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Twenty-four veterinary students selected for mentorship program

News
Article

Morris Animal Foundation disclosed the students accepted to its Veterinary Student Scholar program

Drazen/stock.adobe.com

Drazen/stock.adobe.com

Morris Animal Foundation announced the 24 students who were accepted into the Foundation's Veterinary Student Scholar program, offering students the opportunity to be involved in mentor-guided research. The program aims to help foster accepted students' passion for animal health science and inspire a career they find fulfilling.

“Our Veterinary Student Scholar program stands as one of the most impactful investments for advancing animal health research,” said Kathy Tietje, PhD, MBA, chief program officer at Morris Animal Foundation, in an organizational release.1 “We are thrilled to support students from veterinary schools around the world at this pivotal stage in their careers."

According to the release, each of the 24 students are all in good standing at an accredited veterinary medicine program and will receive a stipend of no more than $5,500. The stipend will be used to help the students pursue a research project, with guidance from a mentor.

The following 24 students were selected for the program:1

  • Annalise Cavender from Midwestern University College of Veterinary Medicine will be working on a project that aims to accurately diagnose coccidioidomycosis, also known as Valley Fever, using a focused assessment with sonography in trauma point-of-care ultrasound.
  • Boaz Pkemoi from the University of Nairobi Kenya will work on a project that focuses on the detection of parasites in Eastern black rhinos and then correlate their presence with post-translocation morbidity.
  • Jack Friend from the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University College Dublin will work on a project that aims to determine therapeutic targets for metastatic canine mammary tumors through a network pharmacology approach that analyzes proteomic data.
  • Estefania Benavides from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine will work on a project focusing on determining neurogenerative and neuroinflammatory biomarkers in canine meningoencephalitides of unknown origin.
  • Savell Robinson from the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University will focus on examining how heartworm diseases survive without causing any damage to the immune and hemostatic response.
  • Courtney Hegwer from the Long Island College of Veterinary Medicine will investigate canine anxiety and fear-based behavior, management, and their association with fecal cortisol concertation as it measures acute stress.
  • Caro Wilson from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine will work on a project that will identify alleles, biological pathways, and genes that underlie recurrent exertional rhabdomyolysis pathogenesis in thoroughbred and standard racehorses.
  • Bipin Basyal from Tribhuvan University Nepal will investigate the status of E. coli and assess the patterns of antibiotic resistivity of involved pathogens that were isolated in the feces of healthy dogs living in the Rupandehi district.
  • Dennis Ronzani from Ross University of Veterinary Medicine will use the Golden Retriever Lifetime study from the Morris Animal Foundation to correlate neoplasia and physical activity in golden retrievers.
  • Yeonosoo Choi from the University of Bristol will focus on the correlation between glomerular Eps homology domain protein 3 expressions, loss of glomerular endothelial cell fenestrations, and chronic kidney disease in feline patients.
  • Madilyn Kriskovich from the University of Oregon will examine castration on feral horse herd through a simplified method using an Equitwister instrument.
  • Bashunga Niyomukiza Laurence from the University of Rwanda will work to assess the current status of wildlife diseases that are affecting species, namely buffalos, lions, and rhinoceroses, in the Akagera National Park.
  • Laurie Boucher from the University of Montreal will focus on studying biomarkers indicators of intestinal health in the equine microbiota.
  • Camila Felisa Chacón from the National University of Littoral will work to identify and determine new sensitive biomarkers to pesticide exposure as a way to assess the risk of damage to exposed wildlife before any irreversible health imbalances occur.
  • Christina Kandane Arachige Don from Utrecht University will investigate the genetics in huskies causing malocclusion, also known as overbite.
  • Marianne Caudron from the University of Montreal will work on a project focusing on the association between behavioral factors and the recurrence rate of feline idiopathic cystitis patients.
  • Zack English from Colorado State University Teaching Hospital will review the spatial relationships between the mitral valve and aorta in canine degenerative mitral valve disease.
  • Shelly Lownds from St. George’s University will screen frog species, looking for a chytrid fungus called Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and ranavirus frog virus 3.
  • Miranda Michlanski from Oregon State University will work on a project that will help better understand the prevalence and burden of Leucocytozoon, in marbled murrelets, both at a population level and then once it is stratified by age and sex, plus the implications this has for this species.
  • Tyler O’Brien from Western University of Health Sciences will take a deeper look at genetic variations that can make dogs susceptible to underlying anxiety, depression, and stress.
  • Gabriella Balaa from the University of Missouri will focus her project on evaluating the sensitivity and specificity of a previously neonatal sepsis scoring system with the addition of serum amyloid A measurement regarding sepsis detection in foals.
  • Sally Carnevale from Tufts University will conduct a project investigating the role of macrophages in the upregulation of microRNA-145 and αSMA in valvular interstitial cells using cytokines as a way to replicate the microenvironment created by macrophages.
  • Faith Yang from the University of California, Davis, will evaluate the effect of walking and substrate surfaces on the food pad weight loading of the Magellanic Penguins, with and without pododermatitis.
  • Marie Clarissa Mutoniwase from the University of Rwanda will assess what impact human activities have on the transmission of wildlife disease in Volcanoes National Park.

“Research is the gateway to understanding and innovation,” said Ronzani.1 “The Morris Animal Foundation Veterinary Student Scholar program allows young minds, like myself, to learn and practice the methods that make proficient research.”

The program was created in 2005 and had about 600 students participate. Multiple students who have participated had their findings published in peer-reviewed journals as part of larger projects.1 Past programs funding through the Veterinary Student Scholar program have provided funding to students all over the world and helped some even transition into investigators helping future researchers.

Reference

Foundation Selects 24 Veterinary Students for Mentorship Program. News release. Morris Animal Foundation. December 19, 2023. Accessed January 2, 2024. https://www.morrisanimalfoundation.org/article/foundation-selects-24-veterinary-students-mentorship-program

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