Speakers

We have an inspiring program planned for this year. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with our speakers, particularly our exciting Keynote and Plenary Speakers.

Keynote and Plenary Speakers

Dr. Vivek Kapur

Dr. Vivek Kapur

Dr. Vivek Kapur

Dr. Vivek Kapur

Dr. Vivek Kapur is a professor of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases and Huck Distinguished Chair in Global Health at the Pennsylvania State University. Additionally, he is the Associate Director for Strategic Initiatives at the Huck Institutes of Life Sciences at Penn State also serves as an adjunct professor at the Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology in Tanzania.

Dr. Kapur received his veterinary training at the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore; PhD from Pennsylvania State University; and Postdoctoral training from Baylor College of Medicine. He served as a professor at the University of Minnesota until he moved to his current position. Dr. Kapur’s lab continues to research public health issues, pathogenic microbes, and the human-animal disease transmission interface. His particular interests and in global health and the mitigation of risk of major animal and zoonotic diseases, including tuberculosis. He has led the USDA’s Johne’s Disease Integrated Program and Mycobacterial Diseases in Animals consortia for more than two decades. Additionally, his group leads multiple international collaborations on animal health and zoonotic diseases in India, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ethiopia with funding from the NIH, US Dept. of Defense, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Dr. Danika Bannasch

Dr. Danika Bannasch

Dr. Danika Bannasch

Dr. Danika Bannasch

Dr. Danika Bannasch is a veterinary geneticist who specializes in canine and equine genetics.  She obtained her PhD in Molecular Biology from Princeton University and her DVM from the University of California at Davis.  She has been a professor at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California-Davis since 2001.  She was appointed the Maxine Adler Endowed Chair in Genetics in 2013. In 2019 Dr. Bannasch was awarded the International Canine Health Award for her research accomplishments in canine genetics.  Dr. Bannasch has published over a hundred peer reviewed manuscripts and her laboratory has identified the causative variant for 16 inherited diseases in dogs and horses and collaborated on the identification of 8 more. Her research goals are to improve the lives of dogs through understanding the relationship between their genetic variation and the resulting phenotypes. 

Dr. Molly McCue

Dr. Molly McCue

Dr. Molly McCue

Dr. Molly McCue

Dr. Molly McCue runs an equine-genetics laboratory and serves as the associate dean of research at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota. Dr. McCue graduated from Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine and went on to do an internship in large animal medicine at the University of Georgia before returning to Kansas State in 2001 to pursue a master’s and complete a residency in equine internal medicine. In 2007, Dr. McCue moved to Minnesota to pursue doctoral and postdoctoral research, taking a position at the College of Veterinary Medicine as an assistant professor in 2008.

Dr. McCue’s research focuses on how the horse can be leveraged as a biomedical model. To do that, her lab spends about one-third of its time building the tools it needs to conduct what’s called network biology (understanding a cell’s functional organization), which can be applied across species. In 2014, Dr. McCue was named one of six University of Minnesota Informatics Institute Transdisciplinary Faculty Fellows. In 2019, Dr. McCue was nominated and chosen by her colleagues as the recipient of the Zoetis Award for Veterinary Research Excellence, the highest honor the college bestows on our research faculty. She has received the University of Minnesota Inventor Recognition Award three times.

Breakout Speakers

Emerging Infectious Agents: Discovery and Response

Peter Larsen, MS, PhD
University of Minnesota

Anna Doty, MS, PhD
California State University-Bakersfield

Karen Terio, DVM, PhD, DACVP
University of Illinois

Rebecca Wilkes, DVM, PhD
Purdue University

Comparative and Translational Oncology

Anthony Mutsaers, DVM, PhD, DACVIM
Ontario Veterinary College

Davis Seelig, DVM, PhD, DACVP
University of Minnesota

Steven Dow, DVM, PhD
Colorado State University

Alycen Lundberg DVM
University of Illinois

Animal Models of Chronic Disease

LaTasha Crawford, VMD, PhD, DACVP
University of Wisconsin

Maxim Cheeran, MVSc, PhD
University of Minnesota

Duncan Lascelles, BVSc, PhD, FRCVS, DECVS, DACVS
North Carolina State University

A. Komaromy, DrMedVet, PhD, DACVO, DECVO
Michigan State University

Feeding a Changing Planet

Jennifer Van Os, PhD
University of Wisconsin

Filippo Miglior, PhD
Lactanet, and University of Guelph

Joao Costa, MS, PhD
University of Kentucky

Noelle Noyes, DVM, PhD
University of Minnesota

Advances in Clinical Therapeutics

Angela Bordin, DVM, PhD
Texas A&M University

Jessica Quimby, DVM, PhD, DACVIM
Ohio State University

Natasha Olby, VetMB, PhD, MRCVS, DACVIM
North Carolina State University

Conservation Medicine

Dalen Agnew, DVM, PhD, DACVP
Michigan State University

Tiffany Wolf, DVM, PhD
University of Minnesota

Colleen St. Clair, M.Sc., PhD
University of Alberta

Jonathan Clayton, DVM, PhD
University of Nebraska-Omaha

Award Recipients and Finalists

Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health Veterinary Graduate Award


Dr. Ashley Rasys, University of Georgia

CRISPR-Cas9 Gene Editing in Lizards through Microinjection of Unfertilized Oocytes

Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health Veterinary Student Award


Sydney Womack, Cornell University

Multispecies proteomics reveals potential biomarkers for osteoarthritis

AVMA Early Stage Investigator Award Finalists


  • Dr. Rosemary Bayless 
  • Dr. Drew Koch
  • Dr. Lynn Pezzanite
  • Dr. Alexa Spittler
  • Dr. Lauren Stranahan

AVMA Research Awards


  • AVMA Career Achievement in Canine Research Award – Dr. Stanley Marks
  • AVMA Clinical Research Award – Dr. Stephen White
  • AVMA Lifetime Excellence in Research Award – Dr. Yrjö Gröhn
  • AVMF/EveryCat Health Foundation Research Award – Dr. Mike Nolan

Statement on COVID-19 

We recognize that the COVID-19 public health crisis remains an ongoing concern. With the advancement of vaccinations, treatments, and the recent changes in public health policy, we have elected to move forward with an in-person Symposium this August. We will evaluate the public health situation and make a determination regarding specific event protocols closer to the time of the event. Please monitor your local, state, and national policies for any updates or changes to the COVID-19 regulations. Click here for information on the RiverCentre’s COVID-19 policies. Contact Dr. Caroline Cantner (ccantner@aavmc.org) with any questions or concerns.