Significant needs exist at the national level for skilled veterinary scientists who are trained in modern research methods, representing essential expertise in a biomedical research community that is increasingly utilizing (and benefitting from) comparative medical approaches. The purpose of this training grant application is to provide short term research experiences for professional veterinary medical students, allowing them to acquire specific technical and conceptual skills to perform hypothesis based research involving biochemical/molecular, tissue culture, and/or animal models of disease. The goal is to stimulate further interest in a research career, beginning with graduate educational opportunities that can include a combined DVM/MS program, or graduate education leading to a PhD following completion of the DVM. The summer research experience will focus upon students that have just completed the first year of the professional curriculum at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. The college has the largest student population in the nation (140 per class), and has been able to increasingly recruit (and support) students wishing to explore research experiences. The program will be administered through the Department of Veterinary Biosciences (VBS), which has a well established interdisciplinary graduate faculty drawing from multiple components of the University Health Sciences Center. These basic and clinical sciences faculty represent the Colleges of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, Childrens Hospital, and the Comprehensive Cancer Center. Selected students will acquaint themselves with ongoing basic and clinical research in the laboratories and clinical sites of participating faculty, and select a research problem. The trainees will participate in the design and execution of experiments, and analysis of experimental results. The research experience will be supplemented by short courses in biostatics and ethical considerations in the responsible conduct of research. The research experience will be followed by a symposium (scheduled during the following autumn quarter) in which students will present results of their research, this serving as an important recruiting mechanisms for future classes. The symposium will also be allow a more formal discussion of research oriented careers for veterinarians and pathways to obtain them.
The research experience supported by this training grant will enhance recruitment of DVMs into graduate programs or other research career tracks, thereby addressing the national need for veterinary scientists that are an essential component of our biomedical research force.