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Archive for the ‘Pathobiology’ Category

Professor Sandra Bushmich appointed as associate dean for academic programs

Sandra Bushmich with one of the College's foals born in the spring of 2017.

Sandra Bushmich with one of the College’s foals born in the spring of 2017.

Sandra Bushmich has been appointed associate dean for academic programs and director of the Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture. Bushmich started her new position March 17, replacing Cameron Faustman, currently interim dean of the College.

“Sandy is known to students and her colleagues as a committed teacher and advisor,” Faustman says. “Our College’s Office of Academic Programs will benefit tremendously from her commitment to the student experience, both curricular and co-curricular, and her energy and enthusiasm.”

“My vision as associate dean for academic programs directly relates to how this office can best serve the College and the University to achieve the optimal potential of our diverse students by providing them with the knowledge and skills to improve their world, from their daily personal interactions to global impacts,” Bushmich says.

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CAHNR in the news

newsprintMedical News Today quoted Gregory Panza, a Department of Kinesiology graduate student, about research results that found that people who are not active can improve their subjective well-being by performing some physical activity. Panza was the lead author of the study, which was published in Journal of Health Psychology. Other kinesiology researchers involved in the research include Associate Professor Beth Taylor and Distinguished Professor Linda Pescatello.

UConn Today gave suggestions on how to deal with ticks, including information about their life cycles. The article quoted College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources Dean Sandra Bushmich and Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture Public Service Technician Susan Pelton and referenced a Home and Garden Education Center publication about ticks. (more…)

College faculty plan international collaborations at networking event in Cuba

While the future of US foreign policy remains unclear, the warming of relations with Cuba under the Obama administration produced an opportunity for US scientists and researchers to connect with their Cuban neighbors. Associate Professor Tania Huedo-Medina of the Department of Allied Health Sciences recognized the benefit of shared knowledge and the advancements that could be achieved through the formation of partnerships with Cuba. She created the Cuba Research Initiative to pair the University of Connecticut with several Cuban institutions to facilitate an exchange of ideas and establish joint research ventures. Multiple trips by UConn representatives have forged memoranda of understanding and these formalized relationships are now shaping into potential projects.

The UConn faculty at ICA

Ana Legrand, Guillermo Risatti, Steven Zinn and Hedley Freake (left to right) at the Institute of Animal Science.

College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources (CAHNR) faculty members spent a week in Cuba in January 2017 for a networking event to outline possible partnerships. Guillermo Risatti, an associate professor in the Department of Pathobiology and Veterinary Science, led the group. He was accompanied by Professor Ana Legrand of the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture and UConn Extension, Professor Hedley Freake of the Department of Nutritional Sciences and Professor Steven Zinn, head of the Department of Animal Science. Aviana Rosen, former project coordinator for the Cuba Research Initiative, also traveled with the group. With a focus on agriculture and animal science, they met with representatives from the Institute of Animal Science (ICA) National Center for Agricultural Health (CENSA), National Institute for Agricultural Sciences (INCA) and the Agrarian University of Havana (UNAH). The group discussed specific areas in their respective disciplines that would benefit from collaboration as well as broad initiatives, including forming study abroad opportunities and assisting with the publication of journals to share US and Cuban research. The individual CAHNR departments and UConn Global Affairs provided funding for the trip. (more…)

CAHNR in the news

Students with mobile devicesSome of CAHNR’s people, places and programs made the news recently. The bolded topics are linked to initial media coverage. The roman text links go to additional information.

UConn Today. 5-19-17. Posted a video, as part of UConn Science in Seconds series, about in Cuba. Department of Allied Health Sciences

UConn Today. 5-22-17. Reported on a start-up company that creates a new veterinary cancer treatment, which works with animal immune systems. CEO of the company is Ashley Kalinauskas, a Class of 2012 pathobiology alumna. See also Health News Digest.

Hartford Courant. 5-22-17. Announced  that four UConn baseball pitchers were honored by the American Athletic Conference. William Montgomerie, a right-handed pitcher and a applied resource economics major, was named to the second team.  (more…)

Virologist developing vaccines and therapeutics to combat Zika virus, Lyme disease and cancer

The Northeast experienced an unusually warm and dry winter this year. This irregularly tepid season, quickly becoming the new norm due to climate change, is now giving way to spring rains. While the reprieve from bundling up and shoveling snow may have felt like a welcome relief, and the recent precipitation seems fortunate given the drought conditions had been plaguing the region, the past months have been especially good for insects and arachnids. Mosquitoes and ticks in particular are likely to thrive this coming summer due to these mild and wet conditions and their increased presence raises the prospect of health risks from the diseases they carry.

Paulo Verardi and Brittany Jasperse

Paulo Verardi (right) with PhD student Brittany Jasperse (left).

Zika virus and Lyme disease, transmitted by mosquitoes and ticks respectively, are two contagions that continue to cause great concern across the country. Zika virus is expected to appear once again in the southern United States this summer and continued anxiety remains about its ability to spread further north. In Connecticut, tick populations have already soared this year and testing has shown increased levels of Lyme disease bacteria. Developing vaccines to combat the rise and persistence of these diseases is the focus of Paulo Verardi’s current research. Verardi, an associate professor in the Department of Pathobiology and Veterinary Science, recently designed a quicker and safer method of producing vaccines, which has been speeding up the fight against Zika virus and Lyme disease. He is also lending his expertise to battle cancer by exploring the use of vaccines to create innovative therapies in partnership with UConn Health. While Verardi’s lab is busy with many projects, Zika virus continues to be the primary focus.

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