Great Plains Veterinary Educational Center Celebrating 25 Years

Photo of GPVEC Bill Krejci Building
Bill Krejci Building at Great Plains Veterinary Educational Center

The Great Plains Veterinary Educational Center (GPVEC) is celebrating 25 years of providing advanced education in food animal production management to veterinary students and practicing veterinarians. To celebrate the anniversary, a reception is scheduled from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Bill Krejci Building at GPVEC, 820 Road 313.

 Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources Vice Chancellor Ronnie Green,  GPVEC founding director Gary Rupp, and current director Dale Grotelueschen will speak. Tours of the building will be available.

The Great Plains Veterinary Educational Center was established as part of a cooperative agreement between UNL and Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine. One provision of the agreement was that UNL would construct and staff a teaching facility at the federally run U.S. Meat Animal Research Center and provide food animal medicine education to KSU veterinary students as part of the fourth-year clinical training curriculum. Today, UNL provides veterinary education for Nebraska students through a cooperative agreement with Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, and GPVEC still provides fourth-year students critical education and experience in large-animal medicine. Nationally, Great Plains Veterinary Educational Center is recognized for providing outstanding educational opportunities, and veterinary students from across the nation come to Clay Center to gain beef cattle and field experience.

"In the future we will continue to work to strengthen and augment our educational offerings, and initiate new continuing education options," said Grotelueschen. Grotelueschen is just the second director in the 25 year history of the center. Rupp held the position from 1988-2010.

New book co-edited by UNL professor discusses studies on Ebola and rabies disease-causing viruses

Photo of Dr. Asit Pattnaik
Dr. Asit Pattnaik

Researchers working to develop treatments to combat Ebola and rabies have a new resource available. "Biology and Pathogenesis of Rhabdo- and Filoviruses," released in March, provides an in-depth review of current advances in understanding disease mechanisms and therapeutic interventions for rhabdoviruses and filoviruses. These two virus families contain Ebola, rabies and other related viruses that cause serious diseases affecting humans and animals.

"Before better vaccines and antivirals can be developed, we need to understand how these viruses enter susceptible hosts, replicate and cause disease, and evade the host's immune system," says Asit Pattnaik, co-editor of the book and molecular virology professor in the University of Nebraska–Lincoln School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and the Nebraska Center for Virology. Pattnaik and co-editor Michael Whitt, molecular virology professor at University of Tennessee Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Biochemistry, invited world-renowned scientists to contribute chapters related to structure and replication, epidemiology and evolution, pathogenic mechanisms and the current status of vaccine and drug developments for these virus families, including Ebola and rabies.

This is the first time information about the two virus families has been presented in one volume. "The book is a resource for students seeking advanced degrees as well as for seasoned investigators who wish to exploit these viruses for their own research endeavors," he says.

"Biology and Pathogenesis of Rhabdo- and Filoviruses" is published by World Scientific Publishing, New Jersey (USA) and Singapore. It is available at

Carlson and Tooker honored by students and parents

Photo of Dr. Mike Carlson and Lila TookerDr. Mike Carlson, assistant professor of practice, and Lila Tooker, recruit retention coordinator, of the School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences were among 209 UNL faculty and staff honored by the UNL Teaching Council and the UNL Parents Association at their annual recognition ceremony on Jan. 30.

Parents and students nominate faculty and staff members who have made a significant difference in a student's life. Both Carlson and Tooker work with high school students interested in careers in veterinary medicine, and advise undergraduate students. Dr. Carlson also teaches undergraduate and professional program courses.

Carlson and Tooker were presented with certificates of recognition. This is the third time each has been honored. 

Twenty SVMBS students make Dean's List

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln announced its Deans' List for the fall semester of the 2014-15 academic year. Students having 12 UNL semester-graded hours with a minimum grade point average of 3.75 are eligible. Congratulations to the following SVMBS Dean's List students!

Pre-Veterinary Medicine   Veterinary Science   Veterinary Technology
Alexandra Creigh Rebecca Reicks Taylor Bequette Erin Klein Sharmayne Katzberg
Katelyn Griger Kara Riggle Shelby Conklin LaNae Maxson  
Rayane Jardim Jessica Schmidt Katherine Fiedler Rachael Schulte  
Madison McGuire Carly Zimmer Reilly Grealish Melissa Svoboda  
Kate Rawlinson   Danielle Jones Scott Zach  

New Director of School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences


Dr. Donald L. Reynolds

Dr. Don Reynolds became the director of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln's School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences on Nov. 1, 2014. He also will serve as associate dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources for the Professional Program in Veterinary Medicine.

Reynolds served as dean of Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of Prince Edward Island in Charlottetown, PEI, Canada from 2008 to 2014. He also has served as associate dean for research and graduate studies at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University, interim chairman of ISU's Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Preventive Medicine and assistant director of ISU's Agricultural Experiment Station.

"We are excited to have Dr. Reynolds join our team and provide leadership for the School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, direction to the Professional Program in Veterinary Medicine and interaction with Nebraska's livestock industry," said Ronnie Green, Harlan vice chancellor of UNL's Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

"Dr. Reynolds' background as an administrator, teacher and scientist offers just the right mix to continue to build UNL's program," Green added.

Reynolds, an Ohio native, received his bachelor's, Ph.D. and DVM from The Ohio State University. "It's great to return to a major United States land-grant institution that serves such a prominent role in agriculture," said Reynolds. "It is the perfect fit for me. This opportunity feels familiar, but with a freshness and newness that is quite exciting."

McFee Takes on New Responsibilities

Dr. Renee McFeeDr. Renee McFee has assumed new responsibilities within the Professional Program in Veterinary Medicine (PPVM). She now has full responsibility for teaching VMED 645 (Physiology I) and VMED 646 (Physiology II), and was also named coordinator of the PPVM.

In her new position as coordinator of the PPVM, Dr. McFee serves as chairperson of the PPVM Curriculum Committee, the PPVM Academic Standards Committee, the PPVM Scholarships and Awards Committee, and the PPVM Honor Board. She is also an Ex Officio member of the Nebraska Veterinary Student Admission Committee and a member of the Iowa State University CVM Curriculum Committee.

Grotelueschen Receives Distinguished Alumni Award

Dr. Dale Grotelueschen

 Dr. Dale Grotelueschen was recognized and presented the Distinguished Alumni Award by the Schuyler Community Schools Foundation as a veterinary educator at the school's May commencement.

Sigma Xi Outstanding Young Scientist Award given to Dr. Rodrigo Franco Cruz

Dr. Rodrigo Franco CruzDr. Rodrigo Franco Cruz was awarded the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Sigma Xi Outstanding Young Scientist Award at their annual banquet on May 1, 2014, in the UNL City Union.

Sigma Xi is the international Science and Engineering Honorary Research Society. Its programs and activities promote the health of the scientific enterprise and honor scientific achievement.  Dr. Franco was cited for his achievements in determining how oxidative stress and redox signaling regulate neuronal cell injury or death associated with neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease.  Dr. Franco investigates the molecular mechanisms involved in neuronal cell damage or toxicity induced by environmental toxicants such as pesticides. He is particularly focused on discovering how chemical signaling in reduction/oxidation reactions that lead to free radical formation causing damage or death in various cell and tissue types.

Dr. Cruz published over 16 peer-reviewed scientific research articles and two book chapters during the past four years. He and his postdoctoral fellows and graduate student present at several scientific meetings each year.  His research is currently funded by the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association, the UNL Redox Biology Center, the UNL Agricultural Research Division and the UNL Office of Research and Economic Development.

Dr. Cruz serves on the editorial board of two scientific journals in the area of Environmental Toxicology (Chemico-Biological Interactions and Toxicology Mechanisms and Methods), serves as reviewer for many prestigious scientific journals, and recently co-chaired the Scientific Sessions "Mitochondrial Driven Mechanisms of Redox Signaling in Disease" at the 20th Annual Meeting of the Society for Free Radical Biology and Medicine, and the "Molecular mechanisms involved in neuro/glial toxicity: From oxidative stress to redox signal transduction" at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the Society of Toxicology.  Dr. Cruz is an assistant professor in the School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and also a member of the Center for Redox Biology at UNL.

Dr. Rod Moxley, Professor of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences has served as President of the UNL Chapter of Sigma Xi from 2013 to the present.



Rendering of Veterinary Diagnostic Center
Rendering of Veterinary Diagnostic Center.


New UNL Veterinary Diagnostic Center Update

Taken from October, 2014 News Clip

The Veterinary Diagnostic Center (VDC) is the only veterinary diagnostic laboratory in Nebraska that is accredited by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD), the USDA, and National Animal Health Laboratory System.  The VDC is responsible for the detection, prevention, surveillance, and understanding of disease conditions in Nebraska's human, domestic animal, and wildlife populations. The existing facility built in 1977 became the only full-service laboratory serving the entire state following the closing of the satellite laboratories in North Platte and Scottsbluff.   In 2007 and 2011, the AAVLD expressed concern regarding a number of issues, particularly biosafety and biosecurity levels.  Loss of accreditation would have significantly impacted the ability of the VDC to provide valid test results for Nebraska livestock producers that would be accepted by other state, federal, and international agencies.  In 2012, the Nebraska legislature appropriated $45.6 million for construction of a new veterinary laboratory and required that $4.15 million be raised from other sources.  Extramural funding for the VDC has been secured through the donations from private individuals, companies, Nebraska's agricultural commodity groups and various Nebraska livestock industries, particularly the Nebraska Cattlemen's Association.  The new VDC will address emerging bio-containment and bio-terrorism issues associated with livestock production and public health.  Improvements in diagnostic service and bio-security coupled with increased capacity for instruction, research, and public health initiatives will be employed in the new lab. Initial architectural plans for construction of the new building are scheduled to be presented to the Nebraska Board of Regents on October 31, 2014. Construction documents will be developed between November 3, 2014 and March, 2015. Bidding for construction of the new building is targeted for March, 2015, with construction to begin in April or May, 2015.  Building completion and occupancy is scheduled for June, 2017.

November 4 Update - The NU Board of Regents approved the final design plans for the new Veterinary Diagnostic Center at their October 31st meeting. Work will begin on developing construction documents. 



August 24, 2015

Seminar: "Analysis of events that induce BHV-1 reactivation from latency"
Insun Kook, Ph.D. student\
School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Nebraska Center for Virology
4:00 p.m., 145 VBS