Aquatic Animal Health:
The M.S. and Ph.D. research programs address health management issues
pertaining to cultured andwild finfish, shellfish and aquatic mammals.
A limited number of assistantships and postdoctoral (post Ph.D.) positions
are periodically available. Current emphasis is on etiology, environment-agent-host
interactions, host-defense mechanisms and application of molecular
biological techniques to solving health problems.
A number of noninfectious diseases of laboratory and domestic animals
are under study in this program. Both M.S. and Ph.D. degree programs
are available. Genetic diseases manifested by the effects of specific
metabolic defects are of particular interest. Affected or carrier
animals, or germplasm currently are available for ovine ceroid-lipofuscinosis,
bovine B-mannosidosis, bovine collagen dysplasia, and bovine osteogenesis
imperfecta. In addition projects to determine the relationship between
mammary carcinoma metastasis and hypercalcemia and to study the
process of metastasis are underway. These genetic diseases and specific
types of cancer also are being utilized as animal models for research
to gather information applicable to other animal species including
The intercollegiate program in genetics for either the M.S. or
Ph.D. provides a good foundation in classic and molecular genetics.
Degree research is centered in comparative mammalian genetics. Current
genetics research programs in the department include comparative gene
mapping of mammals, immunogenetics, and comparative medical genetics.
The comparative gene mapping program is spear-headed by an internationally
recognized effort in bovine gene mapping and a new program in canine
gene mapping. The gene maps developed in these two species are comparedto
human and murine gene maps. The immunogenetics research program includes
comparative histocompatibility genetics (utilizing serology, DNA probes,
and DNA sequencing), serology of immunoglobulin allotypes, and genetics
of disease resistance and immune response. The comparative medical
genetics research program includes studies of spontaneous and induced
(gene targeting/transgenesis) animal models of human genetic diseases
and deleterious gene traits in domestic animals.
Additional information regarding the Faculty of Genetics may be obtained
from their web site (http://gene.tamu.edu/).
Students may elect to focus their course studies in the field of immunology.
Our graduate immunology faculty reside in numerous departments including
Biology, Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Veterinary Anatomy and
Public Health, and Veterinary Pathobiology. Graduate research leading
to M.S. and Ph.D. degrees covers a wide variety of areas including
molecular modeling of immunoglobulin/ligand interactions using monoclonal
antibodies and anti-idiotypic antibodies which mimic antigen binding
sites; T cell responses to parasite antigens of both protozoan and
helminth origin; protective immune responses to defined vaccine antigens;
examination of antigen processing and T cell immunity in viral and
bacterial infections, veterinary clinical immunology and other host
immune responses related to infectious diseases such as polio, tuberculosis,
brucellosis, babesiosis, and schistosomiasis. Course work in the immunology
program might include biochemistry, immunogenetics, immunoregulation
and a variety of supporting courses in cell biology.
Infectious Diseases of Domestic Animals:
Faculty with expertise in pathology, immunology, microbiology, molecular
biology, immunogenetics, and molecular genetics are involved in studies
of host resistance and the pathogenesis of particular infectious diseases
of domestic animals. Host resistance is a primary research objective
in most infectious disease projects. An existing herd of cattle with
defined resistance/susceptibility to infection with Brucella abortus
and Mycobacterium paratuberculosis is a major resource to faculty
and graduate students with interests in research on host resistance.
Research projects suitable for an M.S. or Ph.D. degree in veterinary
microbiology or veterinary pathology can be arranged through appropriate
faculty members. The methods of cellular and molecular biology (e.g.
cell hybridization, recombinant DNA technics) are utilized extensively
by this group in achieving their research objectives.
The M.S. or Ph.D. programs in Veterinary Microbiology could include
any of the above or aspects of all of the above programs. The comparative
microbiology of brucellosis, for example, brings together a faculty
group who study the outer membrane proteins, macrophage function in
genetically resistant cattle, gene mapping, and recombinant subunit
vaccine formulation. Biochemistry, immunology and cell biology courses
are particularly relevant to the microbiology program.
and Cell Biology:
This intercollegiate program brings together faculty and graduate students
from 11 departments in 4 colleges. It provides a broad spectrum of course
work and research projects dealing with all aspects of modern cellular
and molecular biology. Course requirements are designed to provide the
student with the broadest possible latitude in determination of his/her
Research in parasitology can lead to a Master of Science degree
in Veterinary Parasitology. Parasitology can also be the field of study
for the Ph.D. in Veterinary Medical Science, Pathology, or Microbiology.
Research programs stress host-parasite relationships, the molecular
mechanisms for host responses to the parasites, and studies of parasite-derived
factors that might influence the response.
Schubot Center for Exotic Bird Health:
The Schubot Center was
endowed and established to promote research into maintenance of health
of, and into the causes, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of infectious
and noninfectious diseases of pet, exotic, and wild birds. A limited
number of post-DVM/VMD graduate research assistantships leading to the
M.S. and Ph.D. degrees are periodically available. Research and training
programs are occasionally available for non-veterinarians with exceptional
academic qualifications. Specific course requirements relevant to avian
pathobiology are determined by the student's graduate committee. Development
of interdepartmental, intercollegiate, and international collaborative
research and training programs is encouraged. A post-DVM/post-doctoral
training position in avian diagnostic pathology is also periodically
Tropical Animal Health:
Studies of the major tropical diseases of livestock which affect
production, with emphasis upon hemoprotozoal diseases and their vectors,
helminths, and bacterial and viral agents causing reproductive failures.
Collaborative projects involve graduate students from various international
laboratories and universities, especially in Latin America.
The virology M.S. and Ph.D. programs are designed for students who
wish to pursue a career in molecular and / or pathogenic virology. The
comparative molecular virology of major animal viruses is covered in
depth by a team of professors from Texas A&M and other universities.
The comparative pathogenesis of viral infection is studied from the
aspect of those factors encoded in the viral genome and includes studies
on viral antigenicity and host immune responses. Students are expected
to take courses in biochemistry, statistics, immunology and other courses
relevant to their particular program of study. Faculty include those
with interests in molecular and pathogenic virology and viral immunity.
Additional information regarding the Faculty of Virology may be obtained
from their web site http://vtpb-www2.cvm.tamu.edu/Virology/index.html.
The wildlife disease program is an interdisciplinary effort that involves
faculty with expertise in the areas of immunology, epidemiology,
parasitology, microbiology, pathology, endocrinology, reproductive physiology,
and genetics. Research interests include the diagnosis, treatment, prevention
and control of diseases of free-ranging as well as captive native and
exotic animals in Texas. The program is closely linked to the traditional
programs of ecology and game management within the Wildlife and Fisheries
Sciences Department of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences,
and offers graduate and professional students an opportunity to study
in the areas of disease management, reproduction, and handling of native
game and non-traditional livestock.