(November 12, 2009 Stillwater, OK) – The Oklahoma State University’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences recently hosted the Sitlington Lecture in Toxicology in McElroy Hall Auditorium on the Stillwater campus. Presenting was toxicology expert, William Slikker, Jr., Ph.D., director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR) located in Jefferson, Ark.
Slikker’s topic, “The Impact of Pediatric Anesthetics on the Developing Brain,” focused on his ongoing studies of pediatric anesthetics and the impact these have on brain development using rodent and monkey models.
His research indicates that prolonged exposure to anesthesia agents can lead to neuron cell death, which can ultimately affect learning and memory and other higher order processes in the nervous system. Slikker also noted that susceptibility was based on the timing of exposures, i.e., in rodents the most vulnerable time for exposure is from birth to 14 days, but in monkeys it was from gestation to 2 months, and in humans from gestation to 2-3 years of age.
Of special importance to veterinary clinicians was to keep anesthetic agent exposure in animal patients to a minimum during the critical developmental time periods.
Carey Pope, Ph.D., head of the Department of Physiological Sciences, Regents Professor and Sitlington Chair in Toxicology, organizes the Sitlington Lecture in Toxicology.
“We welcomed Dr. Slikker to OSU for the 10th Annual Sitlington Lecture in Toxicology,” says Pope. “The overall goal of this lecture series is to increase awareness of the importance of toxicology research in human and animal health, both on and off the OSU campus.”
The Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences is one of 28 veterinary colleges in the United States and is fully accredited by the Council on Education of the American Veterinary Medical Association. The center’s Boren Veterinary Medial Teaching Hospital is open to the public and provides routine and specialized care for small and large animals. It also offers 24-hour emergency care and is certified by the American Animal Hospital Association. For more information, visit www.cvhs.okstate.edu or call (405) 744-7000.