Shannon Cartwright

Role: Conference Bursary Recipient

Department: Pathobiology

College: OVC

Conference Attended: International Veterinary Immunology Symposium

The focus of this conference is to present work related to livestock immunology or in other words research on livestock health. Attendees at this conference are typically academics, veterinarians and government employees and are comprised of researchers from top veterinary science institutions around the world. Therefore, the scope of the research presented at this conference will provide an insight into cutting-edge veterinary immunology research on a global scale.

Location: Seattle, Washington

Value: $2506

Research Presentation:

The project that I am presenting evaluates the effect of heat stress on circulating immune cells in immune response phenotyped dairy cattle. Cattle used in this project were previously evaluated for immune response and ranked as high, average and low for immune response capacity based on estimated breeding values. It has previously been shown that cattle ranked as high immune responders have a lower incidence of disease and respond better to vaccines. Therefore, we wanted to evaluate if these animals are also more resilient to heat stress. Results of this project provide an indicator if we can find dairy cattle that are more resilient to heat stress and therefore more adaptable to climate change. This will be important for the future of the dairy industry as our climate continues to shift.

Objectives for Attending: 

In addition to presenting some of my research findings, I would also like to learn what others are doing in the field of immunology and climate change. I would like to see on an international scale what others are finding related to this topic and specifically what methods they are using to test their specific hypotheses.

The opportunity to meet with other researchers from countries where heat stress is already a pressing issue impacting the health of cattle and other livestock species presents a unique opportunity to network, with the potential to elicit meaningful collaborations, to enhance my research project. Since the meeting focuses on veterinary immunology, a unique field of study, the prospect of meeting like-minded researchers is an advantage not typically accessible at other meetings focusing on broader topics of animal science.

I would also like to gain knowledge in new findings in basic veterinary immunology, specifically related to cattle. This will further my knowledge in this area and could help to generate new research ideas specifically related to our current project.