Veterinarians are broadly trained health professionals who are uniquely qualified to participate in biomedical research, having an understanding of health and disease in the context of the whole organism1,2. The "One Health" concept, integrating discoveries in both human and veterinary medicine, has received increased attention with the emergence of zoonotic pathogens as well as increasingly common chronic aging conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus. As translational research with animal models continue to expand to approximately half of all current NIH research projects1, laboratory animal medicine veterinarians, particularly those with research training, make increasingly valuable contributions to biomedical research.3 Two recent reports by National Academy of Sciences National Research Council Committees concluded that there is a critical shortage of such veterinarians4,5. Texas A&M University is prepared to expand our current comparative medicine training program for a special track in Laboratory Animal Medicine and Animal Model Research. The objectives of this special program are to prepare veterinarians to be proficient in clinical medicine and understand concepts of translational biomedical research by completing a research project. Participants will not only become educated in classical laboratory animal medicine with the goal to become an ACLAM diplomate, they will also have experience in a research laboratory. Course work and seminar series will give broad exposure to topics and individuals involved in biomedicine, both in clinical medicine and in animal model research. Required and optional, individually designed, rotations will involve the trainees in diverse animal species, clinical and administrative laboratory animal medicine, diagnostic comparative pathology, and colony management. A concurrent component, with emphasis on the last 18 months of the 3-year program, will involve trainees in a research project that will use laboratory animals as a major component. This research will culminate in one or more peer-reviewed publications suitable for ACLAM eligibility and a M.S. in Biomedical Sciences. The program will be composed of faculty in both clinical and animal research backgrounds, with 17 Clinical Medicine/Comparative Pathology Mentors and 17 Research Mentors (total 28;6 overlap) with exemplary clinical medicine/comparative pathology expertise and/or research publications and extramural funding. The program has exceptional institutional support and a broad array of state-of-the-art facilities, including preclinical GLP labs, transgenic facilities, primate centers, strong industry- institutional collaborations, and a newly approved DHHS Biodefense vaccine center. A major obstacle to the efforts of academic institutions to produce more laboratory animal medicine veterinarians is the difficulty of providing adequate salary sources to support trainees through the extended training needed. The training positions provided by this R25 would assist recruiting efforts, increase numbers of comparative medicine residents, and help alleviate this national shortage.

Public Health Relevance

As translational research and studies using animal models continue to expand to an estimated half of all current NIH research projects1, laboratory animal medicine veterinarians, particularly those with research training, make increasingly valuable individual and group contributions to biomedical research. Two recent reports by National Academy of Sciences National Research Council Committees concluded that there is a critical shortage of such veterinarians. A major obstacle to the efforts of academic institutions to produce more laboratory animal medicine veterinarians is the difficulty of providing adequate salary sources to support trainees through the extended training in biomedical research. The training positions provided by this R25 would assist recruiting efforts, increase numbers of comparative medicine residents, and help alleviate this national shortage.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
Office of The Director, National Institutes of Health (OD)
Type
Education Projects (R25)
Project #
1R25OD016574-01
Application #
8513676
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZTR1-CM-6 (02))
Program Officer
Moro, Manuel H
Project Start
2013-07-01
Project End
2017-04-30
Budget Start
2013-07-01
Budget End
2014-04-30
Support Year
1
Fiscal Year
2013
Total Cost
$110,331
Indirect Cost
$7,206
Name
Texas A&M University
Department
Veterinary Sciences
Type
Schools of Veterinary Medicine
DUNS #
020271826
City
College Station
State
TX
Country
United States
Zip Code
77845