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Phi Zeta Research Day

2019 Research Day & VMD/PhD Symposium

In Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the VMD/PhD Program

2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Penn Vet VMD-PhD program.

To celebrate this milestone, our Annual Student Research Day will combine with the VMD-PhD 50th Anniversary Symposium to form a two-day research event at Penn Vet. 


  • Thursday, Marcy 21, 2019:  Annual Student Research Day 
  • Friday, March 22, 2019:  VMD/PhD 50th Anniversary Symposium "Penn Vet: Advancing Research and Medical Synergies"

Penn Vet's Hill Pavilion
131 Billhardt Auditorium, 380 University Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Research Day 2019 Poster

Annual Research Day

Thursday, March 21 – Agenda
11:30 am

Buffet Lunch and Poster Session I

  • Hill Lobby
12:30 pm

Opening Remarks: Dean Andrew Hoffman, DVM, DVSc

  • 131 Billhardt Auditorium
Student Presentations (10-min talks & 5 min Q&A)

Introductions by VMD student

12:45 pm - 1:00 pm: VMD Presenter 1

1:00  - 1:15 pm: VMD Presenter 2

1:15 - 1:30 pm: VMD Presenter 3

1:30 pm Break and Poster Session II Hill Lobby

Introductions by VMD student

2:15 pm: VMD-PhD Presenter 1

2:30 pm: VMD-PhD Presenter 2

2:45 pm: VMD-PhD Presenter 3

3:00 pm Break and Poster Session III Hill Lobby
3:50 pmIntroduction of Keynote Speaker by Current  VMD or VMD-PhD Student 
4:00 pm

Keynote Lecture

Steven Bensinger VMD PhD

  • Associate Professor of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics
    Sherie and Donald Morrison Endowed Chair in Immunology
    Director, Inflammation, Immunology, Infection and Transplant Research
    University of California, Los Angeles

  • Towards understanding how lipid metabolism influences immunity 

5:00 pmAwards for Oral Presentations and Best Posters 
5:00 pm Welcoming Reception Hill Pavilion Lobby

VMD/PhD 50th Anniversary Symposium

Penn Vet: Advancing Research and Medical Synergies

Friday, March 22 - Agenda
8:30 am
  • Welcome: Dean Andrew Hoffman, DVM, DVSc 
  • Opening Comments: Lawrence Brass, MD, PhD
  • VMD/PhD Program Director Comments: Michael Atchison, PhD
Session 1: VMD/PhD Alumni Presentations
9:00 am
  • Jaime Modiano, VMD, PhD; Alvin and June Perlman Professor of Animal Oncology; Director, Animal Cancer Care and Research Program, University of Minnesota

    Dogs, Kids, and Elephants – How We Answered Peto’s Paradox and Developed Next-Generation Solutions for Cancer Prevention

9:25 am
  • LaTasha K. Crawford VMD, PhD, DACVP; Assistant Professor, Pathobiological Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine

    Exploring the Role of “Touch” Neurons in the Pathophysiology of Pain

9:50 am
  • Dr. Catherine Brinkley, VMD, PhD; Assistant Professor in Community and Regional Development in the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, University of California, Davis

    One Health and Land-Use

10:15 am
  • Coffee Break / Posters
  • Posters from the Vet Student Research day (Thursday March 21) will remain in place in the Hill Foyer throughout the symposium.
10:35 am
  • Director Comments: Dr. Richard Miselis, VMD, PhD
10:45 am
  • Theresa Alenghat, VMD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Division of Immunobiology, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

    Epigenomic regulation of the host-microbe relationship in health and disease

11:10 am
  • Alexander Travis, MMD, PhD
    Director, Cornell University Master of Public Health Program, Associate Dean for International Programs and Public Health, Professor of Reproductive Biology & Wildlife Conservation, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine

    A Tale of Twenty Years: Developing a Male Fertility Diagnostic Assay

11:35 am
  • Comments by Joan Hendricks, VMD, PhD (Dean of Penn Vet, 2006-2018)
11:45 am
  • Lunch Break (Hill Pavilion Lobby)

Student–Alumni Networking Lunch

Alumni Participants: All speakers from the morning session and the following alumni from NIH, Industry, government.

  • Stephanie Murphy, VMD, PhD; Director, Division of Comparative Medicine, NIH
  • Katherine Masek-Hammerman, VMD, PhD: Pathologist, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals
  • Mark Pykett, VMD, PhD: CIO, PTC Therapeutics, Inc.
  • Colleen Kane, VMD, PhD; Principal Scientist, Janssen Bio Therapeutics
  • Natalie Miller, VMD, PhD; Veterinary Medical Officer, FDA
  • Abigail Shearin, VMD, PhD: Veterinary Medical Officer, FDA
  • Kate Hammerman, VMD, PhD: Pfizer
  • Natalie Miller, VMD, PhD: FDA
  • Abigail Shearin, VMD, PhD, FDA
  • Jessica Bertout, VMD, PhD Presage Biosciences

 Session 2: Research and Medical Synergies
Chair: Joan Hendricks, VMD, PhD

1:00 pm

The Microbiome in Human and Animal Disease

  • The Microbiome in Human and Animal Disease
    Moderator: Christopher Hunter, PhD

  • Speaker 1:  Robert Baldassano, MD, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

  • Speaker 2:  Daniel Beiting, PhD, Assistant Professor, Penn Vet
    IBD, Diet and the Microbiome

1:40 pm

Collaborations in Immunotherapy

  • Moderator: Oliver Garden, BVetMed, PhD
  • Speaker 1:  Nicola Mason B.Vet.Med, PhD, DACVIM (Internal Medicine), Paul A. James and Charles A. Gilmore Endowed Chair Professorship, Associate Professor of Medicine
    Genetically engineered T cells for dogs with cancer and autoimmunity

  •  Speaker 2:  Aimee S. Payne, MD, PhD, Albert M. Kligman Associate Professor of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania
    CAAR T cells: finding synergy in approaches to cancer and autoimmune disease therapy in canines and humans

2:20 pm
  • Coffee Break/Posters
2:40 pm
  • Director Comments: John Wolfe, VMD, PhD
2:50 pm 

Cancer Center Synergies

  • Moderator: Kenneth Zaret, PhD 
  • Speaker 1:  M. Celeste Simon, PhD, Scientific Director and Investigator, Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
    “Symbioses in the Tumor Microenvironment”

  •  Speaker 2: Ellen Puré, PhD, Grace Lansing Lambert Professor and Chair, Department of Biomedical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Professor, Department of Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics, Perelman School of Medicine, Director, Penn Vet Cancer Center University of Pennsylvania
    Penn Vet: Where cutting-edge research meets compassionate care

3:30 pm 

Student Research

  • Undergraduate Student Research: Jenni Punt, VMD, PhD, Associate Dean of One Health, Professor of Pathobiology
    Undergraduate Student Research
  • Graduate Student Research: Kelly Jordan-Sciutto, PhD, Associate Dean for Graduate Education, Director of Biomedical Graduate Studies
    Graduate Student Research
4:00 pm 

New Bolton Center Connections

  • Dean Richardson, DVM, DACVS; Charles W. Raker Professor of Equine Surgery; Chief, Large Animal Surgery; Co-Chair, Clinical Studies-New Bolton Center

Session 3: Keynote Address

4:30 pm
  • Ralph Brinster, VMD, PhD; Richard King Mellon Professor of Reproductive Physiology, School of Veterinary Medicine and Graduate School, Professor of Physiology; Professor of Physiology, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences 
    Understanding and Modifying the Mammalian Genome
5:30 pm
  • Closing Comments
6:00 pm
  • Closing Banquet