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2019 Research Symposium

30th Annual Research Symposium:
November 6th, 2019

Our 30th Annual Research Symposium will be held on Wednesday, November 6th, 2019 at the main college complex on the Virginia Tech campus. This year's theme will focus on Chronic Disease and Aging.

The event showcases graduate student research and will feature keynote speakers Dr. Timothy Fan Assistant Director for Shared Resources and Professor of Veterinary Clinical Medicine at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Dr. Steven Austad, Distinguished professor and Chair of the Department of Biology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The symposium will also feature Dr. Tina Savla, Professor of Gerentology in the Department of Human Development and Family Science at Virginia.

The symposium is sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim, Zoetis and the college's Office of Research & Graduate Studies.

Symposium Keynote Speakers

Timothy M Fan, Ph.D.

Assistant Director for Shared Resources and Professor of Veterinary Clinical Medicine at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Dr. Timothy M. Fan is an alumnus of our very own Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, where he received his DVM in 1995. He later completed a Small Animal Rotating Internship at the University of Illinois in 1996 followed by a Small Animal Internal Medicine Residency at Cornell University in 1998 and a Medical Oncology Fellowship at the University of Illinois in 2000. Dr. Fan became Board Certified in Internal Medicine in 2000 and in Medical Oncology in 2001. After developing his career in clinical veterinary medicine, Dr. Fan earned a PhD in Tumor Immunology in 2007 from the University of Illinois. Following his PhD, he became a principal investigator of the nationally recognized Comparative Oncology Research Laboratory in the Small Animal Clinic, Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine. The Fan lab collaborates with basic scientists to evaluate novel drug therapy for the treatment of cancer. Their most recent collaboration focuses on developing anticancer small molecules and nanoparticle fabrication. These new anticancer agents prove to be promising therapeutics in non-resectable brain cancers in dogs and squamous carcinoma in cats. Dr. Fan’s unique training as both a clinician and a scientist gives him a unique position to conduct translational research from the benchtop to dogs, with the hopes of any findings in canines to be applicable to humans as well. 

Learn more about Dr. Fan's and his work.

Steven N Austad, Ph.D.

Distinguished professor and Chair of the Department of Biology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham

Dr. Steven N. Austad of the University of Alabama at Birmingham is a Director of the UAB Nathan Shock Center of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging, Scientific Director of the American Federation for Aging Research in New York, Member of the External Scientific Advisory Committee at the Duke Lemur Center in North Carolina, Distinguished Professor, and Department Chair of Biology at UAB. Dr. Austad first earned a Bachelor of Arts in English (1969) Literature from UCLA. With his literature degree, he has had a wide range of job positions. As a wild animal trainer, he trained lions for the film industry. Working closely with lions, his passion for biology was reignited, thus inspiring him to go to further pursue an education and career in biology. He, then, received his Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from California State University, Northridge. In 1981, he earned his PhD from Purdue University in Biological Sciences. Dr. Austad is perplexed by the idea of aging: “Why can’t nature, which is so successful at producing healthy adults from single fertilized eggs, do the seemingly much simpler task of keeping that adult healthy throughout time?”  Today, his research interests are primarily focused on the Biology of Aging, in which he compares the aging processes of humans to species that are seemingly more “successful” at aging, such as clams and hydras. With his diverse lifetime experiences and success in his field of research, we are excited to host Dr. Steven Austad at VMCVM and to learn more about his work.

Learn more about Dr. Austad and his work.

Tina Savla, Ph. D., 

Professor, Center for Gerontology, Department of Human Development and Family Science, Virginia Tech 

Learn more about Dr. Savla and her work.

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30th Symposium Program-3.pdf