National Institutes of Health T-35 Training Grant
A T35 Training Grant from the National Institutes of Health supports 5 DVM students per summer in mentored research experiences in hypothesis driven biomedical research.
Veterinarians are uniquely prepared for scientific discovery that benefits human health, particularly when their broad understanding of comparative physiology and pathology is coupled with mechanistic or translational research training. The T35 research training program “Veterinary Summer Scholars in Comparative Medicine” provides a mechanism that helps meet the need for greater numbers of veterinarians in biomedical research.
The objectives of our T35 research training program are to provide veterinary students with:
1) opportunities to conduct biomedical research in an environment of discovery provided by active laboratories and mentors; and 2) research-relevant experiences in the form of lectures and discussions focused on experimental design, data analysis, research communication, literature searching, grant writing, and responsible conduct and ethics in research.
The long-term goals of this training program are to increase the number of veterinarians who pursue biomedical research training after completing the veterinary degree and, ultimately, to increase the number of veterinarians who become productive independent investigators in the biomedical sciences.
Our approach will consist of providing a wide breadth of research opportunities for students, from basic cellular and molecular bench research to theoretical and field epidemiology, to translational and clinical research, all built around the central theme of One Medicine, One Science at the University of Minnesota. The proposed training program includes a group of highly qualified research mentors, offers a wide array of state-of-the-art research experiences, and provides a rich and diverse environment for training veterinarians in research. The research laboratories of the training mentors are located on the St. Paul and Minneapolis campuses of the University of Minnesota.
Program faculty are grouped in two major focus groups: 1) Inflammatory and Chronic Diseases and 2) Cancer Biology. T35 program faculty study disease processes in humans, spontaneous animal disease models, and experimental animal models. The mentors include a complement of clinically-trained physicians and veterinarians that have clinically-based, extramurally funded research programs.
For further information about this program, please contact the Program Director.
T35 Program Director:
Bruce Walcheck, PhD
Professor, Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Science
T35 Consultative Committee:
Cathy Carlson, DVM, PhD
Professor, Department of Veterinary Population Medicine
Jaime Modiano, VMD, PhD
Professor, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences
Bert Stromberg, PhD,
Professor, Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences.
Karin Matchett, PhD
Office of the Associate Dean for Research
Current program faculty:
Alvin Beitz, PhD, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Beitz's laboratory focuses on understanding the mechanisms that underlie the development of both acute and chronic pain and the mechanisms associated with analgesia.
David R. Brown, PhD, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Brown's laboratory is investigating the mechanisms by which the enteric nervous system and neuroactive drugs modulate mucosal immune responses to pathogens in the intestinal tract and how pathogens alter the function of intestinal nerves.
Cathy Carlson, DVM, PhD, Veterinary Population Medicine. Dr. Carlson’s laboratory focuses on the pathogenesis of orthopedic diseases, primarily osteoarthritis and osteochondrosis.
John Collister, DVM, PhD, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Collister’s lab investigates the long-term control of arterial blood pressure.
Michael Conzemius, DVM, PhD, Veterinary Clinical Sciences. Dr. Conzemius’s laboratory focuses on creating and testing naturally occurring and induced animal models for human orthopedic diseases.
Erin Dickerson, PhD, Veterinary Clinical Sciences. Dr. Dickerson’s laboratory focuses on using peptides as agents for targeted drug delivery.
Meri Firpo, PhD, Medicine. A major goal of Dr. Firpo’s laboratory is to differentiate human pluripotent stem cells into insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells, and to isolate both beta cells and their precursors for transplantation.
Catherine St. Hill, DVM, PhD, Veterinary Clinical Sciences. Dr. St. Hill’s laboratory focuses on the carbohydrate-mediated molecular mechanisms involved in adhesion of cancer cells to blood vessels during the process of metastasis, and the interactions of cancer cells with inflammatory mediators that regulate cancer progression.
Timothy J. Johnson, PhD, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Johnson’s laboratory is focused on understanding the mechanisms of virulence and antimicrobial resistance employed by bacterial pathogens.
Daniel Kaufman, MD, PhD, Medicine. Research in the Kaufman lab in the Department of Medicine and Stem Cell Institute at the University of Minnesota uses human pluripotent stem cells derived from “reprogrammed” somatic cells to understand the development of blood cells and related mesodermal cell populations.
Mathur Kannan, BVSc, PhD, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Kannan’s laboratory focuses on the role of a cell-surface protein, CD38, in calcium regulation and contractility of airway smooth muscle, and its potential role in inflammatory airway diseases such as asthma.
Fekadu Kassie, DVM, PhD, Veterinary Clinical Sciences. Dr. Kassie’s research interests are 1) chemoprevention of animal and human cancers and 2) identification of biomarkers for early detection, diagnosis, prognosis and monitoring treatment efficacy of animal and human cancers.
Carol A. Lange, PhD, Medicine. Dr. Lange’s research is focused on hormone action in breast and ovarian cancer progression. Her lab studies the role of cross-talk between growth factor-mediated signaling pathways and steroid hormone receptors, using the human progesterone receptor as a model receptor.
Alice A. Larson, PhD, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Larson's laboratory is concerned with various aspects of pain transmission, focusing on cellular and neurochemical events associated with musculoskeletal disorders such as fibromyalgia syndrome.
Molly McCue, DVM, PhD, Veterinary Population Medicine. Dr. McCue’s laboratory focuses on using both genetic epidemiology and population genetic approaches to understand the underlying genetic variation that results in disease risk in the horse.
James R. Mickelson, PhD, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Mickelson studies the molecular and genetic basis of neuromuscular disease in animals, and his laboratory has been one of the major contributors to the international effort to map the equine genome.
Jaime Modiano, VMD, PhD, Veterinary Clinical Sciences. Dr. Modiano’s research is focused on defining factors that contribute to cancer risk and etiology using a multi-species comparative approach (human, canine, rodent).
Claudia Munoz-Zanzi, MV, MPVM, PhD, Epidemiology. Dr. Munoz-Zanzi is an infectious disease epidemiologist with a strong background in epidemiologic and analytical methods for the study and control of infectious diseases.
Michael P. Murtaugh, PhD, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Murtaugh’s laboratory focuses on molecular mechanisms of disease resistance with emphases on immunology and infectious diseases of swine.
Timothy D. O’Brien, DVM, PhD, Veterinary Population Medicine. Dr. O’Brien’s lab focuses on immunomodulatory effects of mesenchymal stem cells and the applications of these cells in transplantation medicine.
Edward E. Patterson, DVM, PhD, Veterinary Clinical Sciences. Dr. Patterson’s research focuses on canine comparative models of neurological diseases.
G. Elizabeth Pluhar, DVM, PhD, Veterinary Clinical Sciences. Dr. Pluhar's research focuses on translational orthopedic research and has two areas of focus: small animal orthopedics and comparative aspects of brain neoplasia.
Kaylee Schwertfeger, PhD, Laboratory Medicine and Pathology. Dr. Schwertfeger’s research is focused on understanding the role of the inflammatory microenvironment in breast cancer initiation and formation.
Yoji Shimizu, PhD, Laboratory Medicine and Pathology. Dr. Shimizu’s laboratory focuses on the intracellular signaling transduction events that regulate adhesive interactions critical for initiating and sustaining T cell-mediated immune responses, and subsequent trafficking of T cells to distinct sites in the body.
Pam Skinner, PhD, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences. Research in the Skinner laboratory focuses on prion diseases and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
P. Sriramarao, PhD, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Rao’s laboratory focuses on allergic inflammation, specifically the trafficking and mobilization of leukocytes, including eosinophils and T cells.
Bert Stromberg, PhD, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Stromberg’s laboratory focuses on the epidemiology of parasitism, particularly the impact of parasites on the host and the host’s immune response.
Stephanie J. Valberg, DVM, PhD, Veterinary Population Medicine. Dr. Valberg’s laboratory has identified several previously unknown muscle disorders including three immune-mediated myopathies, myophosphorylase deficiency in cattle, and glycogen branching enzyme deficiency, mitochondrial myopathy, and recurrent exertional rhabdomyolysis in horses.
Daniel Vallera, PhD, Therapeutic Radiology-Radiation Oncology. The goal of Dr. Vallera’s research is to advance the field of molecular cancer therapy.
Bruce Walcheck, PhD, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Walcheck's laboratory is focused on mechanisms that direct leukocytes to sites of inflammation and that regulate their effector activities.