At its annual meeting in June, the Morris Animal Foundation announced the project winners of the Veterinary Student Scholars Program.
Twenty-three student scholars presented their projects at the meeting. Prizes of $5,000, $1,000, and $500 were given to the top three students in the companion animal and wildlife categories.
These prizes were in addition to the stipends awarded to the students as part of the scholars program. Launched in 2006, the program provides veterinary students an opportunity to become involved in veterinary research targeted at enhancing the health of companion animals and wildlife.
Of the projects presented this year, the top prize in the companion animal category went to Steven Friedenberg from Cornell University. Under the mentorship of Dr. Rory J. Todhunter, Friedenberg studied canine hip dysplasia and identified a potential genetic marker that may link to the disease.
The top prize in the wildlife category went to Sophie E. Knafo, a student at Tufts University who was mentored by Dr. Gretchen E. Kaufman. While in Kenya, Knafo studied disease transmission from domestic livestock to the endangered Grevy's zebra.
Second place in the companion animal category went to Cherlene Delgado at the University of Missouri-Columbia for her work on treating feline asthma. Third place went to Ashley Hill at Mississippi State University for her project on hyperelastosis cutis, also known as hereditary equine regional dermal asthenia.
Second place in the wildlife category was presented to Larry J.B. Minter at North Carolina State University for his project on cryopreserving genetic material for use in assisted reproduction of wild species. Third place went to Laura Stokes-Greene at The Ohio State University for her work in studying infectious disease risks to the highly endangered Sumatran rhinoceros.