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Students Training in Advanced Research

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Most veterinarians apply their problem-solving skills in a clinic with individual animal patients.

Society also needs scientists in the laboratory to help animals by learning about the causes and cures of disease.

To address a shortage of veterinary scientists and encourage students to explore new career paths, the Students Training in Advanced Research program, STAR, supports summer research projects. 

Thirty-seven veterinary students are gaining in-depth experience with the methods and goals of research this summer in 10-week research fellowships. The projects take place under the supervision of a faculty mentor.

Some participants engage in clinical studies of pets or wildlife, for example, developing standard protocols for diagnostic testing in California sea lions. In another proposed experiment, a STAR student is measuring and comparing the levels of uric acid and blood pressure in dogs.

Field experiments this year include conducting behavioral assessments of newly-relinquished shelter cats to see how behavior and stress influence adoptability. Another project, connected with improving care of wildlife injured in oil spills, examines how fluids and freshwater caging affects birds during rehabilitation.

Basic or "bench" science projects involve in-depth projects in animal or human health, such as how a virus infects its host and how the body defends itself from pathogens such as influenza; cellular changes in different types of brain tumor models; and analysis of E coli bacteria.

Students work with faculty mentors to develop projects appropriate to faculty expertise, students' interests and the time constraints of a 10-week project. Most projects take place in departments and centers on campus. Several students are traveling abroad to collect their data and familiarize themselves with field study.

As projects near completion, students present oral reports and written scientific summaries in conference sessions and a special STAR poster presentation event fall quarter.

School leaders hope that the exposure to research will persuade a few of the students to consider veterinary research as a career path. The program benefits future practitioners in any case because they develop a greater appreciation for the science behind veterinary practice. Each participant receives a $5500 stipend. Support comes from several sources, including school funds, foundations and corporate sponsors.

The students, mentors and project names are listed below:

  Student's Name Mentor's Name Project Title
1 Bamberger, Elizabeth Hedrick, Ron Immunization of koi (Cyprinus carpio) with cyprinid herpesvirus 1 & 2 to protect against koi herpesvirus
2 Branyan, Erin Lein, Pam Neuroprotective Role for Neuregulins in Organophosphorus Pesticide (OP)-Induced Neurotoxicity
3 Brooks, Roxann Stott, Jeff Identification and characterization of antigenic proteins from the etiologic agent of Epizootic Bovine Abortion
4 Cummings, Bethany Havel, Peter Efficacy and Mechanisms of Diabetes Prevention Following lleal Interposition Surgery in a Novel Rat Model of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
5 Dawson, Emily Meyers, Stuart The Protein Kinase A Mediated Pathway in Equine Sperm
6 Frankfurter, Greg Massey, Greg; Ziccardi, Michael Effect of Fluid Therapy and Fresh Water Caging on Aquatic Bird Electrolyte Concentrations and Hydration Status
7 Karmi, Nili Bannasch, Danika Correlation of Serum Uric Acid Levels and Blood Pressure Levels in Dogs
8 Kwon, Jenny Jones, James Does CO Binding of Hemoglobin Affect the Ventilatory Responses to Hyposia, Hypercapnia or both Ventilatory Stimulants?
9 Moore, Alexandra Bain, Melissa Evaluation of behavioral assessments of newly-relinquished shelter cats and their relation to cortisol levels and adoptability
10 Moriarty, Megan Boyce, Walter Quantitative ELISA for detection of antibodies to Otodecetes sp. In Catalina Island foxes
11 Parsley, Ruth Tell, Lisa Pharmokinetic parameters and bioavailability of voriconazole in captive Red-tailed Hawks
12 Tomalty, Katharine (Kat) May, Bernie Differentiation of fall-run and threatened spring-run Chinook salmon in the Central Valley
13 Wang, Helen Pinkerton, Kent The vascular effects of tobacco smoke exposure and of soluble epoxide hydrolase inhibitor treatment in the spontaneously hypertnesive (SH) rats
14 Wirz, Andrew Conley, Alan; Ball, Barry The Effects of 5a-dihydroprogesterone on Inducing an Acrosome Reaction in Equine Spermatozoa
15 Zacuto, Alyse Marks, Stanley Influence of Omeprazole and Cisapride on Gastroesophageal Reflux During Anesthesia in Dogs
16 Gunther-Murphy, Catherine Goldstein, Tracey Developing Standard Electrocardiogram Protocols in Anesthetized CA Sea Lions
17 Raheja, Leah Yellowley, Clare Hypoxic regulation of mesenchymal stem cell migration:  the role of the Rho family of GTPases
18 Richardson, Malcolm Marks, Stanley Quantative canine specific ELISA for Clostridium perfringes
19 Roegner, Amber Puschner, Birgit The Evaluation of the Novel Application of Microscale Co-Culture Techniques as a Rapid Screening Assay for Hepatocellular Toxicity of Microcystin Congeners
20 Harmeling, Benjamin Ernest, Holly Did genetic diversity decrease following the onset of a high mortality infectious disease in CA endemic birds?  West Nile virus and the Yellow-billed Magpie
21 Garrick, Melissa Hoar, Bruce Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and multiple-locus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis of Escherichia coli O157:H7 isolated from adult beef cattle and sheep
22 Terpolilli, Gina Meyers, Stuart Influence of Cryopreservation and Capacitation on Acrosomal Exocytosis in Stallions
23 Wang, Yenlie Dickinson, Peter Expression of the NF2 Gene in Feline Spontaneous Meningiomas
24 Gonzalez, Denise Byrne, Barbara Environmental factors that enhance the survival and replication of virulent Rhodococcus equi by induction of virulence plasmid gene expression
25 Leonard, Brian Bevins, Charles Antimicrobial Activity and Chemotactic Properties of k9 Beta-Defensin 103
26 Morgan, Jessica Yellowley, Clare The Role of Caveole in Osteoblast Mechanotranduction
27 Kline, Yvonne Tell, Lisa Characterization of Members of the Cytochrome P450 Monooxygenases in Raptors
28 Reed, Aimee Larsen, Scott Surveillance for Anthropozoonotic Diseases in Free-ranging Ring-tailed Lemurs in Madagascar
29 Terry, Christina Tablin, Fern; Jandrey, Karl PECAM-1 in Cats with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
30 Alarcón, Christina Angelastro, James Apoptosis of PDGF-B-induced glioblastoma stem cells and differentiation of non-neoplastic stem cells following in-vitro activation of d/n-ATF-5
31 Badal, Nora Barry, Peter Mechanism of RhCMV Infection in Endothelial Cells
32 Baxter, Kelly Chen, Xinbin Effects of overexpression and knockdown of canine Mdm2 in MDCK cells
33 Levine, Jessica Yilma, Tilahun In vitro characterization of Andes virus pathogenesis
34 Waffarn, Elizabeth Baumgarth, Nicole Innate regulation of B-1 cell responses to influenza virus infection
35 Wieman, Lani North, Tom; Sparger, Ellen The Use of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Integrase Inhibitors for Supression of Feline Immunodeficiency Virus in Vitro
36 Riggs, G.G. Comet Raybould, Helen Altered glucose-sensing in the small intestine via the sweet tasting receptor pathway in type 2 diabetes
37 West, Eric Lyeth, Bruce Can inhibition of NAAG peptidase reduce intracellular calcium and increase cell viability in astrocytes in an in vitro traumatic brain injury model?