There is a critical shortage of veterinarians with training in experimental design and research technologies, which is evidenced by the great demand for competent veterinary researchers sought by veterinary colleges, medical schools, and federal agencies. In particular, veterinary scientists are necessary to address two critical areas of need for biomedical research: translational medicine and emerging infectious diseases. At the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine, we are particularly well suited to address these areas of need. Our long-term goal is to contribute to the national capacity of veterinarians in biomedical research by engaging and educating veterinary students in biomedical research. The immediate goal of this application is to involve veterinary students in short-term research training opportunities supported by the Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Short-Term Institutional Research Training Grants (T35) program. Specifically, MSU-CVM proposes to administer a Summer Research Experience Program to recruit and train veterinary students in biomedical research. Another important goal of our program is to increase diversity in the veterinary research workforce. To accomplish this, we will build on an already existing collaboration with Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine to recruit minority students. Our program will provide summer research experiences for twelve veterinary students each year that have completed their freshman, sophomore, or junior year in an AVMA- accredited veterinary curriculum. The proposed training will consist of a continuous twelve week block of time in summer. The program will have three major components: 1) research conducted under the mentorship of an active faculty researcher, 2) educational activities in research, career development, and leadership, and 3) training and experience in preparation of scientific presentations. MSU-CVM has unique research programs to give trainees experience in toxicology, biomedical research (including animal models for human disease), genomics/functional genomics, computational biology, infectious disease, or food safety.
Currently, there is need for translating basic medical discoveries into useful diagnostics and treatments using animal models. There is also concern about biowarfare, particularly with infectious agents that are spread from animals to humans. In the U.S., there is a shortage of veterinary researchers to address these issues. This proposed short-term research program for veterinary students will prepare them for research careers.
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