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"Frontiers for Veterinary Medicine" Fellow Set to Make Contributions to Animal Health and Welfare

May 18, 2006

Morristown, New Jersey – The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation announced April 25 that it awarded 22 Frontiers for Veterinary Medicine Fellowships to 23 veterinary students from 14 universities across the U.S. and Canada.

Katryna Fleer, Class of 2007, has been selected as the Frontiers Fellow from UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. She will pursue research pertaining to wildlife and companion animals in Yosemite National Park. Her project will examine how problems are expanding in these species due to disease vectors and bacterial diseases. This is Fleer's second year as a Frontiers Fellow.

Fellowships are competitively awarded for the purpose of enabling veterinary students to pursue innovative projects and research of their own design that contribute to the humane treatment of animals. With funding of up to $7,000 per project, Fellows will conduct their work at home or abroad during the summer of 2006, and then convene during the spring of 2007 to share their findings and connect with their fellow Frontiers Fellows, who represent a dynamic and creative pool of promising leaders in the field of veterinary medicine.

Michelle Knapik, Director of the Dodge Foundation’s Welfare of Animals program said, "The Frontiers for Veterinary Medicine program seeks to provide a launching pad for research, community building and leadership development that will bring to light human-animal connections and emerging roles for the veterinary profession."

Current Frontiers research and projects encompass the areas of pet overpopulation, wildlife conservation, the human-animal bond, food animal and livestock welfare, ecosystem health, exotic animal health care, marine mammal welfare, and veterinary ethics.

The Frontiers program is made possible through the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and the generosity of additional funding partners: the Bernice Barbour Foundation, the Kenneth A. Scott Charitable Trust, and the Howard Gilman Foundation.

The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation was founded in 1974 through the bequest of Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge, a long-time supporter of animal welfare. The Foundation’s mission is "to support and encourage those educational, cultural, social, and environmental values that contribute to making society more humane and our world more livable." The Trustees have focused grantmaking in the areas of the Arts, Education, the Environment, Local Projects in Morris County (NJ), and Welfare of Animals. The Frontiers for Veterinary Medicine program was started as a Welfare of Animals initiative in 1995. For more information about the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, including how to apply for grants, visit or call 973-540-8442.

Fleer's project mentor is Dr. Janet Foley, assistant professor, Department of Medicine and Epidemiology. Among her research, teaching and services duties for the school, Dr. Foley works at the Center for Vectorborne Diseases, where she studies the ecology of infectious diseases in wildlife, companion animals and laboratory animals.

This information has been adapted from a press release distributed by the Dodge Foundation.