Establishment of the RCE's along with construction of a network of Regional and National Biocontainment Laboratories have provided the foundation for the United States to promote research on biodefense and emerging infectious diseases (EID) at an unprecedented scale. Institutions previously unable to do so will now be conducting studies on animal models of human disease at BSL3 and BSL4 levels. This research expansion has created a need for laboratory animal veterinarians with experience in biocontainment and infectious diseases research. Career development is one of the goals of the MRCE, therefore the MRCE has developed a post-DVM training opportunity specifically for veterinarians interested in pursuing careers in biodefense or EID research. The program successfully recruited 8 DVM's in the first 5 years of the MRCE, and all of these candidates remain engaged in research. The MRCE recognizes that rigorously trained veterinarian-scientists can contribute substantially to the multidisciplinary research teams focused on biodefense, and the Center is committed to addressing the critical shortage of veterinarians with experience in biodefense and EID research, and practical knowledge of public health practice. Unfortunately, the actual number of veterinarian-scientists is relatively small. Addressing this critical shortage is a goal of the proposed training program, a post-DVM fellowship experience based on collaboration of the Midwest Regional Centers of Excellence in Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases based at Washington University St. Louis with the College's of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State, the University of Missouri - Columbia, and Iowa State.
Career development is one of the goals of the MRCE. With the expansion of research on Catergory A-C agents, in particular animal work requiring BSL3 containment, the unique skills of DVM's are required to safely and effectively perform animal experimentation. This program aims to train veterinarians in the best scientific practices for working with biodefense or emerging infectious disease laboratories.
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