NIH T35 veterinary summer scholars in comparative medicine


A T35 Training Grant from the National Institutes of Health supports 7 DVM students per summer in mentored research experiences performing hypothesis driven biomedical research.

Veterinarians are uniquely prepared for scientific discovery that benefits human health, particularly when their broad understanding of comparative physiology and pathology is coupled with mechanistic or translational research training. The T35 research training program “Veterinary Summer Scholars in Comparative Medicine” provides a mechanism that helps meet the need for greater numbers of veterinarian scientists in biomedical research.

T35 advisors study disease processes in humans, spontaneous animal disease models, and experimental animal models. The mentors include a complement of basic scientists and both human and veterinary clinician-scientists that have extramurally funded research programs.

For further information about this program, please contact the program director Dr. Bruce Walcheck ([email protected]).


T35 funding supports a stipend ($6,200), trainee travel to the NIH/BI National Scholars Symposium, and trainee expenses including poster printing costs.


Full-time participation in summer scholars from May through August. No other employment or extended leaves/vacations beyond normal weekends and holidays.

Attendance and poster presentations at the NIH/BI National Scholars Symposium (August) and at the CVM Points of Pride Research Day (September).

Current T35 Advisors

Applicants are encouraged to reach out to these faculty to discuss potential summer research projects. Search by faculty names to learn more about their research on the Experts@Minnesota page. 

Kathleen Boris-Lawrie, PhD, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences (Chair), CVM. Dr. Boris-Lawrie’s research focuses on post-transcriptional control of cells and retroviruses and the relationship to infectious disease, cancer and AIDS.

Cathy Carlson, DVM, PhD, Veterinary Population Medicine, CVM. Dr. Carlson’s laboratory focuses on the pathogenesis of orthopedic diseases, primarily osteoarthritis and osteochondrosis.

John Collister, DVM, PhD, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, CVM. Dr. Collister’s laboratory investigates the long-term control of arterial blood pressure.

Erin Dickerson, PhD, Veterinary Clinical Sciences, CVM. Dr. Dickerson’s research focuses on designing targeted therapeutic approaches for cancer that can cross the boundaries of both human and veterinary medicine.

Deborah Ferrington, PhD, Opthalmology and Visual Neurosciences, Medical School. Dr. Ferrington's research relates to the molecular mechanisms of aging and age-related macular degeneration. 

Eva Furrow, VMD, PhD, Veterinary Clinical Sciences, CVM. Dr. Furrow has a background in comparative medical genetics research, urolithiasis (urinary stone disease) research, and the use of spontaneous large animal models to uncover new information about poorly understood diseases.

Melanie Graham, PhD, Surgery, Medical School. Dr. Graham’s research has centered on developing animal models with the aim of an enhanced understanding of pathobiology in animal models to benefit human and animal health.

Jennifer Granick, DVM, PhD, Veterinary Clinical Sciences, CVM. Dr. Granick’s research focuses on infectious disease and the host immune response.

Alonso Guedes, DVM, PhD, Veterinary Clinical Sciences, CVM. Dr. Guedes' research focus relates to identifying therapeutic targets for the treatment of chronic painful conditions such as osteoarthritis, laminittis, and asthma

Kristin Hogquist, PhD, Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Medical School. The primary focus of the Dr. Hogquist’s laboratory is on positive and negative selection of T cells in the thymus.

Timothy J. Johnson, PhD, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, CVM. Dr. Johnson’s laboratory is focused on understanding the mechanisms of virulence and antimicrobial resistance employed by bacterial pathogens.

David Largaespada, PhD, Pediatrcs, Medical School. Dr. Largaspaeda's research is focused on functional genomics methods (e.g. CRISPR/Cas9) to identify and understand genes and pathways that govern cancer cell behavior. 

Yuying Liang, PhD, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, CVM. Dr. Liang’s research interests pertain to the virus-host interactions in the replication and pathogenesis of two RNA viral pathogens, arenaviruses and influenza virus.

Hinh Ly, PhD, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, CVM. Dr. Ly’s research focuses on Lassa fever virus infection, which can lead to severe and sometime lethal hemorrhagic fever diseases in humans, for which there is no vaccine or effective drug.

Kim Mansky, PhD, Developmental and Surgical Sciences, Dental School Dr. Mansky is focused on cell signaling osteoblasts and osteoclasts and how perturbation of this signaling can lead to bone or bone-associated disease.

Louis Mansky, PhD, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Medical School. Dr. Mansky’s laboratory studies the cell and molecular biology of human retroviruses: human immunodeficiency virus type 1 and human T-cell leukemia virus type 1.

Molly McCue, DVM, PhD, Veterinary Population Medicine, CVM. Dr. McCue’s research group uses the latest molecular genetics and genomics tools to study complex genetic disease, physiological variation, and genetic diversity.

James Mickelson, PhD, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, CVM. Dr. Mickelson studies the molecular and genetic basis of neuromuscular disease in animals, and his laboratory has been one of the major contributors to the international effort to map the equine genome.

Jaime Modiano, VMD, PhD, Veterinary Clinical Sciences, CVM. Dr. Modiano’s laboratory focuses on factors that contribute to cancer risk and etiology using a multi-species comparative approach (human, canine, rodent) with cellular, molecular, and in vivo methods.

Branden Moriarity, PhD, Pediatrics, Medical School. Dr. Moriarity's research involves novel genome engineering technologies to develop cellular therapeutics and cancer immunotherapies. 

Ulrike Munderloh, DVM, PhD, Entomology, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. Dr. Munderloh’s research expertise is in the area of obligate intracellular tick-borne pathogens, in particular Anaplasma, Ehrlichia and Rickettsia spp.

Timothy D. O’Brien, DVM, PhD, Veterinary Population Medicine, CVM. Dr. O’Brien’s lab focuses on mesenchymal stem cells from adult tissues in large animal species, including the immunomodulatory effects of mesenchymal stem cells and the applications of these cells in transplantation medicine.

Julie Olson, PhD, Diagnostic and Biological Sciences, Dental School. Dr. Olson’s research interest is in the immune response that occurs in the central nervous system.

Edward Patterson, DVM, PhD, Veterinary Clinical Sciences, CVM. Dr. Patterson’s research focuses on canine comparative models of neurological diseases.

Davis Seelig, DVM, PhD, Veterinary Clinical Sciences, CVM. Dr. Seelig’s research pertains to comparative and experimental pathology with a focus on the pathogenic mechanisms of infectious prion disease and canine lymphoproliferative disease.

Kaylee Schwertfeger, PhD, Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Medical School. Dr. Schwertfeger’s research is centered around understanding the role of the inflammatory microenvironment in breast cancer initiation and formation.

Yoji Shimizu, PhD, Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Medical School. Dr. Shimizu’s laboratory focuses on how T-cell adhesion processes and cell-surface receptors transmit biochemical signals inside these cells leading to their activation and differentiation.

Pam Skinner, PhD, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, CVM. Research in the Skinner laboratory focuses on human and simian immunodeficiency virus.

DeWayne Townsend, DVM, PhD, Integrative Biology and Physiology, Medical School. Dr. Townsend’s laboratory studies heart disease at varying levels of biological complexity including intact animals, isolated organs, and individual adult cardiomyocytes to obtain insights into disease mechanisms.

Bruce Walcheck, PhD, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences (Principal Investigator), CVM. Dr. Walcheck's research group is examining various aspects of leukocyte biology with the goal of enhancing innate immunity to better control infection and to develop immunotherapies for cancer.