The University of California (UCD) Comparative Medical Science Training Program provides graduate research training, leading to the PhD degree, for veterinarians who seek careers in biomedical research. The training program is based in the Center for Comparative Medicine (CCM), which is a research and graduate teaching center housing faculty from the Schools of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine. CCM faculty mentors are engaged in research utilizing animal models of human disease, with major areas of emphasis in infectious disease, cancer, and genomics. Mouse biology and pathology are also major areas of emphasis, as the Center oversees the UCD Mouse Biology Program, and an NCRR Mutant Mouse Regional Resource Center. The Center interfaces with several other campus programs and centers, including the laboratory animal medicine program, the adjacent California National Primate Research Center, and residency programs in veterinary pathology and laboratory animal medicine. Students who matriculate into the program are placed with mentors within the Center, or with mentors in various affiliated programs in the School of Medicine or Veterinary Medicine, allowing customization of training emphasis to the interests of the student. The program fosters an appreciation for membership within the broad professional community of comparative medicine. The program's overall objective is to provide outstanding research training and development of skills to become competitive biomedical research scientists.
This training program addresses the critical national shortage of research-trained veterinarians, who are needed as contributors to advancements in human biomedical research. Veterinarians contribute to biomedical research in a variety of ways, supporting animal health, as collaborating scientists, and as independent investigators. The global and comparative medical training of veterinarians, coupled with research training provided in this training program, is an ideal basis for investigation of human disease using animal model systems.
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