Exciting "Research Inspiration day" – Københavns Universitet

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29. august 2016

Exciting "Research Inspiration day"

The School of Veterinary and Animal Science hosted this years "joint Research Inspiration Day" on August 25th. The venue was the University Hospital for Companion Animals, Dyrlægevej 34.

Around 65 participants were to be found in the auditorium and the afternoon was indeed interesting and inspirering as intended.

Head of the Vetschool, Birgit Nørrung started the research day, follow by presentation of three selected on-going research activities;

  • Diarrhoea in nursery pigs – diagnostic procedures and treatments by Professor Jens Peter Nielsen, IPH
  • Immunometabolism by Professor Søren Skov, IVS
  • Dementia in a dish – prospects of human, porcine and canine induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) by Professor Poul Hyttel, IKVH

After a short interval the afternoon continued with two sessions of speed talks which covered a broad spectre of veterinary research. Below is mentioned just a few:

  • Interactions between diet and parasites on gut health and immunity
    We have been investigating how bioactive diets (e.g. prebiotics or plant
    metabolites) influence gastrointestinal parasitic infections. Using infection
    models in pigs and mice as well as in vitro systems, we have found that certain
    dietary compounds enhance the development of anti-parasitic immunity as well as
    modulating the host gut microbiota and metabolic function, indicating a profound interaction between diet and parasites on gut function.

  • Zebrafish in biomedical research
    Danio rerio is a well known ornamental fish - also called zebrafish - originating
    from freshwater rivers in India. It is being used at increasing frequency as
    experimental animal for a series of research purposes. Examples within infection biology and immunology will be given.

  • Neutrophil dynamics during an infection with the protozoan parasite Ichthyophthirius multifiliis in zebrafish
    A transgenic zebrafish with GFP-tagged neutrophils was infected with I.
    multifiliis and a five time increase of neutrophils was observed by in vivo
    visualisation in the tail fin.

  • Atrial fibrillation in man and horse
    We are working on establishing the horse as a valid large animal model for
    studying atrial fibrillation in man. Both horses and man suffer from this
    disease and they seems to have many interesting similarities that is not
    observed in the traditional used animal models.

  • Genomics and breeding approaches to reduce boar taint and avoid surgical castration in pigs
    Boar taint is an offensive odor that affects the smell and taste of cooked pork,
    resulting mainly from the accumulation of skatole and androstenone in the back
    fat of intact males. Boar taint is a complex trait that under genetic control.
    To avoid BT, castration of young piglets is performed but this strategy is
    undesirable due to animal welfare concerns and is labor intensive.

  • Body composition and health in dogs and cat
    Obesity is an increasing problem in our pet animals. Obesity causes metabolic
    alterations that impact the animals health and life time expectancy. preventing
    and treating obesity is complex also in pets - but feasible.

  • The MetaPig Project
    The project will integrate cutting-edge knowledge on pig farming, pig feed, pig
    genomics, metagenomics and systems biology. Our research group will focus on
    the microbiota-host genome interaction and identify genes in the pig which are
    important in this interaction. Hence, the project as a whole studies the effect
    and interplay between three factors; feeding, gut microbiome and the pigs own
    genome and their joint effect on feed efficiency and gut health.

  • and a lot more interesting projects.