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Dual-Degree Medical Scientists Training Program for Veterinarians

Abstract: This new Medical Scientist Training Program application from Colorado State University requests funds to support a DVM-PhD dual-degree program with a 15-year history of translational clinician-scientist training. The program currently recruits two students per year from a pool of approximately 40 applicants and has had a 100% retention rate. Nineteen trainees have graduated; 79% are employed in a variety of academic, agency, and nonprofit research positions. Five students have received NIH F30 dual-degree training awards since the first year DVM-PhD students were eligible applicants in 2015. Over the last seven years, 5 of 13 recruits (38%) have been from under-represented minority backgrounds and approximately 75% of all trainees are women. Trainee research projects span diverse fields across the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, which has supported exemplary pre- and post-doctoral veterinary research training programs for more than four decades, and has provided nearly $2.4M in direct support for this program since 2004. Forty participating mentor faculty (21 male, 19 female), represent a variety of career stages and expertise, and hold 172 active research awards totaling over $22M (average $568K/mentor). These mentors have trained, or are training, 112 predoctoral and 145 postdoctoral trainees. Pre-doctoral trainees have published 403 total publications during the last 10 years and 90% of those completing training have continued in research careers. MSTP students supported by this application participate in a rigorous program of biomedical research training (3-4 years) integrated with DVM didactic and clinical training (4 years). Students participate in ‘Translational Medicine’, a dual-degree specific course that delivers expert instruction in communication, leadership, grant and manuscript writing, team/interdisciplinary science, and importantly, encourages a sense of community and purpose for trainees. New to this application is instruction in data reproducibility and management, mentorship training provided by participating mentors in the CSU Center for Inclusive Mentorship, enhanced career development training during final DVM clinical years, and robust program evaluation and outcomes assessments provided by a senior evaluator from the CSU STEM center. An External Advisory Committee with experience in MSTP programs has been assembled to provide expert guidance in directing programmatic success and growth. Over the five-year award period we request funds to support a total of 22 trainee years to be distributed in years one and two of DVM training. This funding will leverage institutional funds to expand the program by enrolling 4 additional trainees by the end of the award period, thereby maximizing the impact this MSTP T32 in fulfilling the national need for translational biomedical scientists.

Status: Current

PI: Sue VandeWoude

Source of Funding: NIH

Funding Program: Training and Workforce Development

Award Amount: $1,631,735

Start Date: 07/01/2020

End Date: 06/30/2025

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