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Veterinary Memorial Fund research grants awarded


BLACKSBURG, Va., June 29, 2006 – Almost $90,000 in clinical research grants have been awarded to six principal investigators in the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine through the 2006-07 distribution of Veterinary Memorial Fund research grants.

Founded in 1984, the Veterinary Memorial Fund is a program jointly operated by the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association (VVMA) and the VMRCVM that helps bereaved pet-owners deal with their grief and raises money to improve the quality of healthcare available for future generations of companion animals.

Proposals were selected for funding on the basis of contemporary clinical importance by a committee comprised of veterinarians in private practice and Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine faculty-members.

“This program serves as a good example of the translational medicine/research programs we are building throughout the college,” said Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine Dean Gerhardt Schurig. “Working closely with practitioners in the field to identify current animal healthcare challenges, we are able to focus the power of university research in a way that produces solutions… quickly and effectively.”

Professors and grant requests that have been funded include the following:

Dr. Ed Monroe , professor, Department of Small Animal clinical Sciences, “Effect of hypothyroidism on insulin sensitivity and the role of counter-regulatory hormones to insulin in dogs,” $14,658.

Dr. David Panciera, professor, Department of Small Animal clinical Sciences, “Efficacy and safety of iopanoic acid for treatment of experimentally-induced and naturally-occurring hyperthyroidism in cats,” $21,680.

Dr. Jonathan Abbott, associate professor, Department of Small Animal clinical Sciences, “Relationship between peak aortic velocity and echocardiographic indices of ventricular performance and geometry,” $14,077.

Dr. David Grant, “Laser lithotripsy of canine uroliths,”$14,300.

Dr. Stephanie Berry, assistant professor, Department of Small Animal clinical Sciences, “Cardiovascular effects of dopamine, dobutamine, and norepinephrine in hypothyroid dogs,” $7,911.

Dr. Otto Lanz , associate professor, Department of Small Animal clinical Sciences, “Biomedical comparison of LCP and LC-DCP in a metaphyseal gap fracture model,” $14,734.

One of the principal benefits of the Veterinary Memorial Fund is that the way it links community veterinarians around the state with college researchers in a way that directly serves animals and their owners, Schurig noted.

When a companion animal passes away, the practitioner makes a financial donation to the fund. The dean of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine then sends a letter of condolence announcing the memorial to the bereaved. A team of private practitioners and college researchers then work together to identify the kind of research that needs to be done to address urgent veterinary healthcare issues in the field, proposals are evaluated and funded, and the work is completed, Schurig said.

Founded in 1984 by the college and the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association, the fund is one of the oldest such funds in the nation. Since its inception, the fund has raised almost $1 million that has been used to fund more than 100 clinical research programs.

The Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine (VMRCVM) is a two-state, three-campus professional school operated by the land-grant universities of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg and the University of Maryland at College Park. Its flagship facilities, based at Virginia Tech, include the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, which treats more than 40,000 animals annually. Other campuses include the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Va., and the Avrum Gudelsky Veterinary Center at College Park, home of the Center for Government and Corporate Veterinary Medicine. The VMRCVM annually enrolls approximately 500 Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and graduate students, is a leading biomedical and clinical research center, and provides professional continuing education services for veterinarians practicing throughout the two states. Virginia Tech, the most comprehensive university in Virginia, is dedicated to quality, innovation, and results to the commonwealth, the nation, and the world.