Top research at college acknowledged during Phi Zeta Research Day

Each year, the college acknowledges the top research being performed by D.V.M. students, graduate students and faculty during Phi Zeta Research Day. Awards are given in a variety of categories for presentations and for overall excellence among faculty. This year’s ceremony was virtual and took place on April 16. The award categories and winners are listed below.

Top Dog Awards
Given to a student from each veterinary class who made a research-oriented presentation that was deemed best in the class.

  • Class of 2021: Leah Ackerman, mentored by Dr. Simon Swift
    Her presentation was titled, “Right Axis Deviation in the Canine ECG for Predicting Severity of Pulmonic Stenosis: A Retrospective Cohort Analysis.”
  • Class of 2022: Leor Shuflita, mentored by Dr. Irene Pepperberg
    Her presentation was titled, “Pattern Recognition and Prepositions: Testing African Grey Parrots on the Concept of “In” as a Positional Modifier.”
  • Class of 2024: Jill Aldredge, mentored by Dr. Reed Bowman
    Her presentation was titled, “Territory Size and Placement During Breeding for the Florida Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus Savannarum Floridanus).”

Best in Show Awards
Given to a graduate student from each of the college’s five academic departments whose presentation was selected as the best-from that department.

  • Comparative, Diagnostic and Population Medicine: Jeff Gruntmeir, mentored by Dr. Heather Walden
    His presentation was titled, “Detection of Heartworm Antigen Following Heat Treatment of Canine Serum Without Loss of Specificity in Dogs Infected with Helminth and Protozoan Parasites.”
  • Infectious Diseases and Immunology: Caroline Stephenson, mentored by Dr. Rhoel Dinglasan and Dr. John Lednicky
    Her presentation was titled, “Transmission Potential of Field-derived and Laboratory Colonies of Aedes Aegypti from Florida to Two Dengue Virus Serotype 4 Strains: Implications for Estimating Local Dengue Risk.”
  • Physiological Sciences: Emily Griffin, mentored by Dr. John Bowden
    Her presentation was titled, “Exploration of Novel PFAS Extraction Techniques from Dried Blood Spots for Prospective Marine Mammal Health Assessments.”
  • Large Animal Clinical Sciences: Heather Roe, mentored by Dr. Taralyn McCarrel
    Her presentation was titled, “Proof-of-concept Study of a Novel Surgical Approach for Treatment of Recurrent Laryngeal Neuropathy in Horses.”
  • Small Animal Clinical Sciences: Kaitlyn Mullen, mentored by Dr. Penny Regier
    Her presentation was titled, “A Comparison of Gastrointestinal Thickness, Surgical Time and Leak Pressures for Six Intestinal Anastomosis Techniques.”

Graduate Student Awards

  • Master’s Studies Award: Kaitlyn Mullen, mentored by Dr. Penny Regier
    Her presentation was titled, “A Comparison of Gastrointestinal Thickness, Surgical Time and Leak Pressures for Six Intestinal Anastomosis Techniques.”
  • Doctoral Studies Award: Maite de Maria Mulet, mentored by Dr. Nancy Denslow and Dr. Michael Walsh
    Her presentation was titled “Glyphosate Exposure and Other Contaminants and Their Immune Consequences in Florida Manatees”
  • Clinical Science Research Award: Michelle Martin de Bustamante, mentored by Dr. Caryn Plummer
    Her presentation was titled, “The Fecal Bacterial Microbiota in Horses with Equine Recurrent Uveitis”
  • Basic Science Research Award: Samantha Koda, mentored by Dr. Tom Waltzek
    Her presentation was titled, “Megalocytiviruses in Aquaculture: Genetic Diversity, Improved Molecular Diagnostic Tools and the Development of an Experimental Challenge Model to Determine the Effect of Water Temperature on Morbidity.”
  • C. F. Simpson Memorial Scholarship Award: Zakia Goodwin, mentored by Dr. David Pascual
    Her presentation was titled “Vaccines for Brucellosis: Understanding Mucosal Protection Induced by Novel Live Attenuated Candidate Paves the Way for Subunit Antigen Discovery”

Faculty Awards:

C.E. Cornelius Young Investigator Award: Dr. Rafael Bisinotto

FVMA Clinical Investigator Award: Dr. Klibs Galvão

Zoetis Award: Dr. Leah Reznikov

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