MS and PhD Students

In addition to offering a professional degree in veterinary medicine, the college offers doctoral (PhD) and master’s (MS) degrees.


The college’s graduate programs are based on the principle that advancing animal and human health stems from the same scientific foundation. We provide MS and PhD training at the intersection of animal, human, and ecosystem health. Students can earn MS and PhD degrees in Veterinary Medicine and in Comparative and Molecular Biosciences. A combined PhD/DVM program is also offered.

Students work closely with advisers, program faculty, and peers in a supportive and collaborative environment to foster full development of scientific critical thinking skills and experimental methods.

For more information about PhD and MS degrees, contact Kate Barry at


Application Deadline December 15, 2014

Open positions for Summer/Fall 2015 program entry

Research Assistantship in Dairy Health -  Dr. Riki Sorge, adviser
We seek highly qualified and motivated PhD or MS student to work in applied dairy production medicine.  Dr. Sorge’s research program utilizes epidemiological tools to evaluate the association of management practices and human-animal interactions on dairy cattle health.  The thesis project will compare different approaches for mastitis therapy on organic dairy farms.  Candidates with a DVM degree or equivalent are preferred.

PhD Fellowship in Comparative Medicine and Pathology -
  Dr. Cathy Carlson, Program Director
The goal of this NIH fellowship program is to provide students with PhD training and professional development skills in comparative medicine.  Students can choose from a variety of mentors from diverse disciplines including pharmacology, infectious disease, neurobiology, physiology, genetics, and molecular biology.  Candidates must have a DVM or equivalent degree and be U.S. citizens or non-citizen national by start date. Click here for additional information.

PhD Assistantship in Canine Health Sciences -  Dr. Eva Furrow, Adviser
Two projects are available for applied research on canine internal medicine.  The first project seeks to identify genetic risk factors underlying kidney stone formation in a natural canine model.  A second area of research will investigate characterizing the clinical and molecular consequences of canine hyperlipidemia resulting from a genetic apolipoprotein mutation.  DVM applicants are strongly preferred.

MS Fellowship: Advanced Training in Animal Well-Being - Dr. Carol Cardona, Program Director
We are now accepting applications from candidates seeking research training for a Masters of science degree. The goal of this program is to provide students with training in food animal production systems, emphasizing well-being and health. Possible faculty mentors represent diverse species and disciplines including nutrition, animal production systems, immunology, veterinary pathology, infectious disease, and molecular biology.


CVM Graduate Program News


CVM Graduate Students win 2014 Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships
Jonathan Clayton CMBJackie Dykstra CMBTiffany Wolf CMBAndres Diaz VMED
From left to right: Jonathan B. Clayton, Jaclyn Dykstra, Tiffany Wolf, Carlos Andres Diaz


We are pleased to announce that four College of Veterinary Medicine graduate students have been awarded
Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships for the 2014-2015 academic year.

Jonathan B. Clayton is a PhD student in CMB, advised by Dr. Tim Johnson and Dr. Michael Murtaugh. Jonathan's
research combines primate behavior and sampling fieldwork with functional genomics laboratory research to
discern an evolutionary understanding of feeding ecology in primates.

Jaclyn Dykstra, PhD student in CMB advised by Dr. Lucy Vulchanova and Dr. Al Beitz, investigates basic
mechanisms of neuropathic and visceral pain utilizing rodent models.

Tiffany Wolf is a PhD student in CMB, advised by Dr. Randall Singer and Dr. Dominic Travis. Tiffany's research
focuses on understanding the epidemiology and impacts of respiratory diseases on the chimpanzees in Gombe
National Park in Tanzania.

Carlos Andres Diaz, PhD student in VMED advised by Dr. Montserrat Torremorell, researches influenza virus
genetic diversity in pig populations. 

This is truly an honor for the winners and for our graduate programs. Congratulations to these students and
their advisers on this outstanding recognition.




Carmen MS Award Web 2
Carmen Alonso


Carmen Alonso Wins Distinguished Master's Thesis Award

We are pleased to announce that Carmen Alonso, MS, has been awarded the University of Minnesota Distinguished Master's Thesis Award for her work "Epidemiological and Economic Implications of Air Filtation Systems to Prevent PRRSV in Large Sow Herds." Carmen's thesis will also be nominated for the 2014 Midwest Association of Graduate Schools Distinguished Master's Thesis Award. Carmen completed her MS in Veterinary Medicine in 2012 and is currently a PhD student in Veterinary Medicine. Her adviser is Dr. Peter Davies.




Xiong CVM Grad Front Page
Xiong Wang

MnDRIVE Global Food Initiative Fellowships Awarded to CVM Graduate Students

We are pleased to announce that Xiong Wang (advised by Dr. Michael Murtaugh) and Fernanda Shoyama (advised by Dr. Srinand Sreevatsan) have been awarded MnDRIVE Global Food Initiative Fellowships for 2015. This State of Minnesota-University partnership seeks to develop integrated approaches to ensuring a sustainable, safe and resilient global food system from farm to fork. Central to this initiative is workforce building of professionals and leaders in agricultural and food industries


Xiong's research focus is the evolution of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus (PRRSV) and selection mechanisms at the cellular and animal levels. The results are expected to provide basic insights into the effects of vaccination and intentional infection on evolution of viral virulence.


Fernanda's research project is to understand the metabolic networks of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) in order to sharpen our understanding of MAP virulence and to devise optical vaccines and cultivation media to enhance its diagnosis.     




 Fernanda CVM Grad Front Page
Fernanda Shoyama


   Amy CVM Grad Front Page
Amy Kinsley

Amy Kinsley Awarded CEEZAD Fellowship

VMED PhD student Amy Kinsley (advised by Dr. Andres Perez and Dr. Meggan Craft) has been awarded a Career Development Program fellowship from the Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases.









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  • Last modified on November 12, 2014