Morris Animal Foundation Funds Next Generation of Scientists Through its Veterinary Student Scholar Program

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DENVER/September 21, 2022 – Continuing its commitment to funding the next generation of veterinary researchers, Morris Animal Foundation awarded $107,490 in grants through its Veterinary Student Scholar program for 2022, funding 22 student research projects around the world.

The Veterinary Student Scholar program, which began in 2005, gives students the opportunity to develop research projects, with mentorship and support, to advance the health and welfare of dogs, cats, horses and wildlife.

“A significant part of Morris Animal Foundation’s mission is to provide training opportunities to the next generation of animal health researchers and veterinarians,” said Dr. Kathy Tietje, Morris Animal Foundation’s Vice President of Scientific Operations. “The student projects approved for funding represent innovative ideas and research concepts that give insight into careers in veterinary research.”

The Veterinary Student Scholar program was created to address the growing shortage of animal health research professionals and encourage innovation in the industry. Dr. Mark L. Morris Sr., who established the Foundation in 1948, noted even then that “the most important element in veterinary research is people, and the Foundation can make its greatest contribution to veterinary medicine by providing opportunities for students to become skilled in veterinary research.”

This year’s Veterinary Student Scholars represent one of the most globally diverse groups in the program’s history, with proposals being approved from the United States, Kenya, Uruguay, Brazil, Rwanda, Mexico, Basseterre and Australia. A few of the funded students and their areas of study include: 

  • Jeffrey Turn, University of Georgia, is evaluating whether honey, propolis or bee venom have lymphocytic immunomodulatory properties that could be beneficial for treating disease in dogs and horses.
  • Florencia Barrios Fernández, University of the Republic, will characterize the domestic feline population of Uruguay.
  • Christine Parascandola, San Diego Zoo Beckman Center for Conservation Research, will investigate the effects of seasonal dietary changes on the gut microbiome and metabolomes in Southern white rhinoceros.
  • Mary Nyokabi, University of Nairobi, will study how human, animal and environmental factors impact canine welfare in low-income nomadic communities to advance well-being.

The Veterinary Student Scholar program awards stipends of up to $5,500 to veterinary students who are selected by their institution to participate in clinical or basic animal health and/or welfare research. Students must devote a minimum of 50% of their time to the project for the equivalent of a 10- to 12-week period.

About Morris Animal Foundation

Founded in 1948, Morris Animal Foundation is one of the largest nonprofit animal health research organizations in the world, funding more than $149 million in nearly 3,000 critical studies across a broad range of species. Learn more at

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