Volume 3, October 2004


No tricks, just retreats happening around MIP this month. On September 23 rd MIP held its annual retreat at the University Park Holiday Inn. Following opening remarks in which Dr. Perryman thanked the Department for all of its hard work and successes of the recent year, the Program largely focused on three topics- the setting of MIP budget and goals for the year, the current state and challenges ahead for the MIP service mission, and an in depth discussion of issues pertaining to our educational mission.

In terms of the “State of the Department”, a balanced $5.6 million budget was presented that included ~$600,000 in developmental funds for FY ’05. This represents a continued sustained investment in the future of MIP and will help ensure the productivity of the department for years to come. Over the last year, we have made progress in organizing/stabilizing the MIP administrative staff, addressing Microbiology Facility environmental issues, firmly establishing the roots of an aggressive Infectious Disease Initiative, establishing a technology initiative and addressing several aspects of our graduate education programs, including an extensive ‘upgrading’ of the DVM/PhD program. Departmental goals for 2004/2005 include the full implementation of the personnel, technology and education-related goals of the Infectious Disease Initiative, expanding our use of IT, implementation of a mentorship program for junior faculty, updating the Department Code to address a variety of administrative issues that remain from the merger and ensuring that the MIP service, research and education missions are integrated as much as possible to allow each to synergistically benefit from each other.

Barb Powers, Dan Gould and Mary Anna Thrall led the discussion of the service mission of the department. It’s important to emphasize that the Diagnostic Lab is truly a state/national laboratory in that <10% of its revenues come from the CSU Veterinary Hospital. Our D lab is one of five core labs of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN). It’s also a very busy place, as it has the highest caseload of any AAVLD accredited lab in the country. Strategic goals include overcoming a space crunch through the construction/acquisition of new facilities, aggressively pursuing new funding opportunities to offset shrinking state support, achieving ISO17025 OIE standards of quality assurance, identifying time for the R&D of new diagnostic tests and disease investigations, continuing its NAHLN efforts and expanding its role in MIP teaching efforts. The MIP clinical pathology group is also a busy group of folks in terms of sample accessions and training. Over the last 30 years the Clin Path groups boasts a 96% overall pass rate on the ACVP board exam for their trainees. The goals for this MIP sector include maintaining adequate staffing and the identification of funds to pursue interesting case reports and clinical studies. In terms of the integration and synergy of service activities with the MIP research mission, 13 examples of projects by service faculty were outlined that included cancer (i.e. the clinical immunopathology service, tumor vaccine work and investigations into the association of Cox2 with osteosarcomas), large animal health (studies involving blind staggers, horse botulism and interstitial pneumonia, bovine diarrhea agents and malignant catharral fever), prion-related projects that have grown out of TSE testing, and animal models of metabolic disease. The goal in this arena is to identify funding sources to allow the pursuit of interesting cases and better integrate this research into the programmatic goals of the MIP research mission.

In terms of undergraduate education, MIP can be very proud of the impressive numbers of good students that it has continuously attracted over the years and the dedicated efforts of our staff to provide a quality Microbiology education along with numerous opportunities for active learning. Strategic goals outlined by Susan Deines for the coming year include an emphasis on recruitment, taking steps towards a goal of providing a quality research experience for > half of our graduates, increasing the number of hands-on high tech course offerings, raising money to specifically support enhanced undergraduate opportunities and improved tracking of our students. The goals for our PhD program, as presented by Herbert Schweizer, include improving our presence on the web, a focus on first year student mentoring and advising in general to ensure that students get the most out of our program, and ensure that we maintain our competitiveness in recruitment. Gary Mason presented similar goals for our residency-Phd Program – to improve recruiting, take steps to address retention, and establish clear criteria for programmatic assessment.

Thanks to all of the MIP faculty for participating in a lively retreat that outlined numerous clear and obtainable goals for the coming year.

MIP Newsletter Volume 3, p3, October 2004 Newsletter HomeMIP HomeCVMBS HomeCSU Home