Thirty-two students will spend their summer conducting research as part of the Veterinary Summer Scholars Program

summer scholars

For Immediate Release: May 17, 2016

 

BATON ROUGE—Thirty-two students were selected to participate in the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine (LSU SVM) Summer Scholars Program, an introduction to biomedical research through research-driven activities. The 2016 Summer Scholars Program is funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Merial Veterinary Scholar Program, the Morris Animal Foundation, the Kenneth F. Burns Trust, the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, Zoetis and the LSU SVM.

 

The Summer Scholars Program serves to further students’ learning and experiences beyond the required classroom and clinical training. The program is competitive and based on proposals submitted by first- and second-year veterinary students. The program encourages innovative studies in human and animal diseases and lends further understanding to veterinary careers in biomedical research. Each year, Merial selects veterinary schools to participate in its biomedical research program, and LSU has received the funding for the fourteenth consecutive year. For the twelfth consecutive year, students will also receive grants from the National Institute of Health (NIH) for summer study. There are only 14 veterinary schools in the country with summer grant programs funded by both NIH and Merial.

Each student will receive a $5,730 stipend. The SVM and Merial also sponsored the students’ participation at the 2016 National Veterinary Scholars Symposium from July 28-31 at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, where research will be presented by students from the participating veterinary schools. This conference brings together scientists from academia, the pharmaceutical industry, and NIH leadership in one setting.

 

To participate in the Summer Scholars program, the students developed their own research plan proposals with the guidance of a faculty member, and a faculty committee selected the participants based on the proposals. All first- and second-year veterinary students throughout the country and abroad had the opportunity to submit proposals. The program is coordinated by Kevin Macaluso, MS, PhD, professor in the Department of Pathobiological Sciences (PBS); David Baker, DVM, MS, PhD, MPA, director of the Division of Laboratory Animal Medicine and professor of laboratory animal medicine in PBS; and Joseph Taboada, DVM, DACVIM, associate dean for veterinary education and student affairs and professor of veterinary medicine in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences (VCS).

 

The recipients of the NIH Biomedical Research Experience for Veterinary Students Awards are as follows:

 

Derecka Alexander (Class of 2018), of Kenner, La., will work with mentors Ingeborg Langohr, DVM, MS, PHD, DACVP, associate professor in the Department of Pathobiological Sciences (PBS), and Gisele Fabrino Machado, DVM, MSc, PhD, associate professor of pathology at Universidade Estadual Paulista (Brazil), on her project entitled “Comparison of immunocytochemistry for Leishmania on lymph node and bone marrow aspirates in dogs from an endemic region of visceral leishmaniasis.”

 

Carolyn Croughan (Class of 2018), of Crowley, La., will work with mentor Stephanie Johnson, MSW, LCSW, assistant professor in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences (VCS) on her project entitled “Assessing Mental Health and Identifying Major Stressors among Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine Alumni.”

 

Kristine Frady (Class of 2018), of Prairieville, La., will work with mentor Juan Martinez, PhD, associate professor in PBS, on her project entitled “Characterization of the pathogenic potential among different species in the spotted rickettsial group.”

 

Jessie Hargis (Class of 2018), of Fayetteville, Ark., will work with mentor J. Michael Mathis, PhD, MHA, professor and head of the Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences (CBS), on her project entitled “Novel microRNA based therapeutic approach to suppress breast cancer tumor growth.”

 

Janna Hunt (Class of 2018 veterinary student at Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine), of Pembroke, N.C., will work with mentor Jacqueline Stephens, PhD, professor of BMB and CDIB, LSU Department of Biological Sciences, on her project entitled “Characterize the STATS adipocyte in knockout mice.”

 

Kelly Jeffers (Class of 2019), of Lake Charles, La., will work with mentor Michael Behnke, PhD, assistant professor in PBS, on her project entitled ” Tagging and localization analysis of a developmentally regulated T. gondii TgFAM gene.”

 

Elsie Phillips (Class of 2019), of Ticonderoga, N.Y., will work with mentor Samithamby Jeyaseelan, DVM, PhD, professor in PBS, on her project entitled “Role of lung mesenchymal stem cells in bacterial pneumonia.”

 

Philip Stelly (Class of 2019), of Sulphur, La., will work with mentor Antonieta Guerrero-Plata, MSc, PhD, associate professor in PBS, on his project entitled “Mechanisms of regulation of the innate immune response by a Paramyxovirus infection.”

 

Kelsie Stovall (Class of 2018), of New Orleans, La., will work with mentor Henrique Cheng, MS, PhD, associate professor in CBS, on her project entitled “Regulation of dental pulp stem cell differentiation by transient receptor potential Melastatin 4 and 7 channels.”

 

The recipients of the Merial Summer Research Awards are as follows:

 

Ashley Cleveland (Class of 2019), of New Orleans, La., will work with mentor Emma Schachner, PhD, post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences (VCS), on her project entitled “Anatomy of the lower respiratory system of the African Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus erithacus).”

 

Travis Miller (Class of 2018 veterinary student from the Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine), of Opelousas, La., will work with mentor Frank Andrews, DVM, MS, DACVIM, director of the Equine Health Studies Program and professor of veterinary medicine in VCS, on his project entitled “Evaluation of a Supplement for Lameness in Horses.”

 

Kayla Smith (Class of 2019), of Destrehan, La., will work with mentor Kevin Kleinow, DVM, PhD, professor of veterinary physiology, pharmacology and toxicology in the Department of Pathobiological Sciences (PBS), on her project entitled “Tricaine methane sulfonate (MS-222) anesthesia in fishes: Clinical and mechanistic interrelationships to temperature.”

 

Connor Tageant (Class of 2019), of Mandeville, La., will work with mentor James E. Miller, DVM, MPVM, PhD, professor of epidemiology and community health in PBS, on his project entitled “Vaccination of small ruminants against Haemonchus contortus using fecal antigens.”

 

The recipients of the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine Awards are as follows:

 

Rebecca Aust (Class of 2019), of Orlando, Fla., will work with mentor Joel D. Baines, VMD, PhD, dean, on her project entitled “The Role of CDK 9 protein in transcription of Herpes Simplex Virus I.”

 

Jenna Charles (Class of 2019), of Mandeville, La., will work with mentor Mark Acierno, DVM, MBA, DACVIM, professor of companion animal medicine in VCS, on her project entitled “Comparison of blood pressure measurements of dogs obtained with an oscillometric cuff examined in a veterinary clinic versus a home setting.”

 

Melena Hagstrom (Class of 2019 Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine), of Lansing, N.Y., will work with mentor Kevin Macaluso, PhD, professor in PBS, on her project entitled “Vertical, non-transovarial transmission of Rickettsia felis in the hematophagous arthropod, Ctenocephalides felis.”

 

Peyton Hughes (Class of 2019), of Kirbyville, Texas, will work with mentor Mandi Lopez, DVM, MS, PhD, DACVS, director of the Laboratory for Equine and Comparative Orthopedic Research and professor in VCS, on her project entitled “Generation of functional B Islet cells from feline adipose-derived multipotent stromal cells.”

 

Kelsey Koenig (Class of 2018), of Ellicott City, M.D., will work with mentor Frank Andrews, DVM, MS, DACVIM, director of the Equine Health Studies Program and professor of veterinary medicine in VCS, on her project entitled “Effect of an Oral Supplement Containing Curcumin Extract on Gastric Ulcer Scores and Gastric Juice pH in Horses.”

 

Morgan Rash (Class of 2018), of Biloxi, Miss., will work with mentor Karanvir Aulakh, BVSc & AH, MS, DACVS, assistant professor of companion animal surgery in VCS, on her project entitled “The effect of cryopreservation on the size of the canine menisci.”

 

Richard Smith (Class of 2018), of Shreveport, La., will work with mentor Shafiqul Chowdhury,DVM, MS, PhD, professor in PBS, on his project entitled “Vaccine efficacy study of a BHV-1 vectored BVDV Type 1 subunit vaccine in calves.”

 

Rachel Taupier (Class of 2019), of Longmeadow, Mass., will work with mentor James E. Miller, DVM, MPVM, PhD, professor of epidemiology and community health in PBS, on her project entitled “Evaluation of the effect of Bedoukian compound X at different concentrations on gastrointestinal nematode development in sheep.”

 

The recipients of the Kenneth F. Burns Veterinary Student Awards are as follows:

 

Alexis Allen (Class of 2019), of Kenner, La., will work with mentor Claudia Kappen, MS, PhD, Peggy M. Pennington Cole Endowed Chair in Maternal Biology and the Risk of Obesity at Pennington Biomedical Research Center, on her project entitled “Quantification of mesodermal cell migration in explant cell culture of Non-obese diabetic mouse strain embryos.”

 

Kristen Ballard (Class of 2018), of Prairieville, La., will work with mentors Bonnie Boudreaux, DVM, MS, DACVIM, associate professor of veterinary oncology in VCS; Ingeborg Langohr, DVM, MS, PhD, DACVP, associate professor in PBS; Alma Roy, PhD, associate director of the Louisiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory and assistant professor in PBS; and Keith Strother, PhD, research associate, Louisiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory; on her project entitled “Detecting circulating tumor DNA in dogs with cutaneous mast cell tumors."

 

Carolyn Blank (Class of 2019), of New Orleans, La., will work with mentor Abbigail Granger, DVM, DACVR, assistant professor of diagnostic imaging and Lorrie Gaschen, Dr.med.vet., PhD, Dr.habil., DECVDI, associate dean for diversity and faculty affairs and professor of diagnostic imaging, both in VCS, on her project entitled “Variation in bronchial diameter during respiration and cough in healthy and malacic dogs.”

 

Mary Kate Bollman (Class of 2019), of New Orleans, La., will work with mentor Shaomian Yao, MS, PhD, assistant professor in CBS, on her project entitled “Application of additive manufacturing technology and stem cell recruitment for improvement of osseointegration on bone implants.”

 

Currie Carothers (Class of 2019), of Hoover, Ala., will work with mentor Arthur Penn, PhD, professor of toxicology in CBS, on her project entitled “Respiratory responses to short-term exposure to second hand smoke in a guinea pig asthma model.”

 

Colin Chu (Class of 2018), of Little Rock, Ark., will work with mentor Tammy Dugas, PhD, professor in CBS, on his project entitled “In vitro endothelial cell wound healing under laminar shear stress in response to polyphenols Resveratrol and Quercetin.”

 

Emily Courville (Class of 2019), of Rayne, La., will work with mentor Charles Lee, PhD, assistant professor in CBS, on her project entitled “Visual stimulation during early development: Effects on perineuronal net development in a mouse model of autism.”

 

Holly Lamb (Class of 2018), of Monroe, La., will work with mentor Linda Adams, PhD, senior research immunologist with the National Hansen’s Disease Program, on her project entitled “Evaluation of the roles of plasmin and CCL20 on nerve damage in an inflammatory Mycobacterium leprae infection model.”

 

Amber Moses (Class of 2019), of Metairie, La., will work with mentor Margaret McNulty, PhD, assistant professor in CBS, on her project entitled “Evaluation of periarticular bone secondary to surgically-induced osteoarthritis in chikungunya infected and naïve mice.”

 

The recipient of the Veterinary Clinical Sciences Award is as follows:

 

Karen Ramirez (Class of 2019), of San Juan, Puerto Rico, will work with mentor Javier Nevarez, DVM (LSU SVM 2001), PhD, (LSU SVM 2007), DACZM, DECZM, associate professor of zoological medicine in VCS, on her project entitled “Establishing baseline EEG parameters for amphibians and reptiles.”

 

Also participating in the 2016 Veterinary Summer Scholars Program is Joseph Kamper (Class of 2019), of Tempe, Ariz., who will work with mentor Mustajab Mirza, DVM, MS, DAVCS, assistant professor of equine surgery in VCS, on his project entitled “A comparative study of sonographically measured adipose tissue to surgically harvested volume.”

 

The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine is one of only 30 veterinary schools in the U.S. and the only one in Louisiana. The LSU SVM is dedicated to improving the lives of people and animals through education, research and service. We teach. We heal. We discover. We protect.

 

 

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