Dr. Raul Almeida is examining virulence factors in the early stages of Streptococcus uberis mammary infections in dairy cows. Commonly known as mastitis, the inflammation of the udder caused by this bacterium costs U.S. dairy producers an estimated $2 billion annually. Almeida's ultimate goal is to develop a vaccine to prevent S. uberis mastitis.
Dr. Maria Cekanova has been studying a promising new imaging probe known as fluorocoxib A. Tumors that contain increased levels of COX-2 absorb fluorocoxib A, which allows Cekanova to determine if radiation therapy used to treat these cancers is doing the job it is supposed to do. When the radiation causes the tumor to shrink, it will absorb less fluorocoxib A. The project will likely lead to clinical trials in dogs, and eventually, humans.
The drug dipyridamole (DPM) is already approved by the FDA to inhibit blood clot formation. Dr. Hwa-Chain Robert Wang is testing its efficacy to also prevent and treat breast cancer. He has developed a cell model system that mimics long-term cancer formation due to low doses of carcinogens. This novel systems not only allows him to study how cancer forms, but also to test preventive agents (like DPM) that culd be used to treat cancer or prevent its occurrence.
The center was created in 1984 to promote interdisciplinary activities designed to improve the quality of human life through better animal health; expand livestock disease research capabilities; identify and characterize animal diseases that are similar to human disease; and develop new strategies for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease.
The center has developed investigative strengths in two general areas:
- Animal Models and Comparative Medicine
- Mechanisms of Disease, Pathogenesis, and Immunity
These areas are each highly interrelated, and the center plays a critical role in developing these focused areas of strength in both the UTCVM and the Institute of Agriculture.