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Graduate student Carolina Malgarin desciribes her project to visitors during the college's graduate student poster day. Photo: Taryn Riemer.

Record number of entries for graduate student poster day

Graduate students entered a record number of 45 research posters in the annual Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s (WCVM) Graduate Student Poster Competition that took place on April 4.

During the event, the students discussed their work with students, faculty and staff. Volunteer judges also reviewed the posters and chose three winners in each of the three categories: clinical and biomedical sciences, microbiology (virology) and microbiology (bacteriology and parasitology).

First-place recipients took home $200 while second- and third-place recipients received $150 and $100, respectively. A new award for the best graduate student paper, which went to PhD student Arinjay Banerjee this year, was also presented at the awards ceremony. Boehringer Ingelheim, Zoetis and the WCVM Dean’s Office sponsored these awards.

Another addition to this year’s competition was an award for excellence as a graduate student supervisor, which was presented to Dr. Janet Hill, head of the WCVM’s Department of Veterinary Microbiology.

Another first was the WCVM Graduate Student Association’s graduate student of merit award that was presented to three recipients. This award recognizes remarkable graduate students at the WCVM who have demonstrated academic and research excellence, leadership, community service, professional development and mentorship skills. Award recipients received cash prizes sponsored by the WCVM GSA along with plaques provided by the WCVM Research Office and the WCVM Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences. 

Check out the photo gallery of all the winners here.

Clinical and Biomedical Sciences

  • First place: Khanh Le, Veterinary Biomedical Sciences (supervisors: Baljit Singh and Volker Gerdts). Research title: RGDSK peptide functionalized helical rosette nanotubes (RGDSK-HRNs) inhibit E. coli adherence to jejunal epithelium by blocking integrin αvβ3.
  • Second place: Stephanie Osinchuk, Small Animal Clinical Sciences (supervisor: Bruce Grahn). Research title: Evaluation of retinal morphology in canine sudden acquired retinal degeneration syndrome using optical coherence tomography and fluorescein angiography.
  • Third place: Ronan Chapuis, Large Animal Clinical Sciences (supervisors: Fabienne Uehlinger and Trisha Dowling). Research title: Pharmacodynamics of doxycycline in a Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus infection model in horses.

Microbiology — Virology

  • First place: Arinjay Banerjee, Veterinary Microbiology (supervisor: Vikram Misra). Research title: Learning from an evolutionary host: IRF3 signaling is critical to prevent Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus propagation in big brown bat cells.
  • Second place: Sonu Subudhi, Veterinary Microbiology (supervisor: Vikram Misra). Research title: Co-infection of bats with coronavirus and the white nose syndrome causing fungus may influence the severity of the disease and/or increase virus shedding.
  • Third place: Maodong Zhang, Veterinary Pathology (supervisor: Yanyun Huang). Research title: High throughput sequencing for virus identification in veterinary medicine.

Microbiology — Bacteriology and Parasitology

  • First place: Kalhari Goonewardene, Veterinary Pathology (supervisor: Susantha Gomis). Research title: Intrapulmonary delivery of CpG-ODN protects neonatal broiler chicks against E.coli septicemia.
  • Second place: Beverly Morrison, Veterinary Microbiology (supervisor: Joseph Rubin). Research title: Detection characterization of antimicrobial resistant gram-negative bacteria from imported reptile and amphibian meat products.
  • Third place: Salahuddin Khan, Veterinary Microbiology (supervisor: Janet Hill). Research title: Interactions between cpn-60 defined subgroups of Gardnerella vaginalis.

WCVM GSA Graduate Student of Merit Award

  • First place: Rajnish Sharma, Veterinary Microbiology (supervisor: Emily Jenkins)
  • Second place: Kalhari Goonewardene, Veterinary Pathology (supervisor: Susantha Gomis)
  • Third place: Ruwani Karunarathna, Veterinary Pathology (supervisor: Susantha Gomis)
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