Research Day 2020 offers a view of the future of science

group shot of winners holding a plaque
Golden Pipette-winning student presenters from the Department of Biomedical Sciences (from left): Christian Korkis, Derek Schaeuble, Carolina Gonzalez-Berrios, Haley Templeton, Taylor Hord, Amelia Tanner, Agata Parsons-Aubone, Lance Li Puma, Dana Fuller, River Evans, Morgan Litchford, Hanah Georges, Izabela Ragan, Jasmin Hicks, Nikolas Bergum. (Not pictured: Tyler Wallace, Luke Schwerdtfeger, Adel Moawad) (CVMBS photo/Chase Baker)

The 21st annual College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Research Day on Jan. 25 showcased the work of 131 aspiring scientists, and gave our rising stars vital experience presenting their research findings to a scientific audience through poster displays and talks.

“This is a good opportunity to look at the breadth and depth of research in this college,” executive associate dean Colin Clay said in his opening remarks, kicking off a college-wide day of collaboration and celebration at the Translational Medicine Institute.

Adam Chicco, Research Day co-chair and associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, introduced this year’s winner of the Zoetis Award for Veterinary Research Excellence, Dr. Kelly Santangelo, who gave the keynote speech. After enumerating her many projects, publications and awards, Chicco introduced her with these words: “All that impressiveness aside, she has put a lot of her effort and time into training the next generation of scientists, which isn’t always the case when you have such a broad and well-funded research program. Kelly involves students in her work, and she sees them as one of the big values in biomedical research.”

Kelly Santangelo speaking
Dr. Kelly Santangelo is this year’s winner of the Zoetis Award for Veterinary Research Excellence. (CVMBS photo/Chase Baker)

Santangelo, an associate professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology, thanked many of those students in her passionate speech, which showcased two of her investigations and the people who make them happen. “If anyone asked me my favorite part of Research Day is, it’s seeing all the students who are working on their projects, those projects would not happen without the key critical people who work on them. Don’t get me wrong, I love science, but it’s people who make the biggest difference for me. The data’s great, but not as great as the people who were involved in those projects.”

The day also provided young researchers with an avenue for feedback to help them develop ideas that, in many cases, will become lifelong scientific pursuits. The research projects were sponsored by companies, foundations, and institutions concerned with improving human, animal, and environmental well-being. Posters and oral presentations were judged by a panel of volunteers from the college.

Research Day winners


Lynn Pezzanite accepting award
Dr. Lynn Pezzanite

First place: Dr. Lynn Pezzanite, “In vivo dose titration of amikacin in equine joints reveals sustained synovial fluid concentrations and dose-dependent cartilage toxicity,” mentor, Dr. Steve Dow

Second place: Gabi Piquini, “Antimicrobial selection for intra-articular administration may minimize cytotoxicity to equine chondrocytes and synovial cells,” mentor, Dr. Laurie Goodrich

Third place: Molly Butler, “Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 8 is a Transcriptional Regulator During Dengue Infection,” mentor Joel Rovnak, Ph.D.

Poster 2.0: This new award honors a poster designed in the innovative “poster 2.0” format.

Sherry WeMott, “Developing a predictive model for indoor black carbon for the Denver, CO metropolitan area,” mentor, Sheryl Magzamen, Ph.D.

Basic Oral Presentations

First place: Bridget Eklund, “Microbes in the Mucosa: A Probiotic-Based Vaccine and the Gut Microbiome,” mentors, Dr. Zaid Abdo, Dr. Gregg Dean

Second place: Amy Fox, “Cyto-feature engineering: a flow cytometry analysis pipeline to uncover immune populations and association with disease,” mentor, Dr. Marcela Henao-Tamayo

Clinical Oral Presentations

Chase Gross receiving award
Adam Chicco presents Chase Gross with his award. (CVMBS photo/Chase Baker)

First place: Chase Gross, “Cannabis for The Cure: Cannabidiol Induces Apoptosis and Perturbs Mitochondrial Function in both Human and Canine Glioma Cells,” mentor, Dr. Stephanie McGrath

Second place: Jayne Ellis, Comparison of a single versus staged two dart anesthesia induction protocol in Przewalski’s horses,” mentor, Dr. Khursheed Mama

Golden Pipette

Adam Chicco with Golden Pipette
Adam Chicco

For the department whose students earn the highest average presentation scores

Department of Biomedical Sciences