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Powering the future of health

  • Fernanda Fumso presents

    Powering the future of health

    CVM Research Day showcases discoveries and honors outstanding contributions to College research mission

    Comparative and Molecular Biosciences graduate student Fernanda Fumuso answers questions about her research infographic at the 2023 CVM Research Day. Photo by Marty Moen.

On their face, the dozens of infographics and videos on display during Research Day at the College of Veterinary Medicine entice viewers with colorful images and striking graphics. But behind each is a graduate student and the hours of research they have poured into finding answers to questions and challenges in the veterinary field and beyond. 

Held on April 6, the 2023 Research Day celebrated the efforts of these research trainees by giving them a chance to share their work through video and poster presentations as well as recognizing and honoring faculty, research partners, and alumni who contribute to the College’s research mission. 

Comparative and Molecular Biosciences graduate
student Lexi Frank stands with her poster.
Photo by Marty Moen. 

“This program really showcases the tip of the iceberg of the research powerhouse that is the College of Veterinary Medicine and the faculty and students that sustain it as we tackle the current and emerging problems that are threats to animal and human health,” CVM Dean Dr. Laura Molgaard says.   

The event gives trainees a chance to practice skills for communicating their discoveries through infographics and video abstracts to nonscientific audiences—skills necessary to navigate a future interacting with the media, funders, and industry partners or employers. 

“We asked students to rise to the challenge and to really think about communicating to people outside of their area,” says Dr. Molly McCue, associate dean for research and professor in the Department of Veterinary Population Medicine. “As a land-grant university, part of our mission is communicating what we do, not just to our scientific peers, but to the broader world.”

Student research awards

Research Day also represents a time for the CVM research community to gather and honor its own through awards. 

Trainees participating in the infographic and video abstracts were evaluated and the winners are as follows:

  • First place: Emma Persoon, “Genetics Behind Behavior in Service Dogs”; and Freya Stein, “How can we predict cardiac arrhythmias in Standardbred racehorses?”
  • Second place: Anders Matson, “Improving Natural Killer Cell Therapies for Cancer.”
  • Honorable mention: Nicole Tate; “Improving Standardbred Health and Performance with Genetics”; Julia Baker, “Repeat Offender: Understanding PRRSV clinical rebreaks”; and Michaela Cain, “Recombinant Pichinde Virus Vector Based Vaccine.”
Video abstracts
  • First place: Lauren Hughes, “Genetics of pergolide response in horses with Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction,” and Natalie Kirk, “Evaluation of a new tuberculosis vaccine in mice.”
  • Second place: Phoebe Strell, “Generating Exogenic Microglia-like Cells for Alzheimer's Disease.”
  • Honorable mention: Miranda Medrano, “Alternative Pig Farms”; and Joaquin Alvarez Norambuena, “Hand sanitation protocols to decrease the risk of influenza transmission in pigs and from pigs to people.”

You can view all infographics and video abstracts displayed at Research Day here

The Office of Graduate Studies announced graduate student fellowships and scholarships for the 2023-24 academic year. A full list of fellowship and scholarship awards is available here

Graduate students Miranda Merdrano and Julia Baker hold awards earned for their research video abstract and infographic, respectively. Photo by Marty Moen. 

Partner, alumni, and faculty awards

The College also presented awards recognizing outstanding contributions to its research mission. 

Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA Inc. was named the recipient of the 2023 Distinguished Research Partner award, which recognizes and honors individual companies or organizations that have supported the College of Veterinary Medicine’s research mission over the years. Recipient contributions vary in activities such as sponsored awards, financial investment or gifts, fellowships, collaborative opportunities, or student training opportunities.

The award was accepted by Dr. Linda Tikofsky, the senior associate director of Cattle Professional Services, Dairy at Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health–US (BIAH). 

Dr. Linda Tikofsky (left) holds the 2023 Distinguished Research
Partner award with Dr. Luciano Caixeta. Photo by Marty Moen. 

“At BI, one of our mantras is ‘value for innovation.’ Certainly, innovation comes from our research and development side, but we also look to our universities, at our students, and at our summer scholars for innovation,” Tikofsky says.   

BIAH has been an important supporter of the ruminant group’s research efforts through the years, contributing to the generation of innovations that have been deployed on the field and to the academic training of many graduate and undergraduate research assistants. BIAH also recently committed to sponsor two University of Minnesota veterinary students during their summer internship.  

Dr. Eva Furrow, an associate professor in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, received the 2023 Zoetis Award for Veterinary Research Excellence. The award recognizes researchers whose innovative studies have advanced the scientific standing of veterinary medicine. (Read more about Dr. Furrow’s award here)

Dr. Alonso Guedes was awarded the 2023 Mark of Excellence, which recognizes faculty members who generate new knowledge related to the veterinary profession and has been shared with others through means such as publication or presentation at a scientific meeting. (Read more about Dr. Guedes’ award here)

Dr. Scott Dee, ’87 DVM, ’85 MS, ’96 PhD, received the Distinguished Research Alumni award for his contributions to research in the field of swine medicine, specifically focusing on infectious diseases. (Read more about Dr. Dee’s award here)