The overall objective of this T35 predoctoral training program is to provide professional veterinary student short-term summer training in biomedical research. Entitled "Students Training in Advanced Research", this program has for the last 10 years engaged the idealism and interest of predoctoral veterinary students to careers in comparative medical research and to assist them in seeking avenues of further training appropriate to their individual needs. The University of California, Davis (UC Davis) has provided a rich environment for veterinary students to experience and participate in biomedical, behavioral and clinical research, with 36 participating faculty mentors from the School of Veterinary Medicine, School of Medicine, and College of Engineering and 5 graduate groups who lead research laboratories in more than a dozen centers of excellence. This training program is centered at the Center for Comparative Medicine, the mission of which is focused on hypothesis-driven science utilizing animal models of human disease representing a diverse array of projects, disciplines and approaches. The training experience includes intensive research opportunities in mentor laboratories, seminars, didactic elements that feature ethics, safety and the responsible conduct of research, and an end of summer STARs in Science Day when students present their research projects to the broader campus community. To date, this T35 grant has supported 94 veterinary students, including 73 women and at least 3 who self-identified as underrepresented minorities. Of these, 22 (23%) have sought advanced scientific training, including 17 who have either earned (8) their PhD or are currently pursuing (9) their PhD degree concurrently with their DVM. Thus, in just one decade, we will have used T35 support to seek, recruit, cultivate, and catalyze a new generation of veterinary students, especially women and underrepresented minorities, to embark on advanced scientific research training. In so doing, continued funding of the STAR Program will help to ensure that highly trained comparative medical scientists will be available to meet the growing needs for principal investigator-driven and collaborative biomedical research.
(provided by applicant): This training grant will help to address a nationwide deficiency in the number of veterinarians engaged in research. Veterinary students will be funded to spend their summer months between their regular professional training to engage and participate in biomedical research. Several of these students will pursue advanced research training concurrently or after graduation with their professional degree.
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