Kocan honored for tick-borne disease research

Conference showcases work of animal disease researchers
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The Conference of Research Workers in Animal Diseases convened in Chicago for its 98th annual meeting with a revamped scientific program featuring 253 oral presentations, 10 keynote speakers, and 142 posters. More than 550 people from 23 countries attended the meeting, held Dec. 3-5, 2017.

The meeting was dedicated to Dr. Katherine Kocan, a former CRWAD president and an Oklahoma State University regents professor emerita recently retired from a 42-year career at the Center for Veterinary Health Sciences.

Dr. Katherine Kocan

Dr. Kocan is a fellow of the Society for Tropical Veterinary Medicine. She, her team, and graduate students published over 325 scientific papers related to ticks and tick-borne diseases, anaplasmosis, and heartwater; development of vaccines against these diseases; and the development of a sheep model for studying tick transmission of the pathogen that causes human granulocytic anaplasmosis.

CRWAD Council Keynote and associated meetings

The second CRWAD Council Keynote was presented by Jack Gilbert, PhD, professor and faculty director of the Microbiome Center at the University of Chicago. Nine additional keynote speakers also presented at the meeting, and they are mentioned on the CRWAD website www.crwad.org.

Associated meetings at the CRWAD included the International Brucellosis Society meeting, a minisymposium on Campylobacter, and meetings on NC1202 Enteric Diseases of Swine and Cattle, NC1207 Mycobacterial Diseases of Animals, and NC229 Detection and Control of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus and Emerging Viral Diseases of Swine. The Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture also held its project directors meeting in animal health on Dec. 1.


The 2017 CRWAD officers are Drs. Paul Morley, Fort Collins, Colorado, president; Christopher Chase, Brookings, South Dakota, vice president; David A. Benfield, Wooster, Ohio, executive director; and CRWAD Council members—Drs. Qijing Zhang, Ames, Iowa; Amelia Woolums, Mississippi State, Mississippi; M.M. Chengappa, Manhattan, Kansas; and Charles Czuprynski, Madison, Wisconsin.

AVEPM awards

The Association for Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine presented the 2017 Calvin Schwabe Award to Dr. Ian Gardner, a professor of epidemiology and the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Aquatic Epidemiology at the University of Prince Edward Island.

Dr. Gardner is internationally recognized for developing methods to assess disease risk in terrestrial and aquatic food animals. These methods have been used in global veterinary and public health activities and have influenced policies at the USDA and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

The Mark Gearhart Memorial Graduate Student Award was presented to Naomi Ohta, Texas A&M University.

Recipients of the AVEPM student awards were as follows: Melissa C. MacKinnon, University of Guelph; Dixie F. Mollenkopf, The Ohio State University; Adam Campigotto, University of Guelph; and Kristen A. Davenport, Colorado State University.

AAVI awards

The American Association of Veterinary Immunologists presented Dr. Ray Waters the 2017 AAVI Distinguished Veterinary Immunologist Award. Dr. Waters is a veterinary medical officer with the Bovine Tuberculosis Project at the National Animal Disease Center. The primary focus of his research has been the evaluation of humoral and cellular immune responses by cattle to Mycobacterium bovis.

Recipients of the AAVI student awards were as follows: First place, oral—Agustina Lavagna, University of Montreal; second place, oral—Mariana Guerra-Maupome, Kansas State University; third place, oral—Justin DeKuiper, Michigan State University; and first place, poster—M. Sarjoon Mohamed Abdul Cader, University of Calgary; second place, poster—Caitlin Merrill, University of Tennessee; and third place, poster—Johnson Mendez, University of Maryland.

ACVM awards

The American College of Veterinary Microbiologists named Dr. Michael Dryden the 2017 Distinguished Veterinary Microbiologist. Dr. Dryden is a professor of veterinary parasitology at the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine. His research efforts are directed toward understanding the biology and control of fleas and ticks parasitizing dogs and cats and the diagnosis and control of intestinal parasites.

ACVM student award winners were as follows: Don Kahn Award for best overall presentation—Jean-Philippe Auger, University of Montreal; best oral presentation—Tessa E. LeCuyer, Washington State University, and Haiyan Sun, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; and best poster presentation—Michael C. Abundo, The Ohio State University.

Other awards

The Society for Tropical Veterinary Medicine student award was presented to Ying Wang, Kansas State University.

The American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists presented its student award to Kyle Hoffman, University of Missouri.

The NC1202 North Central Multistate Committee for Research on Enteric Diseases of Swine and Cattle made the following student awards: Lynn Joens Award, first place, oral presentation—Frances Shepherd, University of Minnesota; second place, oral—Carolina Garcia, Kansas State University. The David H. Francis Award for best poster presentation—Ti Lu, Kansas State University.

The Biosafety and Biosecurity Award, sponsored by the Animal Health Institute and Joseph J. Garbarino Foundation, were presented to Chloe Stenkamp-Strahm, Colorado State University, and Brandon Skinner, North Carolina State University, for their oral presentations.

CRWAD travel awards

For the first time, CRWAD awarded eight students travel awards of $500 to attend the 2017 conference. Award winners were as follows: Karim Abdelsalam, South Dakota State University; Jean-Philippe Auger, University of Montreal; Kaylen Capps, Kansas State University; Iman Mehdizadeh Gohari, University of Guelph; Agustina Lavagna, University of Montreal; Briana Petruzzi, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; Haiyan Sun, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; and Alehegne Yirsaw, University of Massachusetts.