Twenty students will spend the summer conducting research as part of the Veterinary Summer Scholars Program
June 16, 2022
Twenty students are participating in the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine Veterinary Summer Scholars Program, an introduction to biomedical research through research-driven activities. The LSU Vet Med Veterinary Summer Scholars Program is funded by the National Institutes of Health, Boehringer-Ingelheim, the Kenneth F. Burns Trust, Blue Buffalo, and the Arkansas Veterinary Medical Foundation. The program culminates in an international 2022 Veterinary Summer Scholars Symposium is coordinated by the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges and University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine.
The Summer Scholars Program serves to further students’ learning and experiences in research 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, the NIH selects medical and veterinary schools to participate in its T35 summer biomedical research program, and LSU has received the funding for the eighteenth consecutive year.
Each student will receive a $6,400 stipend. The LSU Vet Med and the NIH will also sponsor the students’ participation at the [virtual] 2021 National Veterinary Scholars Symposium, hosted by University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine from August 4-6. This conference brings together scientists from academia, the pharmaceutical industry, and NIH leadership in one setting and allows the students to present their research, learn more about research careers and opportunities, and network with students and research scientists from other veterinary schools.
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 Britta Leise, DVM (LSU 2002), PhD, DACVS, associate dean of staff and faculty advancement and associate professor of equine surgery; Joseph Francis, BVSc, MVSc, PhD, associate dean for research and graduate education and professor in the Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences (CBS); Andrew Lewin, BVM&S, DACVO, assistant professor of veterinary ophthalmology in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences; Yogesh Saini, BVSc, MS, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences; and Joseph Taboada, DVM, DACVIM, professor of small animal internal medicine in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences (VCS).
The recipients of the NIH Biomedical Research Experience for Veterinary Students Awards are as follows:
Noah Black-Ocken (Class of 2024), from Little Rock, Ark., is working with Alexandra Noel, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences (CBS), on a project entitled “Pulmonary health impacts of cool-mint flavored Puff Bar aerosols in vulnerable population of young mice.”
Matthew Criscione (Class of 2024), from Howell, N.J., is working with Lorrie Hale-Mitchell, DVM, assistant professor of integrative medicine and rehabilitation in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences (VCS), on a project entitled “Assessment of the healing times of bone fractures using photobiomodulation as an adjunct to allopathic treatment in raptors.”
Hannah Guidry (Class of 2025), from Denham Springs, La., is working with Henrique Cheng, DVM, PhD, associate professor in CBS, on a project entitled “Role of osteocalcin in glucose homeostasis during diabetes mellitus.”
Haley McCall (Class of 2024), from West Plains, Mo., is working with Rebecca Christofferson, MApSt, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Pathobiological Sciences (PBS), on a project entitled “Epidemiological characterization of chikungunya outbreaks in the context of nonemergent transmission for the purpose of informing vaccine trial design.”
Nashelys Oritz-Negron (Class of 2024), from San Juan, Puerto Rico, is working with Olalekan Ogundele, MSc, PhD, assistant professor in CBS, on a project entitled “Elucidating the role of midbrain glutamate neurons in cortical memory processing.”
Cherese Raymond (Class of 2024), from Miramar, Fla., is working with Charles Lee, PhD, associate professor in CBS, on a project entitled “Behavioral Responses to Auditory Cues Following Manipulation of Commissural Tectothalamic Projections.”
Kirsten Rico (Class of 2024), from Norwood, N.J., is working with William Beavers, PhD, assistant professor in PBS, on a project entitled “Defining the mechanism of polyunsaturated fatty acid killing of Staphylococcus aureus small colony variants.”
Faith Scott (Class of 2025), from Bossier City, La., is working with Britta Leise, DVM (LSU 2002), PhD, DACVS, associate professor of equine surgery in VCS and associate dean for staff and faculty advancement, on a project entitled “Assessment of fibroblast wound healing and growth factor production in vitro after exposure to adipose derived mesenchymal stem cell supernatant.”
The recipients of the Boehringer-Ingelheim Summer Research Awards are as follows:
Amy Bitter (Class of 2025), from Oceanside, Calif., is working with Mark Mitchell, DVM, PhD (LSU 2001), DECZM, professor of zoological medicine in VCS, on a project entitled “Determining the Effects of Artificial Ultraviolet B (UVB) Light on Plasma 25-Hydroxyvitamin D3 Over Time in Leopard Geckos (Eublepharis macularius) and Northern Blue Tongued Skinks (Tiliqua scincoides).”
Madison Davis (Class of 2025), from Shreveport, La., is working with Adriano Vatta, BVSc, MSc, PhD, associate professor in PBS, on a project entitled “Evaluation of Bovine parasites and Parasite Resistance in Louisiana.”
Shelby Parks (Class of 2024), from DeRidder, La., is working with Thomas Tully, DVM (LSU 1986), DABVP (Avian), DECZM (Avian), on a project entitled “An investigation into baseline plasma corticosterone levels and how they change in response to stress in Amazon parrots.”
Aspen Settle (Class of 2024), from Tucson, Ariz., is working with Mark Mitchell, DVM, PhD (LSU 2001), DECZM, professor of zoological medicine in VCS, on a project entitled “Determining the effects of various semen extenders on spermatozoa viability in corn snakes (Pantherophis guttatus).”
John Tuminello (Class of 2025), from Baton Rouge, La., is working with Javier Nevarez, DVM (LSU 2001), PhD (LSU 2007), DACZM, DECZM (Herpetology), on a project entitled “Survey for Prevalence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in the LSU Lakes.”
Jennifer Windham (Class of 2024), from Addis, La., is working with Frank Andrews, DVM, DACVIM, professor of equine medicine and head of the VCS department, on a project entitled “EHV-1 Specific immune responses to EHV vaccines in equine.”
The recipients of the Kenneth F. Burns Veterinary Student Awards were as follows:
Stevie Bordelon (Class of 2024), from Reserve, La., is working with Brooke Dubansky, PhD, associate professor of anatomy in CBS, on a project entitled “The morphological and histological evidence for the mechanical induction of osteoderm development in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis): implications for understanding mechanisms of heterotopic ossification disorders.”
Kassandra Crissman (Class of 2025), from Baton Rouge, La. is working with Jenny Sones, DVM (LSU 2008), PhD, DACT, associate professor of theriogenology in VCS, on a project entitled “Validation of Significant X-Linked Genes in Sexual Differentiation of the BPH/5 Preeclamptic Mouse Model.”
Angela Fang (Class of 2025), from Mandeville, La., is working with Mandi Lopez, DVM, PhD, DACVS, professor in VCS and director of the Laboratory for Equine and Comparative Orthopedic Research, on a project entitled “Porcine Model of Costochondral Graft for Temporomandibular Joint Reconstruction.”
Breonna Freeman (Class of 2025), from Monroe, La., is working with Andrew Muir, DVM, assistant professor of food animal medicine and surgery in VCS, on a project entitled “A Retrospective and Clinical Study on the Prevalence of F. hepatica in Small Ruminants.”
Julia Lazo (Class of 2024), from Alpharetta, Ga., is working with Olalekan Ogundele, MSc, PhD, assistant professor in CBS, on a project entitled “Neuroanatomical tracing of ventral tegmental area glutamate neural projections to the medial prefrontal cortex in a schizophrenia mouse model.”
The recipient of the Blue Buffalo and Arkansas Veterinary Medical Foundation Award is as follows:
Nicole Akers (Class of 2025), from Little Rock, Ark., is working with Frederic Gaschen, Dr.habil., Dr.med.vet., DACVIM (Small Animal Internal Medicine), DECVIM (Companion Animals), professor of small animal medicine in VCS, on a project entitled “Effect of metoclopramide and azithromycin on liquid phase gastric emptying in healthy dogs with experimentally delayed gastric emptying.”
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The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine is one of only 33 veterinary schools in the U.S. and the only one in Louisiana. LSU Vet Med is dedicated to improving and protecting the lives of animals and people through superior education, transformational research, and compassionate care. We teach. We heal. We discover. We protect.