Seventeen LSU Vet Med students will spend their summer conducting research as part of the Summer Scholars Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 16, 2017

 

 Summer Scholars 2017

 

BATON ROUGE—Seventeen 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 2017 Summer Scholars Program is funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Merial Veterinary Scholar Program, the Morris Animal Foundation and the Kenneth F. Burns Trust.

 

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 fifteenth consecutive year. For the thirteenth 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 $5,844 stipend. The SVM and Merial will also sponsor the students’ participation at the 2017 National Veterinary Scholars Symposium from August 3-6 at Michigan State University in Washington, DC, 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); Britton Grasperge, DVM, PhD, DACVP, assistant professor in Pathobiological Sciences (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:

 

Karla Fraga (Class of 2020), of San Juan, Puerto Rico, will work with mentor Karanvir Aulakh, BVSc & AH, MS, DACVS, assistant professor of companion animal surgery in VCS, on her project entitled “Radiographic Sizing for Meniscal Transplantation in Dogs.”

 

Madilyn Garcia (Class of 2020), of Abita Springs, La., will work with mentor Henrique Cheng, MS, PhD, associate professor in CBS, on her project entitled “Effect Cyanidin on Insulin Secretion and Pancreatic β-Cell Gene Expression.”

 

Laura Garcia (Class of 2019), of Slidell, La., will work with Susanne Straif-Bourgeois, MS, PhD, MPH, associate professor of Epidemiology at the LSU School of Public Health, on her project entitled “Prevalence of Baylisascaris procyonis and other zoonotic diseases in raccoons from New Orleans, LA.”

 

Nicholas Garcia-Abarca (Class of 2020), of San Juan, Puerto Rico, will work with mentor Britta Leise, DVM (LSU 2002), MS (LSU 1997), PhD, DACVS, assistant professor in VCS, on his project entitled “Effects of altered weight bearing on digital venous perfusion in horses.”

 

Michael Hitt (Class of 2020), of Altamont, N.Y., will work with mentor Charles Lee, PhD, assistant professor in CBS, on his project entitled “Age-Related Changes in Expression of Group II mGluRs in the Primary Auditory Cortex.”

 

Katherine Lamont (Class of 2020), of Madisonville, La., will work with mentor Ronald Veazey, DVM, PhD, professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Tulane University School of Medicine, chair for the Division of Comparative Pathology for the Tulane National Primate Research Center, on her project entitled “The role of inflammation in vaginal SIV transmission.”

 

Kaitlyn Perkins (Class of 2019), of Farmerville, La., will work with mentor Tammy Dugas, PhD, professor in CBS, on her project entitled “Addressing a role for pathologic estrogen metabolism in female-specific pulmonary arterial hypertension.”

 

Britlyn Spataro (Class of 2019), of Bossier City, La., will work with mentor Arthur Penn, PhD, professor of toxicology in CBS, on her project entitled “Effects of electronic cigarette (E-cig) vapor exposure on lung responses in a mouse model of asthma.”

 

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

 

Yi Gu (Class of 2020), of Plano, Texas, will work with mentor Michelle Osborn, MA (LSU 2008), PhD (LSU 2013), assistant professor in CBS, on her project entitled “Comparative Anatomy and the Kinematic Analysis of the Atlantoaxial Joint in Feline and Human Computer Models.”

 

Shannon Hansen (Class of 2019), of Peoria, Ariz., will work with mentor Alexandra Noël, MS, PHS, assistant professor in CBS, on her project entitled “Effects of in utero electronic cigarette (e-cig) vapor exposure on pregnancy outcomes and on neonates.”

 

Joseph Kamper (Class of 2019), of Tempe, Ariz., 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 “Whole Blueberries, Exercise Training, Performance Evaluation in Horses.”

 

Morgan Richard (Class of 2020), of Elton, La., will work with mentor Carlos Pinto, DVM, PhD (LSU 2001), DACT, associate professor in VCS, on his project entitled “In Vitro Maturation of Equine Oocytes Held at Room Temperature.”

 

Shelby Strother (Class of 2019), of Oakdale, La., will work with mentors Rhett Stout, DVM (LSU 1994), PhD (LSU 2003), DACLAM, associate professor in PBS; Laura Riggs, DVM, PhD, DACVS, associate professor in VCS; Charles McCauley, DVM, DABVP, DACVS, assistant professor in VCS; and F. Kareem Al-Bagdadi, BVMS, MS, MS, PhD, associate professor in CBS, on her project entitled “Ultrastructure Pathomorphology of Seminiferous Epithelium and Stem Cells Mitochondria in Experimental Paxied Abdominal Cryptorchid and Scrotal Testes in Rats.”

 

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

 

Michelle Bourgeois (Class of 2019), of Luling, La., will work with her mentor Stephen Gaunt, DVM (LSU SVM 1977), MS (LSU SVM 1979), PhD, DACVP, professor in PBS, on her project entitled “Collection of blood from healthy dogs and cats to determine effect of anticoagulants and storage time on platelet measurements.” 

 

Bianca Le (Class of 2020), of Gretna, La., will work with mentor Masami Yoshimura, BSc, MSc, DSc, associate professor in CBS, on her project entitled “Analysis of Phagocytic Activity of Adenylyl Cyclase Type 7 Knockout Macrophages.”

 

Aubrey Traina (Class of 2020), of Chalmette, La., will work with mentor John Hawke, MS, PhD (LSU 1996), professor in PBS, on her project entitled “Increased Susceptibility to Streptococcus agalactiae of Oil Exposed Populations of Fundulus grandis.”

 

The recipient of the Morris Animal Fund Student Award is as follows:

 

Sarah Camlic (Class of 2019), of Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., will work with mentor Mark Mitchell, DVM, MS, PhD (LSU 2001), DECZM, professor in VCS and director of the LSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital, on her project entitled “Semen Extenders in Reptiles.”

 

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For more information about the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine or the Veterinary Summer Scholars Program, contact Julie Thomas, public relations coordinator, at 225-578-0110 or jtho279@lsu.edu