Campus News

UGA College of Veterinary Medicine to host 49th annual conference and alum event

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine will host its 49th Annual Veterinary Conference and Alumni Weekend March 23-24 at the Classic Center in downtown Athens.

All alumni, as well as any veterinarians interested in receiving continuing education credits, are invited to attend. In addition, honors will be awarded to distinguished alumni who have led accomplished careers in veterinary medicine.

This year’s keynote speaker is Ralph Tripp, a professor in the veterinary medicine’s department of infectious diseases. Tripp also holds the Georgia Research Alliance Chair of Animal Health Vaccine Development and is a GRA Eminent Scholar.

Tripp will discuss detection and disease intervention for emerging zoonotic diseases. He and his laboratory team work with cutting-edge technologies-such as Raman spectroscopy-to develop diagnostic tools that can rapidly detect, in a minute or less, virus strains present on humans or objects. The Tripp Lab also uses a process known as RNA interference to enhance virus replication for manufacturing vaccines.

Tripp joined the College of Veterinary Medicine in 2004 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where he was the immunology section chief of the Respiratory and Enteric Viruses unit. During his post-doctoral programs, he trained under Dr. Linda Gooding at Emory University, and later with Nobel Laureate Peter C. Doherty at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He has 16 patents to his credit, and has published approximately 30 book chapters and more than 100 articles on his research.

Other conference sessions and presenters include: “Microcirculation,” led by Dr. Deborah C. Silverstein (DVM ’97), a specialist in small animal emergency and critical care at the University of Pennsylvania; “New Trends in Small Animal Oncology,” led by Dr. Molly Murphy (DVM ’07) of Iowa State University; “Equine Acupuncture,” led by Dr. Allison McNally Howell (DVM ’82), a private practitioner in north Atlanta; and “Pneumonia in Horses,” led by Dr. Steeve Giguère, a professor of large animal internal medicine at UGA and the holder of the Marguerite Thomas Hodgson Chair in Equine Studies.

On March 24, Dr. Ernie Ward (DVM ’92) will present a two-hour session entitled “Your Words, Their Health.” Full attendance of this session fulfills the Georgia laws, rules and professionalism requirement for continuing education credits. Those who wish to attend only this session may do so for a $50 registration fee. Ward is founder of Seaside Animal Care in Calabash, N.C., and has been featured on numerous television networks and shows, including NBC, CNN, “Animal Planet” and the “Rachael Ray Show.”

The annual conference also is a learning ground for veterinary technicians. The 9th Annual GVTAA Technician Continuing Education Conference will be held March 24 at the Classic Center. See or contact Lynn Reece,, for more information on the Technician CE Conference.

Registration forms for both conferences must be postmarked by March 8 to avoid a $50 late fee. Cancellations must be made by March 12 to receive a refund.

Sponsors of the 49th Annual Veterinary Conference & Alumni Weekend include: The Compounding Pharmacy; Paws, Whiskers & Wags; Vetinsure; Blue Ridge X-Ray Co. Inc.; and Jorgensen Laboratories Inc.

The UGA College of Veterinary Medicine, founded in 1946, is dedicated to training future veterinarians, to conducting research related to animal and human diseases and to providing veterinary services for animals and their owners. Research efforts are aimed at enhancing the quality of life for animals and people, improving the productivity of poultry and livestock and preserving a healthy interface between wildlife and people in the environment they share. The college enrolls 102 students each fall out of more than 560 who apply. For more information, see

See for online registration, maps and hotel information.