Biodefense Research Partnership

Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine will be a partner with the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston for biodefense research, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) effort to combat a possible bioterrorism attack.

The NIH recently announced the creation of eight Regional Centers of Excellence (RCE) for bioterrorism research and awarded $350 million over five years for the centers to detect and find ways to combat bioterrorism acts. The new RCEs provide a coordinated and comprehensive mechanism to support the varied research that will lead to new and improved vaccines, therapies, diagnostics and others tools against the threat of bioterrorism, the NIH said.

Garry Adams, associate dean for research and graduate studies in the College of Veterinary Medicine, will help coordinate the research at Texas A&M and work closely with the UT-Medical Branch. Thomas Ficht, also in the College of Veterinary Medicine, and Rene Tsolis, professor of microbiology and immunology in the Health Science Center, will also be instrumental in the bioterror work, along with James Samuel in the Health Science Center, Adams said.

Texas A&M will receive $2.6 million over a five-year period to conduct its bioterrorism research activities, Adams said.

“Our primary goal is to develop human brucellosis and Q-Fever vaccines, which are somewhat similar diseases,” Adams explained. Tsolis will work on brucellosis vaccines while Samuel will concentrate on Q-Fever, Adams added.

“Both diseases have been weaponized as terror agents by several countries, so the threat already exists. Both diseases are rarely fatal, but they make a person very sick with flu-like conditions and cause high fever. Both are difficult to cure, and with brucellosis, once you have it, you usually have it for the rest of your life.”

About $48 million will be designated for bioterrorism research at UTMB, according to figures from the National Institutes for Health. The centers will study infectious diseases, develop vaccines, antibiotics and other methods to combat biological terrorist attacks from such substances as anthrax, smallpox and other deadly diseases.

Specifically, the centers will develop new approaches to blocking the action of anthrax and other toxins; develop new vaccines against plague, brucellosis, Q-Fever, anthrax, smallpox, Ebola and others; develop new antibiotics and other drug strategies; study bacterial and viral disease processes; design new diagnostic approaches for biodefense and for emerging diseases; conduct immunological studies of diseases caused by potential agents of bioterrorism; and create new immunization strategies and delivery

systems.

“The simple explanation of our work is that we want to be able to detect a bioterrorist disease,” Adams said. “We all know the threat of a bioterrorism attack is very real. That’s why this work is so important, and why we have to come up with the best possible defense against a public health crisis.”

Dallas County Community College District

College Station, Texas – The Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) have signed an agreement to facilitate the admission and academic transfer of students from the DCCCD campuses at Brookhaven, Cedar Valley, Mountain View and North Lake into the undergraduate Biomedical Science Program at Texas A&M.

As DCCCD students progress successfully toward the completion of the Associate of Arts degree, this agreement will ensure the seamless transition of students into the Biomedical Science program according to the following academic provisions and conditions. Students must meet all the standard admissions requirements and maintain a 3.60 grade point average in courses taken at DCCCD, have completed 67 hours in a designated degree plan, and not earned below a “B” in their math and science courses.

“Partnerships in education are one key to providing opportunities for our high achieving students,” said Dr. H. Richard Adams, Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University. “The College of Veterinary Medicine is pleased to join the Dallas County Community College District in offering this opportunity to students in the Dallas area.”

The Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Science is the largest major on the Texas A&M University campus, with approximately two thousand students enrolled in the program. Most students pursuing this degree are preparing for a career in the allied health field, which includes such professions as medicine, optometry, veterinary medicine, nursing, ophthalmology, and dentistry.

“DCCCD continuously seeks to form partnerships with senior institutions to provide greater educational and transfer opportunities to our students,” said Dr. Jesus “Jess” Carreon, Chancellor for the Dallas County Community College District. “We are really excited by our continued relationship with this outstanding university and our vision of supporting our student’s educational goals and dreams.”

DCCCD is one of ten community colleges in Texas to be selected to participate in this opportunity. The agreement will take effect Fall 2004, and any student meeting the requirements will be guaranteed admission to the Biomedical Science Program as a junior.

Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences Forms Agreement with Midland College

COLLEGE STATION, TX – Administrators from Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences entered into a “2 + 2” articulation agreement with Midland College, paving the way for students in West Texas to make their way to Texas A&M University.

bims-midland-signing-8-4-08

“We are proud to partner with other educational institutions in our state in an effort to increase educational opportunities for students,” said Dr. H. Richard Adams, dean of veterinary medicine.

Under the terms of the agreement, after two years at Midland College, those students satisfactorily completing the prerequisite courses would be admitted into the biomedical sciences undergraduate program at Texas A&M University to complete their degree.

“We’re really excited about the opportunity that this agreement presents students in Midland and the surrounding region,” said Dr. Margaret Wade, dean of math and science at Midland College. “It will begin to open more doors for our students than what many of them have had in the past.”

Midland College is the eleventh college in the state of Texas that has signed an articulation agreement with the Texas A&M Biomedical Sciences program.

According to Dr. F. H. “Skip” Landis, assistant dean for biomedical sciences, 2 + 2 agreements benefit students in a number of ways.

“Students who attend one of the colleges that have a 2 + 2 agreement are able to start off their education closer to home,” said Landis. “This can save money for them by often reducing their living expenses. For those students who are the first in their families to go to college, this can mean the difference between not going to college and earning a degree. After they successfully complete the prerequisites, they are then automatically admitted into the biomedical sciences program here at Texas A&M. Our program has established a legacy of successfully preparing graduates for and placing them in professional schools (veterinary medicine, medical, dental, etc.). Many of our students who arrived through the 2 + 2 program have returned to their hometowns to practice.”

For more information on the Biomedical Sciences program in the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, please visit our website: vetmed.tamu.edu/bims.

Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences Renews Agreement with Austin Community College

COLLEGE STATION, TX – Administrators from Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences renewed a “2 + 2” articulation agreement with Austin Community College, providing a pathway for students in Central Texas to make their way to Texas A&M University.

“We are proud to partner with other educational institutions in our state in an effort to increase educational opportunities for students,” said Dr. H. Richard Adams, dean of veterinary medicine.

Under the terms of the agreement, after two years at Austin Community College, those students satisfactorily completing the prerequisite courses are admitted into the biomedical sciences undergraduate program at Texas A&M University to complete their degree.

“ACC’s transfer students do exceptionally well,” said Dr. Steve Kinslow, president of Austin Community College. “We are excited about this articulation agreement with Texas A&M, and the growth in opportunities for students in veterinary medicine and the biomedical sciences.”

ACC is one of the first schools of 12 in Texas that has signed an articulation agreement with the Texas A&M Biomedical Sciences program, with the original agreement signed in 2003. Since that time, a total of seven students have successfully met the requirements and transferred to Texas A&M University to continue their education.

According to Dr. F. H. “Skip” Landis, assistant dean for biomedical sciences, 2 + 2 agreements benefit students in a number of ways.

“Students who attend one of the colleges that have a 2 + 2 agreement are able to start off their education closer to home,” said Landis. “This can save money for them by often reducing their living expenses. For those students who are the first in their families to go to college, this can mean the difference between not going to college and earning a degree. After they successfully complete the prerequisites, they are then automatically admitted into the biomedical sciences program here at Texas A&M. Our program has established a legacy of successfully preparing graduates for and placing them in professional schools (veterinary medicine, medical, dental, etc.). Many of our students who arrived through the 2 + 2 program have returned to their hometowns to practice.”

For more information on the Biomedical Sciences program in the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, please visit our website: vetmed.tamu.edu/bims.

Texas A&M and Georgia Collaborate for Good

On December 28, 2009 the fightin’ Texas Aggie football team will face the University of Georgia in a fierce competition at the annual Independence Bowl. However, off the playing field, the universities have collaborated as one team in an effort to save animal lives.

Dr. David Nelson and Pinky

This past October, Dr. David Nelson, chief of emergency and critical care services at Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, was presenting a paper at a conference in Washington D.C. It was there that a colleague of his from the University of Georgia approached him with a unique opportunity. One of the veterinary medical students at the University of Georgia had adopted a dog earlier in the year, and now the student’s beloved pet, a dachshund named Pinky, was in serious danger from a fairly unusual heart condition called “Core Triatriatum Dexter” which is Latin for “Heart with three atriums, right sided”. Since there was no veterinarian at the University of Georgia College Of Veterinary Medicine who had the right experience needed for this type of surgery and there was a team of clinicians at Texas A&M that did, Dr. Nelson offered to do the surgery as an outreach effort where veterinarians and students from both schools could exchange knowledge and perhaps save a life.

“I have had a substantial experience in this type of surgery that they didn’t have at Georgia, I thought this would be an excellent opportunity also to teach residents more about this type of surgery and exchange ideas” said Nelson. “Pinky’s condition was deteriorating rapidly, so everything had to be done quickly. I traveled down to Georgia with Kate Nelson, RN, CP, OR Supervisor here at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine. Thanks to the generosity of the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital administration here, she and I were able to take several key instruments and operating equipment that were needed to perform this critical surgery.”

Pinky, a two year old female spayed dachshund was suffering from the effects of the congenital defect that occurs while the heart is formed during the puppies’ embryonic stage and does not develop properly. Signs of Pinky’s condition were not noticed by her owners until this past May, when her heart became weak due to fluid buildup in her body when the blood from the body was unable to get back to the heart.

“Georgia had attempted a non-invasive procedure in cardiology, attempting to pop a membrane open by blowing up a balloon, but unfortunately that was unsuccessful” said Nelson. “The surgery we performed involves cooling the patient down to a low body temperature. We then stop the blood flow through the heart. After this is done, the heart is basically holding its breath so we must get in there and fix the problem in less than five minutes and close up the heart. After the surgery, Pinky’s heart would not beat on its own, so we inserted a pacing device that makes it beat at a set rate. It took some time for her heart to get used to pumping blood again, which eventually happened several hours later (while Pinky was on life support), and now Pinky is running around enjoying the normal life of a favored pet. A great thing about Pinky’s condition is that the surgery performed is a permanent fixture and Pinky should not experience those heart problems ever again.”

Dr. Nelson and the team spent about a week at the University of Georgia and were able to tour the hospital and all of their facilities. While there, they were able to visit with clinicians, residents, and students about the procedure, suturing techniques and different methods used at Texas A&M.

“The people were extremely friendly and we couldn’t have had a better stay,” said Nelson. “It was just a truly great opportunity to compare programs, techniques, and share knowledge.”

The collaborative effort of the two universities has turned out to be a huge success, not only to Pinky and her owners, but to future pets with the same problem that will benefit from the care and expertise of these great veterinarians who worked together for good.

Blinn College Collaborates for Veterinary Technology Program

Blinn LogoTexas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences is pleased to announce its unique collaboration with Blinn College’s new Veterinary Technology Program. This two-year technical program leads to an Associates in Applied Science degree in Veterinary Technology from Blinn College. In the first year of the program, students will take their classes at Blinn’s Bryan campus. During the second year of the Veterinary Technology Program, the students will receive much of their laboratory and clinical education in both the Small Animal and Large Animal Teaching Hospitals at the CVM, where they will work alongside registered veterinary technicians (RVTs), clinicians and veterinary students. Graduates of the Veterinary Technology Program are then eligible to sit for national and state credentialing examinations to become a Registered Veterinary Technician. The program has a competitive application process that requires previous coursework, veterinary-supervised clinical experience, and health occupations testing. Deadline for submitting an application for the Fall semester is May 31, 2010. For more information on the program and to register for an information meeting where you can receive an application packet, please visit the Veterinary Technology home page.

Biomedical Science and McLennan Community College Partnership

College Station, Texas – The Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and McLennan Community College (MCC) of Waco, Texas have signed an agreement to facilitate the admission and academic transfer of students from McLennan Community College into the undergraduate Biomedical Science Program at Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

bims-mccAs MCC students progress successfully toward the completion of the Associate of Arts degree, this agreement will ensure the seamless transition of students into the Biomedical Science program according to the following academic provisions and conditions. Students must meet all the standard admissions requirements and maintain a 3.60 grade point average in courses taken at MCC, have completed 66 hours in a designated degree plan, and not earned below a “B” in their math and science courses.

” Partnerships in education are one key to providing opportunities for our high achieving students,” said Dr. H. Richard Adams, Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University. “The College of Veterinary Medicine is pleased to join McLennan Community College in offering this opportunity to students in the Waco area.”

The bachelor of science degree in Biomedical Science is the largest major on the Texas A&M University campus, with approximately two thousand students enrolled in the program. Most students pursuing this degree are preparing for a career in the allied health field, which includes such professions as medicine, optometry, veterinary medicine, nursing, ophthalmology, and dentistry.

” It is a privilege for us to partner with Texas A&M University and we are pleased to provide this opportunity for our students who want to transfer into the Biomedical Science Program,” Jack Schneider, vice president for instruction at MCC, said. “MCC is widely recognized for quality academic programs and this agreement speaks very highly of our science departments.”

MCC is one of ten community colleges in Texas to be selected to participate in this opportunity. The agreement will take effect Fall 2003, and any student meeting the requirements will be guaranteed admission to the BIMS program as a junior.

Contact Information:
Angela G. Clendenin
Director, Communications & Public Relations
Ofc – (979) 862-2675
Cell – (979) 739-5718

Biomedical Science and College of Agriculture & Life Sciences Partnership

The Biomedical Science Program (BIMS) at the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM), and The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University signed the first guaranteed acceptance agreement between an undergraduate and graduate program within the University.

BIMS agriThe Pilot 4+2 Agreement between Biomedical Science and the Professional Program in Biotechnology (PPiB) was signed by Dr. H. Richard Adams, Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Dr. Edward A. Hiler, Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Vice Chancellor of Agriculture, on January 22, 2003.

The unique program name (4+2) comes from the four-year undergraduate degree and two-year M.S. graduate degree that students will earn upon completing the program. The 4+2 program will facilitate the admission of students from the BIMS program into the Biotechnology program and ensure a seamless transition. “This is a tremendous opportunity for undergraduates who are ready to map out their academic program leading to a professional career in biotechnology,” said Dean Adams.

BIMS students considering the program must have a cumulative 3.75 GPA, take a collection of directed electives specified by the department and complete the requirements necessary for graduate school admission to Texas A&M University including letters of recommendation and an interview.

The 4+2 program was implemented to facilitate the transition of qualified BIMS students into a graduate school program. “We are pleased that there is now a seamless process in place to matriculate these highly qualified students into our professional program,” said Dean Hiler. The Professional Program in Biotechnology began three years ago and prepares students for careers in both the laboratory and business world by earning a Masters in Biotechnology.

The Pilot 4+2 agreement is expected to begin in the summer of 2003 and is expected to have an annual enrollment of 20 students.

Contact Information:
Angela G. Clendenin
Director, Communications & Public Relations
Ofc – (979) 862-2675
Cell – (979) 739-5718

Biomedical Science and Tyler Junior College Partnership

College Station, Texas – The Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Tyler Junior College of Tyler, Texas have signed an agreement to facilitate the admission and academic transfer of students from Tyler Junior College into the Biomedical Science Program at Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

As Tyler Junior College students progress successfully toward the completion of the Associate of Arts degree, this agreement will ensure the seamless transition of students into the Biomedical Science program according to the following academic provisions and conditions. Tyler Junior College students must complete the course requirements as full time students, maintain a 3.60 grade point average in courses taken at Tyler Junior College and be eligible for their associate’s degrees. Additionally, students must not have made a grade below a “B” in any of their Common Body of Knowledge science and math coursework.

The agreement, signed by Dean H. Richard Adams from Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and President William R. Crowe from Tyler Junior College, will become effective for the Fall 2002 semester.

“Partnerships in education are one key to providing opportunities for our high achieving students,” Dean Adams said. “The College of Veterinary Medicine is pleased to join Tyler Junior College in offering this opportunity to students in the Tyler area.”

“As always, we are pleased to be able to offer assurances to our graduates that opportunities exist for seamless continued study at the baccalaureate level,” said Tyler Junior College President Dr. William R. Crowe. “Our students will benefit from this partnership.”