Lynn M. Martin, an assistant teaching professor of equine internal medicine at the University of Missouri Veterinary Health Center, was recently elected chair of the Missouri Horse Council. The organization promotes communication, education and advocacy within Missouri’s equine industry while working closely with the Missouri Department of Agriculture and other stakeholders. Martin has previously held positions as vice chair, treasurer and director.
CVM Faculty, Staff and Student Accolades
The MU College of Veterinary Medicine salutes our faculty, staff and students for their many achievements. We take pride in sharing their accomplishments.
Tim Evans, DVM, MS, PhD, associate professor of toxicology, has been selected as a member of the Missouri Engagement Scholars Program. Also known as the MU Engages program, its purpose is to bring together faculty from across Mizzou’s campus to participate in a one-year program to develop and implement public engagement initiatives that are related to or grounded in their research. Evans, who will be a member of the program from June 2021 to May 2022, says he already has a plan for his initiative. “I am particularly interested in research to enhance the use of telecommunications technology in expanding the breadth of our interactions with College of Veterinary Medicine stakeholders,” he said.
Evans believes this program is a good fit for him, as it concentrates on things he enjoys. “Over the years, I have found that, in addition to teaching, I have a passion for engagement and outreach, whether it be at the level of K-12 students or to pet owners, livestock producers, and veterinarians,” said Evans. “What better ways are there, than engagement and outreach, to share research results and to show how effective science communication can bring people together?”
By Nick Childress
University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine student Abbie Knudsen received the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association’s William A. Wolff Volunteerism Award at the 2021 MVMA Convention held Jan. 21-24. Knudsen, a native of St. Charles, Missouri, was chosen for this award because of her work in setting up a pet food bank in Columbia during the COVID-19 pandemic. “When COVID-19 emerged, it quickly became clear that there would be far-reaching negative impacts on people and their pets,” said Knudsen. “Not only were we able to assist local families in the Columbia area, but we also distributed food to other organizations across the state so they could also assist their local communities.”
Knudsen, who obtained her bachelor’s degree at Drury University and master’s degree at Missouri State University, says with so many families struggling to make ends meet, she found that this food bank could provide some financial relief to those families who needed to feed their pets. Multiple organizations came together to make this happen, including Greater Good, Central Missouri Humane Society, Boone County Fire Protection District, Boone County Office of Emergency Management, and many other individuals. “As the need for support in central Missouri became apparent, an inter-organizational collaboration emerged to help families get the pet food they needed,” she said. “Over 39,000 pounds of pet food were obtained and distributed to families in need from all over Missouri. The result was that hundreds of families were able to feed their pets and no longer had to worry if they would be able to afford to keep them.”
Catherine Vogelweid, DVM, a retired faculty member of the CVM and a previous MVMA William A. Wolff Volunteerism Award recipient, was one of the individuals who assisted Knudsen. Vogelweid said Knudsen spearheaded this donation effort and was the primary organizer. “This effort not only improved the welfare of pets, it also assisted food banks in conserving food for human consumption and minimized the stress that unemployed pet owners were experiencing because they no longer had sufficient financial resources to feed and care for their pets,” said Vogelweid.
For Knudsen, this was one of the most meaningful and rewarding projects she has had the opportunity to work on during her time at the CVM. “There’s nothing better than helping to keep a pet with the family that loves them,” she said. “During our pet food distributions to the community, I had the chance to meet many recipients of the food. They were wonderful, responsible pet guardians that had fallen on a hard time, and they were so grateful to have assistance. It wasn’t uncommon for a recipient to tear-up when thanking us for the food.”
Knudsen mentioned that she is grateful that the MVMA considers students to be eligible for this award, and the selection of a student recipient reinforces their commitment to recognize the contribution of young people to the field of veterinary medicine. Knudsen says while she is proud to have received this award, she is excited about the current state of the veterinary profession. “We’ve arrived at an exhilarating time in animal welfare and veterinary medicine where we’re starting to build innovative solutions to ensure that families have access to the veterinary care, behavior support, and other pet-related resources that they need,” said Knudsen. “I’m proud to be surrounded by veterinary professionals that are recognizing the needs of their communities and committing themselves to finding comprehensive solutions to help make our world a better place for animals.”
By Nick Childress
Brian Flesner, DVM, MS, DACVIM ─ Oncology, an assistant professor of oncology at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, has been named the keynote speaker for the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine’s Phi Zeta Research Day. The Phi Zeta Research Day is an annual event at UW that focuses on sharing research generated by their DVM students, interns, residents and graduate students.
Lauren Trepanier, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, DACVCP, the assistant dean for clinical and translational research at Wisconsin said, “Every year a clinician scientist is invited to give a keynote at Phi Zeta Research Day to highlight a successful career, combining clinical practice with high quality research. Dr. Flesner was invited because of his affiliation with the Clinical and Translational Science Award One Health Alliance and its’ Clinician Scientist Education initiatives, his research productivity in medical oncology, and his approachable speaking style.”
Flesner says his keynote speech is titled, “From Cattle to Cancer: An Unanticipated Journey from Rural Practice to Academic Medicine,” which will discuss his journey to his current faculty position and future research goals. “After dealing with cancer in my family during vet school at the University of Illinois, and with my desire to practice individualized rather than population medicine, I became interested in small animal specialty medicine, specifically oncology,” he said. “My internship at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital in San Diego, California, solidified my aspirations and I matched with Mizzou for a medical oncology residency. After a brief stint at Louisiana State University, I was again hired by Mizzou about five years ago. Since rejoining the team at Mizzou, we have really strengthened our clinical research program. We successfully completed several ground-breaking osteosarcoma studies and developed a very collegial relationship with the National Cancer Institute’s Comparative Oncology Program due to our hard work. Also, I have found my research passion, which focuses on understanding and treating cancer pain.”
Being invited by UW to give the speech for Phi Zeta Research Day is an honor for Flesner. He said he was humbled, as he attended the University of Wisconsin’s Clinician Scientist Training Workshop almost 10 years ago as a medical oncology resident. “This workshop helped prepare and inspire me for a life as a clinician scientist,” said. Flesner. “I’m very thankful for the relationships I’ve developed with folks at UW and in the CTSA and hope to continue to inspire others to pursue careers in veterinary clinical research.”
Flesner said there are many people who have helped him reach this point in his career, including Drs. Carolyn Henry and Jeffrey Bryan, the entirety of the oncology team at Mizzou, and recently retired clinical trials coordinator, Debbie Tate, whom he says taught him so much about veterinary clinical trials. “I couldn’t have gotten where I’m at without the support of my family and my colleagues and mentors at Mizzou,” he said. “I am so very thankful and grateful for our entire oncology team.”
Flesner’s keynote speech will be delivered virtually via Zoom from 12-12:50 p.m., Central Time, on April 7, 2021.
By Nick Childress
The American Physiological Society has awarded Gabi Hofmann, DVM, with the 2021 Central Nervous System Research Recognition Award at this year’s Experimental Biology Meeting. Hofmann is a resident in the University of Missouri’s Comparative Medicine Program.
Her award-winning presentation is titled “Astrocytes and Microglia in the Brainstem Nucleus Tractus Solitarii React to Unilateral Vagotomy.”
According to the American Physiological Society’s website, the award recognizes outstanding research by graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who present a first-author abstract at the Experimental Biology Meeting.