Drack lab team visits Genetic Advancement Center

The Iowa team joined Brian Dacken and veterinarian, Dr. Lavalle, from the center, along with Rosanna Beraldi, PhD (not pictured) from the University of South Dakota.
Mon, 03/28/2016 - 08:30

This week our department sent an “away team” across the state to the Genetic Advancement Center in Sioux Center Iowa as part of a collaboration with the University of South Dakota. Arlene Drack, MD, was asked to lend her ERG expertise to characterizing a new pig model that is being developed there. The Drack Research team, consisting of Wanda Pfeifer, OC(C), COMT, Sajag Bhattarai, MS, and Dr. Drack, spent Monday and Tuesday at the locked “clean” facility. The WIVR supported this project by supplying wild type pigs of the same breed and ages as the newly developed pigs at the U. of Iowa so the team, assisted by Emily Kaalberg and Budd Tucker, could develop a pig ERG protocol based on their experience in mice and humans. “It truly takes a village to ERG a pig,” said Dr. Drack. “We have great collegiality here and wonderful resources with the clinical ERG service and the facilities at the WIVR. Sajag and Wanda were very generous with their time to leave their families for 3 days to work on this project. We were a fine-tuned machine in that facility, and we were able to get excellent data.” “I am happy to help develop this animal model, which I hope will lead to treatments for our patients with this terrible disease, “ Wanda said, and Sajag completely agreed.