The objective of this professional student short-term research training grant is to provide veterinary students who have completed their first or second year with the opportunity to carry out mentored biomedical research enriched by seminars and events that are designed to inspire them for careers combining their medical training and research. Students will be engaged in hypothesis-driven discovery and problem-solving research in a high- quality laboratory setting for 12 weeks during the summer. Only the most outstanding researchers and mentors from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University have been included as trainees in the proposed research training program. Participating faculty have been grouped into 5 areas of research excellence: 1) Comparative Microbial Pathogenesis and Infectious diseases, 2) Epidemiology and Public Health, 3) Comparative Molecular Genetics 4) Comparative Pathobiology, 5) Comparative Toxicology. In addition, an orientation session, weekly seminar series, and special events have been designed to broaden the research experience, as well as to provide students with an understanding of current research issues and career paths in which they can make a contribution to improve public health. Training in responsible conduct of research is an integral part of the program and is carried out in special training sessions, seminars, book clubs and reflective essays. Recruitment efforts planned are directed not only to DVM students in our college, but to veterinary students from other U.S. colleges of veterinary medicine and are designed to ensure that minority students have access to this research experience. All students participating in the program are required to present their research results at the annual College of Veterinary Medicine Phi Zeta Research Day, and encouraged to present at national meetings and to publish them with their mentors as appropriate. Increasing our human capital in veterinary scientists is critical to the protection of public health and advancement of science that benefits animals and humans, both as individuals and as populations. Summer research experiences provide a critical step into the research enterprise to the veterinary students early in their training and foster interest and develop aptitude for further training in the biomedical sciences. Control and optimal response to diseases such as west-nile virus and avian influenza that affect both human and animal populations depend on this human capital. In addition, comparative studies in animal models are critical to the understanding of disease processes and of new therapies for human diseases.
This proposal is to provide short-term, mentored training to students at the beginning of their veterinary training and provide research training and inspire them for careers in biomedical research. Veterinarians are uniquely qualified to advance public health as they have in-depth training and knowledge in 1) food safety and security, 2) recognition and control of zoonotic diseases (those that are transmitted between animals and humans), and 3) animal models of human diseases. With the additional research training that will be acquired through this program, these future veterinary-scientists will be poised to pursue further research and training that will address the various public health challenges facing the nation and make significant contributions throughout their careers.