The AVMA Executive Board approved position statements on animal research and stem cells at its meeting Nov. 17–19.
Developed by the Council on Research, an AVMA Position Statement on Research for Healthy Animals 2010 was approved by the board. The council developed the position statement after reviewing recently released publications from the National Academies, including two that were sponsored by the AVMA: “Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science” and “National Need and Priorities for Veterinarians in Biomedical Research.” The council believes the AVMA position statement will continue the Association's commitment to advancing veterinary research, and will support or expand on the recommendations that were made in the publication on critical needs for research (see JAVMA, Aug. 15, 2005, page 535). For a copy of the complete position statement, log on to www.avma.org/issues/policy/healthy_animals.asp.
The COR also believes the position statement could serve as a starting point to create an AVMA-led national initiative that will have future impact on the veterinary profession's service to animal health and welfare. The COR borrowed “Healthy Animals 2010” from “Healthy People 2010,” a national action plan managed by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Department of Health and Human Services.
The board also approved an AVMA Position Statement on Stem Cells. The position statement was recommended by the COR and was developed to recognize the value of research performed using animal stem cells, while at the same time, maintaining the AVMA's commitment to animal welfare. The COR believes that existing federal guidelines and regulations governing the use of stem cells, along with federal laws protecting animal welfare, are necessary and sufficient to regulating the use of stem cells for research purposes. To view the complete statement on stem cells, log on to www.avma.org/issues/policy/stem_cells.asp.
AVMA seeks nominees for new award honoring lifework in research
In 2006, the AVMA will begin sponsoring an excellence in research award that honors veterinarians for the impact their lifetime of research has had on the veterinary and/or biomedical professions.
The AVMA Council on Research recommended creation of the AVMA Lifetime Excellence in Research Award to stimulate the veterinary research community and honor veterinarians whose efforts have contributed to animal and human health over the years.
The new award, authorized by the Executive Board in November, will complement the AVMA Practitioner Research Award, which has encouraged clinical research in veterinary science by veterinary practitioners since its inception in 1955.
Until the lifetime research award was established, the Practitioner Research Award was the only remaining honor bestowed on veterinary researchers by the AVMA or the American Veterinary Medical Foundation.
February 1 is the deadline for submitting nominations for the first AVMA Lifetime Excellence in Research Award. The award is open to veterinarians who are currently working in or are retired from clinical practice or an academic, government, private, or public institution. Each year at its spring meeting, the Council on Research will select the recipient after considering nominees on the basis of their lifetime achievements in basic, applied, and/or clinical research. Selfnominations will not be considered.
The honoree will receive $5,000 at the AVMA Annual Convention plus airfare to the convention and two days per diem. In addition, each honoree's name will be engraved on a plaque commemorating this award.
Nominations should be submitted to the AVMA, 1931 N. Meacham Rd., Suite 100, Schaumburg, IL 60173-4360. They must include a cover letter from the nominator, letters of support from three individuals who are familiar with the nominee's work, a list of the nominee's important research achievements, and a concise curriculum vita, including relevant publications. The following supporting data should be included:
name of the award
name, mailing address, telephone number(s), e-mail address, and college and year of graduation of the nominee
nature of the nominee's professional activity (type of practice or salaried work)
organizational memberships (professional and scientific)
a 300- to 320-word narrative sketch of the nominee's professional background
a statement pertaining to the nominee's qualifications for the award
a portrait of the nominee (digital images must be 300 dpi or higher, and hard copies 4-by-5 or larger)
The AVMA Council on Education has scheduled site visits to schools/colleges of veterinary medicine at 10 institutions for 2006.
Site visits are planned for the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, Feb. 12–16; University of Melbourne Faculty of Veterinary Science, March 5–9; University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, April 9–13; University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, April 23–27; University of Glasgow Veterinary School, Scotland, May 7–11; University of Mexico (UNAM) Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, May 21–25 (consultative site visit); Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, Sept. 17–21 (consultative site visit); University College Dublin Veterinary School, Oct. 8–12; The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Oct. 22–26; and Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine, Nov. 5–9.
The council welcomes written comments on these plans or the programs to be evaluated. Comments should be addressed to Dr. Donald G. Simmons, Director, Education and Research Division, AVMA, 1931 N. Meacham Road, Suite 100, Schaumburg, IL 60173-4360. Comments must be signed by the person submitting them to be considered.
Coalition helps establish six pathology residencies
A coalition of pathologists has secured funding to establish six new residencies in veterinary anatomic pathology.
“This new funding will enhance candidates' training and provide excellent opportunities to experience additional career opportunities in veterinary pathology, and will help resolve the deficit of veterinary pathologists to fill critical positions in academia, the private sector, and government,” stated Dr. Nancy Everds, president of the Society for Toxicologic Pathology, and Dr. Keith Harris, president of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists.
The pathology groups recently formed the ACVP/STP Coalition for Veterinary Pathology Fellows to provide a unified mechanism to solicit and allocate funds for additional positions to train veterinary anatomic and clinical pathologists (see JAVMA, June 15, 2005, page 1964).
The initiative resulted in residency funding from GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, and sanofi-aventis along with additional unrestricted grant support from Bristol-Myers Squibb and Experimental Pathology Laboratories.
“Industry's early response to this important educational initiative has been outstanding,” said Dr. Gary Cockerell, director of the ACVP/STP coalition.
Veterinary pathology training institutions in North America received applications to compete for the residencies. Following a review of 17 applications, the positions went to Colorado State University, North Carolina State University, The Ohio State University, Purdue University, University of California-Davis, and University of Illinois.
“The generous support from industry will allow each of the funded programs to accept an additional highly qualified applicant who could not otherwise be supported,” said Dr. Rose Raskin, professor of veterinary clinical pathology at Purdue University and chair of ACVP Training Coordinators.
The ACVP/STP coalition will continue to solicit support for additional positions, including residencies in veterinary clinical pathology, and for dissertation research by trainees who have already completed pathology residencies.
NIH gives biodefense grants to veterinary colleges
The National Institutes of Health has given a $15 million grant to Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and a $4 million grant to Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences as part of programs for biodefense research.
Tufts' veterinary school received its $15 million grant for the construction of a Regional Biocontainment Laboratory at biosafety level 3, which will allow researchers to study pathogens that can cause serious or lethal disease. Tufts will contribute $5 million toward the facility.
Colorado State's veterinary college received its $4 million grant to expand one of the research buildings on the Foothills Research Campus. The university has committed $3 million to the project, and the college will provide another $1 million.
Morris pledges $4 million for '06 animal health studies
In November, Morris Animal Foundation announced it was committing $4 million to animal health research in 2006. Health studies for dogs will receive 38 percent of the funding, followed by wildlife and the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project (37 percent), horses (14 percent), cats (10 percent), and llamas/alpacas (two percent). Detailed information on studies funded by the Foundation can be found at www.MorrisAnimalFoundation.org.
CDC seeks comments on Health Protection Research Guide
The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announces the availability for comment of the draft CDC Health Protection Research Guide, 2006–2015, which includes a subsection on zoonotic and vectorborne diseases.
In 2005, the CDC launched its effort to develop an agencywide research guide. The new guide will support the CDC's Health Protection Goals. It will also provide overall guidance for CDC research, as well as serve as a planning and communication tool for its public health research.
The deadline for written comments is Jan. 15. To view the research guide or submit written comments, visit www.rsvpBOOK.com/custom_pages/50942/index.php or contact Jamila Rashid, senior health scientist, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office of Public Health Research, 1600 Clifton Road N.E., MD D-72, Atlanta, GA 30333; phone, (404) 639-4621; e-mail, ResearchGuide@cdc.gov.
New charges have been brought against two People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals employees arrested for allegedly dumping dead dogs and cats in an Ahoskie, N.C., garbage dumpster.
In October, Andrew B. Cook of Virginia Beach, Va., and Adria J. Hinkle of Norfolk, Va., were each charged with 22 felony counts of animal cruelty and three felony counts of obtaining property by false pretense, according to published reports.
Originally, they were facing 31 counts of animal cruelty and eight misdemeanor counts of illegal disposal of dead animals. The felony charges were dismissed and new charges filed after an investigation led to new information, however. The misdemeanor charges still stand. Pentobarbital was reportedly used to euthanatize the dogs and cats.
Police began an investigation last summer when dog and cat bodies in plastic bags were found in a garbage bin for four consecutive weeks. Police arrested Cook and Hinkle when 18 animals were found in the dumpster along with 13 more in their van, which was registered to PETA.
The Veterinary Community
University of Missouri opens research center
University of Missouri-Columbia College of Veterinary Medicine, in partnership with the university's Sinclair School of Nursing, has opened the Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction.
“This new center will study the benefits to both animals and humans when they interact,” said Rebecca Johnson, associate professor of nursing and director of the center.
The College of Veterinary Medicine will house the Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction, which will receive funding through both the veterinary college and the nursing school.
University of Wisconsin establishes Center for Global Health
The University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine has teamed up with four other academic units on the Madison campus to establish a Center for Global Health.
The Center for Global Health is the first of its kind, according to the university. The collaborative initiative encompasses the School of Veterinary Medicine, School of Pharmacy, Medical School, School of Nursing, and Division of International Studies.
The goals of the Center for Global Health are to create curricula, support research, and develop partnerships with key institutions.
Following are winners of the 2005 Pfizer Animal Health Award for Research Excellence at 29 veterinary schools. The Pfizer award recognizes researchers whose innovative studies have advanced the scientific standing of veterinary medicine.
Pfizer Animal Health Award for Research Excellence
Frederick H. Hoerr, DVM, PhD, Auburn University
Edward R. Atwill, DVM, PhD, University of California-Davis
Sandra Quackenbush, PhD, Colorado State University
Lisa A. Fortier, DVM, PhD, Cornell University
Janet K. Yamamoto, PhD, University of Florida
Zhen Fu, DVM, PhD, University of Georgia
Indrani C. Bagchi, PhD, University of Illinois
Gregory J. Phillips, PhD, Iowa State University
Roman R. Ganta, PhD, Kansas State University
Shulin Li, PhD, Louisiana State University
Jerry B. Dodgson, PhD, Michigan State University
Sagar M. Goyal, BVSc & AH, PhD, University of Minnesota
Mark Lawrence, DVM, PhD, Mississippi State University
James R. Turk, DVM, PhD, University of Missouri-Columbia
Gregg Dean, DVM, PhD, North Carolina State University
William J.A. Saville, DVM, PhD, The Ohio State University
Michael S. Davis, DVM, PhD, Oklahoma State University
Daniel Rockey, PhD, Oregon State University
Andrei Thomas-Tikhonenko, PhD, University of Pennsylvania
Ching Ching Wu, DVM, PhD, Purdue University
C.N.L. Macpherson, PhD, St. George's University
Xuemin Xu, PhD, University of Tennessee
Keith Murphy, PhD, Texas A&M University
Raymond J. Kudej, DVM, PhD, Tufts University
Teshome Yehualaeshet, DVM, PhD, Tuskegee University
William R. Huckle, PhD, Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine
Lawrence K. Fox, PhD, Washington State University
Jason Anderson, PhD, Western University of Health Sciences
Dale Bjorling, DVM, University of Wisconsin-Madison