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Texas A&M Holds Veterinary Medical Scientist Research Training Program Conference

Posted October 24, 2013

COLLEGE STATION, TX – Over the course of the summer, twenty-three veterinary medical students from the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences had the opportunity to move from the classroom into the laboratory to learn about veterinary medical research through the Veterinary Medical Scientist Research Program (VMSRTP), which culminated with a conference. Working closely with faculty mentors in the program, this dedicated group of students conducted research projects on various topics that are vital to veterinary medicine today. The conference, held on July 31,2013, gave these students the opportunity to present their work.

“The VMSRTP expands veterinary students' understanding of their profession. They meet veterinary scientists engaged in research, disease outbreak investigations, laboratory animal medicine, investigative pathology, and more.” said Dr. Roger Smith, director of the VMSRTP. “Every year, the quality of the students' research and presentations increases, and this year was no exception.”

During the conference, the students gave brief presentations regarding the research they have been working on throughout the summer. Genetic enhancements of the innate immune system as a defense against viral disease, optimization of feline in vitro fertilization using frozen-thawed spermatozoa, and the infectivity of avian bornavirus in urine were just a few of the more than twenty topics presented at the conference.

“Veterinary medicine extends well beyond the clinic and the classroom,” said Dr. Robert Burghardt, Acting Associate Dean for Research & Graduate Studies. “Faculty-supported programs such as the VMSRTP encourage our students to engage in meaningful research that helps to define new treatments and diagnostic tools, which in turn puts our students on the leading edge of veterinary medicine.”

Students involved in the VMSRTP conducted in depth research on topics even broader than veterinary medicine. “Their research really did encompass the full range of the One Health initiative, with research related to fetal alcohol syndrome, muscular dystrophy, human metabolic and cardiovascular disease, as well as conservation biology related to the snow leopard,” said Smith.

Trevor Tenney, a vet student that participated in the VMSRTP, spent the summer researching the prevalence of Chagas disease and other infectious parasites in shelter dogs around the state of Texas. “Participating in the VMSRTP has been a richly rewarding experience for me,” explains Tenney. “It opened my eyes to the world of research and taught me to become a better scientist and future veterinarian.”

Programs like the Veterinary Medical Summer Research Training Program encourage veterinary medical students to see the bigger picture of how they can make contributions to veterinary medicine outside the realm of private practice, including career paths in clinical research and academia.


For more information about the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, please visit our website at or join us on Facebook.

Contact Information

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

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