Ongoing support is requested for a Graduate Program in Comparative Medicine in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University. Six positions are requested - the same as previously awarded. The Comparative Medicine Program combines the very best that Cornell offers in the form of didactic graduate-level instruction, faculty supervision and training related activities. Provision would be made for trainees to follow one of two tracks, one geared to basic research and one to a career in translational science. In each case, training would be structure to ensure the orderly progression of scholars to independence. The proposed program combines independent, faculty-guided research with formal didactic instruction in cell and molecular biology and biostatistics, career counseling, and a variety of professional enrichment activities calculated to develop the trainees' critical capacity, communication and teamwork skills. Graduate scholars would earn the PhD degree. The average time to degree for veterinarians seeking a PhD at Cornell University is 4.5 years; however, funding is requested for three years only. The first six to nine months of training support will be provided by Graduate Research Assistantships provided by the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell. It is expected that trainees will successfully apply for individual fellowships (K awards ore equivalent) that would support the trainee as they finish their graduate studies and transition to independent careers. Program alumni would be encouraged to undertake at least two years of research beyond the PhD degree preferably in a related discipline and at a different institution before accepting their initial appointment as an independent investigator. Many alumni are expected to realize careers as faculty members in U.S. veterinary colleges or medical schools, although some may seek research positions in independent institutions, government, or industry.

Public Health Relevance

The Comparative Medicine Program at Cornell University is preparing accomplished and highly motivated veterinarians for discovery-based and public health careers in basic and translational science. By virtue of their broad knowledge of comparative disease and strong intellectual and lateral thinking abilities, veterinarians with advanced scientific training are expected to play an essential role in biomedical science and public health and to promote the NIH goal of developing, maintaining, and renewing scientific human resources that will ensure the Nation's capability to prevent disease.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Office of The Director, National Institutes of Health (OD)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
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Watson, Harold L
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Cornell University
Schools of Veterinary Medicine
United States
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