A Look Back at 2019

As 2019 comes to an end, here’s a look back at what happened last year in the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Brett Sponseller


Dr. Brett Sponseller, associate professor of veterinary microbiology and preventive medicine, believes an orally administered vaccine delivered through a probiotic is the answer to curbing the rise of C. difficile in both humans and animals. The infectious disease sickens about a half million Americans each year, resulting in approximately 15,000 deaths. Sponseller’s research is funded with a Bailey Research Cancer Development Award.

Radiation Oncology


A state-of-the-art veterinary radiation facility that offers pet owners a treatment option scarce in the Midwest opened in February in the Hixson-Lied Small Animal Hospital. “As it is with humans, radiation therapy is an integral treatment consideration for many types of cancer in pets,” said Dr. Chad Johannes, assistant professor of veterinary clinical sciences. “Having this technology available at Iowa State will increase access to treatment for many pets in the region.”

11th ranking


In the latest U.S. News and World Report Rankings of veterinary colleges, the College of Veterinary Medicine was tied for 11th among public universities.


The National Cancer Institute selected the College of Veterinary Medicine to participate in a clinical program as part of the NCI Comparative Oncology Trial Consortium. The clinical trial will use dogs as a model for human research at Iowa State oncology researchers look at a new investigational drug for cancer therapy.


The College of Veterinary Medicine celebrated its 140th anniversary on May 20.


The Hixson-Lied Small Animal Hospital has been identified as an American College of Veterinary Emergency Critical Care-provisional Veterinary Trauma Center. To meet this standard of veterinary care, a hospital must have board-certified specialists in emergency/critical care, radiology and surgery available for consultation around the clock.

trauma center


The Center for Food Security and Public Health in the College of Veterinary Medicine received a two-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to improve veterinary services in developing countries. The projects involves the creation of a digital platform to house educational resources and teaching tools for use by veterinary faculty around the world.

Dr. Roger Mahr


Dr. Roger Mahr (DVM ’71) was honored with the American Veterinary Medical Association Award for his contributions to the advancement of veterinary medicine. Mahr is known for his vision for a One Health Initiative which he put forth during his term as president of the AVMA in 2006-07.


Three College of Veterinary Medicine faculty members have been awarded Dean’s Fellowships. The recipients were Dr. Josh Beck, assistant professor of biomedical sciences; Dr. Daniel Linhares, assistant professor of veterinary diagnostic and production animal medicine; and Dr. Thimmasettappa Thippeswamy, professor of biomedical sciences.

Spain agreement


The College of Veterinary Medicine has signed a Memorandum of Agreement for an international student exchange with the Universidad De Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in Spain. The academic exchange will promote teaching and research activities of both institutions while deepening the understanding of economic, cultural and social issues.


Dr. Wilson Rumbeiha, an affiliate of the College of Veterinary Medicine and former professor of veterinary diagnostic and production animal medicine, was named an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow. Rumbeiha was honored “for distinguished contributions to the field of toxicology, particularly for veterinary toxicology and diagnostic medicine.”


The Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust has committed $350,125 to advance the research of the role vitamin A plays in boosting the immune system’s response to respiratory syncytial virus, a leading cause of respiratory disease in infants and young children worldwide. Dr. Jodi McGill, assistant professor of veterinary microbiology and preventive medicine, leads the research group receiving the Carver Trust grant.