Valerie M. Wong, DVM, MVetSc, PhD, DACVP

Assistant Professor, Clinical Pathology


Midwestern University
College of Veterinary Medicine
Cactus Wren Hall, Room 336F
19555 59th Ave.
Glendale, AZ 85308

Office: (623) 537-6376
E-mail: vwong@midwestern.edu

Education

DVM (Guelph)
MVetSc (Saskatchewan)
PhD (Guelph)

Research

Dr. Wong is a specialist in veterinary hematology, clinical chemistry, and cytology.  Her research interests include cancer biology, hemostasis, and shelter medicine.  Current research studies include the following:

Characterizing the pathomechanisms involved in the metastasis of canine splenic hemangiosarcoma

Hemangiosarcoma is a highly aggressive neoplasm of endothelial origin that commonly affects the spleen in dogs.  Standard treatment for splenic hemangiosarcoma is removal of the primary tumor by splenectomy.  Long-term survival is poor because metastasis has usually occurred prior to the time of diagnosis.  Common metastatic sites include the liver, mesentery, heart, lungs, and brain.  Patients who have undergone splenectomy often die of or are euthanized due to metastatic disease.  Although there are some published studies describing the molecular and functional profiles of canine hemangiosarcoma, little is known about the mechanisms involved in its metastasis.  The goal of this study is to compare protein expression profiles between primary splenic hemangiosarcoma tissue and metastatic tissue within the same patient.  It is anticipated that differential expression of various proteins involved in invasion and metastasis will be present and that these proteins may be potential targets for therapeutic intervention.

The epidemiology of Giardia genetic assemblages in the Greater Pheonix Metropolitan Area

Gardia is a complex group of organisms that causes diarrhea and is commonly found in humans and animals.  Some Giardia species infect humans, dogs, and cats, while some others infect only dogs or cats and not humans.  Such host specificity is largely determined by the genetic assemblage of a particular Giardia species.  We have previously found that Giardia is common in stray dogs and cats in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area.  It is unknown if these animals carry the species that can cause disease in humans as well (i.e. zoonotic).  This study aims to determine the genetic assemblages of the Giardia organisms found in stray dogs and cats in the greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area.  Fecal samples are being obtained from the dogs and cats temporarily housed at the Sunnyslope Campus of the Arizona Humane Society.  The sequences for three Giardia-specific genes will be determined and used for species identification.  The results from this study will determine whether or not shelter dogs and cats in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area carry the types of Giardia that cause diseases in humans and provide information for veterinarians, physicians, pet owners, and public health officials in this geographical area to aid in zoonotic risk assessment.

The effects of Aspartyl(asparaginyl)-Beta-hydroxylase (ASPH) inhibition on hemostasis

Aspartyl(asparaginyl)-Beta-hydroxylase (ASPH) is a cell surface enzyme associated with embryological development, including trophoblast invasion of the uterine wall for proper development of the placenta, and migration of endoderm cells for organ development primarily for the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Inappropriate ASPH overexpression in adult tumor tissue confers an aggressive, invasive and metastatic phenotype.  ASPH is known to hydroxylate blood coagulation proteins, but no in vitro consequence of this hydroxylation has ever been identified.  Dysregulation to coagulation could potentially contribute to metastasis by cloaking tumor cells with coagulation proteins and suppressing tumor immune surveillance.  Using thromboelastography, the aim of this project is to determine the effects of systemic administration of an ASPH inhibitor to the hemostatic system of non-tumor bearing Sprague-Dawley rats.

Publications

Purification of protein C from canine plasma. Wong VM, Bienzle D, Hayes MA, Taylor P, Wood RD. BMC Vet Res. 2014 Oct 18;10:251 (18 pp).

Anti-chemotactic effects of canine protein C are dependent on the endothelial protein C receptor (EPCR) expressed in canine neutrophils (abstract).  Wong VM, Côté O, Bienzle D, Hayes MA, Wood RD.  Presented at the 48th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology, Montreal, QC, 2013. 

N-linked glycosylation mapping of canine protein C (abstract).  Wong VM, Bienzle D, Hayes MA, Taylor P, Wood RD.  Presented at the 48th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology, Montreal, QC, 2013.

The use of an online discussion forum in an introductory pathology course for undergraduate students: participatory rates were associated with better learning outcomes (abstract).  Wong VM, Foster RA .  Presented at the 48th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology, Montreal, QC, 2013.

Book Review - Veterinary Hematology: A Diagnostic Guide and Colour Atlas, J. W. Harvey. Wong VM, Hoff B.  Can Vet J. 2013;54(6):609.

A case report of feline primary nasal histiocytic sarcoma. Wong VM, Snyman HN, Ackerley C, Bienzle D.  J Comp Pathol, 2012;147(2-3),209-13.

Infectious canine hepatitis associated with prednisone treatment.  Wong VM, Marche C, Simko E.  Can Vet J, 2012;53(11):1219-21.

Serum C-reactive protein concentrations in healthy Miniature Schnauzer dog. Wong VM, Kidney BA, Snead EC, Myers SL, Jackson ML. Vet Clin Pathol. 2011;40(3):380-3.

Comparison of human protein C, canine protein C, and pooled canine plasma as calibrators in a modified commercial human assay for measuring protein C activity in canine plasma. Wong VM, Wood RD. Vet Clin Pathol. 2010;39(4):562 (abstract).  Presented at the 45th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology, Baltimore, MD, 2010.

Functionality of canine protein C activated ex vivo with protac.  Wong VM, Hayes MA, Bienzle D, Wood RD. Vet Clin Pathol. 2010;39(4):565 (abstract). Presented at the 45th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology, Baltimore, MD, 2010.

Evaluation of factor VIII activity in dogs with neoplasia using coagulometric and chromogenic methods. Wong VM, Woods JP, Wood RD, Gentry PA.  Vet Clin Pathol. 2004;33(3):189 (abstract). Presented at the 39th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology, Orlando, FL, 2004.

A hemolytic transfusion reaction due to DEA 4 alloantibodies in a dog.  Melzer KJ, Wardrop KJ, Hale AS, Wong VM. J Vet Intern Med. 2003;17(6):931-3.