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Summer Research Fellowships in Comparative Medicine for Veterinary Students

NIH T35 Summer Research Fellowship for Veterinary Students

Program Goals

  • To provide veterinary students per year with the opportunity to explore biomedical research career opportunities via a structured summer research experience at Wake Forest School of Medicine. There is a focus on comparative medicine disease pathophysiology in nonhuman primates and other species. Positions are paid.
  • To teach students in the program about the basic elements of hypothesis-driven research, including the scientific method, basics of study design, an overview of the grant-writing process, proper data management, and basic statistical methods.
  • To provide students in the program with training in ethics and professionalism in research, including proper conduct of research, ethical treatment of animals, intellectual property, and human subjects protection.
  • To provide the students with experience in oral and written presentation of scientific findings including demystification of the publication process.

Faculty mentors are paired with a student based on mutual research interests for an 8-12 week period of research. Many of the faculty are DVMs researching diseases of public health importance. Examples of projects are shown in the table. 
Research opportunities include internationally recognized programs in aging, women's health, development, cardiovascular disease, cancer, regenerative medicine, diabetes, reproductive system disorders, and substance abuse.

Students considering careers in research, academia, laboratory animal medicine, zoology, exotics, primatology, and pathology will benefit from our program. 

Winston-Salem is a medium-sized vibrant town near the foothills of the Appalachian mountains.  Wake Forest School of Medicine is a private medical school which ranks in the top third for NIH research funding. 

All interested students should contact the program director, Kylie Kavanagh DVM MS MPH at 336-713-1475.

Application materials include:

  • a personal letter / statement outlining research career interests and goals
  • a curriculum vitae
  • university transcripts
  • 3 letters of recommendation

2017 Summer Fellows


Clarisa Hernandez (NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine) - Associations between birth outcomes and variation in pelvic anatomy assessed via CT imaging in nonhuman primates

Adam Jesionowski (St. George's University School of Veterinary Medicine) - Diabetic and hypertensive nephtopathy in nonhuman primates

Rebecca P. Marcus (UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine) - Effects of western versus Mediterranean diet

Catherine Si (NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine) - Aging and muscle structure and function

Jordyn Whitfield (University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine) - Heart failure in geriatric monkeys

 2016 Summer Fellows


Abigail Beitel (NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine) - Diet effects on primate behavior

Brendan Johnson (University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine) - Radiation-induced loss of stature in rhesus macaques

Katherine Turnbull (Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine) - Dietary iron and risk of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis

Magan Wells (University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine) - Changes in intestinal function with age in monkeys

Samantha Williams (St. George's University School of Veterinary Medicine) - Food consumption in nonhuman primates

2015 Summer Fellows


Kate Allen (University College Dublin Ireland MVB Veterinary Medicine) - CSF biomarkers for evaluating age and metabolism in aging female vervet monkeys (project)

Andrea Aghaian (UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine) - Lymphocrypto virus reactivation in radiation-induced pulmonary fibrosis in rhesus macaques

Yari Torres-Mendoza (University of Georgia - College of Veterinary Medicine) - Iron kinetics in the pathogenesis of endometriosis 

Bianca Pfisterer (Tufts University, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine) - The effects of ionizing radiation on muscle perfusion and properties

Elizabeth Rose (University of Georgia - College of Veterinary Medicine) - Relationships between cardiovascular risk factors and histologic markers in Alzheimer's disease in female cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis

Quick Reference

Veterinary Training Programs in Comparative Med
Recruiting Director - T35
Kylie Kavanagh VMS MVS MPH

Tel: 336-713-1475

E-mail Dr. Kavanagh

Recruiting Director - T32 and All Others
Nancy Kock DVM PhD

Tel: 336-713-7389

E-mail Dr. Kock

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