Since 2005, Morris Animal Foundation has encouraged veterinary students to pursue research experience through its Veterinary Student Scholars program. This year, the program is funding 25 students to conduct mentored research projects at 25 different schools of veterinary medicine across the nation and abroad.
“The Veterinary Student Scholars program provides summer research opportunities that ignite an interest in research careers for our students,” said Barbara Wolfe, DVM, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of Morris Animal Foundation. “The students learn from top-notch researchers how to design and conduct animal health research; we are excited to see the outcomes of this summer’s work.”
The Student Scholars program was created to tackle the growing shortage of animal health scientists needed to pursue answers to complex questions impacting animal health. Dr. Mark L. Morris Sr., who established the Foundation in 1948, noted even then that “the most important element in veterinary research is people, and the Foundation can make its greatest contribution to veterinary medicine by providing opportunities for students to become skilled in veterinary research.”
In 2016, the Foundation is funding $125,000 in Veterinary Student Scholars grants. A few of this year’s funded studies are:
- Zoe Koestel, University of Missouri, is investigating whether dietary exposure to the chemical bisphenol A is causing health problems in dog.
- Morgan Halley, University of California, Davis, is studying the effect of environmental enrichment on body weight in obese cats.
- Sophie Eiger is developing novel stromal cell-targeted approaches to treat canine mammary gland tumors.
- Sydney Davis, Ross University, is looking at the metabolic and immune system responses to physical activity in bottlenose dolphins.
“By offering research training opportunities for veterinary students, the Foundation is helping to build the next generation of scientists who will be asked to tackle some highly challenging health problems,” said Dr. Wolfe. “These include emerging infectious diseases, environment-related illnesses, and lifestyle-related health conditions we see impacting more animals every day. As a profession and as individuals concerned about advancing the science of animal health, we want to do all that we can to foster a passion for research in tomorrow’s veterinarians.”
About Morris Animal Foundation:
Morris Animal Foundation is a global leader in funding scientific studies that advance the health of companion animals, horses and wildlife. Since its founding in 1948, the foundation has invested more than $103 million toward 2,500 studies that have led to significant breakthroughs in diagnostics, treatments, preventions and cures to benefit animals worldwide. Learn more at Morris Animal Foundation.