Dr. Gary Pickard to present seminar Oct. 31

Photo of Gary Pickard in the mountains

Dr. Gary Pickard, professor in the School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, will present “Dorsal raphe/tectum-projecting retinal ganglion cells regulate looming-evoked defensive behavior” on Oct. 31 in VBS 145 at 4 p.m.


Retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) extract features from the visual scene and transmit this information to the brain. By way of branching axons, individual RGCs simultaneously convey information in parallel to be processed in a target specific manner. Visual threats such as rapidly approaching (looming) objects evoke innate defensive behaviors that are initiated by RGC projections to the superior colliculus (SC). We identified an OFF-transient RGC type with axon collaterals to the SC and the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) required for looming-evoked defensive behaviors. Using a combination of neural circuit interrogation tools including optogenetics, viral circuit tracing, immunotoxin-based RGC ablation, and in vivo fiber photometry in genetically defined mouse models we document a RGC-to-DRN serotonergic circuit that regulates responses to looming stimuli. RGC input to the DRN controls a serotonergic self-gating mechanism that regulates SC-mediated responses to rapidly approaching objects.

Grotelueschen recognized with Award of Excellence

Dr. Dale Grotelueschen receives AABP Award of Excellence from Dr. David Smith.
Dr. David Smith (right) presents the American Association of Bovine Practitioners Award of Excellence to Dr. Dale Grotelueschen. (Photo courtesy of AABP)

Dr. Dale Grotelueschen, director of the Great Plains Veterinary Educational Center, received the Award of Excellence from the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP). Former SVMBS faculty member Dr. David Smith presented the award at the AABP annual conference in September.

Dr. Grotelueschen was selected by the AABP Board of Directors based on his years of service to the beef industry as a veterinarian and educator, and in recognition for contributions to BVD control, Integrated Resource Management, Beef Quality Assurance, animal stewardship and the Sandhills Calving System for reducing calf scours.

Congratulations, Dr. Grotelueschen!

Carlson receives L.K. Crowe award

Photo of Dr. Michael Carlson

Dr. Michael Carlson, assistant professor of practice and undergraduate coordinator for SVMBS, received the Lawrence K. Crowe Undergraduate Advisor Award at a luncheon hosted by the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources on October 13.

The L.K. Crowe award recognizes outstanding contributions in undergraduate advising.

One of the letters supporting Dr. Carlson’s nomination noted, “He takes time to become acquainted with each student and relates to them as individuals, which has resulted in highly effective advisor-student relationships.”

Dr. Carlson began advising undergraduate students in the Pre-Veterinary Medicine (Pre-Vet), Veterinary Science and Veterinary Technology programs in 2008. In his role as undergraduate program coordinator, he oversees undergraduate student advising, assists SVMBS undergraduate advisors, coordinates New Student Enrollment advising and serves as liaison for Pre-Vet advisors within and outside of UNL.

Congratulations on a well-deserved award, Dr. Carlson!

Insun Kook receives Susan Ann Smith Mills Memorial Award

Photo of Insun Kook

Insun Kook, a Ph.D. graduate student of Dr. Clinton Jones and Dr. Fernando Osorio, is the 2016 recipient of the Susan Ann Smith Mills Memorial Award. The award recognizes outstanding graduate students who are conducting research in the biomedical sciences and is based on accomplishments and research credentials. Recipients receive $1,000.

Susan Ann Smith Mills worked in the Veterinary Diagnostic Center and in research areas within the School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. The memorial award was established in 1987 by Mills' uncle and aunt to commemorate her life and dedication to research.

Congratulations, Insun!

CASNR awards Mohr Fellowship to Govardhan Rathnaiah

Photo of Govardhan Rathnaiah in the lab.

Congratulations to SVMBS graduate student Govardhan Rathnaiah on being selected by the CASNR Fellowship Committee to receive a Milton E. Mohr Fellowship in the amount of $3,000 for the 2016-2017 academic year. Gov is a Ph.D. student under the supervision of Dr. Raul Barletta.

Dr. Mohr was described in his lifetime as "...engineer, inventor, entrepreneur, corporate leader" and was instrumental in providing key leadership to young adults. Milton E. Mohr Fellowship candidates are pursuing studies in Agricultural and Biological Systems Engineering, Agronomy and Horticulture, Animal Science, Food Science and Technology and Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences.

The Fellowships are made possible through an endowment to the University of Nebraska Foundation.

Welcome back, Dr. Nakamura!

Dr. Robert Nakamura, a former associate professor of veterinary medicine at UNL, and his daughter Ann Balala made East Campus and the School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences one of their vacation stops. They have been traveling through the Dakotas and are on their way to Denver.

Dr. Nakamura, currently professor emeritus at the University of Hawaii, was a member of UNL’s Department of Veterinary Science from 1967 through 1970. While at UNL, Dr. Nakamura’s research focused on influenza in swine and diarrhea in beef cattle. He, with colleagues, characterized a new virus isolate as the coronavirus, which was used to develop the commercial vaccine for neonatal calf diarrhea.

Dr. Rodney Moxley provided a tour of the School and discussed some of the current research projects.

It was a pleasure to meet Dr. Nakamura and Ann! Come back any time!

Dr. Robert Nakamura, his daughter Ann Balala and Dr. Rodney Moxley pose outside of the School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
Dr. Robert Nakamura, his daughter Ann Balala and Dr. Moxley during their tour of the School's facilities.
Dr. Robert Nakamura, his daughter Ann Balala and Dr. Rodney Moxley pose outside of the School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
Dr. Nakamura with Dr. Moxley.
Dr. Nakamura visits with Dr. Carlson, Lila Tooker and Dr. Moxley
Dr. Nakamura visits with Dr. Carlson, Lila Tooker and Dr. Moxley.

Congratulations graduates!

Dr. Shi-Hua Xiang, Duoyi Hu and Dr. Don Reynolds
Dr. Shi-Hua Xiang (left) and SVMBS director Dr. Don Reynolds (right) present Duoyi Hu with a graduation gift from SVMBS.
Dr. Don Reynolds presents Ting Jia with a graduation gift
SVMBS director Dr. Don Reynolds presents Ting Jia with a graduation gift from SVMBS.

Congratulations to Duoyi Hu and Ting Jia who will receive graduate degrees at the May 6 graduate ceremony!

Ting has been a Ph.D. student in Dr. Jay Reddy's lab. She plans to return to China and work for a private company. Duoyi has worked with Dr. Shi-Hua Xiang and will receive a master's degree. His plans include working toward a Ph.D. at the University of Illinois in Chicago.

Best wishes go out to both!

Graduate Research and Creative Activities Poster winner

Rakesh Basavalingappa at the poster session.

The Office of Research and Economic Development and the Office of Graduate Studies named Rakesh Basavalingappa, doctoral student in the School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, one of the winners in the Graduate Student Research and Creative Activities Poster Session held during the 2016 Spring Research Fair.

Rakesh’s poster, “Identification of an epitope from adenine nucleotide translocator 1 that induces inflammation in heart and liver in A/J mice,” won in the category of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

The poster competition involved over 40 faculty and postdoc reviewers who rated student posters on the basis of their research scholarship.

Rakesh will receive a $400 travel grant to present his research at the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies Annual Meeting in Boston, MA this June.

Rakesh is a graduate student in the lab of Dr. Jay Reddy.

Congratulations, Rakesh!

Jamie Bauman receives Student Impact Award

Jamie Bauman and Veronica Riepe
Jamie Bauman (left) receives award from Dr. Veronica Riepe, Student Involvement director

Congratulations to Jamie Bauman, research technologist in the Veterinary Diagnostic Center, who was named Outstanding Student Organization Advisor for her work with the UNL Rodeo Association. The award recognizes Jamie’s hard work, dedication and the positive impact her efforts have on the UNL community. The award was presented April 13 at the Student Impact Awards Banquet hosted by UNL Student Involvement.

Moxley and Specht honored with awards

Two members of the School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences recently received awards. Dr. Rodney Moxley was named Charles Bessey Professor, and Mr. Allen Specht received the Omtvedt Servant Leader Award.

The Charles Bessey Professorship recognizes faculty members who have established exceptional records of distinguished scholarship or creative activity. Dr. Moxley is nationally and internationally recognized for his pioneering efforts and original discoveries on Escherichia coli (E. coli). Dr. Moxley’s research on bacterial cell adherence, immune responses to adherence proteins in challenged cattle, and subsequent field efficacy studies led to licensing of the first vaccine in the world for E. coli O157:H7 in cattle. Other studies in gnotobiotic piglets as a model for E. coli O157:H7 infection were the first to provide evidence that Shiga toxin 2 in particular caused severe vascular damage which could be protected against by passive immunization against the toxin. His research on E. coli as a foodborne pathogen and how it is transmitted within the food chain has significantly increased the understanding of how to mitigate this important public health concern. His work has, and continues to, benefit both veterinary and human medicine. He is an outstanding teacher who is highly regarded by the veterinary students in the Professional Program in Veterinary Medicine. His effective leadership in professional organizations, on editorial boards and grant panels, and on major research initiatives have contributed toward his outstanding reputation.

The Omtvedt Servant Leader Award recognizes outstanding contributions by IANR staff members. Allen Specht, business manager for the AVE Business Center, was recognized for his contributions to the university and leadership within SVMBS and the Animal Science Department. The nomination, made jointly with animal science, noted that Allen’s positive, objective and fair approach makes him highly effective as a manager. His knowledge of the university, which extends far beyond finances, human resources, and policies and practices, is a valuable asset often called upon. In addition, Allen has served the university in numerous ways, including helping to develop the business center model within IANR.

Congratulations Dr. Moxley and Allen!

Dr. Bruce Brodersen named Veterinarian of the Year

Photo of Dr. Vergel Heyer present the Veterinarian of the Year Award to Dr. Bruce Brodersen
Bruce Brodersen (right) is presented with the Veterinarian of the Year Award by Dr. Vergil Heyer

Bruce Brodersen, veterinarian, associate professor and diagnostic pathologist at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Veterinary Diagnostic Center in the School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences has been named veterinarian of the year by the Nebraska Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA). Brodersen received the award at the NVMA annual convention on Jan. 21 in Kearney.

“Being a part of the NVMA has been a very enriching experience for me and the relationships that I’ve developed over the years with other practitioners has been invaluable,” said Brodersen

The veterinarian of the year award is presented annually to an NVMA member whose contributions have advanced veterinary medicine in Nebraska, and whose service has benefited the association and community.

Brodersen has been an NVMA member since 2000. He has served on the board of directors, previously held the role of association president and currently serves on the legislative and public relations committees. He was instrumental in developing the NVMA website and spearheaded Nebraska’s first Oath in Action Day sponsored by the American Veterinary Medical Foundation.

Brodersen pioneered the use of immunohistochemistry on ear notches from cattle as a means to detect persistent bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) virus infection.

“This has had a profound benefit on the control of BVD disease for bovine practitioners everywhere,” said Vergil Heyer who presented Brodersen with the award.

Working in the Veterinary Diagnostic Center since 1992, Brodersen assists veterinarians, their clients and others responsible for animal and public health in the detection, prevention and understanding of disease. He also teaches second year veterinary students in systemic pathology and public health.

Congratulations to Rakesh Basavalingappa and Govardhan Rathnaiah, recipients of the Widaman Distinguished Graduate Fellowship Award!

The fellowship is awarded to outstanding graduate students whose research is related to agriculture. Rakesh is a PhD student focusing on immunology in the lab of Dr. Jay Reddy, and Gov is a PhD student focusing on microbiology in the lab of Dr. Raul Barletta.

A luncheon to honor all those receiving graduate fellowships will be held at the Nebraska East Union on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015.

The Widaman Trust was established in 1975 through a generous gift provided to the University of Nebraska Foundation by Mrs. Blanch Widaman.