Dr. Maciej Parys was awarded first place in the Young Investigator Award competition at the Merial NIH Veterinary Scholars Symposium, held the July 28 – 31, 2016, at The Ohio State University. The symposium brought together over 470 veterinary students to present the results of their summer research projects. The Young Investigator competition, sponsored by the American Veterinary Medical Association and its charitable foundation, the AVMF, recognizes the scientific advancements made by graduate veterinarians who are pursuing advanced research training through doctoral or post-doctoral programs. Five finalists were selected and invited to the symposium from an initial field of 35 applicants. Dr. Parys, a research associate in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences at Michigan State University, presented his work in a talk entitled "Characterization of Immunomodulatory Properties of Feline Mesenchymal Stem Cells". Dr. Parys received an honorarium of $2500.
Two other finalists received honorariums from the AVMA/AVMF as well. Dr. Nora Springer, currently a post-doctoral fellow at Cornell University, presented "Biomaterial Composition Influences In Vitro Macrophage Behavior" and received $1000 for second place in the competition. Dr. Elshafa Ahmed, currently a post-doctoral fellow at Ohio State, presented "Development of a Genetic Risk Profile for Epstein-Barr Virus Associated Post-Transplant Lymphoproliferative Disease" and received an honorarium of $500.