NC State College of Veterinary Medicine 

Annual Research Forum and Litwack Lecture

Friday, August 10, 2018

The Annual CVM Research Forum sponsored by the Faculty Committee on Research is scheduled for Friday, August 10th at the CVM. The forum will be followed by an awards ceremony.

The forum includes the Litwack Lecture, given annually in honor of the late Dr. Martin Litwack, a Raleigh veterinarian and an early advocate of the College of Veterinary Medicine. This year’s lecture will be presented by Dr. Don W. Cleveland, Chair, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Distinguished Professor Of Cellular and Molecular Medicine and Neurosciences, and member of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research at UC San Diego School of Medicine. Dr. Cleveland was awarded the 2018 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences.

The Research Forum will include three levels of participation:

  • A poster session, open to DVM students, graduate students, house officers, and staff.
  • Oral presentations by DVM students, graduate students/house officers, and staff.
  • Second Annual Research Image Competition – Do you have a scientific image that is beautiful enough to share? Enter your science images in the Research Image Competition at the CVM Litwack Research Day! Images will be enlarged and displayed on Research Day, and winners will be selected by popular vote (fan favorites). The rules are simple:
    – All types of images are welcome – microscopy, protein structure predictions, western blots, clinical photos – anything that you think is visually appealing and is/was part of a research study
    – Everyone is eligible to submit – students, house officers, post docs, staff, faculty
    – The only restriction is that the image must be yours and associated with a past or present research study

CVM faculty will judge poster & oral presentation sessions. Prizes for oral and poster categories will be awarded as follows:

  • The top 2 posters, oral presentations will receive a Top Honor award – $150 each.
  • The next 2 posters and oral presentations will receive an Honorable Mention award – $75 each.

Oral presentations will be limited to 10 minutes (eight minutes for presentation and two minutes for questions). Presentations will be strictly timed to ensure that all are completed in a reasonable time frame. Poster presentations will be on display all day at the Research Forum. Poster presentations must be set up by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 9th. All CVM faculty are asked to attend.

Litwack Lecture 

Dr. Don W. Cleveland

Don W. Cleveland, PhD - 2018 Life Sciences Breakthrough Prize Laureate

This year’s Litwack Lecturer is Life Sciences Breakthrough Prize Laureate Dr. Don W. Cleveland. Cleveland won the 2018 Prize for elucidating the molecular pathogenesis of a type of inherited ALS, including the role of glia in neurodegeneration, and for establishing antisense oligonucleotide therapy in animal models of ALS and Huntington’s disease

For pioneering discoveries of the mechanisms of chromosome movement and cell-cycle control during normal cellular division, as well as of the principles of neuronal cell growth during mammalian development – defects that lead to inherited human neurodegenerative disease.

Dr. Cleveland holds joint appointments in the Departments of Medicine and Cellular and Molecular Medicine. In addition, he heads the Laboratory of Cell Biology at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, where he pursues two lines of scientific investigation: deciphering the mechanisms of chromosome movement during mitosis and identifying the mechanisms that mediate the very large change in axonal volume post-synapse formation. The latter is a feature that is essential for nerves to achieve their proper signal conduction velocities.

While his research spans several basic science and clinical disciplines, it is important to note that he was the first to clone tubulin genes and to purify tau protein, the major constituent of neurofibrillary tangles in Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Cleveland’s formal teaching in Neurosciences includes the Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology course. Additionally, he serves on the thesis committees of graduate students in Neurosciences.

His neuroscience-related service activities include membership in the Charcot Prize Panel, Motor Neuron Disease Association, and Scientific Advisory Board of Neurogenics, Inc. He often attends the monthly Neurosciences faculty meetings and actively participates in the annual academic review meetings. He also serves as needed on Neurosciences recruitment committees.

Dr. Cleveland regularly serves as a reviewer for a number of first-tier journals such as Science, Nature, Neuron, Nature Neuroscience, and Journal of Neuroscience. He is a sought-after lecturer and is on the “who’s who” list of invited speakers at national and international symposia, including the Gordon Conference, Cold Spring Harbor Meeting, International Meeting on Neurodegeneration, and American Association of Neurology Meeting.

Schedule of Events

Time Event Location
8:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Coffee & Bagels Green Commons
8:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Oral Presentations A-101
8:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Oral Presentations North Theater
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. CVM Research Image Competition CVM lobbies
10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. House Officer/Graduate Student Posters Judged Green Commons
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch (provided by vendors & sponsors) Blue Commons
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. DVM Student Posters Judged Green Commons
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Oral Presentations North Theater
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Oral Presentations A-101
4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Litwack Lecture – Dr. Don W. Cleveland North Theater
5:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Awards Ceremony (awards presented by Dr. Cleveland) North Theater


Vendor and Sponsor Showcase will occur in the Blue Commons during lunch from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

History of the Litwack Lecture 

Martin Litwack

A Legacy of Leadership in Veterinary Medicine

The Litwack Lectures are supported by the Martin Litwack Fund, an endowment created by family and friends as a living memorial to Dr. Litwack, who was an acknowledged leader in establishing the College of Veterinary Medicine at NC State University. Dr. Litwack was a charter member of the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Foundation and was active in many professional organizations including the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association, the American Animal Hospital Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association. He served as president of the Triangle, Eastern North Carolina and North Carolina Veterinary Medical Associations. Dr. Litwack was also very active in community affairs and received many awards in recognition of his service and leadership, including the North Carolina Association of the Professions Special Recognition Award. Dr. Litwack is perhaps best remembered for his love of his family and profession, his deep commitment to education and to North Carolina State University, and his strong sense of obligation to the North Carolina livestock industry and to the general public.