Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Animal Sciences Annual Graduate Student Awards Luncheon was held in conjunction with the events of the Celebration of Science Week. The week included the LOUJA Competition, the ANSC Graduate Student Awards luncheon as well as speakers from the University of Illinois (Dr. Larry Schook), Monsanto (Archie Clutter) and our own Department (Dr. Shawn Donkin).

2006 ANSC Graduate Committee
David Gerrard, Chair.
Committee members: Paul Collodi, Zoltan Machaty, Ryan Cabot, Ed Pajor, and Scott Radcliffe.


The LOUJA Graduate Travel Awards were established to provide grants to Animal Sciences Graduate students, presenting outstanding research papers based upon original research and excellence of presentation. The LOUJA Graduate Travel Awards were established in honor of the leadership and dedication to the animal industry of Dr. and Mrs. J.L. Krider. Dr. Krider served as Head of Purdue's Department of Animal Sciences from 1963 to 1971 and Professor until his retirement in 1979. Previously he has served on the staffs of Cornell University and University of Illinois as well as on administrative assignments with Central Soya. He was very active in many organizations serving as President of the American society of Animal Science and as a consultant to several organizations and countries.

Each year, Dr. Jake Krider and his wife, Louise, provide travel funds to a few Animal Science graduate students to attend scientific meetings. Eligible students must be the author or a co-author on the abstract and must be the presenter at the meeting. Meetings can be regional, national, or international as long as the proceedings are published to public acquisition or viewing. Students will have 12 min. for the oral presentation followed by a 3-minute questionnaire period. This time schedule applied to both slide and poster presentations.

Mrs. Krider passed in October, 2000 and Dr. Krider passed in June, 2005.

LOUJA Award Winners

Rosangela Poletto, Adetayo Adedokun, Jolena Fleming Waddell, Oluyinka Olukosi, Jessica Williams, Luca Magnani and Lindsay Wilson


The Book Harmon Leadership Scholarship was established in 2005 by Bob Book and Bud Harmon in recognition of their efforts to provide and promote leadership in animal agriculture. Each year, the Book-Harmon Leadership Scholarship provides a $1,000 scholarship to reward a graduate student in Animal Sciences that has displayed outstanding leadership skills and efforts.

Criteria for receiving the scholarship:

The Book-Harmon Leadership Scholarship is awarded to LUCA MAGNANI.

Luca Magnani

In November 2003 he came to John Patterson's lab and worked for 3 months for part of his MS project in Italy. Luca joined Dr. Cabot's laboratory in August of 2004 after completing his MS from the Universita' di Bologna (University of Bologna), Italy. Luca has maintains an outstanding GPA (3.75) and has been active in several service organizations. Congratulations Luca!


The purpose of the Gerry W. Friars Fellowship is to alleviate some of the monetary stress of foreign students at Purdue University. Dr. Gerry Friars completed his PhD at Purdue University in 1961, while on leave from the Ontario Agricultural College; the College later became part of the University of Guelph. Dr. Friars' career at Guelph from 1951 to 1985 involved teaching and research in poultry and fish genetics and breeding. From 1985 to 1995 he was the Chief Scientist at the Atlantic Salmon Federation with a cross appointment at the University of New Brunswick. His long association with graduate students cultivated an awareness of the financial needs of these students. An annual award of $400 is awarded to an international MS or PhD student studying quantitative poultry or fish genetics in the Department of Animal Sciences. This year's recipient is: Jesung Moon.

Jesung Moon

Jesung received his M.S. from the Seoul National University in South Korea in 2000. He joined the ANSC Graduate Program at Purdue in the Fall 2002 and is pursuing his Ph.D. under the direction of Dr. Paul Collodi.

Jesung's research has focused on the development of gene-targeting methods in fish using embryonic stem ES cells. In addition he has been working to optimize the zebrafish ES cell culture system by introducing recombinant zebrafish cytokines and peptide growth factors into the culture medium and examining the cells for growth and expression of pluripotency markers. This work will pay an important role in improving the efficiency of the ES cell-mediated gene targeting system.

Congratulations, Jesung!


The W.R. Featherston Awards were established to recognize the outstanding achievements of graduate students in the Department of Animal Sciences. These awards were established in honor of the leadership and dedication to graduate students exhibited by Professor W.R. Featherston. Professor Featherston was on the staff from July 1962 to June 3, 1980, the date of his untimely death. Professor Featherston's teaching and research activities were a source of guidance, encouragement and inspiration to the graduate students.


The Featherston Off-campus Training Fellowship was established in memory of Professor W.R. Featherston to annually provide financial support for an M.S. or Ph.D. degree student in the Department of Animal Sciences to attend a formal career development training program, organized workshop, or course off campus. The recipient will be given a check for reimbursement of the expenses, certificate of award, individual plaque and her/his name will be added to the permanent plaque maintained within the department. This year we have two recipients of this award: Kiho Lee and Luca Magnani.

Luca Magnani and Kiho Lee

Kiho Lee (up to $1500 in reimbursements) joined the ANSC Graduate Program at Purdue University in the Fall 2003. Kiho received his M.S. from Purdue University in May 2005 and is currently pursuing his PhD under the direction of Dr. Zoltan Machaty.

Kiho will be attending the RNA Interference (RNAi): Targeting Gene Silencing workshop help at Exon-Intron, Inc., on June 5-8, 2006 at Penn State, York, PA.

The objective of the course Kiho will attend is to teach the different techniques and aspects of RNA interference including short interfering RNA approaches (siRNA), design strategies and delivery methods.

Congratulations Kiho!

And Luca Magnani (up to $1000 in reimbursements) joined Dr. Cabot's laboratory in August of 2004 and is pursuing his PhD.

Luca will be attending a workshop held at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany. This EMBL course entitled, "Microinjection and Detection of Probes in Living Cells" focuses on technical approaches to performing microinjection of substances into single cells, a technique central to Luca's research project.

The information Luca obtains at the EMBL workshop will be helpful to anyone in the Department interested in performing the technically challenging techniques of single cell microinjection.

Congratulations Luca!


The Featherston Early Graduate Career Award was established in memory of Professor W.R. Featherston to annually recognize the outstanding M.S. or Ph.D. student within his/her first two years of graduate study. The award consists of $650, plus a certificate of award, individual plaque and her/his name will be added to the permanent plaque maintained within the department. This year's recipient is Jolena Fleming Waddell.

Jolena Fleming Waddell

Jolena joined Dr. Bidwell's laboratory in the fall of 2004 on a Ross Fellowship. Jolena went to the lab of Dr. Ross Tellam of CSIRO Livestock Industries in Brisbane Australia in the summer of 2005 to do mircoarray experiments and work with their bioinformatics staff. She received the Neal A. Jorgensen Travel Award to present her work at the Plant and Animal Genome meetings in January 2006.

Nominator's comments include: "Her performance in her course work has been exemplary while she has taken on a lot of responsibility in for the callipyge projects both in the lab and at the sheep unit. She has also completed an international research experience and represented the Department of Animal Sciences very well. She has been an outstanding citizen in the department and contributed to our teaching and extension missions. Jolena is a mature and confident graduate student who is well respected by her peers. She is a delightful person with her own unique style and grace…She is the best graduate student that I have ever had the privilege to advise and certainly one of the best graduate student this department has had since I joined the faculty almost 16 years age."

Congratulations Jolena.


The Featherston Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award was established in memory of Professor W.R. Featherston to annually recognize the outstanding teaching by an M.S. or Ph.D. student within the department. The award consists of $850, plus a Certificate of Award, an Individual plaque and their name will be added to a permanent plaque maintained within the department. This year's recipient is Vanessa Kanaan.

Vanessa Kanaan

Vanessa joined our graduate program in the fall or 2002. Vanessa is pursuing a PhD under the direction of Dr. Ed Pajor. She received her B.S. from Campbellsville University, KY. Vanessa received nominations for the Graduate Teaching Award for her accomplishments as a teaching assistant for Animal Sciences, 303, Animal Behavior (1 year); 404, Animal Welfare (2 years); 595 Animal Welfare Judging Team (2 years). Teaching is without question Vanessa's true passion.

In the past two years Vanessa has accepted more responsibility in leading the laboratory section in ANSC 404. She contributed significantly to field trips and developed a course website and instructional material using Web Vista which was well received by students. Vanessa's has also demonstrated her commitment to teaching by lecturing to various groups, and has received 2 teaching certificates.

Vanessa has developed an exciting and original research program. Her research on co-mingling of piglets was very well received at the ISAE meeting in Finland in 2003 and she was awarded the best student oral presentation award at the ISAE regional meeting held at Purdue that same year.

Nominator's comments included: "Vanessa is a remarkable student in many ways and her commitment to teaching is truly exceptional."

As the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award recipient, Vanessa was recognized at the University's Celebration of Graduate Student Teaching Banquet last month.

Congratulates Vanessa!


The Featherston Outstanding M.S. Award was established in memory of Professor W.R. Featherston to annually recognize the Outstanding M.S. student within the department. This is the first year for nominations for this award and like the Outstanding PhD award is considered an extremely high honor in the Graduate Program and serves to reward excellence. The award consists of $500, Certificate of Award, an Individual plaque and the recipient's name will be added to a permanent plaque maintained within the department. The FIRST Featherston Outstanding M.S. Award is presented to: Martiana Florenta Sega.

Martiana Florenta Sega

Florenta received her B.S. in Biology from the University of Bucharest Romania in 1997; she continued her education in Biology as a Post Baccalaureate at the University of Bucharest. She joined the Animal Science Graduate Program in January of 2005 to pursue her Masters Degree under the direction of Dr. Ryan Cabot.

Florenta will complete her Masters degree in July of 2006, only 18 months after joining Dr. Cabot's lab. She was recently admitted into the graduate program of the Department of Biochemistry her at Purdue to pursue her Ph.D. and will begin that program following completion of her Masters.

Florenta has presented some of her data at the International Embryo Transfer Society (IETS) annual meeting in January 2006 and has recently submitted a second abstract to present additional data at the annual Society for the Study of Reproduction (SSR) meeting in July 2006.

Nominator's comments include: "... She has a good work ethic and is very committed to her research and has done quite well in her coursework, (for example, she has earned among the TOP GRADES in Biochemistry 561 and 562). She is very diligent in her lab work and incredibly organized. I have greatly appreciated the hard work Florenta has put forward while in my laboratory..."

Congratulations Florenta!


The Featherston Outstanding Ph.D. Award was established in memory of Professor W.R. Featherston to annually recognize the outstanding Ph.D. student within the department. This award is considered an extremely high honor in the Graduate Program and serves to reward excellence. The award consists of $1000, Certificate of Award, an Individual plaque and the recipient's name will be added to a permanent plaque maintained within the department. This year's recipient is: Kari Saddoris.

Kari Saddoris

Kari received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign in 2001, her Master of Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2003 and entering the Purdue University Animal Science graduate program in August of 2003 to pursue her Ph.D. under the direction of Dr. Scott Radcliffe.

Kari's academic record stands for itself, with a strong record of achievement at the University of Illinois, the University of Wisconsin, and now at Purdue University. Coupled with her strong academics, Kari is very motivated and has a good work ethic, allowing her to excel in her Ph.D. program.

Historically, research conducted by our laboratory has been of an applied nature; focusing on whole animal approaches to solve real-world problems. However, to continue advancing in the field of environmental nutrition, it is necessary to develop an understanding of the effects of dietary composition at the cellular and molecular level. Therefore, we are characterizing phosphorus transport across the intestinal brush border membrane as influenced by diet. Ms. Saddoris has been instrumental in this effort.

Ms. Saddoris' research has forced her to expand her applied research background into more basic areas, where she has mastered numerous laboratory techniques allowing her to measure phosphorus uptake across the brush border membrane using isolated brush border membrane vesicles and modified Ussing chambers. In addition, she is determining how the concentration of P transporter in the brush border membrane of the intestine is affected by dietary P, Ca, and vitamin D concentrations. To further understand the mechanisms responsible for regulating active phosphorus transport, Kari has also learned how to culture two different human intestinal cell lines. She will be presenting some of her Ph.D. work at the Experimental Biology meetings this year. In addition to her primary Ph.D. research, Ms. Saddoris has also been involved with several other research projects within the lab, resulting in two first-author publications. One paper has already been published and one has been submitted.

Nominator's comments include, "... Kari is the type of Ph.D. student who we need to recruit more of. She has an extremely strong academic background, possesses a plethora of laboratory skills, and has enough applied knowledge and practical experience to be able to relate molecular and cellular events back to the whole animal."

Congratulations Kari!

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