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February 2010


February 23, 2011

Welcome to our second edition of CVM Research Insight, a quick look at the excitement of discovery at the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
As we head into the new calendar year, I’m continually amazed at what we’ve accomplished. And it gives me a new resolution for the coming year: Keep the momentum going as we continue to ask “What’s Next?” from the Iowa State research team.
Inside this Insight you will find information on the almost $18 million in research awards earned since May, including nearly $5 million from the National institutes of Health and more than $3 million from the Department of Agriculture. The Insightful Mentor is back offering advice on grantsmanship. And we will get a quick look at some of the exciting work being done behind walls of the CVM labs and at the people who are doing the research. We still invite you to ask our “Grant Doctor” panel of experts any questions regarding your proposal efforts. There is a wealth of success that you can access just by asking.
Overall, this has been an exciting year. Our efforts were recognized by SciBytes with the ranking of our college as the #1 high impact institution based on research citations for the second year in a row. We now hold approximately 30 percent of the university’s NIH funding and continue to rank in the top four in USDA funded research. Our overall research expenditures grew approximately 34 percent between 2004 and 2010 and grew an impressive 14 percent from 2009 to 2010.
What is really exciting though is the growing number of collaborative, cross-campus, and cross-institutional efforts that are producing sizeable opportunities as well as very meaningful outcomes. This is the wave of the future and we are on the leading edge with efforts like the One Health/One Medicine initiative. In fact, I am delighted to report that our efforts have helped land the One Health Commission national headquarters at ISU. We are truly a global leader in this growing initiative.
As I transition into my new role as Dean of the college, I want to thank you for your support while serving as Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies. It has been great being part of the research team and I am looking forward to continuing to be part of this terrific progress as dean. 
I am pleased to welcome Dr. Qijing Zhang as our new interim Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies. He has a vast amount of experience and expertise and will be an outstanding overseer of our college research program.
We would appreciate your input regarding information you would like to receive and information regarding your own research efforts. If you have an idea for a story, please send it to Lynn Bagley in the research office (cvmres@iastate.edu).

Thanks for taking a look at our “Insight.”
Lisa K. Nolan, DVM, PhD
Dr. Stephen G. Juelsgaard Dean of Veterinary Medicine


From the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies

It is an honor for me to serve as Interim Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies. While serving in this role, I will work with everyone to ensure that we continue to build on the tremendous progress we have made over the past few years.

Toward this end, we have held two brainstorming sessions with 26 research faculty representatives from each department to discuss a number of topics related to our research program. Our focus of the meetings was primarily on two topics:
1.     Discuss and determine if there is any enthusiasm for renting research space that is now available in the old NVSL building.
2.     Strategic moves to increase high quality, high impact research productivity in the next few years.
The meetings were highly productive and generated lots of discussion and good ideas. There was a general interest in taking advantage of the NVSL space to expand our research capacity and build stronger research themes, but many questions were raised during the discussion. The research office will continue this dialogue with our faculty on possible utilization of the NVSL space. During the discussion, faculty offered a number of research-enhancing suggestions and ideas. We will consider these suggestions seriously and work with the Research Advisory Committee to make some strategic changes to positively impact our research productivity.
Thank you to all who participated in these meetings. I also welcome inputs and suggestions from researchers who were not able to attend the meetings. If anyone is interested in discussing any issues regarding research, I would like to visit with you. Please contact the Office of Research and Graduate Studies to set up an appointment.
Qijing Zhang, BVsc, MS, PhD
Interim Association Dean,
Research and Graduate Studies



Research Awards

During the June through December period, college PIs and Co-PIs received more than $18 million in research awards, including nearly $5 million from the National Institutes of Health and more than $3 million from the Department of Agriculture. This brings the total for the calendar year to more than $24 million. Congratulations all on a terrific end to the calendar year! (Click here for a complete listing.)



New Grant Services Available

Professional Grant Reviewers Available: Support from three professional grant writing consulting firms is available to investigators. The college will pay one-third of the cost, up to $667 for professional grant review services from one of the three providers contracted by the University. The services are intended, primarily for major federal grants. The consultants provide input and feedback that are intended to improve proposal success and funding. To qualify, you must be recommended by your department chair. Contact the Office of Research and Graduate Studies for more information.


Clearing House for Scored but Unfunded NIH Proposals: The NIH and the National Health Council have established a clearinghouse database for NIH proposals that have been scored, but were unfunded. The clearinghouse is an effort by NIH to provide exposure of scored grants to other non-governmental funding agencies/sources. There are two websites that you can visit to learn more about this program:




Additional Grant Writing Resources

Following are resources that you may find useful in honing your grant writing skills. All are available from the Office of Research and Graduate Studies.
Grant Writing Workbooks (used in the Morrison Workshops):
The Grant Application Writer’s Workbook – NIH
The Grant Application Writer’s Workbook – NSF-FastLane
The Grant Application Writer’s Workbook – USDA, NRI Competitive Grants Program
The Grant Application Writer’s Workbook – Successful Proposals to any Agency
CD – Principal Investigators Association – Webinar on 9/16/10:
NIH Grant Proposal:  Significance, Innovation, Approach  (Presented by:  Paul Spearman, MD)
CD - Winning More Grants!  Best Tactics for use on NIH Short Form   (Presented by Karin Rodland, PhD, in 2010)
CD – Principal Investigators Association – Webinar on 2/15/11:
Revising and Resubmitting Rejected NIH Proposals:  What You Should Know Before You Try Again (Presented by:  Dr. Marjorie Piechowski, Director of Research Support, College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) Note:  This CD should be available by the beginning of March 2011.
An additional resource is the Research Equipment Database that provides a list of equipment and associated Principal Investigators, http://vetmed.iastate.edu/research/investigator-resources/research-equipment. If you need more information or have something to add to the list, contact Dr. Chris Minion.


Wanted:  Feedback!

Please take a look at our website (www.vetmed.iastate.edu/research) and let us know what we can add or remove that will better serve your needs. Our goal is to provide information that helps your research efforts. All comments are welcome so please send them to cvmres@iastate.edu.



Advice from an Insightful Mentor: This issue, Dr. Ravindra Singh

Getting your dream NIH grant: A reviewer’s perspective
Dr. Ravindra Singh
Scientific discoveries of fundamental significance shape the future of our society. A majority of these discoveries come from academic institutions where young and dynamic brains take on new challenges.
Institutional commitment and investigator-driven extramural funding provide the necessary ingredients for scientific research and groundbreaking discoveries. National Institutes of Health (NIH) remains the leading public sector sponsor of biomedical research in the U.S. However, NIH funding has not kept pace with the new health-related challenges of our society. This is clearly reflected in the poor success rate of grants submitted to NIH.
 In the midst of poor funding atmosphere, NIH has also changed the style and manner in which grants are reviewed. Being a permanent member of a NIH study section (or review committee), I envision these changes as a positive development for applicants and reviewers. In this article I discuss in brief a reviewer’s perspective that is relevant to R01, R21 and R03 grants, which are the most popular investigator-initiated NIH grants.

R01, R21 and R03 Grants
A R01 grant promises high impact with minimal risk and requires a substantial amount of preliminary data. It is common for an R01 investigator to request up to $250,000 per year for five years (total direct cost up to $1,250,000 for five years). Most R01 grants are eligible for competitive renewal after five years. Hence, a R01 grant is considered the best mechanism for the continuity of the high-profile research addressing a major scientific issue. The R01 mechanism also allows a long-term planning of hiring and training of scientific personnel.
A R21 grant mechanism accepts high risk, if the impact of the predicted outcome is substantially high. Although not required, furnishing preliminary data increases the chances of success of a R21 grant. Under the R21 mechanism, an investigator could request up to $275,000 for two years as direct cost.
Similar to R21, a R03 grant is funded for two years. A R03 investigator could request direct cost up to $50,000 per year. Unlike R21, R03 carries no apparent risk and promises high impact of a limited study. Investigators generally use the R03 mechanism to generate preliminary data for a R01 proposal. The R03 mechanism could also be used to support the study of a graduate student.
New Formats
The most notable change that has recently occurred in the application process pertains to the length of the grant application. The R01 format has been reduced to 12 pages (from 25 pages in the old format). R21 and R03 formats have been reduced to six pages.
In the new format, focus of the review process has shifted towards “Overall Impact” that is distinct from significance. Five criteria are considered relevant for deciding the overall impact: (i) significance, (ii) innovation, (iii) approach, (iv) expertise of investigator(s), and (v) environment to conduct research. Reviewers could bring additional criteria that are specific to the proposal. However, budget issues are not discussed before the grants have been scored. Also, NIH does not require budget justification if the requested budget is in the modular format, which is multiples of $25,000. The new format does require justification for personnel and animal use. Also, all investigators have to agree to a data and resource sharing plan. 
In order to appropriately judge the overall impact, investigators are required to state the significance, innovation and approach (experimental design) in separate sections. There is no section for preliminary data; however these are absolutely necessary for an R01 application.
Most investigators insert preliminary data in the “experimental design” (approach) section. Published preliminary data could also be inserted in the “significance and innovation” section. For a strong R01 application, it is important that a part of the preliminary data is recently published.
A peer-reviewed publication takes away the uncertainty of conclusions that could be otherwise considered premature or risky. To a certain extent, the impact of the journal where preliminary results are published drives the impact of the proposal, particularly for R01 grants that are poorly scored with increased risk factor. It is common for a grant to score better if the principal investigator has reached out to appropriate collaborator(s) with complementary expertise. As a matter of fact, an overwhelming majority of NIH grants that are funded include one or more collaborator(s) and/or co-investigator(s).
For a grant proposal to be fairly reviewed, it is important that the proposal goes to the right study section (review panel). However, there is never a guarantee that it will be reviewed by people who are experts in the narrow discipline of the proposed research. Hence, the proposal should be written in a clear language so that the impact is obvious to a wide variety of experts in the related field. In general, specific aims and outcome measures should be clarified in definitive terms. Also, innovation and importance of the proposed study should be carefully underscored. Of note, it is not necessary for an application to be innovative if the proposed study is highly significant and outcome is necessary to advance the field.
Now, NIH grants can be submitted only twice (original submission and one resubmission or A1 submission) as opposed to three times in the older format. Due to low success rate and single resubmission opportunity, it is important that applicants take extra precaution in preparing their proposals. Success rate during resubmission is dependent upon the ability of an applicant to address prior reviewers’ concerns. Chances of improving the score increase if the applicant includes new data as well as new publication pertinent to the application. Hence, an applicant has to have a plan of publishing preliminary results along with the grant submission. Inputs from the NIH program officer could also be helpful in improving the grant application during resubmission.
Seek Advice
NIH depends upon funded investigators to serve as grant reviewers and advisors. Hence, taking advice from funded investigators could make a noticeable difference to new investigators, who are seeking NIH funding. Besides, NIH has a generous policy towards new investigators through the R01 mechanism. For instance, some NIH centers have greatly relaxed the pay line for new investigators. While these initiatives reflect a determined commitment of NIH towards future generations of scientists, a number of meritorious grants still do not make it to the pay line. Hence, reviewers have a general feeling that an unfunded grant with a better score during resubmission should be submitted as a new grant with minor modifications in the title and approach. In summary, a well-scored grant from a productive investigator will be eventually funded if the investigator is determined to keep on aggressively applying.



Grant Doctor

Interested in improving your grantsmanship? The CVM has a number of researchers who have been highly successful in applying for and getting key grant awards. If you would like to improve your grant proposal skills, ask the Grant Doctor by sending an e-mail with your questions to cvmres@iastate.edu. Your issues will be addressed by our grant advisory team.


One Health Commission Locates at ISU!

The One Health initiative moved a big step forward with the announcement that the One Health Commission will locate its global health organization at the ISU Research Park. The office is located in the ISU Nutrition and Wellness Research Center.
Dr. Roger Mahr, chief executive officer of the commission, cited Iowa State’s One Health Consortium and interdisciplinary leadership commitment as factors in the decision to locate in Ames. The commission provides a vehicle for the medical professions to collaborate on solving animal and human health problems and addressing threats to animal and human health, such as multi-host pathogens, antibiotic resistance, environmental health and emerging diseases.
Member organizations of the commission include the AMA, AVMA, American Public Health Association, Association of Academic Health Centers, Association of American Medical Colleges, AAVMC and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.
Iowa State’s one Health Consortium includes seven ISU colleges, University of Iowa and University of Nebraska-Omaha colleges of medicine and public health, USDA ARS, NADC, APHIS and NVSL, and CFSPH, IICAB, Partnerships in Prevention Science Institute, Plant Sciences Institute and CAHDIT at Iowa State. 



Brief Bytes:

Graduate Student Compensation: A reminder that a change has been made in the university tuition policy for graduate students. A graduate student can now receive a stipend without paying tuition.
Summer Scholars: The selection process is under way for the 2011 Summer Scholars program that matches CVM students with researchers for 13 weeks of immersive research experience. Dr. Christy Petersen is director of the program and Drs. Amanda Fales-Williams and Heather Greenlee are co-directors.
CAHDIT Proposal Reminder: Proposals for Proof-of-Concept Awards are being sought from CVM faculty members or technicians who have a qualified proof-of-concept project that fulfills program criteria. The program is designed to encourage and facilitate discovery transfer into commercially viable products or processes. Award amounts will generally be from $10,000 to $15,000, but could be more. Details are available at http://vetmed.iastate.edu/sites/default/files/centers-institutes/cahdit/iowareport.pdf.
CAHDIT is the Center for Advanced Host Defense Immunobiotics and Translational Comparative Medicine.
Prolific Publisher: A recent look at publication data for the last year shows that Dr. Brad Blitvitch authored or co-authored 17 peer reviewed articles that were published during the year. Congratulations!
ICAN Receives Major Grant: The Iowa Center for Advanced Neurotoxicology received a NIH R01 grant totaling $1.62 million for five years. The grant is for studying prion diseases in neurotoxicity models.
Top Plant and Animal Sciences Institution: Thomson Reuters ranked Iowa State University plant and animal scientists 20th in the world for productivity and impact. The ranking is based on the number of journal articles produced by faculty scientists and on the number of citations generated by the articles for the period 1999 – 2009.

Research Excellence Award: Huajun Jin received a Research Excellence award for fall Semester 2010. The award is intended to recognize up to 10% of the graduating graduate students for their research accomplishments as documented in their theses and dissertations.



An Exciting Journey Continues: VMRI


Within a few weeks, VMRI Building 46 will be commissioned as the newest research resource located at the College of Veterinary Medicine. It is a long awaited facility that will serve the entire ISU research community. While the building and the capabilities it presents are extraordinary, its location in the Veterinary Medical Research Institute (VMRI) complex marks another milestone in the accomplishments that have come out of this modest group of buildings.
The Veterinary Medicine Research Institute (VMRI) was founded in 1920 when the university created research institutes in each of its colleges and is the last existing institute. Building 1 was built in 1928 at a cost of $44,376 and used by four to six faculty members whose focus was 80% research. The white buildings were added in the 1940s to house animals on the first floor with hay lofts above. In 1964, building 3 was remodeled into a new configuration for Dr. Bill Switzer with a lab downstairs and offices upstairs.
Since then, some great researchers have left their scientific marks through the years. Building 3 was home to break-through scientists such as Drs. Bill Switzer, Dan Farrington, Hank Harris, and Mike Wannemuehler. Drs. Switzer and Harris are noted for the significant work on a vaccine for Bordetella bronchispetica
Four other VMRI researchers, Drs. Chris Minion, Eileen Thacker, Dick Ross and Ricardo Rosenbusch, are notable because of their work on mycoplasma diseases of swine and cattle and development of current vaccines used in the swine industry today. Dr. Harley Moon is another VMRI pioneer in the area of E. coli-caused swine diseases and along with Dr. Bob Glock provided outstanding science out of Building 2. Dr. Mel Hofstad was a poultry pioneer and longtime editor of a leading poultry journal and text book, Diseases of Poultry.
A number of veterinary medical education leaders have also occupied VMRI spaces during their careers. They include Drs. Richard Ross (former dean), Prem Paul (vice president for research at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln), Don Reynolds (dean at the Atlantic Veterinary College), Lisa Nolan (ISU CVM dean), Pat Halbur (VDPAM Chair), and Qijing Zhang (Interim Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies.)
“A lot of people who have gained worldwide recognition did their graduate training in VMRI labs during the ‘60s and ‘70s,” said Dr. Michael Wannemuehler, whose lab has resided in VMRI for 19 years. In fact, following his interview trip to Iowa State, he reiterates that when he returned home, he was able to impress people by telling them Iowa State was giving him a building of his own. They had no idea the buildings being discussed had once been barns.
While VMRI buildings may have some age, the researchers, their tools, and the work going on in them is continually evolving. Since 2004, 11 of the labs have seen extensive renovations, and Lab Animal Resources buildings 29, 40 and LIDIF have also undergone updating.  Current researchers who are carrying on the VMRI tradition include Drs. Scott Hurd, Cathy Miller, Lisa Nolan, Annette O’Connor, Tanja Opriessnig, Greg Phillips, K.J. Yoon, and Jeff Zimmerman.
VMRI-46 is the most recent addition, providing a new resource that will enhance the research capabilities of the entire university and continue a fine reputation of VMRI as the home of outstanding science and scientists.



Conflicts of Interest Resources

Conflicts of interest can be a normal part of the activities involved in starting a business or in a consulting relationship. Iowa State University encourages you to be entrepreneurial in reaching out to external entities and creating new companies, but wants to provide you the tools to do so ethically and without wrong doing. Several resources are available that provide information that will help you recognize, disclose and manage conflicts of interest:
If you have any questions about what you are doing or being asked to do, connect with these web sites and the resources listed on them.


My How Decoding Has Changed

A New York Times story recently reported that a Stanford engineer invented a new technology for decoding DNA and used it to decode his own DNA for under $50,000. Three people using his machine can decode or sequence a human genome in four weeks. The story triggered Dean Lisa K. Nolan to respond, “When we ‘decoded’ the APEC genome (published in 2007), it cost us $250,000 in rough sequencing costs plus probably that much again in closing costs. Now we estimate it will only cost about $25,000 total. The prices are falling dramatically with the new technology with the aim that we reach or breach the $1,000 threshold. It will happen and will enable ‘tailor-made’ medicine directed toward your particular DNA code.” What a future that portends.    



Changing Faces

Dr. Don Draper retired on December 31 after 40 years with the college as a faculty member in BMS. He also served as Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs and was holder of the Trask Chair in Entrepreneurial Studies.





Researcher Highlights

What are you doing? Why is it important? Why are you excited about it? What do you hope to accomplish? These are the questions we are asking CVM researchers about their research programs. In this issue you’ll get answers from Ravindra Singh, Michael Cho, Christa Irwin, and Scott Hurd.
Ravindra Singh
Characterization of a Complex Regulatory Element of Spinal Muscular Atrophy Genes
What will the award enable you to do?
This award will allow us to understand the mechanism of alternative splicing in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a leading genetic cause of infant mortality. The essential process of alternative splicing is generally complex and involves hundreds of proteins. Mutations in a gene or aberrant expression of a protein leads to defective splicing in several diseases including but not limited to SMA, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, obesity and Batten disease. In case of SMA, the nature of mutation within the SMN2 gene causing aberrant splicing is known.  However, the mechanism of SMN2 exon 7 splicing is still poorly understood. We believe that a proper understanding of SMN2 splicing will hold the cure of SMA, a devastating disease of children. Equally important, knowledge derived from our study has relevance to several other diseases that are also affected by aberrant splicing.
Why are you excited about what you are doing?
Several aspects of our study make it very exciting. These include discovering new factors and regulatory elements of alternative splicing. The most promising aspects of our discoveries are the identification and characterization of novel therapeutic targets. Some of these targets have potential to cure SMA. Our discoveries are intimately tied to the unique approach and techniques that we develop and employ. As a matter of fact, we derive tremendous excitement in devising novel approaches that could be applicable in understanding splicing process in several diseases.
What do you hope to accomplish with this research?
We recognize the challenge of transforming a fundamental discovery into therapy.  We realize that our success depends on the hardworking research team as well as on key collaborations with complementary expertise. Consistently, we provide rigorous research training to undergraduates, graduates, veterinary students and postdocs who pass through our laboratory. To achieve our goals, we are always open to adopt and employ new techniques and resources available at and off campus. We have several ongoing collaborations worldwide. Our ultimate goal is to understand and cure SMA and other diseases that are affected by aberrant splicing. To a greater significance, our discoveries have already invited attention of pharmaceutical companies for possible clinical trials.
Michael Cho
We have two NIH/NIAID grants that I am excited about.
#1: Enhancing B Cell Immunity Against HIV-1 Using Novel Vaccine Delivery Platforms
What will the award enable you to do?
This award enables collaboration among 7 investigators from 5 different institutions (Iowa State, U of Iowa, Lloyoa, Case Western Reserve, and Albert Einstein). It is comprised of 2 Projects and 2 Cores. The primary objective is to develop novel vaccine delivery platforms using nanostructures to enhance B cell immunity against HIV-1. Studies conducted in this program complement an ongoing P01 Program Project Grant, also funded by NIH/NIAID, which focuses on designing antigens that could elicit broadly cross-reactive neutralizing antibodies against HIV-1.  
Why are you excited about what you are doing?
This is a highly collaborative research program that could revolutionize immunization, if proven successful. We are evaluating a number of novel concepts to improve efficacy of vaccines for eliciting pathogen-specific antibodies.
What do you hope to accomplish with this research?
We hope to develop highly effective nanostructure-based vaccine delivery platforms that can maximize the potential of vaccine candidates we are developing against HIV-1 in order to elicit long-lasting protective B cell immune responses against the virus.      
#2: Targeting gp41 to elicit neutralizing antibodies against HIV-1
What will the award enable you to do?
This award is continuation of a previously funded 2-year, R21 Phased-Innovation Developmental Grant Award. The major objective is to use Lactobacillus, a gram-positive bacteria that are commonly found in fermented food and exist as a part of a normal flora in humans, as a vaccine vector in order to elicit mucosal immunity against HIV-1. This study also complements an ongoing P01 Program Project Grant. Considering that HIV-1 is transmitted via mucosal surfaces, it is important for AIDS vaccine candidates to induce strong mucosal immunity to block the infection at the very first step.  
Why are you excited about what you are doing?
We are evaluating an innovative concept of developing an AIDS vaccine using Lactobacillus as a vaccine vector. If successful, this would allow development of a cost-effective vaccine that can elicit immune responses at the very site that HIV-1 tries to enter into the body.
What do you hope to accomplish with this research?
We hope to develop a highly effective vaccine vector based on Lactobacillus that could elicit potent mucosal immunity against HIV-1.   In conjunction with studies funded by two other grants, our goal is to develop a protective, combinatorial vaccine against HIV-1.  
Christa K. Irwin
Optimization and Validation of Detection of Influenza Virus in Oral Fluids for NAHLN Laboratories
What will the award enable you to do?
This award will enable us to provide swine producers, veterinarians, and diagnosticians a new tool for rapid detection of influenza A virus in swine herds.  We expect the diagnostic procedures (PCR, virus isolation) we identify as optimal for the detection of influenza in porcine oral fluid samples to become the standard in the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) laboratories.
Why are you excited about what you  are doing?
The public is concerned about influenza A virus in swine in herds, heightened in part by a lack of actual influenza data from swine populations.  Swine producers and veterinarians have traditionally relied on labor intensive sampling (nasal swabs) and post mortem tissue samples for detection of influenza virus.  This project is an opportunity for us to create a simple, efficient system for monitoring influenza A virus in swine herds and, ultimately, to bring real data on influenza A virus in pigs to the public health discussion. 
What do you hope to accomplish with this research?
Not only will this research provide the industry and surveillance programs a better, easier and more “pig friendly” method of sampling for influenza, but in the long run, we expect to demonstrate that oral fluid is an effective diagnostic (and prognostic) tool with many disease surveillance applications.  Both pathogens and antibodies can be detected in oral fluid, providing robust information from routine, serial sampling programs.  Ultimately, oral fluid, a non-invasive method of pathogen surveillance, will be a valuable tool which will support disease intervention strategies as well as animal and public health surveillance systems.
Scott Hurd
Food Systems Veterinary Medicine for the 21st Century
What will the award enable you to do?
The objective is to develop a new problem solving framework and instill that form of thinking into the veterinary curriculum. The “systems approach” has been used for a while by engineers. It is becoming more useful in the social and medical areas as well. The systems view does not mean we teach the circulatory system, then the respiratory system, etc., but rather it seeks to understand animal health and food production/safety problems as parts of the whole. Instead of the traditional reductionist approach to problem solving, this approach seeks to understand how the relationship between processes creates interaction and behaviors that would not occur in isolation.
This project will allow us to translate this approach into veterinary food production scenarios that will be used in teaching the veterinary curriculum. Hopefully, the teachers will be able to convey the traditional data or information needed about a topic while imparting this novel problem solving approach
Why are you excited about what you are doing?
We are excited about this project because it will create a needed type of food animal veterinarian who can deal with modern food production. Food production is consolidating and intensifying and one decision may affect one carcass that may have a global impact (e.g. international trade bans due to one tissue residue violation, or large-scale disease outbreak). Therefore producers and their consulting veterinarians have influence on a much larger scope of animals, consumers, and the environment. No matter where in the food supply chain veterinarians are working, they must understand the implications of decisions throughout the food, environment and public health systems.
What do you hope to accomplish with this research?
This work will begin a new journey of discovery and hopefully, those discoveries will be inculcated into the curriculum of all food veterinarians. We hope to develop and refine delivery tools that will aid all instructors involved in teaching food animal and food safety sections. If this is accomplished, veterinarians will be practicing “one health” in a much broader and useful manner than is currently occurring.

The Chase Is On


Leishmaniasis is usually a vector-borne tropical disease of dogs and people. In the last decade, there have been increasing cases of the organ-based or visceral disease in Midwest dogs, particularly foxhounds. Drs. Christy Petersen and Doug Jones in Veterinary Pathology have been helping a cohort of over 500 dogs from regional kennels to determine the now in press novel means of non-vector mediated transplacental transmission within these dog populations as well as study the immunologic effects that infection has on the likelihood of treatment success and the possibility of immunotherapy. Studies looking at new means of targeted carbohydrate adjuvant creation, and recently published with collaborators from the ISU Department of Chemistry, indicate that specific oligosaccharides can be used in vivo to alter the immune response to the parasite and promote a healing immune response. In collaboration with the Infectious Disease Research Institute in Seattle, WA and with funding from NIH, the Gates Foundation and Merial, Dr. Petersen’s group will perform immunogenicity vaccine trials this spring to determine the best means of preventing further Leishmania infection and to determine ways to promote a protective immune response in dogs that are already infected.


Research Awards


Frank Minion (PI)
Michael Wannemuehler (Co-PI)
Gregory Phillips (Co-PI)
Novel Therapies for Pneumonic Plague Targeting Quorum Sensing Components
Sponsor: Office of Naval Research; Award Amount: $827,474
John Thomson (PI)
Medical Equipment for Blank Park Zoo
Sponsor: Board of Regents; Award Amount: $400,000
Howard Hurd (PI)
Systems Model to Evaluate the Risk and Benefits of E.Coli 0157:H7 Vaccination in Beef Cattle
Sponsor: Pfizer Animal Health; Award Amount: $169,421
Sinisa Grozdanic (PI)
Growth Factor Treatment of Visual Loss
Sponsor: Veterans Administration; Award Amount; $125.857
Kyoung-Jin Yoon (PI)
Survey of Avian Influenza Subtypes in Migrating Wild Birds
Sponsor: Department of Agriculture, APHIS; Award Amount: $113,000
Ronald Griffith (PI)
Minor Use Animal Drug Program, North Central Region
Sponsor: Department of Agriculture, NIFA; Award Amount: $103,649
Howard Hurd (PI)
Jared Danielson (Co-PI)
Food Systems Veterinary Medicine for the 21st Century
Sponsor: Department of Agriculture, NIFA; Award Amount: $72,000
Sinisa Grozdanic (PI)
Cholinergic Drugs for Reversal of Visual Deficits in Glaucoma
Sponsor: Veterans Administration; Award Amount: $55,000
Howard Hurd (Co-PI)
Annette OConnor (Co-PI)
James McKean (Co-PI)
Evaluating the Sources of Salmonella After Carcass Chilling
Sponsor: National Pork Board; Award Amount: 53,505
Sinisia Grozdanic (PI)
Prevention of Hemorrhage and Death after Traumatic Blast Injury (TBI)
Sponsor: Veterans Administration; Award Amount: $50,000
Grant Dewell (PI)
Vickie Cooper (Co-PI)
Steve Ensley (Co-PI)
Investigation of Weak Calf Syndrome in Iowa Beef Cattle Herds
Sponsor: Iowa Veterinary Medical Association; Award Amount: $42,625
Annette O’Connor (Co-PI)
Howard Hurd (Co-PI)
Cochran Training, Food Safety Risk Assessment, China
Sponsor: Department of Agriculture, FAS; Award Amount: $37,024
Ricardo Rosenbusch (PI)
Characterization of the Interaction of A Gene-deleted Mutant of Mycoplasma Bovis with Macrophages
Sponsor: Pfizer, Inc.; Award Amount: $24,348
Jared Danielson (PI)
Holly Bender (Co-PI)
Grant Dewell (Co-PI)
Rene Dewell (Co-PI)
Professionals Learn to Solve Complicated Multi-Disciplinary Problems Instruction/Training
Sponsor: Department of Agriculture, NIFA; Award Amount: $18,161
James Roth (PI)
Gayle Brown (Co-PI)
Danelle Bickett-Weddle (Co-PI)
Kevan Flaming (Co-PI)
Delivery of the Emerging and Exotic Diseases of Animals course for initial accreditation.
Sponsor: Department of Agriculture, APHIS; Award Amount: $199,342
James Roth (PI)
Cheryl Eia (Co-PI)
Animal Emergency Response Resource Database and Education Website
Sponsor: Department of Agriculture, APHIS; Award Amount: $70,000
Claudia Baldwin (PI)
Christine Petersen (Co-PI)
Phase 5 Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Teaching and Research Program
Sponsor: Maddies Fund; Award Amount: $131,396
James Roth (PI)
Danelle Bickett-Weddle (Co-PI)
Updating Web Modules and Creating Power Points with Speaker Notes for USDA-APHIS National Veterinary Accreditation Program (Renewal Training)
Sponsor: Department of Agriculture, APHIS; Award Amount: $210,100
Scott Hurd (PI)
Jared Danielson (Co-PI)
Food Systems Veterinary Medicine for the 21st Century
Sponsor: Department of Agriculture, NIFA; Award Amount: $236,667
Scott Hurd (PI)
Annette O’Connor (Co-PI)
Risk Informed Management of Salmonella in Deep Tissue Lymph Nodes
Sponsor: National Pork Board; Award Amount: $52,070
Qijing Zhang (PI)
Role of CmeABC Differential Expression in campylobacter jejuni Pathobioloty
Sponsor: Washington University; Award Amount: $41,955
Amanda Fales-Williams (PI)
Christine Petersen (Co-PI)
Lisa Nolan (Co-PI)
Determination of the Impact of Vector Control on Transmission and Immunopathology of Canine Visceral Leishmaniasis
Sponsor: Morris Animal Foundation and Pfizer Animal Health; Award Amount: $40,000
Tanja Opriessnig (PI)
Evaluation of the Efficacy of PCV2 Gilt Vaccination to Reduce Reproductive Failure Using the Spiked-semen Model
Sponsor: Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.; Award Amount: $40,191
Darin Madson (PI)
Steve Ensley (Co-PI)
Assessment of Vitamin D Levels in Swine Serum Across Different Stages of Production in Iowa
Sponsor: Iowa Pork Producers Association; Award Amount: $34,710
Ravindra Singh (PI)
Spinal Muscular Atrophy Treatment via Targeting SMN2 Catalytic Core
Sponsor: Iowa State University Research Foundation; Award Amount: $30,000
Anumantha Kanthasamy (PI)
Mechanisms of Manganese Neurotoxicity
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health; Award Amount: $29,900
Tanja Opriessnig (PI)
Patrick Halbur (Co-PI)
Effect of PCV2 Vaccination on Chronic PCV2 Infection and Determination of Infectivity of PCV2 Present in Chronically Infected Pigs
Sponsor: Iowa Pork Producers Association; Award Amount: $25,000
Michael Cho (PI)
Characterization of Immunogenic and Structural Properties of HIV-1 Envelope
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health; Award Amount: $962,051
Jared Danielson (PI)
Holly Bender (Co-PI)
Grant Dewell (Co-PI)
Renee Dewell (Co-PI)
Solving Problems in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Safety: Helping Future Agricultural Professionals Learn to Solve Complicated Multi-disciplinary Problems
Sponsor: Department of Agriculture, NIFA; Award Amount: $447,867
Michael Cho (PI)
Targeting gp41 to Elicit Neutralizing Antibodies Against HIV-1
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health; Award Amount: $395,040
Christa Irwin (PI)
Jeffrey Zimmerman (Co-PI)
Rodger Main (Co-PI)
Optimization and Validation of Detection of Influenza Virus in Oral Fluids for NAHLN Laboratories
Sponsor: Department of Agriculture, APHIS; Award Amount: $379,610
Rodger Main (PI)
Patrick Halbur (Co-PI)
National Animal Health Laboratory Network Activities for Iowa State University
Sponsor: Department of Agriculture, NIFA; Aware Amount: $298,000
Christine Petersen (Co-PI)
Methods of Automated Syntheses of Oligosaccharides and Lectin Tags
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health; Award Amount: $286,182
Cathy Miller (PI)
Development of an Oral Vaccine Vector for Infectious Diseases of Animals
Sponsor: Department of Agriculture, ARS: Award Amount: $250,000
Holly Bender (Co-PI)
Jared Danielson (Co-PI)
Dissemination of ThinkSpace: An Online Delivery Tool for Authentic, Complex Problems to Increase Students
Sponsor: National Science Foundation; Award Amount: $199,999
Derald Holtkamp (PI)
Jeffrey Zimmerman (Co-PI)
An Economic Evaluation of PRRS Elimination in the United States Swine Herd
Sponsor: National Pork Board; Award Amount $79,467
Erin Strait (PI)
Timothy Frana (Co-PI)
Joann Kinyon (Co-PI)
Enhanced Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing and Molecular Diagnostic Methods for Brachyspira in Swine
Sponsor: Iowa Pork Producers Association; Award Amount: $74,788
Kent Schwartz (Co-PI)
Kristin Clothier (Co-PI)
Enhanced Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing and Molecular Diagnostic Methods for Brachyspira in Swine
Sponsor: Iowa Pork Producers Association; Award Amount; $74,788
James West (PI)
Susceptibility of Cattle with the E211K PRMP allele to BSE
Sponsor: Department of Agriculture, ARS Award Amount: $60,000
Ronald Griffith (PI)
Paul Plummer (Co-PI)
Efficacy of CIDR-G Intravaginal Implants for Synchronization of Estrus in Goats
Sponsor: Department of Health and Human Services, PDA; Award Amount: $49,847
James Roth (PI)
Pam Zaabel (Co-PI)
A Secure Transport Plan for Movement of Swine Between Production Sites and to Processing Plants in a Foreign Animal Disease Outbreak: A Proposal to Develop a Feasibility Document
Sponsor: National Pork Board; Award Amount: $45,000
Mark Ackermann (PI)
Optimization of the Ovine Model of RSV Disease: Utilizing RSV-A Memphis 37 Strain to Test Anti-RSV Compounds
Sponsor: Gilead Sciences, Inc.; Award Amount: $35,000
Darin Madson (PI)
Alejandro Ramierz (Co-PI)
Schwartz, Kent (Co-PI)
Effect of Age, Does and Antibiotic therapy on the Development of Neonatal Clostridium Difficile Disease
Sponsor: Iowa Pork Producers Association; Award Amount: $34,915
Gregory Phillips (PI)
Summer Research Training of Veterinary Medical Students
Sponsor: National Institutes of health; Award Amount; 34,263
Cathy Miller (PI)
Investigating the Role of PB1-F2 in the Pathogenicity of Circulating Strains of SIV
Sponsor: Iowa Pork Producers Association; Award Amount: $25,000
Patrick Gorden (PI)
Pharmacokinetics of Cephapirin Sodium in Milk Using an 8-Day Extended program of Daily Intramammary Infusion in healthy Holstein Cows
Sponsor: Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.; Award Amount: 16,822
Jared Danielson (PI)
Veterinary Curricular Cooperative: Reducing Veterinary Student Dept Loads through Electronic Sharing of Courses and Textbooks
Sponsor: University of Wisconsin; Award Amount: $13,010
Eldon Uhlenhopp (PI)
Serbia SPS Technical Assistance
Sponsor: Department of Agriculture, ARS; Award Amount: $11,547
Derald Holtkamp (PI)
Rodney Baker (Co-PI)
James McKean (Co-PI)
Jeffrey Zimmerman (Co-PI)
Development of a Model for Regional Control and Elimination of PRRS Virus in Iowa
Sponsor: PIC North America; Award Amount: $10,000
Michael Cho (PI)
Enhancing B Cell Immunity Against HIV-1 Using Novel Vaccine Delivery Platforms
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health; Award Amount: $3,250
Michael Wannemuehler (co-PI)
Targeted Nanovaccine Platforms against Respiratory Pathogens
Sponsor: Department of the Army, MRA; Award Amount: $3,502,000
Michael Wannemuehler (Co-PI)
Peter Nara (Co-PI)
INOVA: Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Design, Discovery and Testing of Vaccines and Antimicrobials
Sponsor: Health Resources and Services Administration; Award Amount: $1,485,000
Eldon Uhlenhopp (PI)
Modular Bio-safely level 3 Animal Facility for Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine
Sponsor: Health Resources and Services Administration; Award Amount: $643,500
Michael Wannemuehler (Co-PI)
Bryan Bellaire (Co-PI)
Impact of Polymer Adjuvant Chemistry on Adaptive Immune Mechanisms
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health; Award Amount: $537,377
Cathy Miller (PI)
Virus and Cell Regulation of Reovirus Escape from Translation Inhibition
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health; Award Amount: $430,568
James Roth (PI)
Pam Zaabel (Co-PI)
Swine Influenza Surveillance as part of a Comprehensive and Integrated Swine Surveillance: Outreach and Education for Swine Producers and Swine Veterinarians
Sponsor: Department of Agriculture, APHIS; Award Amount: $149,600
Richard Martin (PI)
Alan Robertson (Co-PI)
Synergism of Derquantel and Abamectin in Nematode Parasite Preparations
Sponsor: Pfizer, Inc.; Award Amount: $149,412
Tanja Opriessnig (PI)
Patrick Halbur (Co-PI)
Effect of PCV2 Vaccination on Emergence of New PCV2 Subtypes
Sponsor: Pfizer Animal Health; Award Amount: $102,511
Christine Petersen (PI)
Jesse Hostetter (Co-PI)
Role of Pathogen-derived Capping Carbohydrates in Altering Immunity
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health; Award Amount: $100,051
Christine Petersen (PI)
Vector Borne Transmission of Leishmania Infantum in the United States
Sponsor: Kansas State University; Award Amount: $72,954
James Bloedel (PI)
Use of Beta-glucuronides of vitamin D to Treat Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Sponsor: Glycomyr, Inc.; Award Amount: $60,000
James Roth (PI)
Cheryl Eia (Co-PI)
Proposal to Develop a Prelicensing Training Course for Prospective Commercial Dog Breeder Licensees
Sponsor: Department of Agriculture, APHIS; Award Amount: $55,000
Gregory Phillips (Co-PI)
Development of Salicylic Acid-based Antibiotics
Sponsor: Iowa State University Research Foundation; Award Amount: $30,000
William Hoefle (PI)
Marketing Experiments for Induced Bone Regeneration
Sponsor: Osteoceramics, Inc.; Award Amount: $20,000
Michael Cho (PI)
Enhancing B Cell Immunity Against HIV-1 Using Novel Vaccine Delivery Platforms
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health; Award Amount: $1,307,414
Anumantha Kanthasamy (PI)
Role of Prion Protein in Manganese Neurotoxicity
Sponsor: national Institutes of Health; Award Amount; $328,362
James Roth (PI)
Danelle Bickett-Weddle (Co-PI)
Kevan Flaming (Co-PI)
Janice Mogan (Co-PI)
Further Development of the Federal and State Transport Plan for Movement of Milk (FAST Milk Plan) from Non-infected Premises in a Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) Control Zone
Sponsor: Department of Agriculture, APHIS; Award Amount: $272,800
Michael Wannemuehler (Co-PI)
Center for Research on Botanical Dietary Supplements
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health; Award Amount: $189,304
Terry Engelken (PI)
Vickie Cooper (Co-PI)
Annette O’Connor (Co-PI)
Grant Dewell (Co-PI)
A Case-control Field Study of the Etiologies and Epidemiology of Suckling Calf Pneumonia in Iowa Cow/Calf Operations
Sponsor: Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.; Award Amount: 41,055
Renee Dewell (Co-PI)
A Case-control Field Study of the Etiologies and Epidemiology of Suckling Cal Pneumonia in Iowa Cow/Calf Operations
Sponsor: Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.; Award Amount: $41,055
Richard Martin (PI)
Modulation and Resistance of Levamisole Receptor Channels
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health; Award Amount: $24,768
Ravindra Singh (PI)
Characterization of a Complex Regulatory Element of Spinal Muscular Atrophy Genes
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health; Award Amount: $316,865
Patrick Halbur (PI)
Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Bovine Infectious Disease Fund
Sponsor: Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.; Award Amount: $100,000
James Roth (PI)
Danelle Bickett-Weddle (Co-PI)
Development of Web Modules and Printed Documents Related to Animal Welfare for the USDA APHIS NVAP
Sponsor: Department of Agriculture, APHIS; Award Amount: $95,000
Steve Ensley (Co-PI)
Evaluation of Two Mycotoxin Binders as a Means to Reduce the Adverse Effects of Vomitoxin on the Performance and Health in Growing/Finishing Pigs
Sponsor: Iowa Pork Producers Association; Award Amount: $22,288
Nancy Cornick (PI)
YAGZ Pilus Adhesin of Attaching and Effacing E-coli
Sponsor: University of Florida; Award Amount; $16,072
Sinisa Grozdanic (PI)
Veterans Administration Rehabilitation Center for Prevention of Blindness
Sponsor: Veterans Administration; Award Amount: $12,255
Bradley Biitvich (Co-PI)
West Nile Virus Activity in Central Iowa Bird Populations
Sponsor: Iowa Academy of Science; Award Amount: $5,000
Christine Petersen (PI)
The Impact of Vector Control, Knowledge and Behavior on Zoonotic Visceral Leishmaniasis in Brazil

Sponsor: Newaid Foundation; Award Amount: $4,000