Tomorrow’s promise of individualized patient care requires translating today’s scientific discoveries into new clinical applications. The ways that human genomic structure and function play a role in diseases will be key to modern medical advancements. Significant insights into genomic medicine are being provided through phylogenetic comparisons of human diseases with both naturally occurring diseases and experimental studies encompassing the complete range of animal species other than people. Innovative knowledge having potential patient benefits flows from this valuable comparative perspective, which considers the interconnectedness of people, animals and the environment. Creating interdisciplinary medical insight where our genes and environment intersect nature’s web – this is the nexus of comparative biomedical science.
While somewhat akin to programs where training in medicine is combined with training in research investigation, such as training for medical clinician-scientists and traditional M.D./Ph.D. programs, the NIH CBSTP combines interdisciplinary cross-over training in animal and human health. Research benefits are derived when an investigative foundation established through training in clinical veterinary medicine, which imparts a comparative perspective oriented around delivery of health care to multiple animal species, is fused with a shared vocabulary and skills in basic medical research.
Opportunities for novel research training in comparative molecular pathology are open to individuals with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, as part of the NIH Graduate Partnerships Program. Our DVM/PhD Comparative Biomedical Scientists truly fulfill a cross cutting, interdisciplinary niche—leading and collaborating at the scientific forefront of discovery. They contribute to the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of both human and animal diseases, while playing a role in the development and translation of new therapies.
The program is offered through an educational consortium that includes 4 NIH institutes and the University of Maryland, University of Illinois, Michigan State University, North Carolina State University, and Purdue University.
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