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VIN CE Course REPR200-0315: Genetics, Epigenetics, and Stem Cells
In some of the course Real Time Sessions the lecture will be predominantly audio
while in others the lecture will be predominantly text.

Enrollment is closed.

Instructor(s): Jennifer G. Barrett, DVM, Ph.D., Diplomate ACVS, Diplomate ACVSMR
Jerold S. Bell, DVM
Kathleen Cavanagh, Honors B.Sc., DVM, MET
Michael Golding, B.Sc., Ph.D.

Course Open: March 10-April 17, 2015
Real Time Sessions (RTS): Tuesdays, March 17, 24, 31, and April 7, 2015; 8:00-10:00 pm ET (US)
Course RTS Times in Your Area: World Clock Converter

Practice Sessions: In order to prepare you for a successful experience in your CE course, we request you attend a Practice Session prior to the first Real Time Session. Please arrive promptly at the start time; each Practice Session is up to 1 hour in length. For more information, please visit the CE Practice Area.

*Some of the instructors for this course will be using audio which will require you to have a headset or speakers to listen. If you have any concerns regarding your computer's audio capabilities, please be sure to attend one of the Practice Sessions.

Level and Prerequisites: This basic course will be open to veterinarians actively interested in genetics as applied to everyday veterinary practice. The scope of the course will not provide training in application of the new technology (such as stem cells) but act to introduce the generalist to the field.
VIN CE Course: Open to veterinarians. This course is approved by RACE for veterinarians. The Veterinary Information Network (VIN) is RACE Provider #22.

Course Description:
Genetics, Epigenetics, Stem Cells - these are all rapidly evolving areas of biotech science that sometime seem magical because of the pace of innovation. Epigenetics is an exciting newer field that deals with the controllers of genetic code expression. Stem cell therapy is a still-evolving treatment modality that takes advantage of the primitive cell code that can be expressed to achieve differentiation, in order to produce a regenerative therapy. Genetic counseling and testing, and breed-related disorders are clinical practice areas that have changed rapidly over the last few years.

We will provide practical updates that can impact the way you practice veterinary medicine, both now, and moving forward! Though epigenetics is still "in the incubator", developments here are expected to revolutionize medicine (development, pharmacology, nutrition, and individualized patient care).

The more we test the more we find conditions that are genetic related. Epigenetics is an explanation for differing gene expression related to internal and external environmental factors. Stem cells are providing an exciting new direction in regenerative medicine.

This course consists of four (4) 2-hour Real Time Session, supplemental library materials, interactive message board discussions, and a mandatory end-of-course test. Successful completion (scoring 80% or better) on the end-of-course test is required to earn a certificate of completion for the course.

To learn more about the requirements for earning a CE certificate, please refer to Receiving Your CE Credit and Course Completion Certificate.

*The lecture portion of real time sessions 2-4 will be audio presentations, please be prepared to listen.

Upon completion of this course, the participant should be able to Course Materials: Course materials will be available in the course library prior to each Real Time Session.

Required Textbook(s): There is no required textbook for this course.
Recommended Textbook(s): About the Instructors:
Jennifer (Jen) Barrett is the Theodora Ayer Randolph Professor at the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center at Virginia Tech. She is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation. She is a founder and currently Chair of the North American Veterinary Regenerative Medicine Association. She manages the Regenerative Medicine Service at EMC, and her research interests include stem cell and platelet rich plasma therapy, and healing of the cartilage, tendon and ligament tissues. She applies her regenerative medicine skills in horses and dogs primarily.

Jerold (Jerry) Bell is an internationally-known clinical genetics consultant and lecturer. He is also a Clinical Associate Professor at Tufts, and owns Freshwater Veterinary Hospital. As a breeder of Gordon Setters, he has been able to apply the concepts published in the 2012 book published by Teton New Media with Cavanagh, Smith and Tilley. He is an active volunteer in the OFA and AKC. He lectures widely on genetic counseling and genetics. He is the coordinator for the Tufts Canine and Feline Breeding & Genetics conference. Proceedings of these conferences can be found through the VIN service.

Kathleen (Kathy) Cavanagh has been a veterinarian for 29 years. She has a second parallel career in educational technology, instructional design, writing and editing. Her projects have been online, print and disc-based, and for both veterinary professionals and the public. For the last seven years she has been an online nutrition instructor for University of Guelph/Equine Guelph, and is a part-time practitioner and was a feline-exclusive practitioner for 10 years. The 2012 Teton New Media book co-authored with Bell, Smith and Tilley reflects her ongoing clinical interest in epigenetics/genetics and metabolic disturbances, especially relating to nutrition.

Michael Golding is an Assistant Professor at Texas A&M. His research interests include fetal physiology and epigenetic programming. His special interest is in the epigenetics of early mammalian development and the impact of the environment and nutrients have on programming. He has published articles about this area of research in multiple species including dogs, and is part of the eight-faculty member TAMU veterinary team researching exciting new developments in genetics, epigenetics, and evolving diagnostic tests for inherited disease and traits.

Course Outline:
Week 1 (Real Time Session March 17, 2015): Basic Concepts of Genetics/Epigenetics/Stem Cell
Instructor(s): Dr. Kathleen Cavanagh
Format: Text
Recommended Reading (prior to March 17 Real Time Session):
Veterinary Medical Guide to Dog and Cat Breeds;
Read Genetic Concepts pages 2-4,
Look over Appendices A - C, pages 591-644
Content: We will focus on those concepts that the learner will need in order to understand the next three units. We will emphasize those topics that a practicing veterinarian would need to be apprised of in order to counsel their clients, effectively test for diseases using gene-based or related testing, and to gain an appreciation of newer developments in the biotech field such as epigenetics and applications for stem cell therapy in regenerative medicine. We will have a brief discussion of critical analysis of literature - hype and popular press, different study designs, still subject to further research, bioethics.

Week 2 (Real Time Session March 24, 2015): Genetic Testing and Counseling, and Breed-Related Disorders
Instructor(s): Dr. Jerold Bell
Format: Audio
Recommended Reading (prior to March 24 Real Time Session):
Veterinary Medical Guide to Dog and Cat Breeds;
Review Genetic Concepts pages 2-4,
Read Genetic Counseling and Management of Genetic Disease pages 5-8,
2 dog breed and 2 cat breed chapters of your choice,
Take a look at the OFA (, CHIC (, iCatCare ( and WSAVA Genetic Testing ( websites.
Content: There are many common issues across and between breeds and species. We will discuss important genetic tests, when they should be used and professional counseling in your practice. Clinically important disorders that we see regularly in practice will be highlighted. Case examples of use of testing and counseling will be explored.

Week 3 (Real Time Session March 31, 2015): Stem Cells/Regenerative Medicine
Instructor(s): Dr. Jennifer Barrett
Format: Audio
Content: Stem cell therapy brings renewed hope for cures for a variety of medical problems in human and veterinary patients. However, the field of stem cell biology is very complex and ach disease process or injury requires years of thorough research before clinically proven stem cell therapies are established. Along with the new hope stem cell therapy brings, there is some degree of hype in the media as well as from veterinary commercial entities offering "stem cell therapy" that may or may not represent safe and efficacious treatments. This lecture will review the basics of stem cell biology relevant to currently available therapies. This includes a primer on the commercially available "stem cell" therapies, clinical indications that are relevant and non-relevant for stem cell therapy, different types of stem cell therapies, and what to expect for the future.

Week 4 (Real Time Session April 7, 2015): Epigenetics
Instructor(s): Dr. Michael Golding
Format: Audio
Content: This session will provide an introduction to the new active field of epigenetics and how these new findings can be integrated into veterinary medicine. CE Credits: 8

Tuition: Member $168 ($151 early bird special if enrolled by February 24, 2015)
Non-Member $266 ($239 early bird special if enrolled by February 24, 2015)

*To ensure participants are ready and prepared for classes, enrollment will close on March 17, 2015 at 5 pm ET (USA) or when the maximum number of participants is reached.
*For more information on how online CE works, see the Participant Resource Center.

To Enroll:
Enrollment is closed.
  1. Enrollment qualifications: VIN CE courses are open to VIN member and non-member veterinarians. Veterinarians enrolling in a VSPN CE course must be a VIN member. Veterinary support staff must be a VSPN member to enroll in a VSPN CE or a VIN CE course open to VSPN member enrollment.
  2. Each enrollee must be able to receive emails from and addresses. Email is our major form of communication with participants; personal emails are highly recommended rather than clinic/hospital email addresses.
  3. Each person is individually responsible for his/her own registration. To ensure that all information received is secure and correct, please do not enroll for a course on behalf of another individual.
  4. For further assistance call 800-846-0028 ext. 797 or email Please include the course title, your full name, and contact information in your correspondence.
*Note: "This course is approved for 8 continuing education credits in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB RACE approval; however participants should be aware that some boards have limitations on the number of hours accepted in certain categories and/or restrictions on certain methods of delivery of continuing education." Call VIN CE at 800-846-0028 ext. 797 for further information. (Attendees are encouraged to check with their licensing jurisdiction(s) for information regarding recognition by their board).

Course withdrawal and refund policy: A complete refund of the paid course price will be issued when your withdrawal request is received prior to the listed start date of the course. If you wish to withdraw after the start date please contact the VIN office 800-846-0028 ext. 797 to discuss eligibility for a pro-rated refund.
* Note: To ensure rapid handling of your request for withdrawal, we recommend that you call the VIN office at 800-846-0028 ext. 797.

*For more information on VIN's upcoming CE courses, check the VIN Course Catalog.

The CE team:

Katherine James, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (SAIM)
VIN Education Coordinator

VIN CE Services:
800-846-0028 or 530-756-4881; ext. 797
or direct line to VIN/VSPN from the United Kingdom: (014522) 26154
or direct line to VIN/VSPN from Australia: 011 +61 26 145-2357

800.700.4636  |  |  530.756.4881  |  Fax: 530.756.6035
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