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DVM and science students learn about research

AVC Summer Research and Leadership Program
| Atlantic Veterinary College

The Atlantic Veterinary College's 2018 Summer Research and Leadership Program wrapped up on Wednesday, August 29, with the presentations of awards for poster presentations.

The three-month program introduces veterinary and science students to careers in veterinary and biomedical research. The participants work on a summer research project with a faculty mentor, attend weekly lectures, and present a scientific poster at the conclusion of the program.

Twenty-four students participated in this year’s program. Ten students attended the National Veterinary Scholars Symposium at Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in early August, where they were among 511 students from all over North America presenting posters on various aspects of veterinary medicine.

“Getting experience in research is increasingly important for veterinary students,” says Dr. Larry Hammell, Interim Dean of UPEI’s Faculty of Graduate Studies and Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Research for AVC. “AVC’s Summer Research and Leadership Program provides students with excellent hands-on experience in research across different disciplines and in a wide variety of species.”

At the awards ceremony at AVC on Wednesday, Erika Pugh, AVC Class of 2020, took first prize for her project, “Effect of cranberry extract on feline oral squamous cell carcinoma proliferation and migration in vitro.” She was supervised by Dr. Chelsea Martin, Department of Pathology and Microbiology.

George Munguia, AVC Class of 2020, received second prize for his project, “A Needs Assessment for Atlantic Canada Veterinarians,” supervised by Dr. Michelle Evason, Department of Companion Animals.

Austin Levi, Bachelor of Science, was awarded third prize for his project, “Molecular detection of Lyme pathogen Borrelia burgdorferi: A performance analysis of currently used PCR protocols. His supervisor was Dr. Sunny Hartwig, Department of Biomedical Sciences.

Three students received honourable mention for their projects:

  • Patrick Belliveau, AVC Class of 2021, “Effect of benzoylphenylureas on the moulting process of copepod stage sea lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis), supervised by Dr. Mark Fast, Department of Pathology and Microbiology;
  • Natalie Tocco, AVC Class of 2020, “Total cell counts of equine bronchoalveolar lavage samples using ImageJ software,” supervised by Dr. Cora Gilroy and Dr. Shelley Burton, Department of Pathology and Microbiology;
  • Jessica D’Amico, AVC Class of 2020, for her pilot study, “Pain Evaluation in Ball Pythons Receiving FSH Injections,” supervised by Dr. Jonathan Spears, Department of Biomedical Sciences.


Anna MacDonald
AVC External Relations Officer
Atlantic Veterinary College
(902) 566-6786

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