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Department News Archive

July 2016 Department News


Dozens of University of Guelph research projects will be supported by a new $13-million investment from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). Pathobiology researchers include: John Barta, Claire Jardine, Stefan Keller, John Lumsden, Janet MacInnes, Bonnie Mallard, Leonardo Susta, and awards to pathobiology student, Jamie Rothenburger.    >> OVC Bulletin

Congratulations to Drs. Nemeth, Sharif, Susta, Weese and Lumsden on their recent OMAFRA funding.

Dr. Byram Bridle received an additional instalment from BioCanRx of 320k for clinical trials in companion animals.

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2016 Convocation Awards

  • Dr. Darren Wood - K. M Bhatnagar Memorial Humanitarian Award for a faculty member who best portrays the attributes of the late Dr. Kumar Bhatnager (OVC 1968), by being active in University affairs and supporting students outside the classroom.
  • Dr. Andrew Peregrine - Ontario Veterinary College “Year 68” Award for Teaching Excellence for exemplary teaching, support and care for students over their four years at OVC.

In June 2016, Dr. Patricia Turner was elected to a 3-year term on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Council on Animal Care. The Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) is the national peer-review organization responsible for setting, maintaining, and overseeing the implementation of high standards for animal ethics and care in science throughout Canada.

Iman Mehdizadeh Gohari, PhD Candidate with Drs. John Prescott and Patrick Boerlin was awarded the Best Poster Presentation at the 15th annual meeting of the Canadian Animal Health Laboratorians Network (CAHLN) at the Atlantic Veterinary College in Charlottetown in early June. His poster title was”Comparative genomic and cgMLsT analysis of netF-postivie clostridium perfringes isolates from foal and canine necrotizing enteritis”.

Paige Vroom, MSc candidate with John Lumsden, received the best student poster presentation (Parasitology, Immunology and Environment section) at the recent Canadian Zoological Society meeting. Her poster title was 'Regeneration in Corallimorpharia'.

Mei-Hua Hwang, MSc student with Dr. Stefan Keller, has received an NSERC scholarship.

Welcome to Bryan Potter, Operations Manager, who will work with Pathobiology and Biomedical Sciences. He is located in 3832 and will be in his Pathobiology office in the afternoon.

In the NEWS..

Dr. Bonnie Mallard was featured in the first  University of Guelph’s Catalyst Centre Newsletter, Created at Guelph. A newsletter dedicated to sharing the compelling research at Guelph that is making a global impact.
>> article

June 2016 Department News

Congratulations to Mary Ellen Clark has been awarded the 2016 Carlton L. Gyles OVC Support Staff Excellence Award for outstanding contributions to research and graduate training.

Congratulations to postdoctoral fellow Li Deng (Susta/Bridle labs) and graduate students Jacob van Vloten (Wootton/Bridle labs), Megan Whaley, Robert Mould and Amanda AuYeung (Bridle lab), all of whom have received travel awards to present their research at the Summit for Cancer Immunotherapy in Halifax, Nova Scotia later this month (June 26-29).  Kathy Matuszewska, a graduate student in Dr. Jim Petrik's lab in Biomedical Sciences, also received an award for this conference to present the research that she has been conducting in collaboration with Pathobiology professors Drs. Wootton and Bridle.

Dr. Byram Bridle submitted a manuscript that will be published in the June 1, 2016 issue of the Journal of Immunology. It was selected by the journal to be highlighted in their "In This Issue" section, which features articles considered to be among the top 10% of those published in the journal.  This research has important implications for designing vaccines for diseases requiring rapid, maximal immune responses, including potentially fatal infectious diseases and cancers.

Congratulations to CWHC grad student Jamie Rothenburger (Jardine lab) who was recently awarded a Wildlife Disease Association Scholarship.

Welcome to Dr. Khalil Karimi who has joined the Bridle lab research team as a research associate. Khalil is an immunologist with extensive expertise in innate immunity and cancer immunotherapy.

In the NEWS..

Dr. Byram Bridle’s cancer research in the news:

  • Toronto Star - “Dogs with cancer could lead researchers with to treatments for humans.”  >> Watch video
  • CTV News - Dogs, cats may help in human cancer treatment research >> article
  • Kitchener Post - Pets may show way to better cancer treatments >> article
  • 680 News - Not just pets: Dogs, cats may show way to better treatments for human cancers >> article

Dr. Andrew Peregrine and Jonathan Kotwa have published an article in the Canadian Vet News Magazine titled” Echinococcus multilocularis: an emerging threat to canine and human halth in Canada?” >> read the article

Help for Cystic Fibrosis: Watch the CTV News London interview with postdoctoral fellow Dr. Jondavid de Jong from Dr. Sarah Wootton’s lab.

May 2016 Department News

Corinne Schut, Dr. Brandon Lillie’s current summer student has received an OMAFRA HQP Scholarship for $17300 per year for 2 years for her MSc studies that are starting in September.

Pathobiology Members Celebrating 25 years:  Dr. Robert Foster, Dr. Jutta Hammermueller and Leah Read

Dr. Ian Barker recently gave a series of continuing education presentations at the 2016 Nordic Wildlife and Zoo Veterinary Conference in Norway. Flanking Barker (centre) are (L) Mads Bertelsen, DVSc 2003, Veterinarian at Copenhagen Zoo, Denmark and (R) Rolf-Arne Ølberg, DVSc 2004, Director of Animal Care at Kristiansand Dyrepark, Norway. On the left is Kate Perrin, a British student of Bertelsen's, who visited the department to work with Dale Smith in fall 2015, and on the right, Adriana Nielsen, a Dane who completed her OVC-Toronto Zoo residency in 2015, and is now a veterinarian at the Wadi Al Safa Wildlife Centre in Dubai.

Pathobiology Graduate Awards Recipients

  • Margaret Ainslie - Dr. Casey Buizert Memorial Scholarship AND Gallant Custom Laboratories Anniversary Scholarship
  • Neda Barjesteh - D. G. Ingram Memorial Scholarship
  • Emma Borkowski - Merial Canada Inc. Graduate Scholarship for Distinction in Parasitology
  • Emily Brouwer - Elizabeth Holdsworth Scholarship
  • Katie Clow - Dr. Margaret A. B. Maxwell Memorial Scholarship
  • Nariman Deravi - Dr. McSherry and Dr. Valli Scholarship for General Proficiency in Clinical
  • Pathology AND Dr. John H. Lumsden Graduate
  • Scholarship in Clinical Pathology
  • Rebecca Egan - Professor Jeanne L. Burton Animal Health Scholarship 
  • Medhi Emam - OVC Graduate Student Recognition Awards
  • Mei-Hua Hwang - Tippy Atkins Scholarship
  • Ryan Horricks - Dr. J. Sherman Memorial Travel Grant
  • Joelle Ingrao - Pathology Scholarship of Graduate Student Excellence AND Zoetis Graduate Student Research Prize
  • Delphine Laniesse - Canadian Parrot Symposium Award in Avian Studies AND Roland A. W. Scott Memorial Scholarship
  • Amanda MacDonald - Dr. Wilson Henderson Memorial Scholarship
  • Marja Astrid Oscos Snowball - Dr. Judith A. Taylor Memorial Graduate Scholarship
  • Jamie Rothenburger - Colonel Benjamin F. Leach Scholarship
  • Courtney Schott - Small Animal Graduate Research Scholarship AND Korean-Canadian Dr. F. Schofield Memorial Scholarships
  • Ryan Snyder - Elanco Graduate Scholarship in Parasitology AND Dr. Wilson Henderson Memorial Scholarship
  • Kevin Stinson - Korean-Canadian Dr. F. Schofield Memorial Scholarships
  • Laurence Tessier - Soren Rosendal Memorial Research Prize
  • Jacob van Vloten - D.G. Ingram Graduate Travel Grant AND Sharon Dunsmore Scholarship in Feline Studies

In the NEWS..

Dr. John Prescott Discusses Humanely Sourced Beef with Global News >> article

Project Aims to Improve the Health and Welfare of Backyard Poultry. “People are interested in living a more natural lifestyle and eating local, so raising their own food makes sense to them.” says Dr. Leonardo Susta >> article

The Clostridial Diseases of Animals book will be available in June. It includes contributions from several members of Pathobiology including Iman Medizadeh Gohari, Valeria Parreira, Russ Fraser, and Dr. Jan MacInnes.

April 2016 Department News


Amanda MacDonald, PhD candidate with Drs. Nicole Nemeth and Claire Jardine was awarded a student research grant ($4000) from the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH).  The name of the award is: OFAH/St. Catharines Game and Fish Association/Conservation Club of West Lincoln Fish & Wildlife Research Grant

Congratulations to Poultry Health Research Network for its recent Research Day event which was a great success. The event had an attendance of 106 representing academic, industry and government research institutions. A series of brief research presentations made by students and postdocs as well as the UofG faculty and industry representatives was very well received. For more information visit

Pathology is a lot like putting a puzzle together – a systematic, step-by-step puzzle. It is the field in medicine where a lot of aspects of clinical learning come together to arrive at a diagnosis – anatomy, physiology, radiology and disease investigation, says Dr. Brandon Plattner, in the Department of Pathobiology at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College. >> OVC Bulletin article

Collaboration a key theme of poultry research day. Connections and collaboration were a key theme during the Poultry Health Research Network (PHRN) Research Day at the University of Guelph last week. The research day brought together representatives from government, industry and academia to provide updates on current research and prompt discussion for future collaborations. >> OVC Bulletin >>

February 2016 Department News

Dr. Byram Bridle received $12,265 from the Pet Trust Foundation for a project entitled "Construction and validation of viral-vectored vaccines to induce robust tumour-specific T cell responses in dogs with oral melanomas".

Dr. Darren Wood and Dr. Geoff Wood have received $28,653 from Pet Trust Foundation for their project entitled “Correlation between plasma and tumour cell microRNA in dogs with multicentric lymphoma”. The award will support DVSc student Karlee Craig’s project.

One of the featured breakout sessions at the 2016 Dairy Strong Conference was given by Dr. Bonnie Mallard where attendees took a look into High Immune Response Technology and Breeding Selection. >> more

Dr. Peregrine is urging shepherds against routine deworming as new dewormer offers new hope in resistance battle. Ontario Farmer >> January Publication.

Dr. Peregrine is just starting a two-year study with one of his graduate students to try to discover how widespread the fox tapeworm is among wild animal populations in southern Ontario. Guelph Mercury Articles >>  Jan 19 | Jan 20

Dr. Andrew Peregrine, Dr. Claire Jardine, and master’s student Jonathon Kotwa are investigating Echinococcus multilocularis. Known as the fox tapeworm, it’s found in the intestines of foxes and coyotes, and also affects small rodents such as voles and mice.  >> OVC Bulletin  >> University of Guelph News Release 

Lab Aims to Make Chickens Healthier to Improve Food Safety. The chicken eggs in Prof. Shayan Sharif’s lab look like ordinary eggs, but they’re not.  >> more

Frozen fecal transplantation is effective at providing relief to Clostridium difficile (C. diff) patients, according to a new study co-authored by  Prof. Scott Weese. >> more

January 2016 Department News

Congratulations to Emeritus Professor Dr. Julie Yager, Dr. Dorothee Bienzle, Dr. Chris Pinelli and Dr. CourtneySchott for receiving ACVP awards. >> more

OAHN Network has awarded Dr Patricia Turner with $50,000 towards the Development of a health and disease surveillance network for Ontario mink farms.

Dr John Prescott was named 2015 Distinguished Veterinary Microbiologist by the American College  of Veterinary Microbiologists at the Conference of  Research Workers in Animal
Diseases held in Chicago in December. >> more

Dr Andrew Peregrine has received $45,000 from the Ontario Animal Health Network for a project entitled " Investigation of the prevalence of Echinococcus multilocularis and risk of infection in wild canids in Ontario".

Jonathon Kotwa, an MSc student with Dr Andrew Peregrine, has recently been awarded a 2015 Burroughs-Wellcome Travel Award to visit the National Veterinary Institute, Uppsala, Sweden for his wild canid surveillance project on Echinococcus multilocularis. Furthermore, in addition to funding from Bayer Animal Health ($52,000), this project has recently been awarded $19,500 from the National Center for Veterinary Parasitology at Oklahoma State University, USA.

Pauline Delnatte - DVSc in Zoo Animal Medicine and Pathology, is now a Diplomate of the American College of Zoological Medicine. To date, 7 of our Zoo program students have written the ACZM exam, and all have passed on the first try. OVC students hold the record for this! Pauline is now an Associate Veterinarian at the Toronto Zoo and one of the clinical supervisors for the joint DVSc program with the zoo.

Jessica Walsh (MSc student, Turner lab) placed 2nd overall in the graduate student poster competition at the 2015 OMAFRA Emergency Management Expo held on December 1 for her poster entitled, "Evaluation and Validation of Appropriate On-farm Euthanasia Methods for Commercial Meat Rabbits".

There’s hope for CF patients in the form of research that could lead to more effective treatments – and possibly a cure. Pathobiology professor Sarah Wootton has received almost $300,000 in funding from Cystic Fibrosis Canada to study gene therapy that aims to replace the defective gene that causes CF with a functional one.  >> more

U of G researcher Dr Nicole Nemeth is studying the transmission and spread of the tick-borne virus.  >> more

Wildlife lab celebrates Nicole Nemeth and Jamie Rothenburger passing the ACVP board exam this fall

November 2015 Department News

Dr. Sarah Wootton received a CIHR operating grant of $215K for her project “Antibody-based protection against Ebola virus infection by vectored immunoprophylaxis”

Dr. Dorothee Bienzle received a presidential award from the American College of Veterinary Pathology for leadership in certifying examination modernization efforts.

Emily Brouwer was the recipient of the 2015 CL Davis Foundation Student Scholarship Award for the University of Guelph at the recent annual meeting for the American College of Veterinary Pathologists held in Minneapolis, Minnesota on October 17-21. She received a commemorative plaque and a 1‐year membership to the foundation. 

Dr. Robert Jacobs has been made a College Professor Emeritus.

Hands-on wildlife experience with CWHC Ontario/Nunavut
This year was the first that the Ontario Veterinary College offered 4th year students an opportunity to do a rotation with the CWHC. Kelly Guest and Melissa Pambianchi were the fortunate two students who were selected for this two-week placement under the supervision of Dr. Claire Jardine and Dr. Doug Campbell

                                         Read more at  >> OVC bulletin    >> healthy wildlife blog

OVC Cancer Research Featured in Globe and Mail
OVC cancer researchers, Drs. Paul Woods and Dr. Byram Bridle speak to Globe and Mail science reporter, Ivan Semeniuk about various cancer research collaborations with the University of Guelph, University Toronto, McMaster University and others. Read more at >> OVC bulletin  >> Globe and Mail Article    

October 2015 Department News

Dr Andrew Peregrine received the Presidents Award after the completion of his term as the President of the American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists (AAVP) in July 2015. >> AAVP

Dr. Bruce Wilkie was named “OVC Distinguished Alumnus of 2015 at the OVC Alumni Association AGM on June 13. >> OVC Alumni Blog


Dr. John Barta received $20,000 funding from the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Voucher for Innovation and Productivity (VIP) in support his research in "Testing the longevity and potency of multivalent live vaccines against coccidiosis in poultry".

Watch Dr. Andrew Peregrine’s presentation titled “Emergence of Lyme Disease in Canada”

>> go to video

Prof. Shayan Sharif and Dr Eva Nagy (in collaboration with others) are developing immunization methods to stunt avian influenza outbreaks. Stopping the spread of avian influenza in its tracks. >> OVC BULLETIN

PHRN will be presenting a new monthly seminar series to bring people together to learn about current poultry research activities. >> OVC BULLETIN - PHRN launches seminar series

OVC avian experts to present current research on parrot diseases at Canadian Parrot Conference in November. >> OVC BULLETIN - Nov 2015 Canadian Parrot Conference

September 2015 Department News

Dr. Bryam Bridle receives Terry Fox Grant to Help Dogs, Humans with Bone Cancer  - Studying bone cancer in dogs may yield new therapies for treating osteosarcoma patients >> more

Dr. Byram Byram was interviewed by CHCH about his grant and bone cancer research. >> click her to watch the news clip

News Articles:

Researcher searches for clues to antibacterial resistance - Molecular epidemiologist Prof. Patrick Boerlin is working with researchers in the United States and Alberta on several projects, studying antibiotic resistance in bacteria from beef cattle. >> more

Genome Canada Press Release - Dr. Bonnie Mallard successful applicant in Genome Canada LSRAP competition.

Dr. Bonnie Mallard recently received $125,000 from OMAF Gryphon Laair funds to evaluate the potential of using the HIR/Immunity+ technology in beef cattle. Dr Doug Hodgins, a research associate with my group will spearhead this project. >> Research Magazine - Gryphon's Laiir Summer 2015 pages 34-35

OVC researchers share in CFI investment to U of G -Pathobiology professors Nicole Nemeth and Leonardo Susta teamed up and received a $125,000 grant to advance their studies in infectious avian diseases.

Dr. Shayan Sharif has recently been selected as an Editor-in-Chief for Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology.

Prof.  Patricia Turner is leading a research team committed to developing a user-friendly set of biosecurity recommendations. The team includes Dr. Scott Weese and Dr. Patrick Boerlin.  >> more

Dr. Patricia Turner was appointed Chair of the Code Scientific Committee for NFACC's Rabbit Code Development Committee. The Code Scientific Committee provides guidance on key animal welfare priority issues, which will be used as a basis to make recommendations for enhancing the care of commercial meat rabbits nationwide.

Dr. Patricia Turner was appointed Chair of the Animal Welfare Working Group for the World Veterinary Association. The WVA's mandate is to promote animal health, animal welfare, and public health on a global basis through key partnerships with other international associations, such as the OIE, FAO, WAP, and WMA. Animal welfare was identified as 1 of 4 critical external priorities for the WVA in their 2015 Strategic Plan. Other priorities include zoonotic diseases, pharmaceutical stewardship, and veterinary education.

Dr. Byram Bridle received $32,100 for one year from the National Centre of Excellence in Cancer Biotherapies.  This is part of a larger Catalyst Grant led by Dr. Jason Moffat from the University of Toronto and includes Dr. Paul Woods from the Dept. of Clinical Studies.  This funding is to prepare for upcoming clinical canine melanoma biotherapy trials.