DVM and Pre-Veterinary Students Experience Scientific Discovery through Summer Research Program

Friday, June 29, 2018

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Dr. Andrea Santos pictured with Caitlyn Ridenour

Dr. Andrea Santos (right), assistant professor of veterinary clinical pathology, guides Purdue veterinary student Caitlyn Ridenour, of the DVM Class of 2021, as she works on her summer research project.

Purdue Veterinary Medicine’s 2018 Veterinary Scholars Summer Research Program (SRP) is giving 21 DVM and pre-veterinary students first-hand experience in the realm of scientific discovery. The program provides the students with the opportunity to work on independent research projects and explore non-practice careers by being partnered with faculty members who share mutual areas of interest. The SRP involves 11 weeks (May 21 – August 5) of focused research as well as seminars, field trips, and symposia. The program has been held annually since 1991.

This year the program is hosting 15 Purdue DVM students and six pre-veterinary students from Purdue, Prairie View A&M University, Agnes Scott College, Grambling State University, and North Carolina A&T University. Dr. Harm HogenEsch, Purdue Veterinary Medicine associate dean for research and professor of immunopathology, and Dr. Eli Asem, professor of physiology in the Department of Basic Medical Sciences, organize the program by matching students and faculty.

The goal of the program is to make DVM and undergraduate students aware of the opportunities to pursue research and research-related careers, and to increase the number of students that are interested in advanced training following graduation. To do this, students participate in weekly seminars on a variety of topics including: careers in academia, industry and government, lab animal medicine, ethics, scientific writing, research funding, and how to balance a career and personal life. They also have the opportunity to visit Covance Laboratories in Greenfield, Ind., and attend a joint symposium with the University of Illinois Summer Research Fellows.  The SRP kicks-off with a traditional Indiana picnic at the start of the program in May. The veterinary students will also travel to a national Boehringer Ingelheim/NIH symposium at Texas A&M University on August 2-5.

PVM faculty, staff, and students will have a chance to learn about the research conducted by the SRP participants at the conclusion of the program.  Each of the Summer Research Fellows will prepare an abstract and poster about their research to present at a special poster presentation August 1 in Lynn G119/155.

The 2018 Summer Research Program participants are as follows:

DVM Students and Faculty Mentors

  • Claudine Auld – Dr. Gert Breur
  • Kevin Bersch – Dr. Russell Main
  • Eric Boone – Dr. Deborah Knapp
  • Sara Canada – Dr. Kari Ekenstedt
  • Christa Cheatham – Dr. Tiffany Lyle
  • Chad Coakley – Dr. Arun Bhunia
  • Jonathon Daniel – Dr. Riyi Shi
  • Carly Gundlach – Dr. Maggie O’Haire
  • Blair Hooser – Dr. Kari Ekenstedt
  • Ashley Hopkins – Dr. Lynn Guptill
  • Jessica Linder – Dr. Melissa Lewis
  • Chris Mapes – Dr. Abby Durkes
  • Caitlyn Ridenour – Dr. Andrea Pires dos Santos
  • Caitlin Smith – Dr. Grant Burcham and Dr. Nancy Boedeker
  • Levi Smith – Dr. Audrey Ruple

Undergraduate Pre-veterinary Students and Faculty Mentors

  • Praise Benson – Dr. Laurent Couëtil
  • Aishwarya Chitnis – Dr. Stephen Hooser
  • Krista Huff – Dr. Marxa Figueiredo
  • Alina Ibrahim – Dr. Sandra Taylor
  • Dhara Richardson – Dr. Malathi Raghavan and Dr. Hsin-Yi Weng
  • Lauren Thompson – Dr. Dianne Little

Writer(s): Rachel Nellett, PVM Communications Intern | pvmnews@purdue.edu

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