AVMA News

Grants, student awards handed out by AVMF, partners

AVMF and partners are helping fund research and forward thinking in veterinary medicine

The American Veterinary Medical Foundation has announced the recipients of two of its programs that benefit veterinary researchers and veterinary students.

The AVMF and the Veterinary Pharmacology Research Foundation selected two veterinary researchers as recipients of the organizations’ 2021-22 pharmacology research grants. This funding supports research projects designed to improve the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases in animals.

Dr. Grobman
Dr. Megan Grobman

Dr. Megan Grobman is an assistant professor of small animal internal medicine at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. Her research project will focus on the impact of single-dose trazodone administration on endogenous adrenocorticotropic hormone and serum cortisol concentrations in healthy dogs.

Dr. Hamer
Dr. Sarah A. Hamer

Dr. Sarah A. Hamer is an associate professor of epidemiology at Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. Her research project will focus on assessing the treatment efficacy of benznidazole for curing Trypanosoma cruzi infection and improving clinical outcomes in client-owned dogs naturally infected with Chagas disease.

Merck Animal Health, in partnership with the AVMF, announced the recipients of the 2021 Merck Animal Health Veterinary Student Innovation Award. This award is designed to recognize graduating students at each veterinary school accredited through the AVMA Council on Education in the U.S. and Canada. Awards are given to students in good academic standing who have demonstrated innovation, entrepreneurship, and creative forward thinking in the development of a project or product that inspires others within the veterinary profession.

The winners are as follows:

  • Dr. Conor Blanchet, Colorado State University, for creating digital cytology software to transfer images through the cloud to pathologists.
  • Dr. Rachael Strauss, Cornell University, for developing a price validation study to help veterinary teaching hospitals develop a model for sustainable procedure pricing.
  • Dr. Megan Preston, Lincoln Memorial University, for creating an equine nasogastric intubation model, which helped improve the skills of veterinary students.
  • Dr. Kaity Denney, Michigan State University, for creating the Student AVMA Environmental Wellness Committee to focus on environmental wellness and veterinary medicine.
  • Dr. Iyaesha Simmons, Midwestern University, for leading the veterinary school’s professional mentorship program for students to help pair veterinary students with mentors.
  • Dr. Irina Perdew, North Carolina State University, for developing a novel dynamic compression device for horses to promote lymphatic drainage and health.
  • Dr. Elizabeth Crowling, Texas A&M University, for developing a business model through an internship with BabelBark and refining a business plan for a new ambulatory veterinary service for pets in urban areas.
  • Dr. Edward Unay, Tufts University, for being instrumental in the development and success of a peer-based teaching initiative, in which Dr. Unay developed a way to make fake silicon skin for practicing suturing.
  • Dr. Kayla Sailer, University of California-Davis, for creating a Facebook page called “Future Dr. Kayla DVM” to provide information on animal care, husbandry, and general wellness of animals.
  • Dr. Sydney Corso, University of Florida, for participating in a national competition and developing a three- to five-year business model on the basis of criteria provided by the program.
  • Dr. Shenise Howard, University of Georgia, for being creator and coordinator of the UGA Professional Speed Networking event.
  • Dr. Adam Quinlan, University of Guelph, for contributing to the development of a North American consortium for 3D printing in veterinary medicine.
  • Dr. Zachary Talbert, University of Illinois, for being founder and CEO of the company Biosecurity Innovations. Dr. Talbert developed the Biosecurity Box, which holds and disinfect items, to support the swine industry.
  • Dr. Erendira Amavizca, University of Minnesota, for creating an innovative emergency and critical care website with interactive cases to enhance the clinical training of veterinary students.
  • Dr. Sara M. Van Ausdal, University of Missouri, for creating the first Job and Preceptorship Fair for the veterinary college.
  • Dr. Florence Dupuis-Dowd, University of Montreal, for her commitment to open up horizons for the clinical and theoretical teaching of students going into equine practice.
  • Dr. Marco Duguay, University of Prince Edward Island, whose research was able to establish affordable genetic testing protocols for select canine diseases, which were made available to the Atlantic Veterinary College.
  • Dr. Renee Ewald, University of Saskatchewan, for her innovation and collaboration with Abbotsford Veterinary Clinic and Terrace Animal Hospital in the creation of a large animal mobile clinic.
  • Dr. Jessie Erin Richards, University of Tennessee, for developing a novel type of assay to detect parasites in wildlife.
  • Dr. Waining Wang Tsang, Western University of Health Sciences, for responsible administration of acupuncture points for each surgery patient after surgery.

A version of this article appears in the March 15, 2022, print issue of JAVMA.