USDA And Boehringer Ingelheim collaborate to expand its Veterinary Scholars Program
The program will provide 12 students the opportunity to spend the summer at a USDA site and work with an ARS scientist on a research project in livestock infectious diseases.
The partnership between Boehringer Ingelheim and the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of the US Department of Agriculture will provide veterinary students the opportunity to research diseases with the potential to impact livestock and public health.
According to a company release, the collaboration expands the Boehringer Ingelheim-led Veterinary Scholars Program, which has offered stipends to more than 3,500 veterinary students over the past 30 years to pursue biomedical research.
The program will grant 12 students the chance to spend the summer at 1 of 9 USDA sites and work with an ARS scientist on a research project in livestock infectious diseases. All costs will be covered for the students, including a monthly stipend and travel costs for commuting to and from their schools to the USDA centers.
"ARS employs world-renowned veterinarian scientists with a broad range of expertise in infectious diseases of animal and public health concern," said Roxann Motroni, DVM, PhD, USDA Agricultural Research Service national program leader for animal health.
"This allows us to be responsive to emerging One Health disease threats by quickly implementing research needed to inform emergency response. Through this partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim's Veterinary Scholars Program, veterinary students across the country will have the opportunity to train with these leading veterinarian scientists,” she added.
USDA's funding for the program is part of the Agrosecurity Partnerships for Innovative Research (ASPIRE) platform, which strives to strengthen the bio and agro-defense research sector through strategic partnerships. The mission of this 5-year partnership with the Veterinary Scholars Program is to improve relationships with national and international veterinary schools by offering their students with collaborative research opportunities in ARS's specialized facilities. The facilities are the Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory in Athens, Georgia, the National Animal Disease Center in Ames, IA, and the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, in Manhattan, Kansas.
What's more, the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility,—which is currently underway—will have biosafety level-2, -3 and -4 laboratories that can hold large livestock with a goal to protect the US against the threat and potential negative impacts of transboundary, emerging, and zoonotic animal diseases.
"In addition to developing real-world exposure to One Health—and the important intersection between animal and human health—we hope that this summer experience as Veterinary Scholars at USDA will serve as a source of inspiration for students, motivating them to pursue work that helps protect our animals, public health and the food supply," Motroni added.
At the conclusion of the summer, students will attend and present their work at the annual National Veterinary Scholars Symposium to be hosted in 2022 by the University of Minnesota's College of Veterinary Medicine in St. Paul, Minnesota.
To sponsor this annual symposium, the USDA will join Boehringer Ingelheim, the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges, the American Veterinary Medical Association and the National Institutes of Health. It displays research by several hundred veterinary students as part of their Veterinary Scholar Program internships at more than 3 dozen veterinary schools and agencies nationwide, according to the release.
"COVID-19, African Swine Fever and other recent outbreaks and pandemics have underscored the need for increased vigilance and understanding of transboundary threats to human and animal health," said Caroline Belmont, vice president, US Global Innovation and US Regulatory Affairs for Boehringer Ingelheim's Animal Health business.
"Today's veterinary students will play a critical role in addressing our future challenges, and the hands-on experience, guidance and support we provide them now through the Veterinary Scholars Program—in particular, these opportunities to work with USDA researchers—represent an important investment in the future health of animals and humans," concluded Belmont.
USDA and Boehringer Ingelheim expand summer research opportunities for veterinary students. Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA Inc. News release. December 8, 2021. Accessed December 8, 2021. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/usda-and-boehringer-ingelheim-expand-summer-research-opportunities-for-veterinary-students-301440367.html