This T32 application requests funds to support to experiential training at Colorado State University in molecular, mechanistic, and applied biomedical research to encourage pre-DVM participation in comparative/translational/academic research. Multiple national studies have identified a need to increase veterinary participation in these areas, and student research involvement has significant impact on increasing post-graduate careers in biomedical research. CSU has a well-established history of training DVMs at the predoctoral, combined DVM/PhD, and postdoctoral level;our DVM research trainee alumni include many productive academic faculty, as well as veterinary school deans, leaders of private foundations, diagnostic laboratories and industry groups. We are seeking to expand current programs through the T32 Predoctoral Program for Veterinary Students funding mechanism. An aggressive recruitment strategy will be employed to educate and encourage participation by the most highly qualified candidates from CSU. A summer seminar series and Translational Medicine coursework will focus on elements of the research process, responsible conduct of research, an overview of mentor faculty research projects, and instruction on grant- writing and research data presentation. The one-year program will include participation in both local and national Symposia. Sixty-one mentor faculty (30 with veterinary degrees) will participate, providing (1) strong biomedical research programs in areas of infectious disease, cancer, physiology, and epidemiology-with 265 current year awards totaling more than $33.1M;and, (2) experience in research mentorship of veterinarians and veterinary students (132 veterinary summer students, 139 post-DVM trainees, and 18 DVM/PhD students mentored during the past 10 years). Participants will thus experience a program of research that will bridge basic research to in vivo translation with impact on human and animal health in a time of emerging diseases, biosecurity, and Translational Medicine. The desired outcome of this training program is production of graduate veterinarians with an interest and aptitude in biomedical research, and a tendency to enter the pipeline of post-graduate research training. The program is guided by experienced leadership, counseled by an external advisory committee comprised of expert T32 Program Directors, populated with diverse faculty skilled in research mentorship. This application requests support to support the on-going DVM-PhD training program (which has historically enrolled 16% under-represented minority students) and to support students in a one-year pre-doctoral research experience after the second year of the formal Professional Veterinary Medical Curriculum. Initial support is requested for two students/year with a graduated increase to three positions.
This project outlines a plan to increase training capacity for pre-doctoral veterinary students at Colorado State University. This proposal is in response to a variety of studies concluding that veterinarian training in biomedical research has significant implications for public health, and early career exposure can significantly impact career path decisions.