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Cancer Researchers to Headline UGA Vet School Annual Conference and Alumni Weekend

Events will unfold during the week of March 28-29 at the Classic Center.

Michael Pierce, holding a photo of his late father. (credit: UGA)
Michael Pierce, holding a photo of his late father. (credit: UGA)
By Kat Gilmore 

The University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine will host its 51st Annual Veterinary Conference and Alumni Weekend March 28-29 at the Classic Center in downtown Athens. Alumni and veterinarians interested in receiving continuing education credits are invited to attend. In addition, honors will be awarded to distinguished alumni who have led accomplished careers in veterinary medicine.

This year’s keynote speaker is Michael “Hawkeye” Pierce, director of the UGA Cancer Center. Pierce studies the cell surface complex carbohydrates known as glycans and their role in cancer. His team and he have identified a specific enzyme that is elevated in colorectal and breast cancer cells, as well as other types of cancer. They are now looking for ways to inhibit the enzyme to slow the growth of tumors and prevent metastasis. The Pierce team is also working to find biomarkers that would allow doctors to diagnose pancreatic cancer early, when it’s more easily treated.

Pierce is the co-editor of the “Handbook of Glycomics” and a member of the editorial board of the journal Glycobiology. He is a Distinguished Research Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, and in 2008 was named the first George E. and Sarah F. Peters Mudter Professor in Cancer Research.

This year’s sessions and presenters include three CVM alums: “Acute pancreatitis in dogs” and “What’s new in the treatment of GI diseases in dogs and cats: Probiotics, anti-emetics, and antacids,” both presented by Dr. Michael Leib, class of 1979; “Animals and travel: Zoonoses on the move,” presented by Dr. Nina Marano, class of 1984); and “Mast cell tumors: Update on diagnosis and treatment,” presented by Dr. Steve Susaneck, class of 1979. Other sessions include: “Imaging the equine neck and back” and “Imaging the proximal suspensory ligament,” both presented by Dr. Kurt Selberg, assistant professor of diagnostic imaging at the UGA CVM; “Advanced joint and tendon/ligament therapies” and “Musculoskeletal rehabilitation: More than just stall rest,” both presented by Dr. Katie Seabaugh, clinical assistant professor of large animal medicine at the UGA CVM; two sessions on equine dentistry, both presented by Dr. Michael Lowder, associate professor of large animal medicine at the UGA CVM; “Practical algorithm for the diagnosis and treatment of canine hip dysplasia” and “Clinically relevant treatments in canine sports medicine, rehabilitation and regenerative medicine,” both presented by Dr. Sam Franklin, assistant professor of orthopedics at the UGA CVM; “Small animal ophthalmology: Sudden blindness” and “Ophthalmology: Periocular squamous cell carcinoma,” both presented by Dr. Kate Myrna, assistant professor of ophthalmology at the UGA CVM; and “Pitfalls of select perineural and intrasynovial nerve blocks in horses,” presented by Dr. Gary Baxter, professor of large animal medicine and director of the UGA Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

On Saturday afternoon, two sessions will be offered as continuing education credits toward the Georgia laws, rules and professionalism requirement: “Where Have All My Patients Gone? Key Findings from the Bayer Veterinary Care Usage Study,” and “Bayer Veterinary Care Usage Study III: Feline Findings.” Full attendance of these sessions fulfills the Georgia laws, rules and professionalism requirement for continuing education credits. Those who wish to attend only these sessions may do so for a $40 registration fee; those who attend the full conference may attend this session at no extra charge.  

Speaker bios, maps, hotel information and online registration are all available on the conference website by clicking here.

The annual conference provides opportunities for veterinary technicians as well. The 11th Annual GVTAA Technician Continuing Education Conference will be held on Saturday, March 29 at the Classic Center. Click here or contact Lynn Reece, lreece@uga.edu, for more information about the Technician CE Conference.

Registration forms for both conferences must be made online, received by fax, or postmarked by March 7 to avoid a $50 late fee. Cancellations must be made by 5 p.m. ET on March 10 in order to receive a refund.

Sponsors of the 51st Annual Veterinary Conference and Alumni Weekend include Zoetis, Bayer HealthCare Animal Health, Iams Veterinary Formula, Choice Medical Systems Inc., MDS Incorporated, Nutramax Laboratories Inc., Pharmaceutical Specialties Inc., Purina Veterinary Diets, Royal Canin, Simmons Veterinary Practice Sales and Appraisals, Veterinary Products Inc., Wickliffe Veterinary Pharmacy, and Paws, Whiskers & Wags.


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