The aim of this proposal is the establishment of an interdisciplinary postdoctoral training program in comparative pathobiology under the umbrella of the existing graduate program in the Department of Comparative Pathobiology. The overall goal of the program is to prepare veterinarians for careers in biomedical research. Specifically, this training program is aimed at veterinarians who have completed residency training in pathology, laboratory animal medicine or a clinical specialty. The 14 primary faculty associated with the proposed training program work with animal models of infectious diseases, cancer and inflammation. They are affiliated with 5 different departments, and represent a variety of disciplines, including molecular biology, chemistry, immunology, microbiology, and virology. The students in the program will be recruited from residency programs at Purdue University and other institutions across the US. Specific efforts will be made to recruit students from ethnic/racial minority populations. The training in the proposal program consists of core and elective courses in subject areas, seminars, courses and workshops in research ethics, and completion of a research project under the guidance of one of the primary faculty associated with the program. The students will receive a Ph.D. degree upon successful completion of the program. The proposal requests funding for 2 post-doctoral fellowships per year for the duration of the grant. Each fellowship is for three years, after which the student will be paid by the mentor and/or department until completion of the Ph.D. requirements. The outcome of the training program is board-certified veterinarians with a Ph.D. in biomedical research.
Veterinarians can play an important role in biomedical research and public health as principal investigators or collaborators on multidisciplinary research teams. However, there is a shortage of veterinarians with solid training in biomedical research. This proposal will train highly qualified and motivated veterinarians with advanced specialty training in a clinical or diagnostic discipline.