Morris Animal Foundation Awards Vet Students Funds For Research Projects

The eight veterinary student winners for the research competition were announced by the Morris Animal Foundation.

The Morris Animal Foundation recently named eight veterinary student winners in its annual research competition. 

They were among the more than 20 veterinary students who submitted posters on companion animal and wildlife studies as part of  the foundation's Veterinary Student Scholars Program

The program aims to give students the opportunity to work on MAF-funded projects while they are in veterinary school and,  in turn, encourage them to consider a career in research.

“[The program] recognizes the critical need to train new scientists,” said Patricia Olson, DVM, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of  Morris Animal Foundation. “By giving students the opportunity to work on MAF-funded projects while they are in veterinary school, we hope to encourage them to consider a career in research.”

Winners were:

• Ballard Award for Companion Animals, $5,000

Aric Frantz at the University of Minnesota examined the use of stem cell therapy to repair a dog’s heart after a heart attack.

• Ballard Award for Wildlife, $5,000

Scarlett Magda at the University of Guelph analyzed saddle-related injuries in elephants used for tourism in Thailand and developed recommendations to reduce injury.

• 2nd Place for Companion Animals, $2,500

Eric Dent at the University of Missouri developed software that may be able to help veterinarians diagnose spinal ataxia, an equine neurological disease.

• 2nd Place for Wildlife, $2,500

Brynie Kaplan Dau at the University of California, Davis, reviewed medical records of seabirds, sea lions and seals to provide baseline data that will be used to gauge whether programs that remove recreational fishing gear from the coast are effective in reducing injuries in coastal wildlife.

• 3rd Place for Companion Animals, $1,000 (tie)

Hillary Voris at Ohio State University tested a new drug that may help treat dogs with lymphoma.

Robin Fox at the University of Wisconsin-Madison refined a test that can detect and identify bacterial DNA in tissues of dogs.

• 3rd Place for Wildlife, $1,000 (tie)

Holly Protain at Oregon State University developed a new method to help veterinarians diagnose adrenal disease in ferrets.

Matt Kinney at the University of Wisconsin-Madison examined the use of pain management drugs after surgical procedures in turtles.

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