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Dr. Mary Boudreaux Receives Pamela Wells Sheffield Award

For her service and commitment to Auburn University, pathobiology professor Mary K. Boudreaux is the recipient of the 2009 Pamela Wells Sheffield Award. Dr. Boudreax received the award during pre-game ceremonies Sept. 5 at Auburn’s home football game against Louisiana Tech.

The award, named in memory of 1965 graduate Pamela Wells Sheffield, recognizes women who show extraordinary service and commitment to the university and to the Auburn family.

Dr. Boudreaux received her doctorate of veterinary medicine from Louisiana State University in 1979 and her Ph.D. from Cornell University in the field of pathology in 1986. A member of Auburn’s College of Veterinary Medicine faculty for 23 years, she recently directed the Veterinary Scholars Research Program, overseeing the activities of veterinary students working in research laboratories during the summer.

Boudreaux and husband Calvin Cutshaw have established an award endowment honoring former Auburn clinical pathologist Pat Teer ’59, who died in 2003, and recently began to endow an award in honor of the late Joe Spano, another clinical pathologist who served the university for many years. Boudreaux and Cutshaw also have contributed financially to several Auburn programs, including the Veterinary Scholars Research Program, the Department of Pathobiology Graduate-Student Support Fund, and a College of Engineering scholarship fund.

Dr. Boudreaux served as secretary of the University Senate in 2000, has chaired numerous campus committees, and assists in conducting student-athlete exit interviews. “Auburn University student-athletes are highly motivated, and while here they not only mature into adults, but also develop excellent time-management skills and a sense of community that will benefit them forever,” she said. “I am fortunate to have been given the opportunity to interact with veterinary students and student-athletes at Auburn University and to be part of the environment that is preparing the next generation of leaders and accomplished scientists.”   

The Office of Alumni Affairs coordinates the selection of this Auburn Athletics and Auburn University award.

Melissa Singletary commissioned in United States Army

On August 21 the United States Army held a commissioning ceremony for Melissa Singletary at the College of Veterinary Medicine in front of the War Dog Memorial. Melissa, a Second Lieutenant and a member of the Class of 2012, received a Health Professions Scholarship. The Health Professions Scholarship Program offers prospective military veterinarians a paid medical education in exchange for service as a commissioned medical department officer. The War Dog Memorial, which illustrates the 3rd Marine War Dog Platoon that helped liberate the island of Guam, holds special significance for Melissa since she was born on the island.

Patti Allen feted

On Sept. 3 the Department of Clinical Sciences hosted a etirement reception for Patti Allen honoring her for 33½ years of service to Auburn University and the College of Veterinary Medicine. Patti’s family attended the reception including her husband Ray, manager of Bio Med Research, and her father, a former mechanical engineering professor and a member of Auburn’s faculty for 36 years. Notable other guests included Patti’s first supervisor Bill Hardy with the College of Agriculture, and Professor and Head Emeritus Charles D. Knecht.

What I did this summer: Biomedical research

A reception September 2 at the Hotel at Auburn University honored 22 students and their mentors who took part in the Veterinary Scholars Research Program.

The ten-week program allows students to participate in a research laboratory environment with veterinary faculty and scientists. The program’s mission is to expose veterinary students in their first or second year of school to biomedical research and to career opportunities in research.

At the event students spoke about their projects and their experience as scholars. Kim Reid worked with Dr. Dan Givens and Dr. Misty Edmondson. She talked about her encounters with cows (and flies) while testing for the bovine viral diarrhea virus.

Faculty also spoke of their students and their work. Dr. Bruce Smith told the group how Kellie McNamara hit her target on the first try. Kelli’s research project – “Sequencing the Dystrophin cDNA in a New Canine Model of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy” – is to continue at the Scott-Richey Research Center.

Twenty of the students are enrolled in Auburn’s College of Veterinary Medicine while two attend Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Mary Boudreaux chaired this summer’s program. Chair of the Summer Research Fellowship Committee for 2009-2010 is Dr. R. Curtis Bird. 

Co-sponsors include Auburn’s College of Veterinary Medicine, the Merck-Merial Foundation and the Morris Animal Foundation Veterinary Scholars Programs, and individual faculty member’s grants. Four of the students received support from the Morris Animal Foundation and are invited to the foundation’s national conference held in Denver this spring.

For the coming year, the Morris Animal Foundation Veterinary Student Scholars Program will award stipends up to $4,000 to veterinary students or nonveterinary graduate students who wish to participate in clinical or basic animal health and/or welfare research.

Associate Dean for Research Dr. Frank F. Bartol, with input from Dr. Bird, will identify applicants from within the CVM and submit the three best applications to the Morris Animal Foundation for final selection. Applications must be received in the office of Research and Graduate Studies by January 22, 2010, to be eligible. For more information contact Dr. Curtis Bird.

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Dr. Benson Akingbemi receives grant to study toxicity of soybeans

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences has awarded Benson Akingbemi a $219,000 grant to study toxicity of soy-based diets. Soy-based infant formulas are increasingly used as nondairy sources of protein. Given infants’ smaller body size, late development of the brain and reproductive tract, and high levels of soy protein in the diet, infants are particularly vulnerable to disruption of the endocrine axis due to action of soy isoflavones. The long-term goal of this study is to identify safety margins for inclusion of soy protein in the diet of young individuals. Grants from the Auburn University Biogrant Program and the College of Veterinary Medicine Animal Health and Disease Research Program also support Dr. Akingbemi's work. An assistant professor of anatomy, Dr. Akingbemi holds D.V.M., M.Sc., and Ph.D. degrees. He joined the CVM in August 2004.

$3.5 Million NIH Grant Advances Bid to Cure Tay-Sachs Disease

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a $3.5-million grant to the Tay-Sachs Gene Therapy Consortium to continue research that may halt the fatal genetic disorder.

The NIH award was eagerly awaited by Tay-Sachs families and their supporters, who raised nearly $600,000 to assemble the international consortium of experts and help maintain its research agenda while scientists worked to secure federal funding. The NIH grant will help advance an experimental gene therapy for Tay-Sachs and Sandhoff diseases from animal tests to human clinical trials.

Douglas Martin, an associate research professor  at the Scott-Richey Research Center, is one of the consortium’s research directors. "We're fortunate to be part of a consortium of world-class scientists dedicated to providing realistic hope for Tay-Sachs patients and their families,” said Dr. Martin. “With great support from private donors and foundations, the initial stages of the project have made success a realistic possibility in the NIH-sponsored research."

Also representing Auburn University in the consortium are Drs. Henry Baker, Nancy Cox, and Aime Johnson.

First Annual Staff Recognition Awards Presented

The College of Veterinary Medicine presented its first annual Staff Recognition Awards on August 6 in Overton Auditorium. The purpose of the program, as described by committee chair Dr. Dawn Boothe, is to formally recognize outstanding performance and accomplishment by CVM staff employees, as well as to recognize service longevity of employees of the college.

With the Dean’s Award, the program also recognizes individuals who are not full-time employees of the CVM or Auburn University, yet provide exemplary service to the college. With over 50 nominations presented, the awards committee selected the recipients from 20 forwarded by the departments.

Avian Diseases Names Best Paper for 2008

The Awards Committee of the American Association of Avian Pathologists has named “Infectious Bronchitis Virus in the Chicken Harderian Gland and Lachrymal Fluid: Viral Load, Infectivity, Immune Cell Responses, and Effects of Viral Immunodeficiency” as the best paper published in Avian Diseases for 2008. Authors of the paper are Frederick W. Van Ginkel, Vicky L. van Santen, S. L. Gulley, and Haroldo Toro. Avian Diseases is the official publication of the American Association of Avian Pathologists. Published four times a year, it contains full papers, research notes, and case reports related to the field of avian diseases.

Call for Nominations – Joy Goodwin Lectureship Series

Approximately five Visiting Joy Goodwin Lecturers, as well as the Joy Goodwin Distinguished Lecturer, are expected to be funded this year as part of the Joy Goodwin Lectureship Program.

Nominees for lecturers should be accomplished research scientists of outstanding caliber whose presentations would be of interest to a significant portion of the faculty. The distinguished lecturer nominee should be a senior research scientist of international stature of the caliber of a National Academy of Sciences member or Nobel Laureate whose lecture will be of broad interest to the faculty and students of the college and the university community.

Nominations should be made through the Joy Goodwin Lectureship Series Web page. Rules for nomination and an application to apply are available at

Joy Goodwin Lecture Series

Cake and Best Wishes for Dr. Calder






On August 7, the Department of Clinical Sciences hosted a farewell party in honor of Dr. Christine Calder, a clinical instructor in internal medicine. Dr. Calder left the CVM to return to Maine.

Auburn Abroad Book Features Recent Graduate

2009 CVM graduate Samantha Martin is featured in 2009-2010 Auburn Abroad Experience, a booklet that highlights all of Auburn’s active programs abroad by college. Sami completed a veterinary medicine externship last fall in Morwell, Australia, with the help of the university’s study abroad program administered by the Office of International Education.

Veterinary students may gain international experience in several ways. Some students travel with organizations that provide veterinary medical services in third-world countries (e.g., through the Christian Veterinary Missions Program). Others visit sister veterinary institutions (in Chile or Japan), and some students arrange individual externships with practicing veterinarians around the world.

The CVM faculty contact for studying abroad for credit is Dr. Donna Angarano.

Planning for the Future: The New Small Animal Teaching Hospital

Every year, the number of veterinary graduates is outpaced by needs in research, education, and clinical practice. The College of Veterinary Medicine strives to keep pace with the needs for clinical, classroom, and research facilities that are at the core of its teaching mission. To sustain the number of graduates and provide for growth of emerging diagnostics and therapeutic innovations, the CVM plans to expand and replace many outgrown facilities.

To meet this need, the college is developing plans to enhance its facilities and programs with an infrastructure investment of $40 million. The proposed new Small Animal Teaching Hospital will contain suites for medical and surgical specialties such as neurology and oncology, a critical care facility, advanced diagnostic imaging, rehabilitation, and a community practice veterinary clinic with 24-hour emergency service.

A story about the proposed new Small Animal Teaching Hospital has been chosen as a permanent page in this season’s Auburn Football Illustrated.

Auburn Debuts Collegiate License Plate Design

Auburn University has introduced a new design for its collegiate license plates to be available in late August or early September.

Proceeds from the sale of Auburn University license plates in Alabama go to the Auburn University “License to Learn” Scholarship Endowment Fund, a statewide program that raises funds for freshmen scholarships. Approximately $1.2 million in scholarships was awarded in 2008-09.

The state requires the collegiate license plate designs to be changed every five years. Auburn University’s new design features the interlocking AU logo on the left side of the tag, an orange gradient at the bottom and a blue gradient at the top, with “Auburn” in orange at the top of the tag. The new design will allow for six characters; past designs have had space for only five. This will allow for additional personalization options.

Several new designs were considered, but in the end, Auburn alums voiced their opinions via a survey and one design in particular was overwhelmingly the favorite. 

Auburn University collegiate license plates will be available at local county license offices in late August or early September (call first, as all counties won’t receive the tags at the same time). Both numbered tags and personalized tags are available; the cost of either one is $50 above the normal tag cost of $24.25. Collegiate license plates may be purchased at any time, regardless of the individual’s tag renewal month.

Beginning September 1, customers will be able to search for or reserve a personalized tag message online through the state’s Web site (Alabama Department of Revenue--Motor Vehicle Division).

Clinical Sciences Welcomes First-year Residents and Interns


Front row: Nora Ortinau, Michaela Beasley, Emily Skovira, Meghan Umstead, and Elizabeth Yorke. Back row: Evan Sones, Joaquin de Estrada, Lawrence Brown, Roberto Palomares, and Brad Matz.


David Dycus, Laura D'amico, Alyce Marks, Marisa Shulman, Jennifer Frankot

New Web Site Launched

Auburn University Provost Dr. Mary Ellen Mazey has requested the 12 colleges and schools update their Web pages to adhere to the look and design of Auburn University’s Web site.

Information helpful to faculty, staff and students may be found under the CVM Community section of the new site. Faculty Profiles are found under "About the College."

CVM’s Information and Instructional Technology and Web designer Leanne Greene have made major updates and changes to our Web site with the site’s new look launched August 17. In reviewing the new Web pages, please make sure information is accurate. Send any changes/updates to Leanne at

A CRASH COURSE in Emergency Medicine

The critical care faculty sponsors a continuing education course in emergency medicine on August 28-30. Topics to be explored include: management of snakebites, emergency management of heatstroke, and stabilization of respiratory emergencies. The conference is open to veterinarians and veterinary technicians with an interest in emergency or critical care medicine. For more information, visit our Web site.

Football, Fans, & Feathers Kicks Off Sept. 4

The Southeastern Raptor Center hosts educational, birds-in-flight raptor programs on Fridays this fall before home football games. Hawks, falcons, and eagles will be free-flown from flight towers.

The program, “Football, Fans, & Feathers,” is scheduled for Sept. 4, 11, 18, 25; Oct. 16, 30; and Nov 6. Each show begins at 4 p.m. The Nov. 27 show begins at 9 a.m. on the day of the Auburn vs. Alabama game. Programs take place at the Edgar B. Carter Educational Amphitheater.

Tickets will be available at the Raptor Center gate for $5 each and registration is not required. Tickets are $3 a person for school groups of 25 or more, and those groups should call ahead at (334) 844-6943. Children under three are admitted free.

Conducting Research Abroad?

Are you a faculty member or do you know a CVM graduate who is performing research abroad?  Auburn’s Office of Communications and Marketing (OCM) would like to know. OCM is helping expand the university’s Global Gateway international Web pages this fall and wants to include faculty and alumni on an interactive map. Please send the researcher’s name, the country where they are conducting research, and what their program is about to CVM’s Communications Specialist Tara Lanier by August 31:


Orientation for new staff and faculty offered

The College of Veterinary Medicine is now offering a monthly orientation for new staff and faculty. On Sept. 4, four employees took advantage of this overview organized by Business Manager Karla Meadows with program contributions by staff and faculty. General CVM information, security, safety and occupational health, the library, research and graduate studies, lab animal health, academic affairs, technology, and communications are some of the topics covered. A tour of the campus concludes the orientation. Dates for upcoming sessions are October 7, November 4, and December 2. For more information, contact Karla Meadows, 844-3692.


The first graduates of the newly offered orientation for CVM staff and faculty are: Amelia Pendleton, graduate school liaison in the office of Research and Graduate Studies; Catherine Smith and Tara Tart, large animal/small animal technicians in the Department of Clinical Sciences; and Denise Stoeckel, research associate with the Auburn University Equine Source Plasma Project.

Van Santen named to editorial board

Vicky van Santen has been named to the editorial board of the journal Avian Diseases for a one-year, renewable term. Avian Diseases is the official publication of the American Association of Avian Pathologists. Published four times a year, it contains full papers, research notes, and case reports.

Dr. Ya-Xiong Tao publishes two books with Academic Press, an imprint of Elsevier

Ya-Xiong Tao, Ph.D., an assistant professor of physiology, is editor of two books in the well-known series Progress in Molecular Biology and Translational Science. These two volumes, G Protein-coupled Receptors in Health and Disease, Part A, and Part B, summarize current status of genetic mutations in 12 different G protein-coupled receptors in diverse diseases. Contributors for these two volumes include medical scientists from Harvard, The Johns Hopkins University, Tufts, the University of Iowa, Dartmouth Medical School, as well as scientists from Canada, England, Australia, and Brazil. Dr. Tao contributed a chapter in each volume.

Football, Fans, & Feathers Continues

The Southeastern Raptor Center hosts educational, birds-in-flight raptor programs on Fridays this fall before home football games. Hawks, falcons, and eagles are free-flown from flight towers. Begin your weekend outdoors - “Football, Fans, & Feathers” occurs Sept. 25; Oct. 16, 30; and Nov 6. Each show begins at 4 p.m. The Nov. 27 show begins at 9 a.m. on the day of the Auburn vs. Alabama game. Programs take place at the Edgar B. Carter Educational Amphitheater. Admission is $5 and children under 3 are admitted free.

Red Cross Blood Drive

Monday, October 5

11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Greene Hall Lobby

Please bring a photo ID.


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