Summer Research Program Opens Door to Discovery for Students

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

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Summer Research Program participants pictured at symposium

Purdue veterinary students pause for a group photo during the national Boehringer Ingelheim/NIH Symposium at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, which they attended because of their participation in the Summer Research Program.

Purdue Veterinary Medicine’s 2018 Veterinary Scholars Summer Research Program (SRP) gave 21 DVM and pre-veterinary students first-hand experience working with faculty on a wide variety of research projects. The program is designed to provide students 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 involved 11 weeks, from May 21 to August 5, of focused research as well as seminars, field trips, and symposia. The program has been held annually since 1991.

Summer Research Program participant pictured with Dr. Couetil

Summer Research Program participant Alina Ibrahim, an undergraduate student from Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Ga., discusses her research poster, titled “Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) and low-dose hydrocortisone therapy in an equine model of sepsis,” with Dr. Laurent Couёtil, professor of large animal internal medicine, during a research poster session in Lynn Hall August 1.

This year’s participants included 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.  “Over the years, this program has influenced dozens of students who had their eyes opened to the kinds of career opportunities available in veterinary research and the powerful way in which scientific discovery can positively impact the future of veterinary medicine,” Dr. HogenEsch said.  “Ultimately, we want to increase the number of students who are interested in advanced training following graduation.”

As part of the program, students participated 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 visited Covance Laboratories in Greenfield, Ind., and attended a joint symposium with the University of Illinois Summer Research Fellows.  In addition, each of the Summer Research Fellows prepared an abstract and poster about their research that they presented to PVM faculty, staff and students during a special poster presentation August 1 in Lynn Hall.  Then, the veterinary students traveled to the national Boehringer Ingelheim/NIH Symposium held at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences August 2-5.

Caitlyn Ridenour pictured with Dr. Santos

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.

Special thanks to all of the PVM faculty members who mentored students as part of the 2018 Veterinary Scholars Summer Research Program:

Purdue DVM Students and Faculty Mentors

  • Claudine Auld (Class of 2021)– Dr. Gert Breur, professor of small animal surgery
  • Kevin Bersch (Class of 2021) – Dr. Russell Main, associate professor of basic medical sciences
  • Eric Boone (Class of 2020) – Dr. Deborah Knapp, Dolores L. McCall professor of comparative oncology
  • Sara Canada (Class of 2020) – Dr. Kari Ekenstedt, assistant professor of anatomy and genetics
  • Christa Cheatham (Class of 2021) – Dr. Tiffany Lyle, assistant professor of veterinary anatomic pathology
  • Chad Coakley (Class of 2021) – Dr. Arun Bhunia, professor of food science, College of Agriculture
  • Jonathon Daniel (Class of 2020) – Dr. Riyi Shi, professor of basic medical sciences
  • Carly Gundlach (Class of 2020) – Dr. Maggie O’Haire, associate professor of human-animal interaction
  • Blair Hooser (Class of 2021) – Dr. Kari Ekenstedt, professor of anatomy and genetics
  • Ashley Hopkins (Class of 2020) – Dr. Lynn Guptill, associate professor of small animal internal medicine
  • Jessica Linder (Class of 2020) – Dr. Melissa Lewis, assistant professor of neurology
  • Chris Mapes (Class of 2021) – Dr. Abigail Durkes, assistant professor of veterinary anatomic pathology
  • Caitlyn Ridenour (Class of 2021) – Dr. Andrea Santos, assistant professor of veterinary clinical pathology
  • Caitlin Smith (Class of 2020) – Dr. Grant Burcham, veterinary diagnostician and Dr. Nancy Boedeker, adjunct assistant professor, Department of Comparative Pathobiology
  • Levi Smith (Class of 2020) – Dr. Audrey Ruple, assistant professor of one health epidemiology

Undergraduate Pre-veterinary Students and Faculty Mentors

  • Praise Benson (Prairie View A&M) – Dr. Laurent Couëtil, professor of large animal internal medicine
  • Aishwarya Chitnis (Purdue University) – Dr. Stephen Hooser, professor of toxicology
  • Krista Huff (Purdue University) – Dr. Marxa Figueiredo, associate professor of basic medical sciences
  • Alina Ibrahim (Agnes Scott College) – Dr. Sandra Taylor, associate professor of large animal internal medicine
  • Dhara Richardson (Grambling State) – Dr. Malathi Raghavan, director of outcomes assessment and data management and Dr. Hsin-Yi Weng, associate professor of clinical/analytical epidemiology
  • Lauren Thompson (North Carolina A&T) – Dr. Dianne Little, assistant professor of basic medical sciences

Writer(s): Rachel Nellett, PVM Communications Intern |

Category: Academics, Research

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