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Dr. Julieta Farias
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Theriogenology Foundation Provides Zemjanis Grant

Dr. Julieta Farias visited the US in 2011 to acquire hands-on training on basic laboratory techniques related to equine reproduction, stallion and mare breeding management and observe assisted reproductive techniques. Her visit was partially funded by a Zemjanis grant from the Theriogenology Foundation. Dr. Farias is a native of Argentina. She obtained her veterinary degree in 2005 and is currently a faculty member of the Department of Equine Production at the Catholic University of Cordoba, Cordoba, Argentina.

Dr. Farias first visited the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital of Kansas State University from May 13 to May 28. At K-State, she received hands-on training on basic laboratory techniques such as stallion semen evaluation, semen packaging for shipping, and assessment and interpretation of endometrial cytologies and biopsies. Dr. Farias also shadowed Dr. Maria Ferrer during clinical and teaching activities. She was able to participate in diagnosis, management and treatment of routine and referral equine theriogenology cases presented to the teaching hospital, and in didactic and laboratory activities with fourth year students. At K-State, Dr. Farias interacted with Dr. Teresa Larrosa, another visiting teaching assistant from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina . Dr. Larrosa described her interaction with Julieta in these words: "Julieta was a great roommate, not only we spent awesome moments together but also we shared a lot of knowledge about our respective jobs in equine reproduction. She visited the United States in the past when she performed an externship in Washington State University. She also worked in equine reproduction in different countries such as Peru, Bolivia and of course Argentina. We both learned a lot from Dr. Ferrer and from each other so our stay in KSU was a beautiful enriching experience.”

Dr. Farias then visited the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University from May 28 to June 13. In Texas, she shadowed Isabel Catalina Velez Jaramillo from Dr. Kathrin Hinrichs laboratory. She was able to observe ultrasound guided transvaginal aspiration of immature oocytes and aspiration of mature oocytes through the flank, ICSI and nuclear transfer. Lastly, she visited the Equine Reproductive Laboratory at Colorado State University from June 13 to June 20. In Colorado, she stayed with Dr. Elaine Carnevale and her group and was able to observe ultrasound guided transvaginal aspiration of mature oocytes, ICSI and oocyte transfer. She was also able to observe some clinical cases. Julieta has expressed her gratitude to the people she interacted with, and her visits to TAMU and CSU were very enriching for her professional development.

Many thanks to the Theriogenology Foundation for the economical support provided for Dr. Farias' visit. This was a valuable experience that allowed her to improve her clinical skills and establish contacts for future collaboration. Dr. Farias' cheerful personality was greatly enjoyed by the faculty members and students that interacted with her. She provided valuable input on case management and assistance to students, and her visit was an excellent opportunity to exchange experiences and discuss different management practices used in both countries. Dr. Farias has described her experience in these words: "Since my goal has always been to specialize in equine assisted reproductive techniques, I consider that this opportunity was extremely helpful for my professional and personal growth. It has been a chance to get familiarized with techniques that are not yet available in my country (follicular aspiration, ICSI, oocyte transfer and cloning), at least not in a commercial way. I had the opportunity to see, learn from and ask all my doubts to people that until this moment, I just knew through their papers, and never imagined I could meet in person. At the same time I was learning, I was also getting to know in reality the costs, the equipment needed, the results, and could rearrange my own expectations of which and how to apply these techniques in my practice. Beside this, it was an opportunity to increase my knowledge and improve my performance in the courses I teach. I believe that no matter how long you have been working in your profession, the learning process is continuous and very important to keep us a good professional and professor. I would like to thank greatly the Theriogenology Foundation that provided funds to make this trip possible for me, and to all the amazing people that I met in the different Universities I visited, for their kindness and help. Besides the knowledge, they made my long journey totally worth it!”

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