Oaties, what are you up to?

Officers, are you holding a chapter event? Let us know so we can advertise it on the Calendar of Events page. Send us details on what your chapter is doing and any pictures you might have. We'd love to share them on the website! Email alumnirecords@omegatausigma.org.

Alumni, what are you up to? Let us know if you have started a new position, been part of an exciting project, or published any papers! We can share your success stories with other alumni and current students. Use the Submit News Items page or email alumnirecords@omegatausigma.org.

Zeta Chapter Updates


Zeta Chapter hosted its first Dog Patch Continuing Education Conference. With nine sponsors, 31 attendees, and five speakers, the event was a success. One of the speakers, Dr. Byron Blagburn, has requested a heart worm and cardiology conference.

Omicron Chapter Updates


Omicron Chapter had its biggest fundraiser in history, its ninth annual 5K Canine Cruise, this past October. It raised $1,700 for the Ingham County Animal Control. Other philanthropy projects included visiting senior citizens with well-behaved pets, an annual Thanksgiving food drive, a "stuff the bus" event at the Lansing Jaycee, the Christmas pet calendar, and a "pet photos with Santa" event.


School work and fundraising don't leave a lot of extra time, but Omicron Chapter still knows how to have fun. The chapter even found time for apples, donuts, and wine tasting during a fall social.

Eta Chapter Updates


Eta Chapter spent the entire month of February making massive upgrades to our Burnett Street basement. We stripped carpet and tile, fixed water damaged bricks, painted the walls and floors, upgraded electronics, painted a chalkboard wall and a vibrant mural featuring the UGA CVM logo, and rearranged furniture to make the basement the ultimate place to play and party. These upgrades were financed completely through member contributions.

Gamma Chapter photo
Gamma Chapter Updates


Gamma Chapter successfully hosted the Grand Council this past November at their newly renovated chapter house!


Gamma Chapter focused on community service this fall by collecting yogurt lids for Yoplait's Save Lids to Save Lives campaign. Members are aspiring to surpass last years collection efforts, which resulted in $100 worth of lids. Around the holidays, members set up a Salvation Army Angel Tree in the vet school lounge. They committed to fulfilling 75 gift tickets and encouraged participation from other vet school students, faculty, and staff.


Somehow, members also found time to have fun. Gamma Chapter hosted a highlighter party early in the semester, allowing new members to meet other members. In October, the chapter held its eighth annual Ox Roast, which included food, live music, and college football on the big screen TV. In November, members were invited to an important presentation at the chapter house with showcased the progress of the house renovations. After the presentation, the chapter held a tailgate for the Ohio State vs. Indiana college-football game. Finally, members also mustered together a kickball team. Unfortunately, they will have to step up their game to make playoffs next year.

Theta Chapter Updates


In addition to chapter events like the senior sale and Easter costume party (planned and executed by the pledges), Theta Chapter packed the spring semester full of philanthropy events. Event Wednesday, Theta members accompanied their four-legged friends to the Clark-Lindsey Retirement Community; both people and pets brought comfort to the community members with their company.

Theta Chapter participated in the annual Boy Scot Day at the veterinary teaching hospital, helping 20 to 30 Boy Scouts earn their veterinary medicine badges. Theta members led sessions on parasitology, imaging, surgery preparation, and physical exams. Additionally, Theta Chapter helped another 20 to 30 Boy Scouts earn their dog care badges at the event, focusing on dog history, husbandry, handling, and general care.

Theta Chapter organized its annual "Pet Wash" day, historically one of its most successful fundraisers. Theta Chapter raised $641.55 for the Champaign County Humane Society; it also earned $115 in tips for its own coffers.

Delta Chapter Updates


Every fall, Delta Chapter holds an alumni golf tournament (nine holes and dinner)! If you wish to attend, contact Nick Buchok at nbuchok@uoguelph.ca.


Every January, Delta Chapter holds an alumni hockey tournament. If you wish to join us, please contact Ryan Appleby at rappleby@uoguelph.ca.


Every year (usually in February), we hold a Wine and Cheese party with OVC faculty and clinicians. Contact Rebecca Sterns at rsterns@uoguelph.ca

Beta Chapter Updates


OTS is proud to publish the 2012 “Men of the Vet School” calendar. This year’s calendar is thought to be the best yet! In addition to being printed in color for the first time, the calendar has more models than ever before. A total of 32 vet students and 12 veterinarians (including faculty, residents, and interns) participated. The photos also featured some of our patients, including three reindeer and two 9-foot-long olive pythons! We far surpassed our fundraising goal with the calendar—we sold more than 275 copies, with a net profit of $1,150! We would like to thank everyone who participated and helped behind the scenes, and we wish the best of luck to the new calendar chairs, Christopher Cheleuitte ’15 and Michael Freifeld ’15!


In coordination with the law and business schools, we kicked off April with our biannual Bob Barker Beer Pong Tournament, a fundraiser for the Tompkins County SPCA. Our fundraising efforts for the spring included selling refreshments at the Cornell Veterinary Players’ production of Urinetown and our biannual community dog wash, which we co-sponsored with SCAVMA. We also celebrated Slope Day in early May by wearing our Omega Tau Sigma T-shirts and hosting a barbecue on the deck after the concert—this event was a huge success the previous year, and we were happy to continue the tradition this year!


A new event this past spring was the White Carnation Ball. We organized a semiformal cocktail party at the Statler Hotel for OTS members and their dates in order to celebrate our graduates and yet another great year for the Betas.

Zeta Chapter Updates


The Zetas held their annual conference April 8-9, in conjunction with the end of their work for the Heifer International Fundraiser. Zetas collected donations to help third-world countries acquire livestock to provide a source of family income and develop community resources. For more information about the project, visit the Heifer International website.

For information on the Zeta Chapter Annual Conference in April, visit the Calendar of Events page.

Oaties in the News


"Omega Tau Sigma (OTS) developed a community service project for the holiday season, designed to involve the College of Veterinary Medicine community and make a positive impact on the lives of families in need. Community service chairs Ashlie Saffire and Jordan Vitt, third year veterinary students, selected the Salvation Army's annual Angel Tree program. This program collects toys for children of families who cannot afford to purchase them. The toys are chosen in advance by the children. Eligible families around Columbus sign up for the program, and their gift requests are then distributed to various 'Angel Trees' around [the] city, sponsored by other charitable organizations."

Read the entire article here.

Alumni News

Dr. Joseph Impellizeri is a 1994 graduate of Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine. He completed a small animal medical and surgical internship at Colorado State University 1995. After five years in small animal primary care and emergency medicine, he completed a three-year ACVIM oncology residency program at the University of Illinois and Sacramento Animal Medical Group and became a Diplomate in the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (specialty in oncology).

Dr. Impellizeri is the only full-time, board-certified veterinary oncologist in the Hudson Valley, also just one of fewer than 300 veterinary oncologists in the world. Through his efforts, we can offer the latest advances in chemotherapy, cancer vaccines, minimally invasive biopsies, and advanced imaging including outpatient ultrasound.

Dr. Impellizeri also heads the center's Bone Marrow Transplant Team for K9 Lymphoma and is the principle investigator on several clinical studies, including a collaborative effort with Vassar College, where he holds an academic position as an adjunct professor of biology.

Breakthrough in canine cancer treatment, the Telomerase Vaccine

The Veterinary Specialty Center of the Hudson Valley (VSCHV) is the sole United States center investigating a telomerase vaccine for clinical use in canine and feline cancers.

The VSCHV is investigating the efficacy of treating naturally occurring dog and cat cancers with a genetic DNA telomerase cancer vaccine followed by DNA vaccination using a plasmid encoding telomerase. The non-funded study, which is led by the veterinary research team of Dr. Joe Impellizeri from VSCHV and Dr. David Jemiolo from Vassar College, will enroll dogs and cats with various cancers including lymphosarcoma, hemagiosarcoma, carcinomas, and others in a non-placebo controlled study.

The use of a telomerase vaccine targets a protein whose enhanced expression is a common characteristic present in 85–95 percent of both human and animal cancer cells. Telomerase is not expressed in most differentiated cells making it an ideal target for cancer therapeutics. Upregulated telomerase allows for limitless replication thus "tricking" the cell to avoid apoptosis (programmed cell death) in lieu of continued replication of a malignant oncogene. "The vaccine may be used in naive (non-treated) patients but we feel the effect will be limited to absent," says Joe Impellizeri, DACVIM (oncology), principle investigator of the student and medical director of VSCHV. "Our goal specifically in canine lymphosarcoma patients is to obtain clinical and preferably molecular remission with standard of care chemotherapy and follow with the vaccine."

Therapeutic vaccines are an important progressive approach which, when combined with other therapies, can improve long-term control of cancer. A variety of immunization technologies are being explored. Among them, genetic (DNA-based) vaccines are emerging as promising methodologies to induce immune responses against a wide variety of tumor antigens, including telomerase. Recent findings show that combinations of different modalities of immunixation (heterologous prime/boost) are able to induce superior immune reactions as compared to single-modality vaccines. Our experimental vaccine harnesses this type of innovative combination.

Genetic vaccines are not new but newer methods to improve greater DNA uptake has led to in-vivo electroporation (DNA-EP). Inoculating plasmid DNA encoding for a protein antigen by means of a simple intramuscular or intradermal injection currently offers a vaccine approach that is easily performed, safe for host, and relatively inexpensive. However, target cells lack the co-stimulatory molecules needed as part of the CTL activation process, therefore DNA vaccination is in general poorly efficient unless an inflammatory stimulus is applied in parallel. This mode of administration through DNA-EP will allow maintenance of anti-tumor immunity. This approach uses brief electrical pulses that create transient "pores" in the cell membrane, thus allowing large molecules such as DNA or RNA to enter the cell cytoplasm. Immediately following cessation of the electrical field, these pores seal and the molecules are trapped in the cytoplasm without causing cell death ... VSCHV plans to stydy these therapies over the next five years with a focus toward grant approvals and clinical/commercial availability. As of now, the research team has their fifth patient. Dr. Impellizeri concludes, "We are in the early stages of some exciting research with a new technique that gives hope to our cancer patients. Published research from Europe on the treatment of canine lymphosarcoma with this same vaccine has shown improved overall survival times vs. standard of care. Whether it is the vaccine or another variable, it is not clear, but our studies will determine that while helping treat patients along the way."

To learn more, visit the VSCHV website.