PhD, received a $205,152 grant from EMD Serono for Defining the Role of BTK in Meningeal Inflammation — From Meningeal B Cells to Tertiary Follicle-Like Structures. The grant spans from February 4, 2019 to July 31, 2022.

Eman Anis, PhD, received a $8,063 grant from the Pennsylvania Center for Poultry and Livestock Excellence for Surveillance for Egg Drop Syndrome (EDS) Infection Using a Commercial ELISA Kit. The grant spans from May 24, 2021 to May 24, 2022.

Michael Atchison, PhD, received a $2,544,568 NIH NIAID grant to compare the molecular genetic phenotype (gene expression patterns, chromatin accessibility, epigenetic structure, and chromatin folding) of YY1-null pro-B cells developed into DN1, DN2a, DN2b, DN3, DP, CD4+, and CD8+ T cells, compared to wild-type T lineage cells, as well as YY1 conditional knockout T lineage cells (Aim 2). The grant spans from June 2021 to May 2026. His collaborators are Ivan Maillard, Jennifer Phillips-Cremins, and Golnaz Vahedi. He also received a $2,489,662 NIH NIAID grant to determine chromatin folding patterns, nuclear localization of key genes, chromatin accessibility, and epigenetic structures in wild-type and YY1-null pro-B cells to define the genomic structures regulated by YY1 during B lineage commitment. The grant spans from July 15, 2021 to June 30, 2026. His collaborators are Jennifer Phillips-Cremins, Cornelis Murre, and Ranjan Sen. In addition, he received a $1,240,972 NIH/R01 grant for Mechanisms of Lineage Plasticity Revealed by YY1 Deficiency. The grant spans from June 1, 2021 to May 31, 2026. He also received a $1,532,099 NIH/ R01 grant for YY1-Dependent Chromatin Structure Stabilization of B Lineage Commitment. The grant spans from July 15, 2021 to June 30, 2026. And he received a $20,000 NIH/Boehringer Ingelheim grant for the NIH-BI summer scholars program at Penn Vet. The grant spans from April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022.

Matthew Atherton, BVSc, PhD, received a $711,345 NIH NCI K08 grant for Prognostic and Therapeutic Implications of IFNAR1 Signaling on CAR T-Cell Therapy for Cancer. The grant spans from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2026.

Swarna Bais, PhD, received a $275,000 NIH R21 grant for Oncolytic Virus Targeting Schistosomes. The grant spans from March 16, 2021 to February 28, 2023. Her collaborator is Robert Greenberg, PhD.

William Beltran, DVM, PhD, received a one-year, $500,000 grant from the Foundation Fighting Blindness for PENN Large Animal Model Translational & Research Center. The grant spans July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022.

Joseph Bender, DVM, received a $10,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture for Evaluation of Reproductive Efficiency on Pennsylvania Dairy Farms. The grant spans from January 1, 2021 to June 30, 2021.

Ashley Boyle, DVM, received a $15,000 grant from Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica for Guttural Pouch Microbiome in Health and Disease. The grant spans from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021.

Raimon Duran-Struuck, DVM, PhD, received a $150,000 grant from ITMAT-TAPIMAT for CAR Treg Technology for Immune Tolerance to Skin Allografts — A Pre-clinical Model of Skin Grafting and Vascular Tissue Allotransplantation. The grant spans from March 1, 2021 to February 28, 2023.

Anna Gelzer, DrMedVet, PhD, received a $14,933 grant from the ACVIM Foundation for Characterization of Buccal Mucosal Cells from Boxers with ARVC. The grant spans from January 1, 2021 to January 1, 2023.

Ronald Harty, PhD, received a $275,000 NIH R21 grant for Role of Host Angiomotin as a Central Regulator of Filovirus Egress and Dissemination. The grant spans from March 31, 2021 to February 28, 2023. He also received a $553,990 grant from Fox Chase Chemical Diversity Center for Development of Host-Oriented Small Molecule Therapeutics for Filoviruses and Arenaviruses. The grant spans from April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2024.

De’Broski Herbert, PhD, received a $343,891 NIH U01 supplement award for Trefoil Factor Proteins Regulate Inflammation and Immunity Importance of Trefoil Factor 3-LINTO2 Interactions During Infection of Human Nasal Epithelial Cells with SARS-Cov-2. The grant spans from November 25, 2020 to July 31, 2021. He also received a $1,160,564 NIH T32 grant for Parasitology: Modern Approaches. The grant spans from September 1, 2021 to August 31, 2023. In addition, he received a $1,000,000 NIH R01 grant for Myeloid Derived IL-33 Controls Treg Responses During Parasite Infection. The grant spans from August 6, 2021 to July 31, 2025.

Katrin Hinrichs, DVM, PhD, received a $68,590.67 grant from the American Quarter Horse Foundation for Effect of Day Estrus Cycle at TVA on Rates of in vitro Oocyte Maturation and Blastocyst Production after ICSI. The grant spans from October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022. She also received a $68,371 PENV- FY2021 capacity grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture/Department of Agriculture for. The grant spans from October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2022.

Christopher Hunter, PhD, received a $799,998 NIH U01 (sub to University of Colorado) grant for Mechanisms of Combined CD40/TLR Adjuvant-Elicited Cellular Immunity. The grant spans from March 25, 2021 to February 28, 2026. He also received a $1,690,655 NIH U01 grant for The Role of CD40L in Resistance to Enteric Infection. The grant spans from August 17, 2021 to May 31, 2026. His collaborator is Boris Striepen, PhD.

Anna Kashina, PhD, received a $510,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture for Fecal Microbiome Signatures as a Diagnostic Marker in Chronic Wasting Disease. The grant spans from May 14, 2021 to February 28, 2023.

Hania Kébir, PhD, received a $123,000 grant from the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada for Immunotherapy to Target Meningeal B Cells in a Model of Progressive-like Multiple Sclerosis. The grant spans from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2024. She is affiliated with the Alvarez laboratory.

Michaela Kristula, DVM, received a $9,348 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture for Novel Implementation of FARM on a Pennsylvania Dairy Farm Pilot Project. The grant spanned from January 1, 2021 to June 30, 2021.

Chris Lengner, PhD, received a $55,000 grant from the Abramson Center Pilot Breakthrough Bike Challenge for Development of Perturb-macsGESTALT to Interrogate Colon Cancer Regulation and Clonal Evolution. The grant spans from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022. His collaborator is Andres Blanco, PhD. He also received a $1,115,688 NIH/R01 grant for The Basis for and Function of Enteroendocrine Lineage Plasticity in the Intestinal DNA Damage Response. The grant spans from May 5, 2021 to April 30, 2024.

Claudia Lovell, MD-PhD candidate, received a $30,000 Future Physician Scientist Award from the Rheumatology Research Foundation. The grant spans from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2023. She is affiliated with the Anguera laboratory.

Nicola Mason, BVetMed, PhD, received a $1,890,627 NIH U24 grant for New Supplement: Coordinating Center for Canine Immunotherapy Trials and Correlative Studies. The grant spanned from September 1, 2020 to August 31, 2021.

Leonardo Murgiano, PhD, received a $46,504 grant from the Collie Health Foundation for Molecular Mapping and Characterization of the Genetic Modifier Associated with Collie Eye Anomaly. The grant spans from September 1, 2021 to February 28, 2022.

Cynthia Otto, DVM, PhD, received a $220,224 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture for A Proof of Concept: Are Detection Dogs a Useful Tool to Screen White- Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) Feces for Chronic Wasting Disease? The grant spans from March 1, 2021 to February 28, 2023.

Mark Oyama, MSCE, received a $11,813 grant from Nestle Purina Petcare for Targeted Metabolomics in Dogs with Mitral Valve Disease. The grant spans from February 1, 2021 to January 31, 2022.

Ellen Puré, PhD, received a $50,000 grant from the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics Pilot Grant Translational Biomedical Imaging Center for Companion Diagnostic and Therapeutic Biomarker Imaging Tools for Understanding CAR T-Cell Efficacy. The grant spans from March 1, 2021 to February 28, 2022.

Gatha Thacker, PhD, received a $75,000 BRCA Early Career Award for Regulation of IFN-γ Signaling in BRCA1-loss Dependent Breast Cancer. The grant spans from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022. He is affiliated with the Chakrabarti laboratory.

Andrew van Eps, BVSc, PhD, received a $148,185 grant from the Grayson Jockey Club Research Foundation for Understanding and Preventing Supporting Limb Laminitis. The grant spans from April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2023.

Charles Vite, DVM, ACVIM (Neurology), received a two-year, $298,018 direct costs grant from StrideBio for Intracisternal Administration of Novel Viral Vectors to Restore Expression and Treat Cerebellar Ataxia in Feline NPC1. He also received a $298,018 grant from StrideBio for Biodistribution Study in Normal Cats and Intracisternal Administration of Novel AAV-fNPC1 to Restore Expression and Treat Cerebellar Ataxia in Feline NPC1. The grant spans from February 11, 2021 to December 31, 2022.

Susan Volk, VMD, PhD, received a $182,845 grant from the AKC Canine Health Foundation for Tumor-Permissive Collagen Signatures in Canine Mammary Gland Tumors: Development of Prognostic Markers and Targeted Therapies for Improved Outcomes. The grant spans from March 1, 2021 to February 28, 2023.

John Wolfe, VMD, PhD, received a $27,796 Institutional Clinical and Translational Science Award from the CTSA/Program in Comparative Animal Biology. The grant spans from June 1, 2021 to May 31, 2022.