Thanks to research, many diseases that once affected millions of animals and people are now preventable or treatable. Continued research is crucial to ensure that people and animals alike can enjoy health and a greater quality of life, both individually and collectively.
The AAVMC is actively engaged in several initiatives that promote the advancement of high-quality veterinary medical research.
Shaping and Responding to National Developments
The AAVMC monitors and responds to national or legislative developments that can have an impact on veterinary medical research. For example, the AAVMC presented testimony before the Scientific Management Review Board (SMRB) regarding measures by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to advance translational medicine and therapeutics. The AAVMC's testimony stressed the need for continued and increased grant support to academic veterinary medical institutions to train veterinarians to meet national biomedical research needs, construct and renovate research facilities, and create and maintain research facilities.
In a letter to the Office of the Director of the NIH, Dr. Marguerite Pappaioanou, the AAVMC's former executive director, and Dr. W. Ron DeHaven, CEO of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), expressed support for the important role played by the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) and the need for the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) to maintain strong and vital comparative medicine programs.
Sponsoring Programs that Encourage Research Careers
Biomedical Research Opportunities for Veterinary Students
The AAVMC is a co-sponsor of the Merial-NIH National Veterinary Scholars Symposium
, which will be held this year at Colorado State University. The symposium is the culmination of the Merial Veterinary Scholars Program
, whose mission is to expose veterinary students in their first or second year of veterinary school to biomedical research and career opportunities in research. At the symposium, veterinary students from all over the United States and Canada meet to present their research findings and share experiences from their various programs. The symposium includes presentations by and networking opportunities with invited veterinary scientists, researchers and faculty members.
Recognizing and Rewarding Research Achievements
In 2010, the AAVMC Board of Directors established the Merial-AAVMC Excellence in Research Award
to recognize outstanding research and scholarly achievements in the field of veterinary medicine. The award recognizes an individual who, over the course of his or her career, has demonstrated excellence in original research, leadership in the scientific community, and mentoring of trainees and colleagues in any discipline of veterinary medicine.
The inaugural recipient is Stephen W. Barthold,
D.V.M., Ph.D., of the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine who researches the interaction between infectious disease agents and their hosts. Dr. Barthold, a distinguished professor of veterinary and medical pathology, played a major role in coordinating a team of researchers that investigated and developed a Lyme disease vaccine that benefits both humans and animals.
Promoting Education and Leadership
The AAVMC brings national and international leaders together to develop research-related policies, and along with the AVMA, hosted a ground-breaking joint symposium, "Swimming with the Tide: Animal Welfare in Veterinary Medical Education and Research."
The symposium allowed veterinarians, educators, researchers, students, and others interested in animal welfare education and research to learn from and network with other experts.
In response to the need for educators to teach clear animal welfare standards and practices, the AAVMC began collaborating with the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) on Development of Animal Welfare Curriculum
for colleges and schools of veterinary medicine.
Additionally, the AAVMC and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have developed a model curriculum for veterinary students that outlines the provisions of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), the primary federal legislation pertaining to animal welfare. The broad objective of this project was to address the veterinarian’s role in providing leadership and guidance in animal welfare in accordance with the AWA.
Learn more about the AAVMC's work on animal welfare