Home Faculty meeting Detmer moves into USask board chair – News

Detmer moves into USask board chair – News

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Dr. Susan Detmer (DVM, PhD) has become one of the leading swine flu researchers, thanks to her work at WCVM at USask. (Photo: Submitted)

Detmer is determined to make a difference in her role, with the council having direct influence on academic affairs and oversight, and council meetings being one of the few places where a faculty member can directly question a senior leader, including the President and the Provost. For Detmer, representing 2,000 faculty members on campus is a responsibility she relishes.

“I have a problem with dishonest consultations,” said Detmer, who chaired his first monthly college council meeting on Nov. 18. So since I started this chair, we’ve started making sure the process for getting feedback is defined, so people know who to give feedback to, so we can monitor feedback and make sure that they get to people it’s supposed to happen.

Detmer said she “has a passion for parliamentary procedure” and is currently working towards becoming a certified parliamentarian through her volunteer work with PEO International, which supports scholarships, grants and loans for Canadian and American women. in post-secondary institutions. Detmer sits on the board of directors of the Alberta-Saskatchewan provincial chapter of PEO International, which has provided scholarships to a number of USask students over the past few years.

For Detmer, the university provided her with the perfect combination of teaching and mentoring promising students as an associate professor in the Department of Veterinary Pathology, while conducting world-class research in her lab. Detmer is the only researcher in western Canada to critically monitor influenza viruses in swine, and her lab is one of only two in the country managing vaccine development for swine farmers.

“I have ties to vets across Canada and I get samples from farms all over Canada, even from Quebec, and I process those samples in my lab,” said Detmer, who contributes to the global database of influenza research, which compiles influenza virus sequences from all species, including humans. “Our lab is one of the only labs in Canada that grows the viruses, so I grow the virus and then supply the virus to make regional swine vaccines.”

Detmer’s surveillance and vaccination work is essential to maintaining the health of Canadian swine herds and helping swine producers avoid the costly economic impact of severe influenza outbreaks.

“Every spring I start looking at what happened last year and pick what’s trending and what newer strains will cover that and make recommendations (for new vaccines),” said Detmer. “Because the flu is an endemic disease, it’s everywhere and seasonally, every November and March there are two peaks in humans, and it’s the same in pigs. It changes every year, everything like COVID. They talk about these variants, and flu is also constantly changing. Flu is a respiratory virus that can infect humans and pigs, and can move back and forth. So to me, the COVID pandemic -19 was actually a real-life epidemiological scenario.”

Detmer’s connection to pigs and veterinary medicine dates back to her childhood, a decade before she began pursuing a career in the field.

“I was pretty sure I was going to be a cat vet when I was 10. But my family has been raising pigs for over a hundred years – my grandmother won the Grand Champion Show Pig Prize in Nebraska State Fair – so pigs are definitely something my family has a history with,” said Detmer, who earned her DVM and PhD at the University of Minnesota. “At first I was more interested by cattle, but in Minnesota there are a lot more pigs in the diagnostic labs, so I got really familiar with their diseases. They were calling me, I guess.

After more than a decade at USask, Saskatoon has become Detmer’s home, with friends on and off campus, and colleagues who support her work as a researcher and professor at WCVM, and faculty director at USask with the Council university.

“I’m now in mid-career and taking on these kinds of administrative roles — while being able to continue my teaching and research at the same time — is definitely something I wanted to do,” said Detmer, who was the first researcher. from a Canadian institution to receive the Boehringer Ingelheim Fellowship in Advancing Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) in 2013.

“At this point, I see no reason to move. I have long term plans for my lab and my research here. Once you gain momentum, it’s hard to move. I already have plans for the next few years in place, so there is absolutely no reason for me to make any changes in my career. I feel like home here.”