Verma recognized for excellence in research in veterinary medicine

Published 11:40 am Wednesday, January 17, 2018

HARROGATE, Tenn. — Dr. Ashutosh Verma, associate professor of microbiology at Lincoln Memorial University-College of Veterinary Medicine (LMU-CVM), was honored with a Zoetis Excellence in Research award during LMU-CVM’s Annual Research Day. The award fosters innovation and advancement of veterinary medicine by recognizing outstanding research and productivity.

“It is always motivating when your efforts are recognized, and I am very thankful for the award,” Verma said. “It’s also a recognition for my wonderful students and colleagues who collaborate with me on my projects.”

Verma’s research is focused on leptospirosis, a zoonotic disease that causes renal and/or reproductive failure in a variety of species of animals. When Verma joined LMU-CVM two and a half years ago, he began to look at the evidence of the disease in environmental water, wild rodents, farm animals and shelter dogs and cats in the region.

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“We didn’t have any information about the prevalence of leptospirosis in this area, but after some research, we have found very interesting results, which have significant public health implications,” Verma said.

Additionally, Verma and LMU-CVM students assisting the study are looking at ways to improve diagnosis of leptospirosis using proteomic and lipidomic strategies. One of the challenges in diagnosis of leptospirosis has been the inability of standard ways to analyze and differentiate vaccinated and infected animals. The Verma’s study uses novel proteins and lipid markers, and is aimed at developing a test that can overcome this and several other problems associated with currently used assessment methods. His research has been submitted for publication.

Verma joined LMU-CVM as assistant professor in 2015. Prior to LMU he worked as a research scientist at the Trudeau Institute in New York, and as an assistant professor for the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in St. Kitts. Verma began his research career as a postdoctoral scholar and research associate for the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular genetics at the University of Kentucky. Verma earned his Bachelor of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry at College of Veterinary Science in Hisar, India in 1998, followed by a Master of Veterinary Science at Madras Veterinary College in Chennai, India in 2001. In 2007, he completed his Ph.D. at the University of Kentucky in the Department of Veterinary Science.