Skip to main content

News and Media

Open Main MenuClose Main Menu
2023 Summer Research Training Program students presented their research posters at the OSU CVM in preparation for the Veterinary Scholars Symposium. (Photo by Taylor Bacon)

OSU Veterinary Medicine empowers future One Health researchers through summer program

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Media Contact: Taylor Bacon | Public Relations and Marketing Coordinator | 405-744-6728 |

As Oklahoma and states nationwide face a critical shortage of veterinarians, the number of veterinary researchers is also declining. An Oklahoma State University program is working to combat that trend by inspiring the next generation of research scholars and expanding the field of One Health research. 

The 2023 Summer Research Training Program concluded earlier in August when 18 OSU College of Veterinary Medicine students attended the Veterinary Scholars Symposium in Puerto Rico. The 12-week paid research experience offers mentored training for veterinary students in biomedical research. 

“I’m proud of our college’s involvement in this program and commitment to developing student researchers,” said Dr. Carlos Risco, CVM dean. “Together, we are fostering the next generation of scientific leaders who will drive innovation, solve complex health challenges and make a lasting impact on the world."

“Across the veterinary community, we are seeing a decline in the number of clinical scholars. This program is preparing our students to become the next generation of skilled clinical scholars.”

The SRTP provides an avenue for students to explore research opportunities and gain hands-on experience while working to address society’s greatest challenges through transdisciplinary research fields, such as One Health. 

“The research conducted at the CVM uniquely places us at the intersection of animal and human health, fully embracing the One Health concept that is a crucial part of OSU’s strategic plan,” said Dr. Josh Butcher, veterinary physiological sciences assistant professor and SRTP committee chair. “As such, the mentors we choose to place our students with for their summer experience have a broad diversity of research.”

This year, the program included topics such as exotic animal metabolism, human viral and bacterial infections, disease detection and treatment in production animals, and vaccine development.

Breaking down the research 

Third-year veterinary student Paige Johnson’s study focused on the inflammatory response of COVID-19. 

The study characterized the signaling pathway the SARS-CoV-2 virus membrane protein uses to cause an inflammatory response in macrophage cells. The goal of studying these pathways is to advance therapeutics to combat the severe inflammatory response of COVID-19 that often leads to mortality.

For Johnson, this experience made her think differently about her future career.

“My experience in the program was overwhelmingly positive and changed the entire course of my professional career,” Johnson said. “I plan to pursue a dual DVM/Ph.D., a path I never would’ve imagined myself taking before this program.”

Johnson is grateful for the guidance and support of her principal investigator throughout the program.

“My biggest takeaways were that you can always learn more, apply more and think outside the box when it comes to both research and practicing as a veterinarian,” Johnson said.

Sydney Lubbers, a third-year veterinary student, conducted research on Herpes Simplex Virus-1, an important human pathogen that can cause serious ocular disease or encephalitis.

Lubbers said this program opened her eyes to the depth of the veterinary medical field and allowed her to learn more about academic and industry opportunities she hadn’t considered before.

In the future, Lubbers is hoping to find a career path that allows her to conduct research and apply it to the clinical setting. The SRTP allowed her to gain experience in a lab while networking with practicing veterinarians who are also doing research. 

 “At its core, the program is an opportunity for our veterinary students to become a part of the cutting-edge research programs here at OSU and take part in multiple professional development opportunities,” Butcher said.

A networking opportunity

Along with completing a research project, the program includes weekly seminars where students can interact with OSU faculty and industry leaders. Topics include careers in veterinary medicine, internships, residencies and dual degree programs.

“As part of our accreditation by the American Veterinary Medical Association and its Council on Education, we are expected to maintain a robust program of research that integrates with and strengthens the professional program,” said Dr. Jerry Malayer, CVM senior associate dean for research.

“For 25 years, the SRTP has been one of the centerpieces of this effort. The program continues to grow in strength with remarkable quality and productivity shown in the projects.” 

In fulfillment of OSU’s accreditation requirements and dedication to the land-grant mission, the CVM provides opportunities for students to grow their skills and make a lasting impact on animal and human health. 

Butcher said funding partners play a vital role in providing this opportunity and the entire committee, including Drs. João Brandão and Rudra Channappanavar, and the students are extremely grateful for their support.

Sponsors for the SRTP include Boehringer Ingelheim, Institute for Translational and Emerging Research in Advanced Comparative Therapy, Oklahoma Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, College of Arts and Sciences, and College of Veterinary Medicine departments and dean’s office. 

SRTP Participants and Projects

  • Morgan Busby — Chlamydia trachomatis and the role of its inclusion membrane protein CT226 in inflammation and infection
  • Ryan D. Carson — Seroprevalence of Cytauxzoon felis in free-ranging domestic cats from central Oklahoma
  • Hannah Cavanaugh — Metabolic and lipid profiling of captive cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus)
  • Allison Conchiglia — Use of Gallium Nitrate as an Alternative to Antimicrobial Treatment of Equine Endometritis
  • Samantha Frontz — Validation of Mycobacterium avium spp. paratuberculosis DNA detection in goats with confirmed Johne’s disease
  • Alanna Gudmunson — Detection of Theileria in ticks from southeastern Oklahoma
  • Paige Johnson — TLR-MyD88 signaling promotes SARS-CoV-2 membrane (M) protein-induced inflammation
  • Tanner Komlodi — Attitudes, Perceptions, and Expectations for Student Advising in Veterinary Medicine
  • Zachary Lott — Type I Interferon Facilitates Klebsiella pneumonia Survival in Macrophages
  • Sydney Lubbers — Herpes Simplex Virus-1 ICP0 enhancer activities is stimulated by Glucocorticoid Receptor and Sp1 or Sp3
  • Margaret Marsh — Assessing systemic glucose transport in skeletal muscle of chickens
  • Shawn O’Brien — Using PROTAC Technology to Create Live-Attenuated Porcine Diarrhea Epidemic Viruses as Vaccine Candidates
  • Hayley Rejcek — Dexmedetomidine-midazolam sedation in Sonoran Desert toads: effect on cardiorespiratory function and activity
  • Rachel Scherer — Unraveling Auditory System Dysfunction: Assessing Mitochondrial Role in Fragile X Syndrome via Brain Culture
  • Victoria Speight — Hyperglycemia from diabetes potentiates osteocalcin-induced insulin secretion in pancreatic b-cells
  • Ally Williams — Alterations in Pulmonary Glucose Metabolism During Diabetes

For more information on research projects and to be put in contact with students or principal investigators, reach out to Taylor Bacon at

Back To Top
SVG directory not found.