TVMDL provides diagnostic training for five Turkmen veterinary professionals

Three men examine glass plate on light table.

Members of the Turkmen delegation learn to run a standard plate test for brucellosis in the serology lab at the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory.

TVMDL professionals helped to train five diagnosticians and private practitioners from Turkmenistan as part of a two-week training program in veterinary laboratory management.

The FAZD Center partnered with the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture to host the delegation. Funding for the June 3-15 training program came from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA-FAS) through its Cochran Fellowship Program.

In addition, seven other organizations provided training, tours or webinars for the program:, the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, the Texas A&M Institute of Preclinical Studies, Caliber Biotherapeutics, Merial, Life Technologies, Bioo Scientific, and Kalon Biotherapeutics within the National Center for Therapeutics and Manufacturing.

The Turkmen delegation was escorted by Dr. Heather Simmons, theme leader for Education and Outreach at the FAZD Center, and Dr. Kelly Soltysiak, program coordinator.

At TVMDL’s College Station laboratgory, the Turkmen delegation received:

  • An orientation in managing a veterinary laboratory from Dr. Simmons.
  • An introduction to planning and operating a veterinary diagnostic laboratory from Dr. Konrad Eugster, senior fellow in animal health at the Borlaug Institute and director emeritus at TVMDL.
  • An introduction to laboratory accreditation from Terry Dobrovolsky, quality assurance manager at TVMDL.
  • An introduction to laboratory information management systems with a training exercise from Dr. Matt Cochran, assistant agency director at TVMDL.
  • An introduction to biosafety in a diagnostic lab from Jordan Brod, TVMDL’s agency operations manager.
  • Lectures on viral and bacterial zoonoses (pathogens that are transmitted between humans and animals) from Dr. Floron C. (Buddy) Faries Jr., professor and Extension specialist with the FAZD Center and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Services.
  • A lecture about diagnostic virology, plus a training exercise, from Dr. Pam Ferro, section head for virology and molecular diagnostics at TVMDL’s College Station lab.
  • A lecture about techniques and equipment used in bacteriology, with a training exercise, from Dr. Amy Swinford, microbiology branch chief at TVMDL’s College Station lab.
  • A lecture about molecular diagnostics from Dr. Loyd Sneed, molecular diagnostician at TVMDL’s College Station lab.
  • An introduction to TVMDL’s capacity in responding to critical needs regarding domestic and foreign animal diseases from Dr. Mankey Bounpheng, section head for diagnostic development.
  • A training activity in molecular diagnostics led by Feng (Julie) Sun, a molecular microbiologist at TVMDL’s lab in College Station.
  • A lecture in diagnostics for brucellosis, an introduction to diagnostic methods and kits used in serology, and a training activity in brucellosis diagnostics from Sandy Rodgers, assistant section head for serology at TVMDL’s College Station lab.

Members of the delegation from Turkmenistan were:

  • Dr. Rejepmuhammet Berdiniyazov, a veterinary practitioner at the Ahal Veterinary Service , which provides services to both state farms and private farmers, focusing primarily on sheep.
  • Dr. Yhlas Habibullayev , head of the epizootic department for the State Veterinary Service in Ashgabat.
  • Dr. Hangeldy Ilbegiyev, a senior veterinarian at the Mary Province Veterinary Laboratory.
  • Dr. Iskander Mommayev, head of the veterinary laboratory at the Oguzhan District Veterinary Service
  • Dr. Dovletgeldi Mominov, chief of the Atymyrat Veterinary Department at the Atamyrat Veterinary Service

The delegation was accompanied by Arzigul Ovezlieva, an interpreter with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service.