U of S students earn kudos for research

Dr. Susan Mehain

Susan Mehain and her dog Sandy. Mehain’s research poster on blastomycosis research earned an honourable mention at the WCVM’s annual undergraduate student research poster days. Photo: Robyn Thrasher.

Seven University of Saskatchewan students earned recognition for their summer research efforts during the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s 2012 Undergraduate Research Student Poster Days on September 4 and 5.

The annual event showcases the research projects conducted by the veterinary college’s summer research students during their four-month work experiences. This summer, nearly two dozen students worked alongside their faculty mentors on a wide range of research projects.

The WCVM’s Undergraduate Summer Research and Leadership program provides encouraging and positive research experiences to undergraduate students in veterinary medicine and pre-health science courses at the University of Saskatchewan.

After reviewing all of the research posters, judges selected the following students for awards in two categories:

Basic sciences category

• First place: Amy Patterson. “Fecal shedding of Brachyspira spp. on a farrow-to-finish swine farm with a clinical history of Brachyspira-associated colitis.” Supervisor: Dr. Janet Hill, Department of Veterinary Microbiology. Patterson is a third-year student in the U of S College of Agriculture and Bioresources (agricultural biology). Her summer experience was funded through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Undergraduate Student Research program.

• Second place: Tara Guinn. “Characterizing a novel SERT-like nutrient transporter in a human colon cell line.” Supervisor: Dr. Matthew Loewen, WCVM Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences. Guinn, a second-year veterinary student at the WCVM, was profiled this summer in WCVM Today. Her summer experience was funded through the Interprovincial Undergraduate Student Summer Research program.

• Honourable mention: Kaylee Bohaychuk. “Validating pulse waveform analysis as a measure of arterial stiffness in a rodent model of Vitamin D excess.” Supervisor: Dr. Lynn Weber, WCVM Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences. Bohaychuk is a second-year WCVM veterinary student. Her summer experience was funded through the Merial Veterinary Scholars program.

Clinical sciences category

• First place: Dakota Wightman. “A comparison of snatch farrowed porcine-colostrum-deprived (SF-pCD) pigs to barn-raised litter mates.” Supervisor: Dr. John Harding, WCVM Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences. Wightman is a second-year student in the U of S College of Agriculture and Bioresources (animal and poultry science). Her summer experience was funded through Pfizer Animal Health while the Saskatoon Colostrum Company provided an in-kind donation of Head Start (bovine colostrum).

• Second place: Tony Redford. “Prevalence of avian aspergillosis in wild birds in British Columbia from 2007-2011 and the impact of the presence of stressors or being housed in rehabilitation facilities.” Supervisor: Dr. Trent Bollinger, WCVM Department of Veterinary Pathology. Redford, a third-year WCVM veterinary student was profiled this summer in WCVM Today. His summer experience was funded through the Interprovincial Undergraduate Student Summer Research program.

• Honourable mention: Susan Mehain. “Canine pulmonary blastomycosis at Western College of Veterinary Medicine: 23 cases (2002-2012).” Supervisor: Dr. Elisabeth Snead, WCVM Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences. Mehain, a third-year veterinary student, was profiled this summer in WCVM Today. Her summer experience was funded through the Interprovincial Undergraduate Student Summer Research program.

Judges also gave an honourable mention to third-year veterinary student Robyn Thrasher. During the spring and summer of 2012, Thrasher worked as a research communications summer student and wrote a number of articles highlighting WCVM research projects and members of the veterinary college’s research team.

Besides her communications work, Thrasher also worked as a summer student in the WCVM Veterinary Medical Centre (Small Animal Clinic). Her summer experience was funded by the WCVM.

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