Good Things Come in Threes
A pair of Cummings School student researchers earned American College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP) Veterinary Student Poster Awards for their research and Assistant Professor, Department of Comparative Pathobiology Dr. Francisco Conrado (he/him) was one of two recipients of the 2022 American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology (ASVCP) Service Awards.
Students earn Veterinary Student Poster Awards
Jingyi “Jenny” Li, V24 (she/her), and Hannah Reichert, V24 (she/her), students pursuing a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, presented posters of their research projects at the ACVP/ASVCP Annual Meeting in November in Boston. Jenny presented “Assessing Sex-based Differences in the Central Nervous System of SIV-infected ART-suppressed Macaques.”
With an interest in anatomical pathology, Li secured an externship in the retrovirus lab at Johns Hopkins University, and conducted her research with JHU’s support. “I learned how to do IHC (immunohistochemistry) and analyze slides using a digital pathology application called Qupath, then made a research poster, and presented my work,” she explains.
“The ACVP/ASVCP Annual Meeting provided a platform to meet and talk with colleagues from around the world. It was amazing to meet with some of the greatest pathologists and talk about research projects,” she continues. “The recognition of my work encourages me to continue pursuing infectious and zoonotic diseases research, specializing in pathology. Understanding the mechanism of diseases could provide novel insights into potential treatment, leading to the best health outcomes for humans, animals, and the environment.”
Hannah displayed her research, “Transgenic L2-IL-1B Mice are Protected Against Liver Inflammation and Steatosis Caused by Lieber-Decarli Control and Ethanol Liquid Diets.” She was thrilled to attend the annual meeting. “Pathologists from around the world attend the annual meeting, and I was grateful to share my work with them,” Hannah shares. “My poster was a continuation of my summer research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and it was an honor to represent my institution and win the award. I did not consider pathology as a possible career choice when I first started veterinary school, but my education and research experience have helped me to realize that this is the field for me.”
To read more about her project and its implications, view United We Stand as Research Expands, which explains Cummings School’s collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to increase research opportunities for students.
The president of Cummings School’s student-led Pathology Club, Hannah also presented her research at Cummings School’s Veterinary Research Day in September, where her project was among the top presentations recognized by the event’s faculty judges.
ASVCP Service Award Recipient Dr. Francisco Conrado
Conrado received an ASVCP Service Award for his extraordinary contributions to the Society over the past few years.
The ASVCP is a society focused on veterinary clinical pathology within the American College of Veterinary Pathologists, of which Conrado is a diplomate. He became involved in the media and communications operation of the ASCVP in 2016 and has helped it to upgrade its website and establish a highly active social media presence on Facebook and Instagram.
For the past two years, Conrado has chaired the Media and Communications Committee, with 20 members, overseeing a Facebook page with >12,000 followers and an Instagram profile with >4,000 followers. “Two years ago, I convinced the executive board that we needed to be rebranded, so we went through a long process to define the Society’s colors, fonts, and a new logo. We have a large social media presence now and the website is constantly updated by our committee,” he shares. “This is all done by volunteers, so without us, the society wouldn't exist.”
The ASCVP boasts more than 700 members. Conrado and Dr. Bente Flatland, director of diagnostics laboratory services at University of Tennessee’s College of Veterinary Medicine, were this year’s ASCVP Service Award recipients. “Bente is a fantastic pathologist who is highly involved in laboratory management, quality assurance and quality control, and she creates a lot of educational materials,” he explains. “To receive an award and be on the same level with Bente is quite an honor.”
In addition to the opportunities available through Cummings School’s partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, research options are plentiful, but dependent on students’ interest, according to Conrado. “If a student identifies a subject area that they would like to research or someone they wish to conduct research with, they just need to reach out to the faculty and see what options are available to pursue their interests,” he concludes.
Department:Dept. of Comparative Pathobiology ,  DVM Program