Three reports by the National Research Council of the National Academies of Science have argued for increased efforts to expand the number of veterinarians in research careers. Veterinary students receive extensive training in the comparison of multiple animal species and the application of knowledge across species boundaries. As such, veterinarians are well attuned to the identification of animal models that might serve as models of human disease. However, a relatively small number of veterinarians are actively involved in biomedical research. Exposure of veterinary students, early in their training, to biomedical research has been shown to increase the numbers of veterinarians who pursue biomedical research careers. For the past 22 years the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, has administered a short-term summer research program for first and second year veterinary students to participate in research training. This program has enabled 317 different veterinary students to perform biomedical research with 134 different faculty members at Penn. Veterinary students, with the help of an executive committee, identify faculty sponsors at Penn. A core of 33 well-funded and experienced faculty serve as training mentors. Students write a research proposal that is well defined and addresses an interesting problem in biomedical research. Applications are reviewed with respect to the credentials of the student, merit of the research proposal, and training environment of the sponsor's laboratory. Students perform research in the mentor's laboratory during the months of June, July, and August and participate in weekly seminars that provide training in grant writing, data presentation in written, poster and oral formats, and information on career opportunities in academia, industry, and government. Students also participate in trips to NIH, the Philadelphia Science Center, and the Merial-NIH Veterinary Scholars Symposium. Students present their research oraly and in poster format, and must submit their work in the form of a written scientific manuscript. Thus students receive training in all aspects of biomedical research. Our outcomes data indicate that Program graduates are much more likely to pursue further education and graduate studies, and are much less likely to pursue private practice clinical careers.

Public Health Relevance

The National Academy of Sciences has identified a critical shortage of veterinarians in biomedical research careers. The proposed training program provides veterinary students early in their veterinary school careers with training in all aspects of biomedical research, and provides them with information and advice on biomedical research careers. Outcomes data indicate that Program graduates are much more likely to pursue further education, including PhD training, and are much less likely to pursue private practice clinical careers.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Office of The Director, National Institutes of Health (OD)
NRSA Short -Term Research Training (T35)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZTR1)
Program Officer
Moro, Manuel H
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Pennsylvania
Veterinary Sciences
Schools of Veterinary Medicine
United States
Zip Code
Fyfe, John C; Hemker, Shelby L; Frampton, Alycia et al. (2018) Inherited selective cobalamin malabsorption in Komondor dogs associated with a CUBN splice site variant. BMC Vet Res 14:418
Geherin, Skye A; Gómez, Daniela; Glabman, Raisa A et al. (2016) IL-10+ Innate-like B Cells Are Part of the Skin Immune System and Require ?4?1 Integrin To Migrate between the Peritoneum and Inflamed Skin. J Immunol 196:2514-2525
Gardiner, Kristin L; Downs, Louise; Berta-Antalics, Agnes I et al. (2016) Photoreceptor proliferation and dysregulation of cell cycle genes in early onset inherited retinal degenerations. BMC Genomics 17:221
Liu, Xiaohong; Berry, Corbett T; Ruthel, Gordon et al. (2016) T Cell Receptor-induced Nuclear Factor ?B (NF-?B) Signaling and Transcriptional Activation Are Regulated by STIM1- and Orai1-mediated Calcium Entry. J Biol Chem 291:8440-52
Downs, Louise M; Scott, Erin M; Cideciyan, Artur V et al. (2016) Overlap of abnormal photoreceptor development and progressive degeneration in Leber congenital amaurosis caused by NPHP5 mutation. Hum Mol Genet 25:4211-4226
Brisson, Becky K; Mauldin, Elizabeth A; Lei, Weiwei et al. (2015) Type III Collagen Directs Stromal Organization and Limits Metastasis in a Murine Model of Breast Cancer. Am J Pathol 185:1471-86
Crosby, Erika J; Clark, Megan; Novais, Fernanda O et al. (2015) Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus Expands a Population of NKG2D+CD8+ T Cells That Exacerbates Disease in Mice Coinfected with Leishmania major. J Immunol 195:3301-10
Banerjee, Sarmistha; Das, Rajat Kumar; Giffear, Kelly A et al. (2015) Permanent uncoupling of male-specific CYP2C11 transcription/translation by perinatal glutamate. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 284:79-91
Polak, Klaudia; Acierno, Michelle M; Raj, Karthik et al. (2015) Dog erythrocyte antigen 1: mode of inheritance and initial characterization. Vet Clin Pathol 44:369-79
Acierno, M M; Raj, K; Giger, U (2014) DEA 1 expression on dog erythrocytes analyzed by immunochromatographic and flow cytometric techniques. J Vet Intern Med 28:592-8

Showing the most recent 10 out of 21 publications