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Community Report

UCVM’s Mission To meet the veterinary, animal and public health needs of Alberta through: • excellence in delivery of a comprehensive undergraduate veterinary medical education, emphasizing production animal health, ecosystem and public health, equine health, and investigative medicine; • excellence in clinical, diagnostic and professional teaching and service, in collaboration with our partners in a Distributed Veterinary Learning Community; • excellence in the creation and distribution of new knowledge through research, graduate veterinary education, and continuing education in animal health and disease, and its relation to human health. Our education, research and service activities will contribute to the promotion and protection of animal and human health and welfare in Alberta, Canada and internationally.

C ontents 3 Dean’s message 4 Education 8 Research 10 UCVM’s timeline  14 Return to community 18 Department updates

For more information about UCVM Dean’s office 403-210-3961 Website: Communications: Leanne Niblock 403-210-6218

Copyright © 2009. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the expressed written consent of UCVM.

Message from the Dean The decision to launch a faculty of veterinary medicine at the University of Calgary was made by the Province in 2004. By mid-2005, the University of Calgary Board of Governors had approved a draft program. Initial funding from the Province allowed development to get underway. The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine was created with a mandate to educate DVM students to meet the needs of Alberta; to conduct research to enhance animal and human health and address issues at the animalhuman interface; and to provide graduate education and professional development programs to serve Alberta. In order to serve these mandates, we have concurrently launched the DVM program, graduate and postgraduate programs, and our research programs. The core of the first executive team was in place by May 2006 and development of the program began in earnest. With faculty to recruit, a DVM curriculum to build, research programs to launch, and infrastructure to construct, there followed a period of intense activity that lead to the launch of the DVM program in September 2008 and the graduation of our first MSc student in August 2008. By September 2009, we had completed 80% of our infrastructure, opened the new Clinical Skills Building, admitted the second DVM class, were supervising more than 70 graduate students in various programs, launched a partnership internship program, recruited over 50 faculty members and an equal number of staff, and have brought in over $32.5 million in research funding. This is our first annual Report to the Community. I hope you will enjoy reading about our successes and our challenges – and that you will appreciate the breadth of the UCVM community that stretches far beyond the confines of the University of Calgary campus. UCVM is built on partnerships with the community – we rely on them to support and deliver our programs. We can only expect your continued support if we provide a valued Return to the Community. We hope that you will agree we are moving in the right direction.


Alastair Cribb

Education Research Return to Community Dr. Alastair Cribb leads the Class in the Veterinary Oath

UCVM • 2009 Report to the Community


UCVM faculty and the veterinary community have worked together to create new and exciting educational programs to meet the needs of Alberta.

Members of the class of 2012

Class of 2012 with ABVMA and CVMA Presidents

Class of 2012 prepares for clinical skills class

In the early part of this century, Alberta experienced a number of animal health challenges: the discovery of BSE in cattle, the spread of West Nile virus, the threat of avian influenza, the spread of chronic wasting disease in deer, the rapid growth of urban centres and shifting demographics. Recognizing the need for enhanced veterinary education and research in Alberta but wishing to build on existing strengths in western Canada, the Province of Alberta and the University of Calgary launched the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM). Education is a life-long process. Education for a professional never stops. The world is far more complex. We need to graduate DVMs who have the creativity and the understanding to meet the challenges ahead; we need advanced clinical and research trainees who can address the emerging animal and human health issues in Alberta and beyond, and we need to offer professional development programs for practicing veterinarians. UCVM is addressing all these educational areas.

The Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) Program The message from the community was clear: we need competent, confident veterinarians who can communicate. These 3 C’s have guided the development of our DVM program since its inception. Couple this with the necessity to graduate veterinarians with the ability to evolve clinical veterinary medicine and reach out into the underserved areas of public practice, research in animal health and the interaction with human health, public health, rural community practice, and you have the foundations of our new DVM program. Building on the University of Calgary’s principles of experiential learning, student success, and return to the community, we have created a novel integrated core-elective curriculum that captures the best of programs from around the world and matches them with new approaches created here in Calgary. The DVM program ensures that students receive an excellent general veterinary education foundation of professional knowledge, skills and attitudes for careers throughout the veterinary profession. In addition, advanced depth of knowledge and skills will be gained by choosing one of four Areas of Emphasis: Production Animal Health, Equine Health, Ecosystem & Public Health and Investigative Medicine. “We are balancing traditional elements of the curriculum, such as the discipline courses, with courses and approaches such as clinical and professional skills courses, clinical presentations and field courses,” says Christoph Mülling, Associate Dean, Curriculum. The curriculum runs over four calendar years, with the last year comprised of 40 weeks of rotations spread over 52 weeks. Discipline courses account for less than 50% of the program, with clinical skills, professional skills, clinical presentations, and field courses making up the rest. Students will spend the fourth year of their program in the Distributed Veterinary Learning Community (DVLC). Comprised of private veterinary practices, federal and provincial agencies, non-governmental organizations and animal industry partners; the DVLC

UCVM • 2009 Report to the Community


works with UCVM faculty to provide outstanding learning opportunities to our DVM students. By engaging students in experiential learning in the community, our students will graduate with the confidence and competence to succeed. The DVM program has been accredited by the American and Canadian Veterinary Medical Associations through the Council on Education. We currently hold the status of provisional accreditation, the highest accreditation status a new program can obtain until the first class has graduated. We accepted the first class of 34 students in September 2009 and the second class of thirty students in September 2010. Many students in the Class of 2012 had the opportunity to demonstrate their skills over the summer working in veterinary practices and on research programs. The feedback from students and employees has been very good, and reflects the success of the program in achieving its goals to date.

Graduate Education and Postgraduate Training Programs “Just as we have an important role in educating DVM students, UCVM’s graduate training programs are a critical part of our mission in serving the needs of Alberta and Canada,” says Jay Cross, Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Education. UCVM’s provincial funding is tied to its success in attracting and educating graduate students. We are targeting a total of 120 graduate students by the summer of 2012. Currently, UCVM faculty members are supervising 70 graduate students (MSc, PhD) enrolled in a variety of programs at U of C and at other universities. We have developed a Veterinary Medical Sciences Graduate Program, which will operate under the Faculty of Graduate Studies. This program has been approved by the university and is currently being reviewed by the Campus Alberta Quality Council. We are looking forward to having a recognized veterinary medical sciences graduate program, but given the diversity of our faculty members we expect to have students enrolled in a variety of U of C graduate programs. UCVM faculty are also supervising over two dozen postdoctoral fellows training in a variety of animal and human health related fields. Our long term goal is to develop and deliver residency training programs coupled with graduate degrees. This year, in the first step towards this goal, we launched partnership intern training programs with several practices in the DVLC: Okotoks Animal Clinic (equine), CARE Centre (small animal), Moore & Co. (equine), and The Calgary Zoo (zoo medicine).

The OSCE: Improving Assessment and Learning Exposing students to clinical skills early is great, but you also want to make sure they are learning those skills. UCVM has adopted the Objective Structured Clinical Exam (“OSCE”) to achieve this goal. Students are put through a series of timed stations where they are asked to perform practical tasks to a standard agreed upon by the faculty. Students are assessed on a variety of specific steps, and we watch for key errors that may endanger a patient or the veterinarian. These key errors are called “Fatal Flaws” and lead to a student failing the station.

Monica Bosnyak, Class of 2012 participates in the OSCE

The Fatal Chicken Flaw is already legendary amongst the students. The students had to administer a vaccination to a chicken carcass. “It simulated a real vaccination. We wanted to make sure they were properly palpating the appropriate landmarks on the bird – and not just injecting where they guessed they should,” says Emma Read, Chair of

the clinical skills courses. Almost a third of the class injected the chickens in the back – a Fatal Flaw. “Even though some of them got it wrong, it was an important lesson for them after all,” says Dr. Read. “They learned that in the real world if you palpate something and it feels weird, just don’t do it!” Amber Hutchinson, member of the Class of 2012 says the OSCE was stressful, but fun. “The examiners do an excellent job of remaining objective, yet at the same time relieving the stress of the situation with a smile, or a good natured comment after a station is complete,” she says. “We want to push our OSCEs to where they are the best in the world,” says Dr. Read. “We are constantly evaluating why we are teaching, what we are teaching and how we could do it better.”

Integration Across the Curriculum Integration is a key principle of the DVM program: basic and clinical sciences, and theoretical and hands-on learning, are integrated throughout. This approach requires our faculty to work together in a multidisciplinary fashion and across disciplines and courses. Like many UCVM faculty members, Aubrey Webb wears many different hats. Though his primary teaching responsibility is in veterinary physiology, Dr. Webb also teaches in the professional and clinical skills, and clinical presentations courses; and those lessons are also brought into his physiology classes. ”When I teach physiology I teach basic science principles that are reinforced with clinically relevant examples; when I teach in clinical presentations I bring in the basic sciences,” he says. “By integrating clinical, professional, research and other skills into the curriculum; the concepts become relevant to students.”

Emma Read accepts the Carl J. Norden Distinguished Teacher Award

Member of the Class of 2012, Eoin Clancy says he appreciates learning practical applications and theory at the same time. “If we were only learning about something in class it might not hit home,” he says. “Often we will have already done something practical in a clinical skills or discipline course that goes along with the theory, so it makes more sense.” Professional skills are also integrated into the DVM program. These skills include communications, ethics, business and the law. “These are skills that are very practical, very applied,” says Cindy Adams, Associate Professor, Professional Skills. Dr. Adams leads a team of faculty coaches who mentor undergraduate students. Small groups train with actors playing different types of clients and use real life scenarios that train essential communications skills while integrating clinical knowledge.

Infrastructure The summer of 2009 saw faculty, students and staff move in to much needed new infrastructure. The Clinical Skills Building (CSB) is an 80-thousand square foot building built at the Spy Hill Campus in northwest Calgary. Fully funded by the Province of Alberta, the $65-million building was completed in the summer of 2009 and is being used for hands-on clinical and diagnostic learning in the DVM program and clinical and applied research. With specialized animal handling wings, a pathology suite, an anatomy lab, classrooms, and other specialized spaces, this is our showpiece for veterinary medicine. The Veterinary Sciences Research Station and the Wildlife Research Station are also located on the Spy Hill Campus. At the Foothills Campus, in addition to offices, classrooms, the library, and new research laboratories, we have completed the construction of gathering places that create a sense of identity within the Health Sciences Complex shared with the Faculty of Medicine. We have added approximately 30,000 sq ft of new research space and places for about 80 graduate students and trainees. Construction and renovation of space for an additional 30,000 sq ft of research space and 70 trainee spaces is underway.

UCVM Teachers Win Recognition Professors Gord Krebs and Rob McCorkell and Teaching Assistant Brandie Millen were all recognized in 2009 for their excellent teaching. They were awarded for their ability to communicate broad and accurate knowledge of the subject matter, as well as for their self-confidence and ability to create enthusiasm among students. Other criteria include success at challenging students, ability to cultivate creative thinking on the part of students, availability for consultation outside of class along with fairness and consistency in grading. In 2009, Emma Read won the Pfizer Carl J. Norden Distinguished Teacher Award, Robin Yates won the UCVM Faculty Teaching Excellence Award and the Calgary Association of Veterinary Students Teaching Award went to Aubrey Webb.

UCVM • 2009 Report to the Community


UCVM was established with a mandate to engage in research to support sustainable animal industries in Alberta, and to address issues at the animal and human health interface.

“When we built this school, we knew that we had both an opportunity and a tremendous responsibility,” says Jay Cross, Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Education. “We were created not just to produce great veterinarians but also to play a role in dealing with the challenges we are facing here in Alberta and around the world in animal health and human health. Knowledge creation is good but we know that knowledge transfer and exchange is where we can really add value to our community.” The co-location of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine research labs with the University of Calgary’s Health Research Institutes at the Foothills Campus was a deliberate move to bring animal and human health researchers together to foster collaboration and to encourage comparative biomedical research. UCVM set out to recruit researchers from across Canada and around the world who could help deliver on this mandate. Over the last three years, UCVM faculty have brought in over $32.5 million to support research. This has led to the development of research programs spanning our areas of emphasis: production animal health; equine health; ecosystem and public health; and investigative medicine. We have had a major expansion in research infrastructure over the last year. We have brought on over 35,000 square feet of research laboratory space in the last 18 months and we are moving forward on construction or renovation of an additional 35,000 square feet at the Foothills Campus. Research activities are also supported by the 35,000 square foot Veterinary Sciences Research Station, the Wildlife Research Centre, and the Clinical Skills Building at the Spy Hill Campus. We are currently building a $2 million expansion to our large animal research pens. Three of our faculty members are supported by external research salary awards: Jay Cross, Robin Yates, and Patrick Whelan. Our goal is to have ten per cent of our research faculty supported by external salary awards. Funds freed up through external salary awards are directed back to the primary researcher to support their program and the remainder of the funds are used to support research within the Faculty. So where do we go from here? Driving the research machine requires a lot of skilled people and resources. “We wouldn’t have been able to move as quickly as we have without the incredible support of government agencies, foundations and industry, and so we are grateful for that that,” says Dr. Cross. “Of course, obtaining these funds is a highly competitive process and so we certainly also take great pride in the achievements to date of our researchers as well.” There’s clearly no resting on our laurels though as Dr. Cross adds. “Now we need to just get out there and make sure that our research truly makes an impact in the community by promoting changes in practice and animal health policy.”

UCVM recently released a Research Strategic Plan. Reproductive and Regenerative Medicine; Emerging Challenges in Animal and Human Health; Pain and Animal Welfare and Veterinary Education were identified as priority themes.

UCVM Research Funding Sources 2005 to present, total $23,977,673

Your Gift UCVM enjoys generous support from a growing number of donors. In 2009 gifts made a difference to faculty and students. The Simpson Ranch Chair in Beef Health and Wellness recognizes the contributions of Mr. John Simpson to the development of UCVM. It is supported by UCVM and the Simpson Family. Addressing current and emerging issues important to the beef industry, the Chair will ensure that our research and teaching programs are focused on health and wellness. UCVM is currently recruiting for this important position. Scholarships and awards, including the Dean’s Area of Emphasis Awards and thoughtful gifts from donors, totaled more than $45-thousand this year. Based on yearly donations and long term funds of over $100,000, this direct support of our students ensures they are able to focus on their studies. Unique gifts like the Dairy Education Endowment ensure our students receive special educational opportunities that would not otherwise be available.

• • • • • • • • • • •

AB Prion Research Institute UCVM Start Up Canadian Institutes of Health Research Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research University of Calgary Other Alberta Government Not-for-Profit & NGO Alberta Agriculture & Food Council Other Federal Government Other

We continue to look for opportunities to create new initiatives for our students. For example, next year and for the first time, the Dr. Bonnie Buntain Travel Grant in Veterinary Medicine will go to a student interested in public practice. We have created special funds to support educational opportunities and research in production animal health, equine health, companion animal health, wildlife and conservation medicine, ecosystem and public health, and any programs of excellence. Many donors have already contributed to these funds.

UCVM • 2009 Report to the Community

UCVM’s Vision: Bringing innovation and community together to advance animal and human health

Dr. Eugene Janzen joins UCVM Executive

Partners in the DVLC

UCVM Announced

Mr. Ted Eddy offers first donation to UCVM


2004 August • UCVM announced


2005 June • University Board of Governors approval August • First full time member of the UCVM Executive recruited, Dr. Eugene Janzen

2006 January • First external research grant (Dr. Susan Kutz, from NSERC Discovery Grant) May • Dean Alastair Cribb comes on board

September • First full time faculty members recruited

Fall • First graduate students working under UCVM faculty

September • First Clinical appointments of community veterinarians to UCVM

November • First full time UCVM faculty member starts working in the DVLC

December • First donation – Mr. Ted Eddy (Dr. Edward C Eddy and Mrs. Ruth E. Eddy Memorial Scholarship)



Dr. Jason Anderson Nature of the frogmander


2007 May • First MOUs signed with partners in the DVLC June • Accreditation Visit (AVMA Council on Education) September • DVM Program receives Letter of Reasonable Assurance • UCVM takes over Veterinary Sciences Research Station at Spy Hill Campus

Dr. Katherine Wynne Edwards accepts the Jack Manns Professorship in Comparative Endocrinology

Dr Renaud Leguillette publishes in major luornal

UCVM Class of 2013

Larissa Newton, our first graduate student

Welcome to the Class of 2012


2008 May • First single research grant over $1 million in total funding; Dr. Stephanie Czub from Alberta Prion Research Institute • Dr. Jason Anderson publishes “Frogamander” in the prestigious science journal Nature June • First undergraduate students selected (Class of 2012) • First graduate student, Larissa Newton, completes program August • First new labs in the Health Sciences Complex completed • Calgary Academy of Veterinary Students forms September • First Undergraduate classes begin (Class of 2012) • UCVM receives provisional accreditation November • First Chair, The Simpson Ranch Chair in Beef Health and Wellness & First Professorship, The Jack Manns Professorship in Comparative Endocrinology announced


2009 January • First use of the Clinical Skills Building February • Formation of the Veterinary Medical Graduate Students Association • Dr Renaud Leguillette publishes a major article in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine that is featured on the cover of the journal


The Future Fall 2011 • First rotations in the DVLC Spring 2012 • Class of 2012 graduates ... and on!

June • Class of 2013 selected July • First interns start at UCVM working with partners in DVLC August • Official opening of the Clinical Skills Building on Spy Hill Campus • Space in TRW 2 at Foothills Campus is complete September • Veterinary Medical Sciences Graduate Program approved and accepts first students

UCVM • 2009 Report to the Community



Drs. Herman Barkema, Karin Orsel and Jeroen De Buck, with undergraduate student Dennis Klugkist and research technician Erin Vernooy

Investigating Johne’s Disease It takes guts to do this kind of research; intestines to be more precise and UCVM’s members of the Alberta Johne’s Disease Working Group have them. Lead by Herman Barkema, professor of epidemiology of infectious diseases, the team is hoping to decrease the prevalence of infection of the bacteria that causes Johne’s disease in Alberta. “Besides causing illness in animals, this disease costs the Canadian cattle industry between $15 and $90 million every year,” says Dr. Barkema. “Alberta’s farmers and ranchers have enough challenges to deal with; we’re hoping we can come up with some answers that will positively impact the way they manage Johne’s in the future.” Johne’s disease is a contagious, chronic and always fatal infection that affects primarily the small intestine of ruminants. And right now, farmers and ranchers are working under a potentially dangerous assumption about it. “It’s assumed that calves can only become infected in the first six months of their life,” says Barkema. “Research projects coordinated by Jeroen De Buck will verify whether that’s true,” he adds. The outcomes of this research will seriously impact producers’ management programs potentially saving them money and improving the overall health of their herds. Dr. De Buck is also working on the improvement of diagnostic tests and discovery of early markers of the disease. Another member of the team, Karin Orsel is looking at the role of Johne’s disease in other species including wildlife. Barkema also leads a national team of researchers looking to unravel the causes of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBD consists of two debilitating gastrointestinal diseases, Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis, which affect humans and resemble diseases, such as Johne’s disease, in animals. Alberta has one of the highest rates of the disease in the world.


Dr. Markus Czub and graduate student, Avril Hatherell

Investigating Prions Markus Czub leads a multidisciplinary team – collaborating with experts in immunology and biology from U of C’s Faculty of Medicine – which focuses on the study of prions. These are tiny infectious proteins which attack the animal’s nervous system. Prions are responsible for BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) in cattle, chronic wasting disease in mule deer and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. The focus of the research has turned to the next threat in prion disease in North America - chronic wasting disease (CWD) which is endemic in deer and elk, constantly expanding and thus contaminating the soil. “CWD could be a risk for other species like caribou, big horn sheep, cougar or even humans but we do not know yet,” says Dr. Czub. “If we understand how the agent moves through the body, beginning from oral uptake to infecting and destroying the brain, we will be one step closer to figuring out how to diagnose, and ultimately prevent, this and other prion diseases that are a threat to animal populations and to human health.” Dr. Czub and his team are hopeful that it may one day be possible to vaccinate against CWD, BSE and other prion diseases. “This project highlights the opportunities we have in our approach to veterinary medicine here,” says Dr. Czub. “This interdisciplinary perspective on issues that affect human and animal health was the vision for this veterinary school and this project allows us to really demonstrate why that approach makes sense.” Dr. Czub and his colleagues have been successful in attracting funding from the Alberta Ingenuity Fund (AIF) and the recently created APRI (Alberta Prion Institute). Support from APRI and AIF has attracted additional funding from other industry, provincial and federal agencies.

Research Areas at UCVM • Animal Health Policy • Bone and Joint Health • Clinical Sciences • Comparative Pathobiology • Ecosystem Health • Equine Health • Immunology and Infectious Disease • Neuroscience • Production Animal Health • Public Health • Reproductive Biology • Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine • Veterinary Medical Education • Wildlife and Zoo Medicine

UCVM • 2009 Report to the Community


Return to Community

UCVM Faculty in the field

Return to the Community is a cornerstone of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and the University of Calgary. This commitment is reflected in the Vision statement; Bringing innovation and community together to advance animal and human health.


“We are contributing to the health and wellbeing of Albertans in many ways.”

The economic and societal consequences of recent animal health events in Alberta solidified the conviction of the government that the veterinary and animal health service and research capacity of Alberta needed to grow. By recruiting highly qualified leaders, scholars and graduates, and developing and disseminating new knowledge, UCVM is already providing return to the community, long before the first DVM class graduates in 2012. “Ongoing research into emerging diseases, recruiting experts from around the world to work with our partners in the Distributed Veterinary Learning Community and of course training veterinarians and others in animal health sciences is all meaningful ways in which UCVM provides Return to Community,” says Alastair Cribb. UCVM is also making available its infrastructure for professional development activities in the community.

The H1N1 Symposium In September UCVM co-hosted a symposium, with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, to review the science of the recent influenza A/H1N1 experience and to understand, in the context of new and existing knowledge, the animal and public health challenges of interspecies transmission of influenza viruses. Bringing together academic, professional, and government experts from Alberta, Canada, and internationally, experts from the veterinary, animal health, and public health communities considered and debated the issues around the pandemic. Everyone left with new knowledge and perspectives to help address the challenges ahead.

UCVM • 2009 Report to the Community


Return to Community

Dr. Renaud Leguillette (above) and Dr. Emma Read at work in the community

Faculty in the Community UCVM is contributing to animal health on a daily basis, before any veterinarians even graduate from the school. UCVM does not have an on-campus veterinary teaching hospital. Instead, our professional faculty work and our students learn alongside veterinarians in the community. Because we offer a distributed model, who we recruit impacts not only us - our faculty and students - but also the animal health community in this Province. Since the Faculty’s inception it has been important to recruit the best teachers, researchers and specialists in the world. Over twenty faculty members are already engaged within the Distributed Veterinary Learning Community (DVLC), in areas ranging from private specialty practices to Alberta’s Provincial Laboratory supporting public health. These activities take our expertise directly to the veterinary community and to the public. Renaud Leguillette was the first UCVM faculty member to find a spot in a local practice. He is board certified in equine internal medicine with a special interest in respiratory diseases. He is affiliated with Moore and Company Veterinary Services in Calgary. He has brought the first dynamic respiratory endoscope to Canada – a unique tool that will allow him to observe the respiratory dynamics of a horse’s aware as it is ridden. This is a unique and important expertise that would not be available to the community if UCVM did not exist. Dr. Leguillette is also conducting clinical research in the community. Dr. Emma Read, board certified in large animal surgery, works with Okotoks Animal Clinic to provide surgical services and supports Dr. Dan French at Spruce Meadows during the competition season. Dr. Soren Boysen, board certified in emergency and critical care, working through the CARE Centre, brings an expertise not previously available in Alberta. Dr. Karin Orsel, who has expertise in the epidemiology of infectious diseases in production animals, works with Veterinary Agri-Health Services in Airdrie. Please visit our website for a complete listing of all the partner practices participating in the DVLC and to learn about the clinical expertise of our faculty.


A Global Perspective The spread of disease doesn’t stop at a country’s borders. And neither can the perspective of a veterinary school when one of its pillars is public health. “Our school was built around the goal of improving global public health,” says Bonnie Buntain, Assistant Dean, Government and International Relations and Professor of Public Health. “To achieve that, we need to challenge students to see past barriers between regions, countries, agencies and even between specialities to meet the serious challenges we face.” To educate veterinarians in how to meet these kinds of challenges UCVM’s curriculum includes the idea of One Health. “It just makes since to consider emerging issues in our ecosystems, animal populations as human health as part of one system,” says Dr. Buntain.

UCVM faculty and students with Maasai herdsmen at a boma, Ndutu Tanzania

In practical terms, the One Health approach means UCVM students, faculty and researchers have the opportunity to work and study side by side with professionals from other disciplines. But, it also means seeing one world. To that end, UCVM is building international partnerships with other institutions to allow our students to have the opportunity to travel to train in other countries. In an important first step in building its international programs, UCVM recently sent its first students to Tanzania. This pilot program paves the way for other students to follow as part of UCVM’s growing list of international rotation opportunities.

Living on the Edge Craig Stephen lives on the edge. Or at least he deals with the questions that sit there. “I like to say we spend time looking at edges because we deal with issues that cross boundaries – the ones that arise at the interface of human, animal and environmental health,” says Dr. Stephen, Associate Professor, Ecosystem Health.

Dr. Craig Stephen at Sri Lanka fish farm

Dr. Stephen is also the founding director and president of the Centre for Coastal Health, an interdisciplinary, non-profit organization that conducts independent academic research primarily in the areas of public health and fish and wildlife health. The Centre, which is physically situated in Nanaimo but is connected to UCVM through a unique partnership brings together researchers from across Canada and undertakes problem-oriented research, risk assessments, research planning, policy development, field investigations.

“One thing we’ve learned from diseases like SARS, West Nile, avian flu and BSE is that we need to learn more about animal health to be able to reduce risks to human health,” says Dr. Stephen. “Diseases from animals influence our economy, our environment and our health. Exploring those relationships is key to making sound decisions about how to handle these issues from an informed position.” Ultimately, these recommendations may form the basis for policy changes related to public health or the environment. “The bottom line to me is that in veterinary medicine we have a responsibility to try to contribute to understanding emerging issues and diseases that impact health but also the economy and other facets of our society,” says Dr. Stephen. “Whether the focus is on preventing zoonotic diseases or preserving water quality, we are producing knowledge that is relevant and hopefully something with a tangible outcome both at a local and global level.”

UCVM • 2009 Report to the Community


Department Updates

Eugene Janzen works in the field

Ecosystem and Public Health The Department of Ecosystem and Public Health has 12 faculty members. Dr. Susan Cork joined as Department Head in September of 2008. E&PH continues to build links with the federal and provincial government, provincial laboratories, national and international wildlife and public health agencies and nongovernmental organizations to ensure delivery of our commitments for research and teaching in the area of Ecosystem and Public Health.

Production Animal Health The Department of Production Animal Health has 16 faculty members. Dr. Herman Barkema joined as Department Head in February of 2008. PAH members have been busy teaching and developing courses within the DVM program; including organizing a summer program for every DVM student interested in production animal health. Programs for the students ranged from working at a dairy farm or a feedlot to participating in field research projects such as Johne’s disease. Faculty in the Department have been very successful in obtaining more than $10 million in new research funding, including a large BSE grant, several large studies on Johne’s disease, bull fertility, mastitis in dairy cows, food intake, and an AHFMR team grant on Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Many new graduate students and postdoctoral fellows have joined our department. Larissa Newton had the honor of being the first graduate student to complete her graduate program at UCVM; supervised by Dr. Jacob Thundathil. Three sessional faculty members recently joined our Department; Drs. Frank Marshall, Egan Brockhoff, and Tom Inglis.

Members are developing an international profile in a broad range of fields including climate change, health of Arctic wildlife, environmental toxicology, community engagement, public and animal health policy, risk assessment, disease ecology, regulatory veterinary medicine epidemiology, zoo and conservation medicine, food safety, social science and economics. The Department enjoys support from our Calgary Zoo veterinarians (Drs. Doug Whiteside and Sandie Black), two new joint appointments with community health sciences; Professor Billie Thurston and Dr. Melanie Rock and an additional adjunct appointment in wildlife health, Dr Damien Joly. Dr. Ale Massolo joined the Department late last year to take a position in wildlife ecology and has been working with UCVM summer students and Dr. Susan Kutz’s research group to develop protocols for monitoring coyote health in urban Calgary. Two new full time faculty members joined the Department this fall, working in the area of environmental toxicology, Dr. Judith Smits and public health epidemiology Dr. Sylvia Checkley. The Department continues to grow and is currently recruiting for a veterinary anatomic pathologist and a virologist.

The Department continues to grow and is currently recruiting for a theriogenologist and veterinary bacteriologist.

Susan Kutz works with northern communities


Comparative Biology and Experimental Medicine The Department of Comparative Biology and Experimental Medicine has 16 faculty members. Dr. Ina Dobrinski joined as Department Head in September of 2008.

Dan Schlessinger at work in the community

Veterinary Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences The Department of Veterinary Clinical and Diagnostic Services has 19 faculty members. Dr. Nigel Caulkett joined as Department Head in April of 2008. All faculty with research responsibilities have secured funding for their research activities which include; equine respiratory disease, equine genetics and sepsis, small animal cancer, pain control in cattle, wildlife handling, shock, communications, and evaluation of our new veterinary curriculum and our admissions process. The majority of our faculty are now actively engaged in diagnostic or clinical activity in our Distributed Veterinary Learning Community and the Department is very lucky to have several sessional and adjunct faculty from our partner practices actively engaged in our Department.

Members of CBEM have been heavily involved in delivering the first year curriculum in anatomy, physiology and immunology as well as in professional and clinical skills and clinical presentations. Drs. Robin Yates, Robert McCorkell and Aubrey Webb were recognized for their teaching excellence. All faculty have active research programs and were successful in securing funding and several groups added new graduate students and postdoctoral research associates to their programs. Drs. John Gilleard and Katherine Wynne-Edwards, both full professors who joined the department in 2008, are maintaining productive programs at the University of Glasgow and Queens University in addition to having established new labs in Calgary. Drs. Jason Anderson and Christoph MĂźlling welcomed the move to new laboratory facilities this year. The Department is also pleased to announce that Dr. Jeff Biernaskie, a stem cell biologist joined the Department in September 2009.

Over the summer many of our faculty were busy assisting with the development of our UCVM-DVLC internship program. We have been very fortunate in that many of our partner practices have well developed internship programs, we have partnered with these practices to developed combined programs where UCVM faculty will assist with the academic component of these programs. The Department continues to grow and is currently recruiting for a veterinary anesthesiologist and small animal surgeon.

John Matyas at work in UCVM lab

UCVM • 2009 Report to the Community


Bringing innovation and community together to advance animal and human health

University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Teaching, Research and Wellness Building 3280 Hospital Drive NW Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 4Z6

Contributors: Leanne Niblock Teresa Scarlett Photo contributors: Ewan Nicholson Photography Inc. Janet Webb Design and production: Bryan Mills Iradesso

UCVM 2009 Annual Report  

The decision to launch a faculty of veterinary medicine at the University of Calgary was made by theProvince in 2004. By mid-2005, the Unive...

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