Biological and Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program



Veterinarian Scientists

Interested students should contact:

NIH Training Grant for DVM Students
Dr. Joel Baines

Program Director
Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education
E-mail: Dr. Baines

NIH Training Grant for DVM Students

The NIH training grant for veterinary students goal is "to develop or enhance animal-oriented, hypothesis-based biomedical research training opportunities for individuals pursuing a degree in veterinary medicine (D.V.M. or V.M.D.). The purpose of this program is to help ensure that highly trained comparative medical scientists will be available to meet collaborative research needs in animal-based, medical research." (taken from the NIH website for this program announcement)

The objective of the program is to introduce veterinary students to biomedical research in order to enhance their skills as veterinarians and expand future career opportunities to include research as well as clinically based choices.

Program Details
The objective of this continuing program is to provide veterinary students with an opportunity to engage in hypothesis-based biomedical research during the formative stages of their education. Veterinarians, and the veterinary profession in general, have much to contribute to scientific discovery in medical disciplines. An education in veterinary medicine is inherently broad-based and comparative. Veterinary students are trained to integrate medical literature from a variety of sources dealing with the full array of animal species, using problem solving and comparative approaches, to evaluate disease pathogenesis and therapeutic strategies from molecular mechanisms through whole animal clinical features. As such, an education in veterinary medicine provides a solid and broad foundation upon which to develop a focused area of scientific expertise. Helping veterinary students discover this synergy and enhancing their interest in biomedical research is the goal of the current training proposal.

The program will center on the trainee working full-time in a research laboratory, conducting experiments with the guidance and direct supervision of a faculty mentor. Disciplines represented by participating Cornell University faculty include infectious diseases, genetics, physiology, cancer biology, reproductive biology, toxicology, and food safety. Supporting sessions will include seven research information modules delivered in a small group discussion format with a special emphasis on animal-based experimental systems. Module topics include:

  • genomics and proteomics
  • transgenic animal models
  • comparative animal-based biomedical research involving non-rodent models
  • infectious diseases and food safety
  • experimental design and statistical analyses
  • laboratory animal medicine and comparative pathology

Students will also complete a graduate course focused on ethics and professional responsibilities of research scientists. Structured time outside of the laboratory, however, will not exceed two hours in any given week. Students will present their research findings in one of several formats, including local seminars and/or attendance at a National meeting (travel to be funded by the Program).

Support for individual students lasts for one year and includes a stipend (set by the NIH) as well as tuition, fees and student health insurance for the Fellowship year. Start dates are flexible.

Participating Investigators

Joel Baines Julia Bevilaqua Felippe David Lin David Russell Holger Sondermann
Douglas Antczak Scott Coonrod Alexander Nikitin Ynte Schukken John Schimenti
Judith Appleton Lisa Fortier Colin Parrish Marci Scidmore Susan Suarez
Avery August Michael Kotlikoff Mark Roberson Alexander Travis Robert Weiss
Richard Cerione Jon Cheetham Yrjo Grohn Martin Wiedmann Gary Whittaker

Eric Denkers

Martin Wiedmann

Natasza Kurpios

Sylvia Siu Lee

Laura Harrington John Parker Lorin Warnick Ned Place  

Admissions to the Program
The selection process is completed by the Executive Committee comprised of four (4) faculty members associated with the program. Acceptance to the program is based upon:

  • GPA
  • GRE scores
  • Brief essay relating the student's research interests to their career path
  • Interview


Any Cornell veterinary student who has completed either the first, second or third year of the veterinary curriculum is eligible to apply. In addition, students admitted into the Cornell Combined DVM/PhD Degree Program are eligible to apply. Only pre-doctoral students are eligible.