Veterinarians are broadly trained health professionals, who with research training are uniquely qualified to participate in biomedical research. As expressed by a study group at the National Academy of Sciences on biomedical investigator shortages;"Human and veterinary medicine should be considered one science, one medicine". A recent study by the National Research Council concluded that there is a critical shortage of veterinarians involved in research. With a strong research infrastructure and university-funded robust residency programs, Texas A&M University is well positioned to prepare more veterinarians to fill this critical shortage of comparative biomedical researchers. The proposed training program is designed for post-DVMs, especially interdigitating with those who have completed a three year residency program in a specialty area, including laboratory animal medicine, anatomic pathology, clinical pathology, microbiology, and clinical sciences (medicine, surgery, radiology). The criteria for selection of trainees will include: 1) undergraduate and/or veterinary program research experience and strong interest in a career involving biomedical research;2) outstanding academic record and residency performance;3) personal attributes such as underserved minority background, first generation graduate, and high professional ethics;and 4) communication skills. The proposed research program is broadly interdisciplinary, with mentors having primarily NIH funding. These outstanding mentors were drawn from multiple Texas A&M University colleges/units, but share in common their desire to train veterinarians in basic biomedical research. Research areas include infectious and metabolic disease, toxicology, nutrition, developmental biology, cancer and neuroscience, giving mentees the broadest possible selection of biomedical research areas as well as outstanding mentors.
The proposed program is highly relevant to public health by addressing the shortage of veterinarians with research training who are needed to assume important roles in biomedical research. These comparative medicine researchers are critical to the translation of basic biomedical research into new treatments and management of human disease conditions.
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