Professionally Published

Equine asthma treatment analysis by fourth-year veterinary student Tyler-Jane Robins appears in 'Animals'
a smiling individual with long blond hair wearing a beige winter coat stands outside a brick building with snow on the ground
Tyler-Jane Robins, A20, will begin an emergency vet training and mentorship program with BluePearl Pet Hospital in June. Photo: Charlie Brogdon-Tent

A study authored by Tyler-Jane Robins, A20 (she/her), a fourth-year student in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) degree program at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, has been published in a special issue of Animals, titled Advances in Equine Respiratory Disease: Severe Equine Asthma.

Tyler-Jane’s work, co-authored by mentors and Cummings School faculty members Drs. Melissa Mazan and Daniela Bedenice, analyzed how a group of horses with equine asthma (EA) responded to treatment. 

Titled “A Longitudinal Analysis of Equine Asthma Presentation and Response to Treatment Using Lung Function Testing and BAL (bronchoalveolar lavage) Cytology Analysis in Combination with Owner Perception,” the study revealed that owners were more likely than a veterinarian to detect a cough in an EA-afflicted horse. Among the study’s conclusions, tests of airway hyperreactivity were more successful in detecting changes in horses with moderate EA than baseline lung function testing and assessment of BAL cytology.


If I were advising a student, I would suggest trying what interests you because you’ll learn so much from interesting people with diverse backgrounds.

Tyler-Jane Robins, V24, A20


Tyler-Jane credited Mazan’s guidance and assistance in preparing the research to be published. “She knew the information was important and the writing and the research were strong enough to be considered for publication,” Tyler-Jane shares.

Mazan explains, “‘TJ’ has worked in our lung function lab since her first year. She did an outstanding job with her independent work in analysis to prepare this paper for publication.”

Cummings School faculty members regularly collaborate with student researchers to help them work toward publishing the results of projects.

“It feels like an amazing accomplishment to be in vet school and have a paper published,” Tyler-Jane explains. “We came to some interesting conclusions, especially the importance of owner observation and astuteness and how they may be better at picking up certain things than veterinarians. I’m proud of that.”

Early Acceptance Program paves the way to Cummings School

A native of Toronto, Canada, Tyler-Jane always knew she wanted to become a veterinarian. With parental assistance, she found the Bachelor’s/D.V.M. Early Acceptance program, which enables Tufts University undergraduate students to apply for early acceptance to Cummings School during their sophomore year. After completing their undergraduate degree, those admitted are guaranteed a space in the veterinary school class.

While earning a B.S. in biology and anthropology at Tufts, Tyler-Jane gained experience working with chimpanzees at the Fauna Foundation and as a research assistant with the University’s Kibale Chimpanzee Project. She later served as a veterinary assistant at a Banfield Pet Hospital and completed a veterinary externship at BluePearl Pet Hospital. “When I arrived at Cummings School, I wasn’t sure what type of vet medicine I wanted to do, because there are so many opportunities to explore,” she explains.

Tyler-Jane soon met Mazan, who has conducted extensive equine research. Despite her lack of experience with horses, Tyler-Jane asked Mazan if she needed assistance with research. “When she said ‘yes,’ I started helping Dr. Mazan with a research project, and I’ve worked with her ever since, which I’ve loved,” Tyler-Jane says. “She served as my thesis mentor and the entire research experience has been invaluable.” 

Tyler-Jane has supplemented her education with campus leadership. She served as secretary of the Tufts Theriogenology Club and treasurer of the student chapter of the American Association of Equine Practitioners. “Through both positions, I met so many people on campus and learned a lot,” she shares.

Mazan convinced Tyler-Jane that her strengths would be well-suited for emergency medicine. “As a mentor, she’s shared advice about having a career and being a mom and balancing that. She’s been so supportive,” Tyler-Jane says.

After completing a small animal emergency rotation, Tyler-Jane decided to pursue that path when she graduates in May. “I will be accepting an offer from BluePearl to participate in an emergency vet training and mentorship program.” She will start the program in June.

Tyler-Jane is excited to find an area of veterinary medicine that she is eager to pursue and glad to have tried various opportunities to arrive on her current path. “If I were advising a student, I would suggest trying what interests you because you’ll learn so much from interesting people with diverse backgrounds. I didn’t know I would like emergency care until I tried it, but that’s what I’ll be doing.”

Educating Tomorrow’s Veterinarians

The only veterinary school in New England, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine prepares D.V.M. graduates for entry level practice in any of the major domestic species. Through a curriculum designed to nurture individuals who will become lifelong learners and leaders, developing the science, technology, and ethics needed to shape the future of the veterinary profession.

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