This application represents the second 5 year competitive renewal of our veterinary student-targeted, pre-doctoral T32 training program (see PA-11-184), called the Yearlong Exposure to Advanced Research, or YEAR, Program at the University of California Davis (UCD). The YEAR Program is structured as a 1-year training opportunity for veterinary students from diverse backgrounds who seek to further their interest in hypothesis-based comparative and biomedical research. To accomplish this, applications will be encouraged from veterinary students at any AVMA-accredited School or College of Veterinary Medicine in the United States. The 3 veterinary students selected each year will be awarded full financial support to participate in supervised research under the guidance of any of 51 NIH-supported faculty...MD's, DVM's, PhD's...with active research programs from 23 departments in 6 schools and affiliated with 26 centers and participating in 7 graduate groups and programs across the UC Davis campus who have committed to welcoming veterinary students into their laboratories. Students will be afforded up to four 3-month long rotations during the year. This unique research training opportunity effectively adds a 5th year to the student's 4 year professional education and training. During the previous 8 years of the Program, 22 DVM students were selected and appointed as trainees, all of whom have elected to pursue their PhD degree after completing the program and before graduating from veterinary school. Thus, we have fulfilled all the expectations of this special T32 training mechanism, and utilized the YEAR Program to seek, recruit, 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 YEAR 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 animal-based, biomedical research. Therefore, we seek to competitively renew our NIH funded T32 YEAR Program and allow us to continue to encourage the best and brightest veterinary students, particularly women and underrepresented minorities, to experience biomedical research and to convince them to pursue academic professional scientific careers.
Numerous recent National Academy of Sciences reports have warned of the consequences to the nation's health of the lack of research-trained veterinarians with the unique expertise of animal-based science education and disease training who are engaged in the nation's biomedical research enterprise. The objective of this application is to 1) encourage more veterinarians to participate in or support biomedical research, and 2) to prepare more veterinary students for careers in biomedical research.
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