July 01, 2013


 AVMA Congressional Science Fellows named

Posted June 19, 2013

 Dr. Eric Deeble​  Dr. Nathaniel Tablante​  Dr. Kate Varela

This April, the AVMA announced that Drs. Eric Deeble, Nathaniel Tablante, and Kate Varela were selected for the 2013-2014 AVMA Congressional Science Fellowship program in Washington, D.C.

Starting in August, they will spend a year as scientific advisers to members of Congress, using their background to help shape key legislation that affects the veterinary profession and the health and safety of the nation.

“AVMA’s fellowship program is an excellent opportunity for veterinarians to break away from their everyday lives, learn and apply new skills, network with people in all branches of the federal government, and truly make a difference in the field of veterinary medicine,” said Dr. Mark Lutschaunig, director of the AVMA Governmental Relations Division.

“We always encourage AVMA members to participate in the legislative process, but the fellows will truly learn firsthand the amount of work and scientific knowledge that is needed to craft and pass legislation. We applaud these emerging leaders for committing their time to this important program and look forward to working with them.”

As part of the fellowship program, each fellow will serve from August 2013 until August 2014 in a congressional office, advising policymakers on the development of legislation that will impact the veterinary profession on issues such as food safety, public health, and animal welfare.

The fellows interview with congressional offices to receive their yearlong placements, and, once placed, they support the activities of that office as full-time staff. The fellows are not AVMA employees or lobbyists.

Drs. Deeble, Tablante, and Varela were selected from 30 applicants for the fellowship program after completing a three-phase, competitive selection process that started in February.

Dr. Deeble of Philadelphia graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 2013 and is a former AVMA GRD extern. He has worked in China, Africa, and the Near East on food animal production in low-resource communities, on animal transport, and on international market development.

Dr. Tablante of Elkridge, Md., received his DVM degree from the University of the Philippines in 1976 and is currently an associate professor and extension poultry veterinarian at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. He has 24 years of experience in poultry health management, epidemiology, and biosecurity, and has authored and co-authored numerous articles and educational materials on poultry health, biosecurity, and disease prevention.

Dr. Varela of Medford, N.Y., graduated from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 2012 and works at a small animal practice in the Chicago area. She is completing a Master of Public Health in Health Policy and Administration with a global health concentration and is interested in agricultural policy development.

The AVMA fellowship program is sponsored through the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which works to place qualified, scientific experts in congressional offices where there is a need. To date, more than 50 veterinarians have participated in the AVMA program.