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Texas A&M Graduate Student among First Merial Residents in Veterinary Parasitology

Posted October 25, 2013

Dr. Jessica Rodriguez

COLLEGE STATION, TX – Dr. Jessica Rodriguez, a veterinarian and graduate student at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM), has been selected as one of the first Merial Residents in Veterinary Parasitology from the National Center for Veterinary Parasitology (NCVP).

The NCVP’s goals are to train graduate veterinarians in clinical, applied veterinary parasitology while providing balanced, science-based consulting expertise on parasite treatment and prevention strategies. This unique program awards funding to Rodriguez and other selected veterinarians for salary and benefits while pursuing their PhD and residencies in veterinary clinical parasitology.

“There are currently four NCVP residents and two affiliate residents nationwide,” said Rodriguez.  “This year there were two awarded.” Through the NCVP, Rodriguez received $100,000 for two years, and will be eligible for another 2-year renewal.

Under the direction of Dr. Karen Snowden, Professor in the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology at the CVM and a leading veterinary parasitologist and current Diplomate of the ACVM, Rodriguez will continue her research on Heterobilharzia americana, an important trematode pathogen of dogs. In addition to her PhD research, Rodriguez will gain clinical parasitology experience and training toward board certification in parasitology.

“I have known Jessica Rodriguez since her undergraduate days at Texas A&M, and she has always been a model for academic excellence,” said Snowden.  “Completing a PhD and a residency in veterinary parasitology is almost unique in our academic field, and Dr. Rodriguez is building a great career path through this program.”

“With the resurgence of support for neglected tropical disease, many of which are parasitic, Dr. Jessica Rodriguez should have a bright future as a researcher contributing to global health initiatives,” said Dr. Linda Logan, head of the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology.

The application material for the NCVP involved Rodriguez and Snowden designing a training program to broaden the breadth of parasite knowledge. This program will also include Rodriguez’s parasitology training at the veterinary colleges of Oklahoma State University, Kansas State University, the University of Prince Edward Island, and Colorado State University. “I will also be required to teach veterinary parasitology as well as publish continuing education articles on veterinary parasitology,” said Rodriguez.

“We appreciate industry partners such as Merial for recognizing the important impact clinical research makes on advancing the veterinary profession, and for honoring the hard work of our students,” said Dr. Robert Burghardt, Acting Associate Dean for Research & Graduate Studies. “Dr. Rodriguez is one of a select few to pursue a PhD and a residency, both of which will place her on the leading edge of the One Health initiative, working to advance the global health of humans, animals, plants, and the ecosystem.”

Bringing together partners from academia and industry to address emerging issues, the NCVP seeks to serve the veterinary profession by developing future leaders, like Rodriguez, to promote outstanding, clinically relevant veterinary parasitology research.


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Contact Information

Angela G. Clendenin
Director, Communications & Public Relations
Ofc - (979) 862-2675
Cell - (979) 739-5718

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