Curriculum in DVM/MS in Comparative Biomedical Sciences

The DVM/MS in Comparative Biomedical Sciences program consists of a combination of classroom and laboratory work. The majority of classroom requirements are taken during the student’s first year of veterinary school study, and the period of laboratory training and research supported by our NIH training grant is provided during the student’s leave from veterinary school. It is expected that students focus their efforts during their leave intensively on training in the laboratory. Overall, this program provides uniformity in backgrounds and the foundation for student involvement in biomedical research.

Year 1: August – May of 1st year of veterinary training:
All students applying to the Master’s program are required to have completed veterinary graduate level course work in biochemistry, physiology, immunology, and cell biology. These courses are transferred into the program upon matriculation into the combined DVM/MS-CBS program and constitute 17 out of the total of 35 credit hours required to complete the degree.

VET 102 – Physiological Chemistry – 4 credits
VET 104 – Developmental Biology – 3 credits
VET 109 – Immunology – 3 credits
VET 110 – Physiology – 7 credits

Year 2: (Year 2 can be initiated after the 1st or 2nd year of veterinary school) June 1st – August 31st students begin research work in mentor’s laboratory. Enrollment in DVM/MS-CBS program begins September 1. In addition to the courses below, students may be required by their Student Advisory Committee (SAC) to audit a course (e.g. parasitology, neuroscience) during the research year depending upon the individual student’s background and training area.
Fall
CBS 570 – Fundamentals of Animal Research I – Biostatistics (Dr. Mann) – 1 credit
CBS 571 – Fundamentals of Animal Research II – Research Ethics (Dr. Bridges) – 1 credit
CBS 572 – Journal Club/Seminars (Dr. Shoemaker or designated faculty) – 1 credit
CBS 573 – Lab Meetings (mentor) – 1 credit
CBS 574 – Readings in Special Topics (mentor) – 1 credit
CBS 575 – Research (mentor) – 4 credits

Spring
CBS 572 – Journal Club/Seminars (Dr. Shoemaker or designated faculty) – 1 credit
CBS 573 – Lab Meetings (mentor) – 1 credit
CBS 574 – Special Topics: Readings (mentor) – 1 credit
CBS 575 – Research (mentor) – 4 credits

Summer
CBS 576 – Thesis Preparation (mentor) – 2 credits

CBS 570 – Fundamentals of Animal Research I – Biostatistics – 1 credit This is an elementary course in statistics, designed to give an overview of the basics of statistical analyses including probability theory, distributions and hypothesis testing. It is a core course in the graduate curriculum and as such the prerequisites are those for entry into the graduate program. Topics to be covered include probability and sampling theory, frequency distributions, and hypothesis testing. Some hands-on exercises using statistical software are also offered, but it is anticipated that more advanced applications will require additional instruction. It is the instructor’s objective to familiarize students with central concepts and to save in depth discussion of methodologies for advanced courses, however when it is practical, students are encouraged to suggest topics for discussion and review.

CBS 571 – Fundamentals of Animal Research II – Research Ethics– 1 credit The aim of the course is to discuss acceptable, unacceptable and controversial aspects of research ethics and responsibilities of a researcher. Students enrolled in the course participate in the discussions of topics using a case-based approach. The course topics include:

1.Experimental techniques and the treatment of data
2.Conflict of interest
3.Publication and openness
4.Allocation of credits and authorship practices
5.Error and negligence in science
6.Misconduct in science
7.Use of animals in research
8.Responding to violations of ethical standards

The course meets weekly for two hours from November to December.

CBS 572 – Journal Club/Seminars – 1 credit/semester Students, along with faculty members, participate in a weekly journal club in which they discuss a paper from the current literature. The emphasis is on critical analysis, identifying the reasons that the research is significant and understanding how the findings extend current knowledge. Students take this course both semesters of the DVM/MS–CBS program. In addition, students are required to attend the department seminar series. These seminars take place throughout the year and are part of the training experience, providing an opportunity to develop communication skills and present ideas.

CBS 573 – Lab Meetings – 1 credit/semester All students must attend and participate in weekly laboratory meetings scheduled by their mentor or research groups. Students are expected to present plans or results of projects to laboratory members at these meetings.

CBS 574 – Readings in Special Topics – 1 credit/semester This course focuses on important topics within the field of research study. Each student meets weekly with their mentor to discuss relevant research papers in their area of study.

CBS 575 – Research – 4 credits/semester Students spend the majority of their training time working in the laboratory, conducting research studies relevant to their research topic and hypotheses. Data is analyzed and interpreted in light of the test hypotheses. One objective of the research is to have students present their findings at scientific meetings and prepare their studies for publication.

CBS 576 – Thesis Preparation – 2 credits Students write their thesis during June and July and must defend it orally by August 15. The thesis must consist of an abstract of the project, a general introduction to the research problem within the field of study—current and pertinent references should be included in this section—, and a body of the thesis that consists of specific experiments, methods, results and a general discussion that relates the experimental finding to existing literature and the state of the field. Acknowledgements and references should be placed at the end of the thesis. The thesis should be submitted in final form to the thesis examination committee a minimum of two weeks prior to the thesis defense. The thesis defense should occur in July or early August in time to permit any final revisions. The Thesis Examination committee can approve the thesis as is, approve it with revisions or reject the thesis. Two copies of the final version of the approved thesis must be submitted to the program director by August 15.