Throughout recorded history, every culture has used natural remedies to support health and well-being.  It is not surprising that today, nearly 80% of all drugs have their roots in natural compounds.  Nutraceuticals, nutritional products that provide functional health benefits, have become a common part of an integrated approach to wellness in humans and, increasingly, in their pets.

The International Conference on Animal Health Nutraceuticals Symposium (ICAHN) is designed to explore the current state and future development of nutraceuticals in animal health and disease.  The symposium covered common conditions and health concerns in animals and the role that nutritional intervention can play as part of an integrated approach.  Our distinguished speakers discussed advances in and the evidence-based impact of nutritional science in a variety of areas, including immunity, joint health, gut microbiome, cognitive health, and the use of cannabinoids.  ICAHN 2019 also coincided with the publication of Nutraceuticals in Veterinary Medicine, the first comprehensive collection of scientific articles on the therapeutic use of nutritional compounds in animals.

This meeting provided attendees the opportunity to network and share ideas with colleagues interested in evidence-based nutritional supplementation.  Participants included academic scientists, nutritionists, veterinarians, key opinion leaders, holistic medicine practitioners, delegates from the nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries and media partners. 

On behalf of the ICAHN organizing committee, University of Wisconsin–Stout and Vets Plus, Inc., we would like to thank all of the attendees, speakers and sponsors who made the first symposium of the International Conference on Animal Health Nutraceuticals possible.

Featured Speakers


Ramesh C. Gupta, DVM, MVSc, PhD

Overview of Nutraceuticals in Animal Health and Disease

Nutraceuticals in Joint Health with Special Emphasis on Osteoarthritis

Dr. Ramesh Gupta serves as Professor and Head of the Toxicology Department at Murray State University. Dr. Gupta specializes in experimental brain research in relation to chemical factors and neurodegenerative diseases and for the last twenty years he has been heavily engaged in nutraceuticals research. Dr. Gupta has over 400 publications to his credit, including eight academic text books, and has served on scientific panels for the NIH, CDC, NIOSH, and National Academy of Sciences. In 2006, Dr. Gupta was awarded the Murray State University's Distinguished Researcher Award, and in 2014 was recognized again with the Outstanding Research Award. 

Dr. Gupta earned his DVM, MVSc, and PhD in India then carried out his post-doctoral training at Michigan State University and Vanderbilt University. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology and is active in more than dozen academic societies, including fellowships in the American College of Toxicology, American College of Nutrition, Academy of Toxicological Sciences and memberships in the American Veterinary Medical Association, American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Society of Toxicology, Eurotox, and the International Society for the Study of Xenobiotics.


Steve Lerner, PhD

Role of Probiotics and Their Applications in Animal Health

Dr. Steve Lerner is Vice President of North America Sales and Marketing for the Animal Health and Nutrition division of Chr. Hansen, responsible for bringing Chr. Hansen’s science-based, research-proven products to the North American animal health and production markets, including beef cattle feedlots, poultry and egg production facilities. 

Dr. Lerner holds an MS in Biology/Embryology from West Virginia University and a BS in Zoology from University of Maryland. He earned his PhD in Reproductive Physiology from West Virginia University and a post-doctoral fellowship in Molecular Genetics from the University of Southern California. Prior to joining Chr. Hansen, Dr. Lerner worked at Nutrition Physiology Company as Vice President of Product Development and Commercialization.He is an invited lecturer on Customer Lifetime Value Modeling at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Bentley University, and the University of Rhode Island.


Margaret H. Dohnalek, PhD

Building a Formulation Solution for Inflammation and Immunity in Companion Animals

Dr. Margaret Dohnalek joined Valensa International in 2018 as Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Vice President, Research and Innovation. In her role Dr. Dohnalek leads the research and innovation team, supporting Valensa’s key business pillars: Greens/Microalgae, Joint Health, Prostate Health, and Astaxanthin Innovation. She has over 30 years’ experience leading product and technology innovation activities for Fortune 500 companies, including PepsiCo, Pfizer and Abbot Laboratories. Dr. Dohnalek’s expertise ranges widely, from strategic business development to scientific innovation and clinical and pre-clinical research. At Pfizer she led the dietary supplement innovation team that launched benefit-specific supplements and age and gender-specific multivitamins. 

Dr. Dohnalek has an undergraduate degree in Food Science and Technology from Virginia Tech and earned her MS in Protein Chemistry and doctorate in Food Microbiology with a distributed minor in Consumer Science and Preventive Medicine from the University of



Dr. Gerald Buchoff, DVM, BVScAH, MS

Transferrin and Nutraceutical Applications in Pets

Dr. Gerald Buchoff is the Director and owner of Holistic Pet Care in Little Falls, NJ, and the CEO, President, owner and dietary formulator for Dr. B’s Holistic Pet Products. He has served as president of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association and president of the Northern New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association. Dr. Buchoff’s expertise has been featured in newspapers, magazines, and on television and radio. He was the co-host of the “The Pet Stop” segment on News 12 New Jersey. 

Dr. Buchoff graduated from Rutgers University with a BS followed by a MS in

Immunology. He received his DVM from G.B. Pant University in India in 1980.


Dr. Gary Richter, DVM

Therapeutic Uses of Cannabinoids in Companion Animals

Dr. Gary Richter has been a practicing veterinarian in East Bay, California for over 20 years and has seen the steady increase in the acceptance and even preference by pet owners for alternatives to traditional therapies to manage the health of their pets. Now Dr. Richter’s practice, Holistic Veterinary Care, focuses on an integrative medicine approach combining Western and complementary therapies. He is certified in veterinary acupuncture and veterinary chiropractic. At Holistic Veterinary Care Dr. Richter utilizes medical cannabis along with other conventional and alternative therapies to provide support to patients who, in many cases, have not experience relief from traditional Western therapies alone. He is currently a co-sponsor of SB 627, the bill currently being considered by the California legislature that would allow veterinarians to recommend medical cannabis for their patients.

Dr. Richter graduated from University of Florida with his DVM in 1998 and has a graduate degree in Western veterinary herbal medicine.


Dr. W. Thomas Shier, MS, MSc, PhD

Future Direction and Trends in Nutraceutical Research

Dr. W. Thomas Shier is a Professor in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy at the University of Minnesota and also serves as a consultant to Vets Plus, Inc. Dr. Shier’s teaching is concentrated on the intersection of biotechnology and nutrition. His research specializes in the development of new antibiotics and anti-cancer agents from soil

microorganisms and preventing contamination of foods by cancer-causing mycotoxins. He was at the forefront developing mutasynthesis, a process for making antibiotic analogs that has been used in laboratories to produce the antibiotics doramectin and selectin.

Dr. Shier obtained his BSc in Chemistry from the University of Waterloo in Canada and his MS and PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Illinois. He carried out postdoctoral studies with Nobel Prize winner Dr. Robert W. Holley at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California.

Contact Us

ICAHN 2019 - UW Stout Great Hall

The UW Stout Great Hall is located in the Memorial Student Center

302 10th Avenue East, Menomonie, Wisconsin 54751, United States

(715) 231-1234 x503

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