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WSU veterinary college consistently an NIH top‑funded school

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The WSU College of Veterinary Medicine ranked No. 6 among veterinary colleges nationally for National Institutes of Health research funding last year.

“The college has consistently ranked in the top 10 of veterinary colleges for over a decade,” said Jon Oatley, associate dean of research for the college. “Our success in garnering extramural research support is a reflection of the quality of basic and applied science conducted across all units that makeup our college.”

In the last three years, the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine twice ranked in the top 5 among 30 veterinary colleges for NIH funding in the United States. NIH is the largest public funder of biomedical research in the world.

“Our consistent level of NIH funding reflects the college’s commitment to advancing human health,” said Oatley. “Last year we competed for and were awarded the most biomedical research funding across the WSU system.”

Scientists in the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine conduct basic biomedical research in DNA repair and genomics; reproductive and developmental biology; infectious disease, microbiology, and zoonosis; neuroscience and addiction; and precision animal health and diagnostics.

The WSU College of Veterinary Medicine received 11 new awards in 2020, adding to the 39 NIH grants already funded.

NIH grants in 2020:

  • Endocannabinoid Modulation of the Habenular Stress Response (Associate Professor Ryan McLaughlin)
  • Mechanistic and Functional Analysis of a Putative Regulatory Factor in the Lyme Disease Spirochete (Associate Professor Troy Bankhead)
  • Anaplasma phagocytophilum modulates the type IV secretion system pilus to achieve tick transmission (Professor Kelly Brayton)
  • T4SS effectors and tick tropism in Anaplasma phagocytolium (Professor Kelly Brayton)
  • Induction of Cell Death by Dietary Fatty Acids (Professor Jenny Watts)
  • Emerging Infectious Diseases Research Center – East and Central Africa (Professor Kariuki Njenga)
  • Development of a new marine natural product for the treatment of cryptosporidiosis, an AIDS-defining disease (Associate Professor Roberta O’Connor)
  • Mechanisms of stem cell specification in the male germline (Professor Jon Oatley)
  • Functional Impact of Stress Granules on Tick-Microbe Interactions (Assistant Professor Dana Shaw)
  • Modulating Lef1 Activation in Fibroblasts During Hair Follicle Regeneration in Skin Wounds (Assistant Professor Ryan Driskell)
  • Motivating Innovation and Research Achievement (MIRA) (Professor Mary Sanchez Lanier)

“This level of consistent funding is a reflection our commitment to human as well as animal health” said Dori Borjesson, dean of the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine.  “Our faculty has a strong track record for receiving biomedical funding to advance discoveries in science, health and disease.”

Research rankings are compiled annually by the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research based on the federal fiscal year, from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.

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