Progress on Theme 3: Specialized Research Training in Animal Models and Related Resources

Programs and Activities Highlights

  • Webinar on Opportunities at NIH for Veterinarian-Scientists
    ORIP was invited to speak on opportunities at NIH for veterinarian-scientists during a webinar that was held on June 1, 2022. The audience was composed of veterinary students who were engaged in summer research at Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine. Associated Deans of Research from other veterinary schools in the region—Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, and The University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine—also were invited

  • NIH Extramural Loan Repayment Program Webinar
    ORIP participated in the NIH Extramural Loan Repayment Program Webinar, which was presented to an audience largely composed of veterinary students engaged in summer research from Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine. Associate deans of research from other veterinary schools in the region (e.g., Louisiana State University, Auburn University, The University of Tennessee) also were invited to attend.

  • Research Enhancement Award Program (REAP) for Health Professional Schools and Graduate Schools
    ORIP participates in the REAP for Health Professional Schools and Graduate Schools initiative to support small-scale research grants at institutions that do not receive substantial funding from the NIH. The program provides biomedical research experiences primarily for health professional, undergraduate and graduate students and enhances the research environment at applicant institutions. ORIP emphasis is given to colleges of veterinary medicine applications proposing comparative studies of a wide range of biological models to improve their value in translational research.

  • Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research
    ORIP participates in the NIH-wide Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research initiative. ORIP/Division of Comparative Medicine Diversity Supplements seek to make significant contributions to the research career development of individuals with disabilities, certain individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, and individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis. Since 2021, ORIP has supported four awardees—one baccalaureate degree holder, two doctoral students, and one post-doctoral researcher. These ORIP-supported awardees will contribute to diversifying the biomedical research workforce.

  • ORIP Individual Career Development and Institutional Training Awards
    In 2021–2022, ORIP is supporting 32 Individual Training Grants to veterinary students and veterinarians seeking a Ph.D., as well as to graduate veterinarians, to provide them with research experience to become independent biomedical investigators. Additionally, ORIP is supporting 13 Institutional Research Training Grants to train veterinarians for research careers in comparative medicine and 20 Short-Term Institutional Research Training Grants to provide short-term research training experiences for veterinary students. 

Read more in the archive.

ORIP-Supported Research Highlights

  • Mechanisms and Modeling of Wound Repair in the Intestinal Epithelium
    The epithelium’s ability to repair wounded regions is critical to maintaining barrier integrity. In this publication, the authors review in vitro injury models and intestinal cell lines (e.g., IPEC-J2, Caco-2, T-84, HT-29, IEC-6). Controlled artificial wounds allow investigators to explore reparative physiology in cell lines that model diverse aspects of intestinal physiology. More information on these systems (i.e., for creating intestinal injury and understanding the differences in monolayers used for in vitro work) is essential for designing studies that properly capture relevant physiology for the study of intestinal wound repair.

  • Inhaled Recombinant Human IL-15 in Dogs with Naturally Occurring Pulmonary Metastases from Osteosarcoma or Melanoma: A Phase 1 Study of Clinical Activity and Correlates of Response
    Recombinant human interleukin-15 (rhIL-15) has been recognized for its potential as an immunotherapeutic agent for cancer. To date, however, human clinical studies have been limited. Researchers investigated inhaled rhIL-15 in dogs of both sexes with naturally occurring lung metastases from osteosarcoma or melanoma. They observed that both the cytotoxicity of circulating effector cells in the blood while on therapy and the baseline absolute lymphocyte count appear to correlate with clinical benefit. These data support the exploration of combinatorial therapies using inhaled rhIL-15 in both dogs and humans.

  • A Randomized Controlled Trial of Dietary Rice Bran Intake on Microbiota Diversity, Enteric Dysfunction, and Fecal Secretory IgA in Malian and Nicaraguan Infants
    Malnutrition and diarrhea are leading causes of death worldwide in children younger than 5 years of age. Researchers assessed the effects of rice bran supplementation on the intestinal mucosa and local immune system of Malian and Nicaraguan infants at high risk for malnutrition. They reported differences in secretory IgA, markers of environmental enteric dysfunction, and microbiota diversity with supplementation. Their data suggest that rice bran is a promising food supplement that improves mucosal health and microbiota diversity. Long‑term investigations of this supplement in children are needed to understand these effects more fully.

  • Genetic Characterization of Microsporum canis Clinical Isolates in the United States
    Microsporum canis can cause superficial fungal infections in domestic cats and humans. Genotypic characterization of M. canis isolates in the United States had not been conducted previously. In this study, investigators evaluated genetic variants among M. canis isolates from domestic cats in veterinary clinics across the United States. Analysis of microsatellite markers revealed three genetic clusters associated with M. canis. Clinic location and disease severity both were significant predictors of microsatellite variants. Future studies could explore differences in clinical presentation, unknown functions inherent in superficial fungal metabolism, and innovative therapeutic modalities.

  • Naturally Occurring Osteochondrosis Latens Lesions Identified by Quantitative and Morphological 10.5 T MRI in Pigs
    Juvenile osteochondritis dissecans (JOCD) affects the articular–epiphyseal cartilage complex, but its specific pathogenesis is unknown. Noninvasive approaches are needed to characterize the progression of lesions (e.g., osteochondrosis latens [OCL], osteochondrosis manifesta [OCM]) associated with JOCD in vivo. Researchers used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to identify naturally occurring OCL lesions at predilection sites in intact joints of juvenile pigs. Histological assessment confirmed the presence of OCL or OCM lesions at each of these sites. Necrotic vascular profiles also were characterized. Future studies in clinical MRI systems are needed to determine the applicability of these methods for early diagnosis in humans.

Read more in the archive.

Last updated: 11-29-2022