The purpose of this program is to provide a 12 week mentored research experience for veterinary students at the University of Wisconsin. The 2014 NIH Physician-Scientist Workforce Working Group Report indicated a lack of critical mass among non-MD scientific clinicians. As traditional veterinary curriculum lacks research- related training, this summer research exposure experience is an essential way to expose DVM students to both the research process but also to encourage them to consider research-oriented careers. This program will also help recruit veterinary medical students with specific interest in this program to pursue the DVM at the University of Wisconsin, increase the number of minority students pursuing research training at the University of Wisconsin, inform veterinary medical students of careers in research, and provide participating students with an introduction to ethics, responsible conduct of research, and skills for successful careers in research. The over-arching objective of this program is to introduce veterinary medical students to research and provide them with at least a working knowledge of how to identify a problem of significance to the health and welfare of animals and/or humans, develop a hypothesis to test the question selected, identify and validate appropriate techniques to pursue the research, and analyze and report (orally and in writing) data. Trainees participate in regularly scheduled laboratory meetings and weekly seminars conducted specifically for students in the 12 week summer program. Trainees will either present the results of their research at the summer veterinary research scholars' symposium (typically the NIH-Merial Veterinary Scholars Program Symposium held annually in August) or present their research at seminars or symposiums held at the University Of Wisconsin School Of Veterinary Medicine. The University of Wisconsin in general, and the School of Veterinary Medicine in particular, has an ideal environment to support short-term research training of veterinary students. We anticipate that the proposed program will integrate smoothly with current training programs to provide a continuum of support for research training of veterinary students in Wisconsin.
The National Academies of Science (NAS) has identified a critical shortage of veterinarians in research, and the NIH has identified a need for increased emphasis in clinical and translational research. These issues have a direct bearing on the health and welfare of the US public-most notably veterinary scientist contributions to animal models of human health and disease, but also in cases of human/animal disease interactions. The proposed training program addresses both these essential needs by increasing the pool of veterinarians with exposure to careers in research, and it is anticipated that a significant number of these trainees will pursue advanced training in research.
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