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Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science (2005)

Chapter:4 Resources for Veterinary Research

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Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
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4
Resources for Veterinary Research

Veterinary research takes place in many venues and is supported by varied agencies, foundations, companies, and donors. Much of the research in veterinary science takes place in academic institutions, such as schools and colleges of veterinary medicine, agriculture, medicine, and biology. Research on diseases of food-producing animals, including poultry, occurs also in the US Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Research Service (ARS). Other entities include private industries, especially those committed to animal health and nutrition, and the medical pharmaceutical industry.

Support for research comes from several federal agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and USDA; state governments; private foundations; public and privately held companies; and academic institutions. Some federal agencies support research through internal research programs and extramural research grants to investigators in academic institutions and other research organizations. USDA is especially noteworthy because it has a large internal research program in ARS and provides extramural research support via the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension System (CSREES). To a lesser extent, NIH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Defense (DOD), and other federal agencies also have both internal and external research programs in veterinary science.

This chapter reviews the research capacity—such as infrastructure, expertise, human resources, education, and financial resources—that has been built for veterinary science at universities, zoological parks, government agencies, and some other institutions.

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
×

OVERARCHING RESOURCES

The USDA CSREES maintains the Current Research Information System (CRIS), which compiles information on all funding sources used in agriculture, including those for such broad fields as animal systems and animal health and protection. USDA research agencies, state agricultural experiment stations (SAESs), state land-grant colleges and universities, state schools of forestry, cooperating schools and colleges of veterinary medicine, and USDA grant recipients at other institutions contribute information to CRIS. In 2003, research funding for animal systems (RPA 301-315) was close to $1 billion: the largest contributors of funding were the states and USDA (Table 4-1). However, the greatest

TABLE 4-1 Source of Funds for Animal Systems Research in FY 1998-2003 as reported by Current Research Information System for 15 Fieldsa

Source

Funds (thousands)

Fiscal Year

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

USDAb

$104,760

$117,121

$122,219

$133,855

$144,408

$152,445

Other USDAc

10,682

11,004

12,970

18,856

22,878

23,713

CSREES ADMd

77,336

74,978

79,088

83,637

87,178

91,870

State funds

289,771

302,520

304,970

315,566

296,144

299,943

Other nonfederale

160,103

151,063

167,922

180,900

187,261

197,655

Other federalf

110,999

151,320

156,458

181,552

219,499

232,644

Total

$753,651

$808,007

$843,627

$914,366

$957,368

$998,270

aCRIS reporting categories RPA 301-315 (reproduction, nutrition, genetics, animal genome, animal physiology, environmental stress, animal production and management, improved animal products, animal disease, external parasites and pests, internal parasites, toxicology, and animal welfare).

bUSDA: regular USDA appropriations used for inhouse research by USDA research agencies and centers (excludes CSREES programs). (Form AD-418 field 131)

cOther USDA: expenditure of funds received by SAESs and other cooperating institutions from contracts, grants, or cooperative agreement with one of the USDA research agencies other than CSREES. Identification of awarding agency is not collected. (Form AD-419 field number 219)

dCSREES ADM: expenditure of formula and grant funds administered by CSREES and distributed to SAESs and other cooperating institutions (OCIs). Programs included are National Research Initiative, Hatch, McIntire-Stennis, Evans-Allen, Animal Health, Special Grants, Competitive Grants, Small Business Innovation Research Grants, and other CSREES grant programs. (Form AD-419 field 31)

eOther nonfederal: expenditures by USDA agencies, SAESs, and OCIs of funds received from sources outside federal government, such as industry grants and sale of products (self-generated).

fOther federal: expenditures by USDA agencies, SAESs and OCIs of funds received from federal sources outside USDA through contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements directly with other federal agencies. Sponsoring agencies may include National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, DOD, Agency for International Development, NIH, Public Health Service, Department of Health and Human Services, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and Tennessee Valley Authority. (Form AD-418 field number 332 / Form AD-419 field number 332 minus field 219)

SOURCE: USDA-CSREES.

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
×

TABLE 4-2 Funding of Research in FY 1999-2003 for Animal Systems, Food Safety, and Zoonoses as Reported by Current Research Information System

Code and Research Subject

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

301 Reproductive performance

$86,055

$85,758

$87,737

$90,751

$94,219

302 Nutrient use

80,981

88,822

97,706

98,526

94,129

303 Genetic improvement

49,031

49,082

51,930

55,018

60,459

304 Animal genome

16,088

26,268

26,417

37,081

46,778

305 Animal physiology

118,314

118,220

131,177

139,370

143,077

306 Environmental stress

18,460

19,615

18,943

17,879

20,042

 

368,929

387,765

413,910

438,625

458,704

311 Animal disease

302,338

313,703

348,745

369,125

379,650

312, 313 Parasites

33,037

34,362

34,283

36,657

36,594

314 Toxicology

24,836

23,926

25,886

26,348

31,472

315 Animal welfare

12,371

13,067

13,921

14,812

16,799

 

372,582

385,058

422,835

446,942

464,515

711 Food-product safety

16,228

13,689

15,769

19,321

22,630

712 Preventing food contamination

90,907

107,383

122,639

134,015

145,095

721 Insects and pests

19,774

20,615

22,783

25,648

27,740

722 Zoonotic diseases and parasites

7,090

8,220

9,705

10,550

14,350

723 Hazards to human health

17,178

18,743

23,269

29,709

37.186

 

151,177

168,659

194,165

219,243

247,001

SOURCE: USDA CSRESS CRIS.

increase in funding (109%) from 1998 to 2003 was in the other federal category, and this indicates the growing importance of animal health research as it affects public health, bioterrorism mitigation, such basic science fields as ecology, laboratory animal medicine, and other nonagricultural fields of research.

The $1 billion of funding in animal systems includes fields other than animal health and protection. Closer analysis suggests that direct funding for diseases, their agents, and their effects (RPA 311-315) is at a much lower level of $464 million and includes cross-cutting areas of zoonoses. Food safety accounts for an additional $247 million (Table 4-2). However, any of those three funding levels are lower than what is needed to solve animal health and protection problems.

SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES OF VETERINARY MEDICINE

There are 28 schools and colleges of veterinary medicine (CVMs) in the United States. Almost all are parts of major land-grant universities. The first CVM was founded in 1877, the youngest was founded in 1998 and admitted its first class in 2003. Because the youngest has been operating for less than 2 years, it was omitted from many of the resource analyses in the following sections.

The mission of all every CVM includes teaching the art and science of veterinary medicine to professional students: providing postgraduate education

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
×

for graduate students, interns, residents, and practicing veterinarians; and advancing veterinary research. The CVMs operate teaching hospitals to provide clinical education for their professional students and referral resources for the practicing veterinary community. Many also operate field patient-care units to serve farms and ranches. Research is an important component of CVMs and is included as one of the points of evaluation in the accreditation process (AVMA, 2004b). The CVMs conduct much of the academically based veterinary research in the United States.

Facilities and Infrastructure

Facilities and infrastructure related to research in CVMs consist of buildings for classrooms, research laboratories, offices, and the like: barns and pastures; non-CVM support laboratories, such as laboratory animal facilities and central research service laboratories; libraries; diagnostic laboratories; and a variety of CVM and campus-based information-technology resources, such as super computers and electronic information management and exchange. Some CVMs have access to other, specialized research-support infrastructure, such as unique databases, computerized patient-record systems, and banks of specialized research materials (for example, tissue banks).

Libraries constitute an important resource for veterinary research. Libraries range from large collections, such as the National Agricultural Library and the National Library of Medicine, to small collections in individual departments. Every university, many schools and colleges, many departments, and essentially all other research venues, such as research institutes and industry, have libraries. Collections can number in the millions and often extend back many decades or even several centuries. Those collections set new research into proper historical context and help to avoid duplication of work. In addition to collections of books and periodicals, all research libraries nowadays have electronic search capabilities and large collections of electronic data and publications. Librarians who are well trained and experienced in both conventional and electronic literature searches can develop extremely useful searches not only of the traditional peer-reviewed scientific literature, but also of Web sites and other on-line information sources that are invaluable in many research projects. Libraries are sometimes overlooked when funds for research resources and infrastructure are allocated.

Estimating the size and adequacy of the facility infrastructure available to CVMs for research is difficult because some resources are not devoted solely to veterinary research. CVMs engage in multiple activities in addition to research, including teaching of professional students, clinical patient care, and diagnostic services. Perhaps because of the difficulty in defining resources dedicated to veterinary research, there is no centralized source of information on the size of the infrastructure of CVMs. Moreover, much of the research infrastructure listed above may be shared with other, nonveterinary research activities. For example,

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
×

libraries, animal housing, research laboratories and centralized facilities for such activities as electron microscopy, molecular sequencing, electronic data management, and statistical analyses are often shared with faculty outside the CVMs.

There seem to be no data on the amount of research space available in CVMs. The only relevant data the committee could locate are in a survey conducted by the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC). CVMs were asked to identify their needs for space and equipment to train an additional 241 veterinary students and 658 new graduate students (AAVMC, 2004). The results of the survey are summarized in Table 4-3. Separating infrastructure devoted to professional-student instruction from that for research is difficult. Although some facilities, such as classrooms, are used mostly for professional-student instruction, they also are often used for graduate-student instruction, research symposiums, and seminars. The same holds for teaching laboratories. CVMs reported that about 400 new faculty persons and about 2.25 million square feet of new and renovated research space would be needed for education and training of additional veterinary and graduate students.

Laboratory equipment is another major category of research infrastructure, and obtaining data on this category is even more problematic. The best figure obtained was from the AAVMC survey of CVMs (AAVMC, 2004), which reported the need for about $37 million in one-time funds for equipment. The proportion of the proposed new equipment funds allocated for research is not known, and the numbers do not show the total amount, condition, or value of research equipment now available in CVMs.

Every CVM provides some level of patient care as part of its clinical teaching program, and some CVMs have large patient populations, including access to large numbers of farm animals and horses through a variety of outreach programs (Table 4-4). Collectively, CVMs have over 10 million animal patients or patient visits a year (Table 4-4). However, not all patients are suitable for research programs, and owner consent is required.

Clinical records can be useful resources if they are archived properly and kept in a uniform format that allows comparison and analysis. However, teaching

TABLE 4-3 Infrastructure Needed for Colleges of Veterinary Medicine to Support 241 Additional Veterinary Students and 658 New Graduate Students

Category

New (gross square feet)

Renovated (gross square feet)

Classrooms

165,197

79,392

Teaching laboratories

188,714

106,932

Research laboratories

656,662

309,085

Faculty offices

147,216

44,086

BSL-3 laboratories

146,454

12,456

BSL-3 animal housing

336,743

58,700

Totals

1,640,986

610,651

SOURCE: AAVMC member survey, 2004.

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
×

TABLE 4-4 Total Patient Contacts by Faculty Members in All CVMs in 2002

 

Hospital Visits (Small Animal) or Animals Examined (Food Animals and Horses)a

Animals

Mean

Median

Range

Total, All CVMs

Small animals

12,700

12,000

4,500-27,700

354,500

Cattle

14,000

11,600

2,300-62,000

439,500

Swine

12,600

276

3-175,300

276,300

Horses

3,400

2,000

7-16,220

88,300

Poultry

342,000

353

2-8,152,000

8,890,000

aCVMs that did not examine animals of a given category were excluded in all cases.

SOURCE: AAVMC, 2004.

hospitals commonly maintain paper or electronic records in formats that are not easily interchangeable or manipulated. With the exception of the Veterinary Medical Database (www.vet.purdue.edu/depts/prog/vmdb.html), there are no national databases and no centralized records for patients or data on patients—such as radiographs, clinical laboratory data, or necropsy or biopsy data—as far as the committee is aware. A number of repositories or collections of material are sometimes available for research. For example, the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology Department of Veterinary Pathology, housed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC, maintains a large collection of lesions of domestic and some wild animals. The Registry of Tumors in Lower Animals is a collection of lower-vertebrate and invertebrate tumors at the George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, DC. Those collections can be considered as national databases because the centers accept material from the entire country and from around the world, but they do not represent the incidence or prevalence of diseases in domestic animals in the United States, because they rely on voluntary submissions.

There is a recent effort to make all the clinical records from a large private practice’s database available to the research community (Wiese, 2003). That is a commendable effort, but it is still in its early stages, and insufficient time has elapsed to see whether successful collaborations can be sustained and expanded. Nonetheless, the collaborative effort illustrates the potential power of data-sharing among CVMs and large private practices. Many changes need to occur before veterinary researchers can take full advantage of the relatively large numbers of patients seen by CVM faculty members, and even more effort will be needed to involve the private-practice sector in research. Adding public and private diagnostic laboratories would further enhance the research value of clinical data.

Some clinical research is conducted. Prospective and retrospective studies are carried out. Patients are entered into a variety of intrainstitutional or multicenter research protocols. Successful programs in which patients are screened for targeted diseases and entered into appropriate research programs have been main-

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
×

tained. Chemotherapy for malignant disease in small animals has been advanced greatly through multicenter trials (Vail et al., 1995). The multisite coordinated study of the so-called vaccine-site fibrosarcomas is another example of a successful clinically based research program (Morrison and Starr, 2001). Industry uses the unique expertise of CVM faculty and their access to patients to further the development of new and improved vaccines, pharmaceuticals, diets, and diagnostic tests. All those research and development projects could be enhanced and facilitated if there were more comprehensive national databases.

Expertise and Human Resources

A wide variety of both clinical and basic-science expertise is represented among about 2,665 full-time equivalent (FTE) faculty in the nation’s CVMs. The major research credential for veterinary researchers is the doctoral degree. In contrast with human-medicine researchers, who often prepare for research careers with non-degree-granting research fellowships, veterinary researchers are likely to have obtained advanced graduate degrees. Members of the clinical departments almost always have DVMs (or the equivalent). Most members have specialty certification, and many have master’s degrees. Veterinarians in basic-science departments are very likely to have PhDs and may or may not have specialty certification,1 depending on the subject-matter responsibilities of the department.

In addition, many members of CVM faculties do not have DVMs, but almost all such persons have PhDs or the equivalent. The committee could not obtain quantitative data on the number of nonveterinary PhD scientists in the nation’s CVM faculties. The most recent data available are from the AAVMC Comparative Data Report for the academic year 1995-1996. The report shows that the 27 CVMs in existence at that time had a total of 2,303 faculty members (assistant professors and above), of whom 479 (21%), including 10 administrators, had PhDs without DVMs. On the basis of that information and the experience of many committee members with faculties of CVMs, the committee estimated that scientists with PhD degrees but without DVM degrees now constitute 20-35% of most CVM faculties, that is, about 530-930 FTEs nationwide. The majority of those scientists work in basic-science departments, and many engage in research. Indeed, nonveterinary PhD scientists form the heart of many basic-science research programs in many CVMs. About 25% of the full-time faculty of the nation’s schools and colleges of medicine have PhDs, or other health doctorates

1  

The American Veterinary Medical Association lists 20 recognized veterinary specialty colleges that certify clinical specialization, but many include diplomates who engage in research. Examples of specialty colleges that have many diplomates engaged in research are the American College of Veterinary Pathologists, the American Board of Veterinary Toxicology, the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine, and the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists.

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
×

such as in dentistry or veterinary medicine—without MDs (AAMC, 2001; AAVMC 2004.)

Among the 2,665 FTE faculty in the nation’s CVMs, about 130 are administrators. The faculty receive some assistance, either with teaching or clinical patient care, from interns (about 177), nonclinical residents (about 70), and clinical residents (about 600), but interns and residents require supervision and assistance from faculty. Graduate students and postdoctoral researchers also contribute to the research programs and require supervision, assistance, and mentoring.

The committee attempted to estimate how much time, on the average, faculty have for research, as opposed to formal teaching, patient care, student advising, committee work, and other professional commitments that make up academic life. Even when one includes as “research time” such important activities as informal teaching of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in laboratories, journal clubs, seminars, research discussions and the like, it is unlikely that the estimated 2,665 FTE faculty have more than 50% of their time, on average, to devote to research. That suggests that the entire country has perhaps about 1,300 FTE faculty in schools and colleges of veterinary medicine available to conduct research in veterinary science. Given the heavy teaching and patient-care loads of many faculty (the veterinary student:faculty ratio is about 3.6:1 compared with the medical student:faculty ratio of about 0.63:1), the committee believes that, on the average, veterinary faculty have considerably less than 50% of their time available for research.

Postdoctoral fellows also contribute substantially to research in CVMs. They bring their scientific experience and ideas and provide laboratory support for faculty, who have competing demands. Most postdoctoral fellows are supported by individual investigators’ research grants (Singer, 2004). Postdoctoral fellows as a human resource in CVMs cannot be quantified, because data are not available.

Education

A primary mission of all CVMs is education. In addition to educating students to become doctors of veterinary medicine, CVMs educate interns and residents, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, and often undergraduate students. Some CVMs have large degree-granting undergraduate programs that are independent of the professional programs and have hundreds or thousands of enrollees. Continuing professional education for veterinarians and public outreach via extension or client education are provided by all CVMs. CVMs also serve as a general resource for the community for a broad variety of topics related to animals. Education of the scientific community via presentations at scientific meetings and publications in refereed literature is a fundamental responsibility of veterinary researchers.

In 2003, 28 CVMs in the United States reported an enrollment of 9,587 students (2,270 men and 7,317 women) in the professional veterinary medical-

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
×

education programs leading to the DVM or VMD degree (AAVMC, 2003a; Appendix F). Of those, 2,308 were enrolled in the fourth year and thus expected to graduate in spring 2003, which is comparable with the numbers of graduates in the past several years. From 1995 to 2004, the number of professional students enrolled in CVMs increased by 733 and the number of full-time equivalent faculty increased by 448. Student/faculty ratio has remained steady at about 3.5 since 2001 (Appendix F). In the 2003 AAVMC report, CVMs reported graduating 1,882 students with bachelor of science (BSc) degrees,2 315 with master of science (MSc) degrees, and 284 doctor of philosophy (PhD) degrees. The committee is not aware of any sources of the numbers of students enrolled in degree-granting programs other than the professional and graduate curricula.

Figures 4-1 and 4-2 show the data on graduate enrollment in CVMs in 1993 to 2000 and graduate degrees awarded in 1993 to 2003. (Data on enrollment are not available beyond 2000.) The number of US veterinarians and nonveterinarians enrolled in MS and PhD programs declined from 1993-1994 to 1994-1995 for unknown reasons. After that, enrollment in graduate programs remained steady, with a slight upward trend in non-DVMs and a slight downward trend in DVMs enrolled in MS and PhD programs. The enrollment numbers for foreign students remained more or less constant (Figure. 4-2). Foreign students constitute 31-35% of PhD students enrolled in CVMs. With the exception of 1996-1997, the number of PhD degrees awarded to US and foreign students increased, albeit somewhat irregularly, from 159 in 1993-1994 to a high of 318 in 2001-2002, followed by a decline to 284 in 2002-2003. The number of MS graduates followed a similar pattern (Figure 4-2). The gradual rise in the number of PhDs awarded coupled with decreases in DVMs seeking PhDs and the increase in non-DVMs enrolled in PhD programs suggests that fewer DVMs are earning PhDs now than a decade ago (Freeman, 2005; NRC, 2004b).

Because of the length of time required and the attendant costs, most veterinarians do not continue their research education with postdoctoral experience. In contrast, researchers who are nonveterinarians commonly spend 2 years or more as postdoctoral fellows. Typically, veterinarians can expect to spend 3-4 years in a general undergraduate curriculum, 4 years in a school or college of veterinary medicine, and 4-5 years to obtain a PhD. The time for postgraduate training may also include preparation for a specialty certification. Those who do not obtain DVMs can go directly from undergraduate to graduate programs and may then pursue postdoctoral training. Thus, the time required for a veterinarian to obtain a DVM and a PhD is comparable with the time required for a nonveterinarian to obtain a PhD plus postdoctoral training. However, the cost to the person may differ substantially because the high tuition fees of veterinary school are rarely

2  

Some CVMs routinely offer qualified students enrolled in the professional curricula the opportunity to obtain a BSc as part of their professional educational program so that veterinary students who are also earning BSc degrees may be counted twice.

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
×

FIGURE 4-1 Number of US and foreign graduate students enrolled in colleges of veterinary medicine in the United States, 1993-2000. Veterinarians (DVMs) in MS and PhD programs include those with or without concurrent enrollment in residency programs. SOURCE: Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges.

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
×

FIGURE 4-2 Number of MS and PhD degrees awarded to US and foreign students by colleges of veterinary medicine in the United States, 1993–2003. SOURCE: Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges.

offset by scholarships or training stipends. Most veterinarians and nonveterinarians obtain at least partial financial support for graduate and postdoctoral training. Veterinarians often find themselves facing substantial debt at the end of graduate school. Many opt to enter their research careers directly instead of pursuing postdoctoral training, which allows a scientist to mature and become an independent investigator. A postdoctoral researcher has an opportunity to get research experience as a semiautonomous investigator, obtain a research grant relatively independently, and perhaps most important, establish a network of contacts and collaborators that often lasts throughout one’s career. In fact, many believe that the major debt owed by veterinarians at the end of the professional curriculum is a substantial deterrent to their even considering graduate education (Freeman, 2005). The mean educational debt of 2004 graduates reporting debt was $81,052, and 76.9% of new graduates had incurred debt of $40,000 or more. Some 91% of the mean debt of 2004 graduating veterinarians was incurred while they were enrolled in CVMs (Shepherd, 2004).

In 2004, 1,814 (81.5%) of 2,225 new graduates of 26 of the 27 CVMs responded to an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) survey about their employment and career choices. Among the 1,391 respondents who answered the question, 358 (25.7%) were entering advanced-study programs (Shep-

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
×

TABLE 4-5 NIH Training Awards to CVMs

Award Categorya

1993

2003

Number of Awards

Amount (millions)

Number of Awards

Amount (millions)

F

42

$1.1

38

$1.5

K08

2

0.2

39

4.1

T32

19

2.2

33

6.8

T35

5

0.2

11

0.7

T37

7

1.5

0

0

aF = fellowship awards, including F08, individual national research service awards

K08 = clinical investigator awards

T32 = institutional national research service award

T35 = short-term training

T37 = minority international research training grants

SOURCE: NIH Office of the Director.

herd 2004), but it is unclear how many were pursuing graduate studies in CVMs. The total number of interns and residents employed by CVMs in 2002 was reported to be about 845. Although the duration of most internships is 1 year, most residencies last longer than 1 year. Furthermore, not all newly employed interns and residents are new graduates of professional programs. Because current data on the total number of graduate students enrolled in CVMs and the number of veterinarians seeking graduate degrees or nondegree research training outside CVMs are not available, the committee cannot accurately estimate the number of veterinarians actively preparing for research careers in CVMs.

There are very few data on sources of support for graduate students in CVMs. Schools and colleges provide some internal funds as stipends, scholarships, or paid tuition, but many students pay part or all of their educational expenses. A variety of organizations—such as USDA, the military, and CDC—have grants and other mechanisms for supporting graduate education for veterinarians. NIH provides a number of awards for support of advanced training (Grieder and Whitehair, 2005), some of which go to CVMs (Table 4-5). K08 awards to veterinarians affiliated with CVMs increased from two in 1993 to 39 in 2003—a factor of almost 20. K08 awards to all recipients in the same period increased by about 86% (data not shown).

Financial Resources for Research

In 2002-2003, CVMs reported total research expenditures of $321.2 million on a total of 5,794 research awards (Table 4-6). Of those, 1,247 were from the Department of Health and Human Services (mostly from NIH), with expenditures totaling $155.6 million. Data from NIH for 2003 show 590 awards (in all

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
×

TABLE 4-6 Research Expenditures in Colleges of Veterinary Medicine, FY 2002-2003

Funding Sourcea

Amount (millions)b

Number of Awards

NIH, FDA, and CDC

$155.6c

1,247

USDA

34.4

595

DOD

5.9

53

EPA

1.8

31

NASA

2.6

24

NSF

3.5

48

DOI

0.8

34

Other Federal Agencies

7.6

116

State Agencies

38.8

558

Industry

25.2

942

Private

30.4

1,291

Other

14.6

855

Totals

$321.20

5,794

aFDA=Food and Drug Administration, EPA=Environmental Protection Agency, NASA=National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NSF=National Science Foundation, DOI-Department of the Interior.

bIncluding indirect costs if applicable.

cAbout $154 million from NIH.

SOURCE: AAVMC, 2004.

categories except contracts) totaling about $181 million to investigators in CVMs. The discrepancy between the two figures can be explained by the fact that the CVMs and NIH fiscal years are different and NIH reports amount awarded, whereas the CVMs report amount expended. About 200 of the NIH awards (worth about $63 million) were to veterinarians, so about 390 awards valued at about $118 million went to nonveterinarians in CVMs.

All faculty in CVMs (including veterinarians and nonveterinarians) were awarded 331 R01 grants from NIH in 2003 with a total value of $97 million. On the average, each FTE accounted for 0.124 R01 award with an average value of about $36,500. In comparison, all faculty in colleges of medicine obtained 0.148 R01 award per FTE with an average value of about $50,000 in 2003. That suggests that CVM faculty members are competitive at the highest level, especially in light of the average student:faculty ratio in CVMs of 3.6:1 compared with 0.6:1 in colleges of medicine. The accomplishments of CVM faculty also are impressive in that the 5,794 research awards totaling $321 million in research expenditures were obtained by 2,665 CVM FTEs, most of whom spend less than 50% of their time on research.

The number of awards and amount of funding from NIH dominate, reflecting the importance of comparative medicine in veterinary research and the relatively large extramural research budget of NIH. Data from NIH show that veterinarians affiliated with CVMs received 134 awards in all categories (excluding contracts)

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
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in 1993 with a value of $25 million.3 By 2003, the number of awards had increased to 197 with a value of $63 million. When all NIH awards (excluding contracts) to all investigators affiliated with CVMs are considered, the numbers in 1993 were 407 awards and $67 million, and those for 2003 590 and $180 million. The data indicate that veterinarians account for about one-third of the awards and 35% of the funds awarded to CVMs by NIH in 2003, a slight improvement from the roughly 27% of the funding to veterinarians in 1993. The data also emphasize the importance of the nonveterinary PhD scientists to the research programs of CVMs. Given that those scientists constitute 20-35% of the CVM faculty FTEs, it follows that about one-fifth to one-third of the CVM faculty account for about two-thirds of the research funds from NIH.

Table 4-7 shows another breakdown of awards from NIH from FY 1997 to FY 2001, when the NIH budget doubled. (FY 2003 awards are included to evaluate whether increases have been sustained.) The number of awards to veterinarians in CVMs increased at about the same percentage as did those to all investigators. When both veterinarians and nonveterinary investigators in CVMs are taken together, the percentage increase for R01 awards was considerably higher than that of all investigators. Nonveterinarians were responsible for 74% to 81% of all R01 awards to CVMs in each of the years shown.

USDA is not the second-largest source of extramural research expenditures, but rather the third, being exceeded by the state. At least one CVM includes state funding for a large diagnostic laboratory in its total of state funds for research, and others may do so as well. Therefore, the expenditures of state funds for research, as opposed to diagnostic laboratory activities (granted that some of these activities may be research) may be overstated. When those two sources are grouped, the number of awards (1,153) is about the same as the number from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) (1,247), but the amount of funding is less than half ($155 million from DHHS and $73.2 from USDA plus state sources). Funds from USDA and some state funds support projects relevant to agriculture (including horses), but the amounts seem small, considering that the US food and fiber industry generates over $200 billion a year in farm cash receipts (USDA, 2003). Disease costs the livestock industry and consumers about $1 billion a year (USAHA, 2004).

Funding to CVMs from industry and private sources is comparable with that from USDA. The number of awards from private sources slightly exceeds the number from DHHS and from industry. The relatively large number of awards suggests that the small awards seem to be needed to address significant voids in available public funding, such as support for research on diseases of pet or exotic animals.

Table 4-8 shows CVMs sorted into quartiles by faculty FTE size and student: faculty ratios in FY 2002. (See Appendix G for CVMs sorted into quartiles by

3  

All figures include indirect costs.

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
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TABLE 4-7 NIH Awards to Veterinarians and CVMs

Category of Investigators

1997

2001

2003

Number of Awards

Number of Awards

Increase from 1997

Number of Awards

Increase from 1997

 

All NIH Awards

All DVMs

370

457

24%

522

41%

DVMs in CVMs

142

170

20%

197

39%

All Non-DVMs

36,666

45,444

24%

50,845

39%

 

R01 Awards

All DVMs

159

210

32%

243

53%

DVMs in CVMs

55

75

36%

82

49%

All investigators in CVMs

213

405

90%

430

102%

All Non-DVMs

19,318

26,120

35%

28,583

48%

NOTE: R01 grants to DVMs reported here differ from the numbers reported in the National Research Council report National Needs and Priorities for Veterinarians in Biomedical Research (NRC, 2004a) owing to recent updates in the NIH database search system. The upgraded search system could identify all the degree qualifications of a principal investigator with multiple degrees even if the person reported himself or herself as a DVM and PhD in one grant application and as a PhD in another. Later, both those grants would be identified as grants awarded to a DVM and PhD.

SOURCE: NIH, Office of the Director.

research expenditures from different sources.) CVMs with fewer faculty FTEs not only have smaller total research expenditures but also have lower research funds expended per individual when averaged over the entire faculty. Furthermore, the student:faculty ratios are considerably higher in the CVMs in the first than in the fourth quartile. As faculty size (FTEs) increases and student:faculty ratios decrease, total research funds and average research funds per faculty FTE increase. Average funds from all sources per faculty FTE doubles from the smallest to the largest faculty quartile and the total funds increase by a factor of almost 5. Those data may be explained in part by the fact that CVMs and their home universities vary in their approaches and missions: some emphasize research much more than others. Moreover, some CVMs have severe limitations on physical facilities, faculty expertise, and other resources required for research.

The data also suggest that the number of faculty FTEs must reach a “critical mass” for faculty to spend more time on research and compete for funds effectively. That viewpoint is supported by the fact that the student:faculty ratio of the CVMs in the first quartile (4.80:1) is about 62% higher than the ratio in the fourth quartile (2.97:1). Average research funding per faculty FTE from NIH, USDA, states, industry, and all sources increases dramatically in the third and fourth quartiles as faculty FTEs exceed 100 and student:faculty ratios decrease to 3.8:1 and lower (Table 4-8). The impact of critical mass extends even to research funded by a CVM’s home state, where research funds per faculty FTE in the fourth quartile are almost 6 times as high as in the first quartile.

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
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TABLE 4-8 FY 2002 CVMs Sorted into Quartiles based on Faculty Size (full-time equivalents—FTE). The average faculty FTE size, student/faculty ratio, and average research expenditures from USDA, state, industry, private sources and NIH by CVMs in each quartile are reported.

 

 

1st Quartilea

2nd Quartilea

3rd Quartilea

4th Quartilea

Average Faculty FTEs

60

82

101

143

Average Student:Faculty Ratio

4.80:1

3.64:1

3.83:1

2.97:1

USDA

Average amountb

$391,839

$914,477

$1,629,066

$2,168,747

 

Amount per faculty FTE

$6,483

$11,201

$16,201

$15,179

States

Average amountb

$264,982

$409,678

$1,263,677

$3,648,673

 

Amount per faculty FTE

$4,384

$5,018

$12,568

$25,538

Industry

Average amountb

$448,575

$398,274

$1,263,584

$1,552,710

 

Amount per faculty FTE

$7,422

$4,879

$12,567

$10,868

Private

Average amountb

$302,671

$1,155,759

$576,094

$2,353,134

 

Amount per faculty FTE

$5,008

$14,157

$5,739

$16,470

NIH

Average amountb

$2,447,974

$3,267,116

$5,252,496

$11,413,416

 

Amount per faculty FTE

$40,503

$40,020

$52,238

$79,886

TOTAL ALL

Average amountb

$4,845,384

$7,390,228

$11,443,605

$22,905,480

SOURCESc

Amount per faculty FTE

$80,169

$90,525

$113,812

$160,322

aFirst quartile is composed of six CVMs; the others seven CVMs. One CVM in existence less than 2 years was omitted.

bAverage amount is average research expenditure per CVM in each quartile for funding source shown.

cTotal all sources includes some sources not shown in table.

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
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Amounts of research funds obtained by CVMs do not depend solely on increasing faculty size, as shown by the three pairs of CVMs with the largest total research expenditures. When the six CVMS with the largest total research expenditures were paired up on the basis of similar total research expenditures, we found that in each of the three pairs, the college with the fewer faculty FTEs had more research dollars per FTE. Differences ranged from $50,000 to nearly $150,000 in average research expenditure per FTE. In all but one pair, student: faculty ratios were nearly identical. In the one where differences occurred, the school with the higher student:faculty ratio had the larger amount of research funds per FTE, although the total amount of research funds was smaller. (Data not shown.)

Another element that may influence the amount of funds received by CVMs is the presence or absence of other facilities with relevant programs, such as a college of medicine (CoM) or a USDA ARS research laboratory on the same campus or nearby. The presence of such facilities does not itself result in more campus resources for research in biomedicine, nor does it mean that CVMs have access to more or better physical resources or collaborative opportunities. Nevertheless, it is reasonable to assume that the presence of additional biomedical or agricultural research programs may have some favorable influence on the research climate that may be reflected in the research expenditures of CVMs. The committee examined data on CVMs that had CoMs on the same campuses and on CVMs that had USDA ARS laboratories on or near the campuses, and on CVMs that had neither. (See Appendix H for details of the analysis.) CVMs at universities that CoMs that were not on the same campuses were excluded from the analysis. The main findings are as follows.

  • Of the 27 CVMs studied, 10 CVMs have co-located CoMs, and three of the 10 also have ARS laboratories nearby. The 10 reported about 46% of the research expenditures by all 27 CVMs from NIH, 44% from USDA, and 47% from all sources.

  • Two groups of six CVMs each with similar faculty size (but different student:faculty ratios) were selected for comparison on the basis of the presence or absence of a co-located CoM. The group of six with co-located CoMs reported about twice the research expenditures from NIH and from all sources of the group of six without CoMs.

  • Nine CVMs were selected because they each have an ARS laboratory nearby. (Three of the nine also have co-located CoMs.) The nine account for about 50% of the research expenditures from USDA even though they amount to only one-third of the CVMs.

  • Two groups of four CVMs each with comparable faculty sizes (but different student:faculty ratios) and no co-located CoMs were compared. One group of four had ARS laboratories nearby, and the other group of four did not. The former group reported about twice the research expenditures per faculty FTE from USDA of the latter group.

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
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Those and the previous data do not establish size (faculty FTEs), student: faculty ratio, and the presence of additional research programs as causative factors in determining whether some CVMs obtain more research funds than others. They do, however, suggest that critical mass and campus research environments play a role in the relative research funding of CVMs. Although data were not available for analyses, favorable research environments may include the presence of schools of public health, integrated shared research resources, and other research-oriented programs. The larger amounts of research funding in CVMs co-located with research facilities of other related disciplines suggest that those CVMs may benefit from collaborative interdisciplinary research with those facilities. In fact, the CVM with the largest reported expenditures from NIH and all sources has a large CDC laboratory and several other federal research laboratories on or adjacent to the campus even though it is not co-located with a CoM or an ARS laboratory. That CVM also has a large faculty and a low student:faculty ratio.

COLLEGES OF AGRICULTURE

Colleges of agriculture in the United States are typically components of land-grant institutions. They contribute substantially to animal health research, particularly on diseases of production animals, and often through interaction with agencies of USDA. Colleges of agriculture vary in size, focus, and expertise in veterinary science. Among their diverse curricula and research programs, emphases that fall within veterinary science include animal science, agricultural and food biosecurity, agricultural systems, animals and animal production, biology, biotechnology and genomics, nutrition and health, natural resources and environment, and pest management. Other disciplines that contribute greatly to veterinary science include biochemistry, statistics, and information technology.

Infrastructure

Research facilities of land-grant universities include over 25 million square feet of laboratory and office space, about 885,860 acres of land, and about 3.56 million square feet of greenhouse space (USDA, 1999). Greenhouse space is used for studies of effects of poisonous plants on animals, for growing plants used for vaccines and nutritional research, and for entomology research. In colleges of agriculture, the facilities of several academic departments and units are directed toward research on some aspect of animal health or veterinary science, and those facilities should be considered in assessing current infrastructure. Furthermore, most colleges of agriculture have specialized interdepartmental technological units for electron microscopy, DNA development, transgenic animals, proteomics and so forth, and these units contribute in major ways to research in veterinary science. Animal housing facilities, which may be extensive in large departments

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
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of animal science, rarely contain facilities for infectious-disease research in production animals. The following academic departments and units make particularly important contributions to veterinary science:

  • Departments of veterinary science. Most departments of veterinary science in colleges of agriculture, especially in states that do not have CVMs, have facilities dedicated to production-animal health research. Existing under various names, those departments have been funded by at least 12 states. Traditionally, financial and commodity-group support for veterinary science—although strong in some states—is less than in states that support 4-year CVMs. Research facilities, faculty, and funding are directed to disease, of livestock, poultry, and aquaculture and are mostly dedicated to state and local animal health problems. The largest share of funding is typically directed to infectious diseases of economic importance.

  • Departments of animal science. Departments of animal science traditionally contribute to research on the genetics, nutrition, physiology and metabolism, reproductive management, and toxicology of domestic food-producing animal species. Much of the research overlaps with animal health research. In the last decade, the role of animal science departments has expanded to include companion-animal physiology and behavior.

  • Departments of entomology. Major contributions to medical and veterinary science are made by entomologists in colleges of agriculture. For example, the transmission and infectivity cycle of West Nile virus was elucidated by medical entomologists who tracked patterns of infected mosquitoes that were similar to patterns of the disease in birds and mammals. Colleges of agriculture in major land grant institutions typically support insectaries, which are critical to successful research in veterinary entomology.

  • Departments of wildlife and fisheries. The movement of infectious diseases among domestic and wild mammals, birds, and aquatic species is a major concern of veterinary science. Furthermore, the interface between wildlife and domestic animals is of increasing importance and concern to the livestock industry. Academic departments and research facilities dedicated to wildlife, fisheries, and other ecological components exist in nearly all colleges of agriculture. Although the departments handle the obligations of wildlife biology, few play a substantial role in animal health problems in wildlife and fish. With few exceptions, their mission statements have narrow focus, lack the demands of extramural forces (such as commodity groups, industry, and National Park Service missions) to drive the research, and have inadequate training of faculty to handle cutting-edge approaches to infectious and noninfectious diseases of animals. In universities that also have CVMs, opportunities and facilities for cooperation are common. However, the facilities are typically inadequate to deal with wildlife disease or the wildlife-domestic animal disease interface seriously over an extended period.

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
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  • State agricultural experiment stations. Funds from SAESs support research facilities in a wide variety of disciplines. The Hatch Experiment Station Act, passed by Congress in 1887, created a system of state agricultural experiment stations with the land-grant universities and provided a mechanism to channel federal funding to colleges of agriculture. In 1914, the Smith-Lever Act created the Cooperative Agricultural Extension Service as a partnership of county, state, and federal governments (Fuglie et al., 1996). Those acts and the Morrill acts were created to “deliver the benefits of scientific research and education in the colleges of agriculture to the public citizens to improve the economic viability and life of farmers and rural communities” (USDA, 1999).

Expertise and Human Resources

Much of the wide variety of animal research expertise available in colleges of agriculture applies to veterinary science and related animal health fields. Faculty members in colleges of agriculture participate as team members in research of high national importance—for example, departments of entomology and virology in research on West Nile virus disease and departments of economics, animal science, and chemistry in research on bovine spongiform encephalopathy in beef and dairy cattle.

In the last decade, brucellosis in bison and elk in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem (GYE) has been a focus of national attention. The persistence of brucellosis in the GYE (caused by Brucella abortus in elk and bison) and in marine mammals (caused by Brucella spp. in dolphins, seals, whales, and others) in the face of the elimination of this disease from domestic animals requires a substantial research program plan (NRC, 1998b). The formation of the Greater Yellowstone Interagency Brucellosis Council in the early 1990s to drive cooperation was effective but flawed by bickering among those involved. The Department of the Interior (DOI) National Park Service (NPS); the USDA ARS, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), CSREES; state livestock and wildlife agencies; commercial groups; recreationalists; and Indian intertribal associations have widely opposed views, and there is no simple solution for the eradication of brucellosis. At the heart of the controversy is the lack of current research, which translates into lack of support for departments of wildlife and fisheries throughout the United States.

Educational Resources

Courses in the veterinary sciences in colleges of agriculture typically include one or two dedicated to agricultural undergraduate students and the remainder directed at graduate work in some phase of veterinary science. In most land-grant institutions, those educational resources and funding that supports them play little role in research.

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
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Agricultural libraries, separate or as parts of major university libraries, provide major educational resources for research in veterinary science, particularly in production-animal medicine. Those facilities connect with AGRICOLA (Agriculture Online Access), a bibliographic database that contains veterinary medicine as a subject at http://stneasy.cas.org.

Financial Resources for Research

Funding for animal health research in colleges of agriculture comes from federal, state, and private sources. Much of the research in those facilities is under the sponsorship of agencies of the federal government. USDA’s CSREES has provided major funding to colleges of agriculture for research, graduate education, and infrastructure construction and maintenance. Funding has been through competitive and noncompetitive funding mechanisms that include Hatch funds (formula funds), the competitive grants of the National Research Initiative (NRI), Small Business Innovation Research grants, Biotechnology Risk Assessment grants (BRAGs), Animal Health Funds (1433), special grants program, and various programs targeted to help disadvantaged universities to develop and support agricultural research.

Although ARS is USDA’s in-house research agency, it has provided sparse research funds for production-animal research to universities and other institutions through specific cooperative agreements. ARS has the mission to develop and transfer solutions to agricultural problems of high national priority and provide information access and dissemination to ensure high-quality, safe food and other agricultural products. When outside expertise is needed to meet its mandated mission, ARS provides financial assistance to collaborative partners. Other sources of competitive and noncompetitive federal research funding to colleges of agriculture have included NIH, DOD, National Science Foundation (NSF), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), DOI, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Energy.

Since the middle 1950s, there has been a consistent increase in private support from industry and commodity groups for research in colleges of agriculture: “Between 1960 and 1992, private spending for food and agricultural research tripled” (USDA, 1999). By 1991, USDA expenditures for research and development (R&D) were less than 2% of all federal R&D spending ($1.2 of $61.3 billion), and about 4% of federal support for research in universities and college, was for agriculture ($408 million of $10 billion) (USDA, 1999).

The National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC) functions under the Board on Agriculture Assembly. This group does not fund or track research but supports colleges of agriculture in the funding process in Congress; for example, NASULGC supports the current presidential budget proposal to increase NRI grants by $120 million.

In the post-World War II period, federal funding for research was massively increased in the United States but less in USDA than in NIH, NSF, and other

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
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federally supported research institutions. Much of the private support has been driven by commercial development of biotechnology, improved government-to-private technology transfer and establishment of intellectual property rights, and a closer association between research and economic development and marketing.

COLLEGES OF MEDICINE AND OTHER MEDICAL RESEARCH INSTITUTIONS

A portion of research in veterinary science occurs in schools and colleges of medicine and other medical research institutions, but it is essentially impossible to quantify. Some of the research takes place in departments of comparative medicine. The AVMA Membership Directory and Resource Manual (2004b) listed seven units in medical schools under the title “Departments of Comparative Medicine,” but some units have other names, such as “Section” and “Division.” Although the NIH National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) of NIH is listed in the AVMA Membership Directory Resource Manual, the Department of Comparative Medicine at Johns Hopkins University is not, nor is a unit of comparative medicine at the University of California, San Diego. A recent National Research Council, study National Needs and Priorities for Veterinarians in Biomedical Research (NRC 2004a), listed 27 (of a total of 38) clinical residency programs in laboratory animal medicine not associated with CVMs, giving some idea of the scope of research in veterinary science in medical schools and medical research institutions. The seven Regional primate research centers discussed later, all associated with colleges of medicine, also are sites of important research in veterinary science. There are a number of other medically oriented research institutions and centers throughout the country, including NIH, where research in veterinary science also takes place. Substantial advances in such subjects as animal genomics and infectious diseases occur in such research venues, but quantifying the resources available for such research is impossible (Sutter and Ostrander, 2004; Troyer et al., 2004).

The need for veterinarians in biomedical research was examined in the Research Council report National Needs and Priorities for Veterinarians in Biomedical Research (NRC, 2004a). The author committee studied national needs in comparative medicine, and its report included an analysis of the training opportunities in comparative medicine in schools and colleges of medicine. The committee’s major findings included the following:

  • “From 1995 through 2002, the number of NIH-funded competitive grants utilizing animals increased by 31.7%. There were approximately 1,300 more competitive grants utilizing animals in 2002 than in 1995.”

  • “Currently there are an estimated 1,608 research institutions in the US that are USDA-registered and/or hold NIH assurances indicating those institutions utilize animals in research programs.”

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
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  • “The number of active laboratory animal medicine residency programs was the same in 1995 as it was in 2002. Of the 32 currently active programs, 9 of these programs did not have anyone complete a residency from 1996 to 2002.” This finding seems to be supported by a recent survey (2004) conducted by AAVMC. Seven departments of comparative medicine that are members of AAVMC were asked about the enrollment of graduate students. Two replied; one of the two reported that three students were seeking PhD degrees, and the other reported no graduate students.

Those and the data from NIH recorded elsewhere in this chapter are all the data the committee could locate regarding research in veterinary science conducted in medical schools and colleges and medical research institutions.

WILDLIFE AND AQUATIC HEALTH INSTITUTIONS

Research programs to solve wildlife and aquatic health, food safety, and well-being issues were created from pre-existing established programs focusing on conservation, and management of wildlife and more recently on improving production and quality in freshwater and salt-water farming operations of fish and other aquatic species. (See Appendix I for list of organizations in which major resources are directed to wildlife and aquatic health, food safety, and well-being.) Today, the ecological, societal, and financial importance of wildlife and aquaculture are enormous; but despite the importance and size of these sectors, neither has comprehensive centralized professional or government oversight or coordination of research priorities, funding, or sharing of information.

The research programs in wildlife and aquatic health, food safety, and well-being developed independently of the historical established research entities—that is outside the existing federal land-grant university and federal grants programs. That has not deterred individual scientists or groups of scientists or conservation and ecological organizations from developing successful and productive core programs of research at various universities and government and private institutions, which have emphasized and solved many wildlife and aquatic health, food safety, and well-being issues. In free-living wildlife, health research has focused largely on a few high-profile diseases. Those research programs tend to have narrow scope and short duration (AAWV, 2004). Seldom have big-picture efforts—such as comprehensive land-use planning for improving wildlife, livestock, and human health; ecosystem-level approaches; or even sustained efforts at managing very damaging diseases—been initiated or maintained for sufficient periods to make a difference (AAWV, 2004). Zoonotic issues at wildlife and domestic animal-human interface are emphasized in wildlife health research.

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
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Infrastructure

Infrastructure, human resources, and physical resources are fragmented as small pieces scattered among multiple institutions. Institutions that have contributed to such research have included colleges and universities, state and federal government institutions, zoos and wildlife parks and aquariums, and private-foundation or corporate research institutions. The precise numbers of scientists and staff and square footage of research space are unknown, but the general impression from individual interviews is that resources dedicated to wildlife and aquatic health research are meager and much smaller than those dedicated to public health and to domestic livestock and poultry health and protection.

Some colleges of agriculture and CVMs have one to three faculty members studying wildlife and aquatic health. In a few institutions, there is a critical core of five to ten faculty members, and a formal program is established to focus on wildlife and aquatic health in an individual state or region. For example, the Southeast Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study in the University of Georgia CVM provides regional research and diagnostic services in wildlife health to southern states through five faculty and 24 other staff. In general, such larger formal programs are in states where wildlife, forestry, or aquaculture is financially important to the state or regional economy. The emphasis is on resource contribution by state governments through universities or game and fish departments. Examples are the Sybille Wildlife Research Facility at the University of Wyoming, Laramie, and the Center for Bison and Wildlife Health at Montana State University, Bozeman. In addition, research has been conducted through both inhouse and extramural programs of USDA’s ARS and APHIS and DOI’s NPS and US Geological Survey (USGS) in their core missions. Large federal programs in wildlife and aquatic health include

  • ARS: Aquatic Animal Health Research Unit Auburn, AL; and National Animal Disease Center, Ames, IA.

  • USGS: National Wildlife Health Center, Biological Research Division, Madison, WI.

  • APHIS: National Wildlife Research Center, Fort Collins, CO.

  • DOI’s US Fish and Wildlife Service: Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory, Ashland, OR.

In wildlife health, the major dedicated wildlife research facilities are in Madison, WI; Ft. Collins, CO; Laramie, WY; and Athens, GA. Livestock facilities of ARS in Ames, IA, and Pullman, WA, are used for specific wildlife health research on infectious agents that cross between wildlife and domestic livestock (AAWV, 2004). Additional laboratory facilities and animal housing are available at various universities with general laboratory animal facilities, but they often are not constructed or staffed for wildlife care, and costs may be prohibitive or specific budgets to support wildlife research lacking (AAWV, 2004).

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
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Expertise and Human Resources

Some 125-150 full-time veterinarians have clinical service, research, or teaching commitments in wildlife health in the United States, but their major commitment is to clinical service and not research (AAWV, 2004). The American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians estimated the distribution of veterinarians in different sections to be about 30-35 in federal government employment; 30-35 in state government employment; 25-30 employed by universities, institutions or cooperatives; 20-25 employed for tribes, under contract, or self-employed; and 20-25 employed by zoological societies, nongovernment organizations, or companies. The number of nonveterinarians in wildlife health research and the number of veterinarians and nonveterinarians in aquatic health are unknown.

Education

Educational opportunities for veterinarians and nonveterinarians in wildlife and aquatic health vary with job requirements and individuals needs. Experiential learning through on-the-job training has been the major method for developing expertise in clinical field research. Limited financial and formal training resources have been available through CVM’s and colleges of agriculture for training in wildlife and aquatic health. Some student training opportunities and externships are provided in zoological medicine, clinical care, and wildlife rehabilitation, but few externships or training programs are available that provide substantial experience in free-ranging wildlife. There are only two residency opportunities for wildlife veterinarians in the United States: one every third year at North Carolina and one focused on clinical care at the Wildlife Center of Virginia. Graduate studies (MS and PhD) in wildlife and aquatic health focusing on training and careers in research are available at institutions that have focused programs in wildlife and aquatic health, but funding and physical resources are scarce. Postdoctoral opportunities to work on wildlife are competitive and not abundant. Although classroom space can generally be found to support wildlife veterinary teaching needs, more-specialized facilities for wildlife veterinary and health research are almost nonexistent (AAWV, 2004).

ZOOLOGICAL INSTITUTIONS

The mission of most zoos is to conserve wildlife and to promote wildlife habitat conservation by increasing public understanding of their importance and their interdependence with humans. Few zoos can afford to support laboratory-based research programs in veterinary science (AZA Animal Health Committee, 2004). Therefore, only a few large zoos include research in their mission statements—for example, the National Zoological Park (NZP), the Saint Louis Zoo, and the San Diego Zoo. This section discusses the infrastructure and resources of

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
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a few selected zoos that have substantial research activities. (The selection of zoos was based on the availability of information on their Web sites.) However, we note that such zoos are the exception, and that most zoos have only minor research capacities. Research programs at most zoos are designed to address specific problems in their collections (AAZV, 2004).

Organizational Structure

The scope and size of research programs vary from zoo to zoo. The Saint Louis Zoo’s research program focuses on reproduction, including behavior, physiology, endocrinology, and gamete biology. Its research unit is organized into three divisions—the Contraception Center, the Endocrinology Laboratory, and the Pathology Laboratory. The San Diego Zoo’s research is carried out at the Conservation and Research for Endangered Species Center (CRES). The center’s research focuses on applied conservation behavioral biology, ecology and evolution, endocrinology, genetics, giant panda conservation, pathology, and reproductive physiology. Research at NZP spans many disciplines, including reproductive biology, veterinary medicine, behavior, ecology, population biology, nutrition, migratory birds, and biodiversity monitoring.

Infrastructure

One of the largest research facilities associated with the zoo is the Conservation Research Center of the NZP. The center is a 3,200-acre facility in Front Royal, VA. The facility includes a geographic information systems laboratory, endocrine and gamete laboratories, a veterinary clinic, a radio tracking laboratory, 14 field stations, biodiversity monitoring plots, a conference center, dormitories, and education offices. Research is also carried out in the zoo in Washington, DC, where there are state-of-the-art nutrition laboratories, genetics laboratories, a reproductive-sciences facility, and a genome resource bank. Veterinary researchers have access to about 7,700 ft2 of laboratory space and share access to hospital, surgical, necropsy, and clinical laboratory space.

The San Diego Zoo completed the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center for Conservation in 2004. The center is a two-story, 50,000-ft2 facility that includes 20,000 ft2 of laboratory space (with an additional 6,000 ft2 for future renovations) and 24,000 ft2 for offices, a library, a conference room, and a cryopreservation repository of biomaterials for endangered species. The center houses all divisions of the CRES except the giant panda conservation division.

Financial Resources

To the committee’s knowledge, there are no federal, state, or local government agencies whose mission is focused on veterinary research in zoos and

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
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aquariums; considerable support for research relevant to zoos and wildlife comes from small foundations (Zoological Society of San Diego, 2004; AZA Animal Health Committee, 2004; NZP, 2004). However, research programs at zoos receive some support from federal agencies, such as NSF and NIH, provided that the projects are consistent with their missions. In 2004, NZP received about $1.1 million for research in veterinary science. Funds were obtained from competitive peer-review grant programs (for example that of NIH), endowments, foundations, corporate donors, and private donations.

Human Resources

In October 2004, the NZP reported that it had 23 full-time staff and 5 unfilled positions that are involved in veterinary science. Among the staff, 5 hold a DVM, 11 hold a PhD, and 8 hold both (NZP, 2004).

Educational Resources

NZP, the Saint Louis Zoo, and the San Diego Zoo all offer internships for college students and recent graduates. The San Diego Zoo offers veterinary internships exclusively to the University of California, Davis and Mesa College.

Graduate students and postdoctoral researchers could apply to study at NZP through the Smithsonian Fellowship Program. NZP also offers a veterinary student preceptorship that is targeted to students with a serious interest in veterinary medicine. It also leads one of the 14 residency training programs accredited by the American College of Zoological Medicine. The other zoos with such training programs include the Bronx Zoo, the Lincoln Park Zoo, and the Saint Louis Zoo.

Distribution of Resources and Disciplines

The ability of zoos to conduct research in animal health and veterinary science depends heavily on veterinary staffing levels because most staff can participate in research only on a part-time basis (AAZV, 2004). For example, the research capacity at the NZP’s Department of Animal Health was limited by a shortage of staff. Veterinarians have to meet the clinical needs of the zoo’s animal collection before they can participate in and contribute to veterinary research. Similarly, NZP’s Department of Conservation Biology has reduced research capacity because of delays in filling the vacant position for a PhD-level clinical nutritionist (NZP, 2004).

NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH

NIH is the leading federal agency for health research in the United States and one of the world’s foremost medical research centers. “NIH provides leadership

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
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and direction to programs designed to improve the health of the Nation by conducting and supporting research: in the causes, diagnosis, prevention, and cure of human diseases; in the processes of human growth and development; in the biological effects of environmental contaminants; in the understanding of mental, addictive and physical disorders; in directing programs for the collection, dissemination, and exchange of information in medicine and health, including the development and support of medical libraries and the training of medical librarians and other health information specialists” (http://www.nih.gov/about/almanac/index.html).

Organizational Structure

NIH is organized into 27 institutes and centers that are managed under the Office of Director. Veterinarians and veterinary scientists are involved in research, program direction, and management in several institutes and centers, including the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and especially the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and NCRR.

Expertise and Human Resources

NIH employs veterinarians in various roles, such as staff scientist, veterinary medical officer, supervisor of veterinary medicine, research fellow, senior investigator, senior scientist, staff veterinarian, and research veterinary officer. The number of veterinarians employed at NIH has been difficult to determine but most likely is at least 65. It is unclear how many DVMs are involved directly in research as opposed to the support of the overall mission of NIH.

Financial Resources

The extramural programs of most centers and institutes do not provide direct support for research in veterinary science, because NIH’s primary mission is to improve human health. Nevertheless, most centers and institutes provide extramural funds for animal research that contributes to the enhancement of human health and welfare. For example, from 1990 to 2002, research based on the use of live vertebrate animals accounted for about 43% of competitively funded NIH grants (NRC, 2004a). During the period 1995-2002, the total number of research grants increased, which resulted in a 31.7% increase in the number of competitive grants involving animals; this translates into funding for about 1,300 more grants using animals in 2002 than in 1995 (NRC, 2004a).

Another example of success in funding veterinary medical initiatives came through NHLBI. In the early 1980s, the institute initiated the Transfusion Medi-

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
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cine Academic Award (TMAA) program, intended to provide more academic and postdoctoral training in the growing field of transfusion medicine. That was in response to the discovery of AIDS and an increasing concern about transfusion-transmitted diseases and blood safety in human medicine. As with any federally funded program, physicians and members of allied health professions are eligible to apply. The deans of CVMs were contacted and alerted to the availability of funds, which would be provided to a successful faculty applicant for 5 years to develop a program in the basic and clinical aspects of transfusion medicine for students and residents and for continuing education. After the award period, the recipient institutions were expected to continue the program on their own. In 1985, the first veterinary schools applied for the TMAA; there were 16 applications—12 from CoMs and four from CVMs. Four applications were funded, and CVMs received two of them. Since the program’s inception in 1983, 40 TMAAs have gone to 35 CoMs and five to CVMs, and NHLBI has invested $1.5 million in transfusion medicine programs in CVMs.

In 1998, NCI announced an initiative titled “Mouse Models of Human Cancers Consortium”; it funded 19 groups of investigators at 30 institutions to develop models related to how human cancers develop, progress, and respond to therapy or preventive agents. NIAID has been the primary sponsor of programs in the use of animal models for the prevention and treatment of hepatitis B and C, nonhuman-primate heart and lung transplantation tolerance, research in biodefense and emerging infectious diseases, and construction of regional biocontainment laboratories.

NCRR is most closely tied to research in veterinary science and provides substantial funding. It supports animal research that contributes to biomedical sciences but is not in the categorical interest of a single NIH institute or center. It also supports projects that address such direct animal needs as the welfare of laboratory animals, and animal pain perception. The mission of NCRR is to support “primary research to create and develop critical resources, models, and technologies. NCRR funding also provides biomedical researchers with access to diverse instrumentation, technologies, basic and clinical research facilities, animal models, genetic stocks, biomaterials, and more. These resources enable scientific advances in biomedicine that lead to the development of lifesaving drugs, devices, and therapies” (http://www.ncrr.nih.gov). The number and types of research and training grants awarded to veterinary researchers by NCRR were discussed in another National Research Council report (NRC 2004a).

CVMs and departments of veterinary science and comparative medicine (DVS/CMs) have received various NIH awards (Figure 4-3), including R01 (research project; Figure 4-4), P01 (research program projects; Figure 4-5), and P40 (animal model & animal and biological material resource grants; Figure 4-6). (See Appendix J for 10-year funding trend of other NIH awards to CVMs).

The total number of NIH grants—including all C, D, F, G, K, S, P, R, T, and U grants—awarded to CVMs increased 45% (from 407 to 590) and award dollars

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
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FIGURE 4-3 Total number and value of NIH grants. Number and total value of NIH grants (including all C, D, F, G, K, S, P, R, T, and awards) awarded to colleges of veterinary medicine and departments of veterinary science that are not affiliated with Colleges of Veterinary Medicine. SOURCE: NIH Office of Director.

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
×

FIGURE 4-4 Number and total value of Research Project (R01 awards) awarded to colleges of veterinary medicine and departments of veterinary science that are not affiliated with colleges of veterinary medicine by NIH. SOURCE: NIH Office of Director.

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
×

FIGURE 4-5 Number and total value of research program projects (P01 awards) awarded to colleges of veterinary medicine and departments of veterinary science that are not affiliated with colleges of veterinary medicine by NIH. SOURCE: NIH Office of Director.

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
×

FIGURE 4-6 Number and total value of Animal Model and Animal/Biological Material Resource (P40) Grants awarded to Colleges of veterinary medicine and departments of veterinary science that are not affiliated with colleges of veterinary medicine by NIH. SOURCE: NIH Office of Director.

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
×

increased by 170% (from $67.2 million to $180.8 million) from FY 1993 to FY 2003 data (Figure 4-3). It is presumed that most of those awards pertained in a broad sense to veterinary science research, research training, or construction of research facilities. The data reflect grants awarded to investigators at CVMs, not just veterinarians.

Among the broad spectrum of NIH grants awarded to scientists at CVMs or DVS/CMs, the R01 is the most important because it is the competitive award for meritorious, investigator-initiated research. R01 awards to faculty at CVMs or DVS/CMs serving as principle investigators increased by about 50%, and the total award amount increased by about, 50% from FY 1993 to FY 2003 (Figure 4-4).

NIH awards of all types to veterinarians (as principal investigators) increased by 54% and award amount increased by 130% from FY 1993 to FY 2003 (Table 4-9). The increase in funding to veterinary scientists generally paralleled the increases in numbers of grants (1.53 fold) and dollars (2.6 fold) awarded to all scientists and exceeded the number of grants and dollars awarded to dental scientists, who represent an allied-health profession of similar size (Table 4-9). However, in award numbers and dollars, veterinarians and dental scientists each accounted for only 1% or less of the total NIH awards and dollars during the decade. The mean grant award (in dollars) to veterinarians increased from $238,235 in FY 1993 to $357,605 in FY 2003, during the period that the mean award to all types of investigators increased from $226,998 to $382,365. Those data show that veterinarians have competed favorably with all types of scientists in receiving NIH awards. However, data are not available on the number of veterinarians serving in the capacity of coprincipal investigator (shared leadership) or investigator (collaborating or team scientist) on NIH grants of any type.

TABLE 4-9 NIH Awards (All Types) to Veterinarians, Dentists and All Degree Holders

Fiscal Year

Veterinarians

Dentists

All Degrees

Number of Awards

Amount (millions)

Number of Awards

Amount (millions)

Number of Awards

Amount (millions)

1993

340

$81

347

$67.35

33,645

$7,637.35

1994

362

83.76

369

72.22

34,905

8,066.06

1995

350

88.69

351

70.93

34,707

8,349.25

1996

357

87.99

323

79

35,360

8,836.71

1997

370

95.3

312

80.74

37,036

9,509.06

1998

387

94.22

321

86.62

38,394

10,276.61

1999

399

108.27

327

90.48

40,745

11,802.89

2000

436

128.97

326

93.1

43,289

13,659.35

2001

457

155.76

371

108.19

45,910

15,608.25

2002

483

160.24

374

119.6

48,694

17,580.23

2003

522

186.67

395

126.75

51,367

19,640.94

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
×

In Table 4-10, NIH awards to veterinary scientists are categorized by institutional affiliation. In most years, the highest number of awards has gone consistently to veterinarians working at CVMs, which represent 37-43% of all awards to veterinarians. The second-highest category of institution is other higher education, namely, medical schools, arts and sciences institutes, and graduate schools. Third is DVS/CMs (Table 4-10).

In addition to supporting research projects, NCRR funds eight national primate research centers (NPRCs). They are a network of highly specialized facilities for nonhuman-primate research. The aim of the centers is to facilitate development of nonhuman-primate models for human health and diseases. The centers are accessible to eligible biomedical researchers who have research funding. Veterinarians serve in a number of important roles in NPRCs—from research scientist to support personnel for the overall research enterprise. NPRCs have a long and distinguished history of contributing to a better understanding of the normal biology of nonhuman primates and the pathophysiology and prevention of important human diseases, such as AIDS, diabetes mellitus, infertility, cardiovascular disease, and atherosclerosis.

Research support for NPRC investigators from FY 2001 through FY 2004 was evaluated (Table 4-11). The number of awards (PHS, federal non-PHS, and nonfederal) to core and noncore faculty (an undetermined number of whom are veterinarians) increased by 64% and award amount by 201% during the 3-year period. Those figures do not include additional base funding (P51) for the NPRCs, SPF monkey breeding colony (U24 and U42), or construction (C06 and G20), for which total award amount increased by 40% during the 3-year period (Table 4-12).

On September 30, 2003, NIH Director Elias Zerhouni announced the implementation and details of the NIH roadmap: “The NIH Roadmap is an integrated vision to deepen our understanding of biology, stimulate interdisciplinary research teams, and reshape clinical research to accelerate medical discovery and improve people’s health” (http://nihroadmap.nih.gov). The NIH roadmap is designed to accelerate basic research discoveries and their translation into clinical research. The roadmap includes 28 initiatives grouped under three major themes: “New Pathways to Discovery”, “Research Teams of the Future”, and “Reengineering the Clinical Research Enterprise (Zerhouni, 2003). The different initiatives are estimated to cost $2.2 billion over 6 years (Table 4-13). Research Teams of the Future is designed to stimulate new ways of combining skills and disciplines in the physical and biological sciences and to encourage partnerships between private and public sectors. Veterinary researchers should seek the opportunity to pursue interdisciplinary research with various partners under this initiative to further biomedical sciences.

Educational Resources

As noted in the Research Council report National Needs and Priorities for Veterinarians in Biomedical Research (NRC, 2004a), NCRR provides resources

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
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TABLE 4-10 FY 1993-FY 2003a NIH Awards to Veterinarians in Different Institutions

Fiscal Year

CVMs

DVS/CMs

Primate Centers

Other Higher-Education Institutions

Research Institutions

Independent Hospitals

Other Domestic

For-Profit Institutions

Foreign Institutions

Number of Grants

1993

134

52

5

111

17

12

4

3

2

1994

155

45

4

118

17

10

5

7

1

1995

131

43

3

133

14

17

4

5

1996

144

44

1

127

15

15

7

4

1997

142

44

2

130

20

20

3

9

1998

160

31

2

132

26

21

5

10

1999

151

41

2

142

32

19

3

9

2000

171

35

6

159

25

22

7

9

2

2001

170

34

9

181

21

26

6

9

1

2002

178

45

11

179

32

21

4

12

1

2003

197

50

11

185

36

22

3

16

2

Amount (millions)

1993

$25.2

$20.4

$1.7

$24.0

$5.1

$2.1

$0.9

$1.5

$0.1

1994

26.1

21.0

1.5

25.8

5.3

1.7

0.4

1.8

0.1

1995

24.1

21.0

0.6

32.5

4.0

4.2

0.4

1.9

1996

26.1

21.3

0.4

29.9

4.5

3.9

0.4

1.6

1997

27.1

21.2

0.6

31.7

6.4

5.5

0.2

2.5

1998

31.7

11.2

0.8

34.3

7.5

5.7

0.9

2.2

1999

34.5

13.7

0.9

40.3

9.6

6.3

0.7

2.4

2000

39.1

11.9

2.8

52.2

9.5

7.3

0.7

5.1

0.3

2001

49.4

15.7

4.5

63.5

10.0

8.1

1.0

3.4

0.1

2002

39.1

22.7

7.3

64.3

13.5

7.2

0.4

4.9

0.9

2003

63.1

21.8

7.6

66.8

12.8

7.2

0.3

5.7

1.4

aExcludes contracts and interagency agreements.

SOURCE: NIH Office of the Director.

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
×

TABLE 4-11 Awards to NPRC Investigators (Excluding P51 RR Support), FY 2001-FY 2004

Fiscal Year

Core Faculty

Noncore faculty

Total

Type of Support

Number of Awards

Amount (millions)

Number of Awards

Amount (millions)

Number of Awards

Amount (millions)

2001

PHS

241

$67.59

838

$312.85

1,079

$380.44

2001

Federal non-PHS

11

1.63

34

10.70

45

12.33

2001

Nonfederal

91

12.58

192

19.77

283

32.36

2001 Total

 

343

81.81

1064

343.32

1,407

425.13

2002

PHS

269

104.44

1140

463.67

1,409

568.11

2002

Federal non-PHS

7

0.96

40

12.25

47

13.22

2002

Nonfederal

75

6.93

310

29.02

385

35.95

2002 Total

 

351

112.34

1490

504.94

1,841

617.27

2003

PHS

301

132.71

1906

833.77

2,207

966.49

2003

Federal non-PHS

9

2.02

11

1.43

20

3.45

2003

Nonfederal

102

14.97

130

16.72

232

31.69

2003 Total

 

412

149.70

2047

851.92

2,459

1,001.62

2004

PHS

286

110.86

1783

1,133.50

2,069

1,244.36

2004

Federal non-PHS

8

3.85

13

2.57

21

6.42

2004

Nonfederal

96

15.15

119

14.80

215

29.95

2004 Total

 

390

129.86

1915

1,150.87

2,305

1,280.73

SOURCE: NPRC annual progress reports.

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
×

TABLE 4-12 NIH Base Funding (P51) and Other Financial Support to NPRCs, FY 2001–FY 2004 (millions)

Funding

Fiscal Year

2001

2002

2003

2004

Base (P51)

$60.10

$69.51

$77.93

$77.79

SPF Monkey Breeding Colony (U24 and U42)

5.07

12.29

12.72

12.48

Construction (C06 and G20)

10.82

10.57

9.24

15.85

Total

75.98

92.36

99.89

106.12

SOURCE: NIH Office of Director.

TABLE 4-13 Funding for NIH Roadmap Initiatives (millions)

Fiscal Year

Pathways to Discovery

Research Teams

Clinical Research

Total

2004

$65

$27

$38

$130

2005

137

39

61

237

2006

169

44

120

332

2007

182

92

174

448

2008

209

96

214

520

2009

188

93

227

507

Total

948

390

883

2,172

SOURCE: Norka Ruiz-Bravo, NIH, presentation to committee on July 19, 2004.

for career training and development in veterinary research through its special-emphasis research-career awards, postdoctoral fellowships, and training grants. For example, CVMs and DVS/CMs in FY 2003 were granted $8.71 million in K (research-career) awards, $9.04 million in T32 (institutional national research service) awards, and $1.66 million in F (fellowship) awards. Those awards encourage veterinarians to pursue careers in veterinary research and provide research experience for veterinary students. NIH also offers predoctoral and postdoctoral intramural research-training awards for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers to gain experience at one of the NIH laboratories (Grieder and Whitehair, 2004).

US DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

USDA has the mission of providing federal and national leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, and related issues on the basis of sound public policy, the best available science, and efficient management (USDA, 2004a). USDA is divided into seven mission areas, of which several affect animal health and protection directly. The subagencies that are related to research in veterinary

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
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medical and associated sciences include APHIS, ARS, CSREES, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), and the Foreign Agriculture Service (USDA, 2004b) and they will be discussed in the context of this report.

Agricultural Research Service

ARS is the principal inhouse research agency of USDA. It conducts innovative basic and translation research to find solutions to problems of high national priority, especially problems that are uniquely federal in responsibility (USDA, 1999). ARS often selects high-risk scientific endeavors that may bring substantial breakthroughs in important problems, but it complements research of and often collaborates with university, private-sector, and other government research-institution partners.

ARS provides direct research support related to federal regulations, national and international trade, conservation, and national and international disease control to federal action agencies, including APHIS, FSIS, EPA, FDA, CDC, and NIH. Commonly, ARS research requires expensive, dedicated biocontainment facilities; long-term funding; and specialized scientific expertise. ARS has more than 2,200 scientists conducting research in 1,200 permanent research projects at over 100 locations in the United States and in five international laboratories (USDA-ARS, 2004c). ARS research is organized into 22 national programs in four areas, which bring coordination, communication, and empowerment to the research projects. The national programs focus on relevance, impact, and quality of ARS research.

Research projects pertinent to this report are classified in Animal Health and Protection (STP 3.2 code) and include projects not only in the national program for animal health (NP103) but also in the national programs for veterinary, medical, and urban entomology (NP104); animal well-being and stress control (NP105); aquaculture (NP106); preharvest food safety (NP108); and manure and byproducts use (NP206).

Infrastructure

ARS has a centralized national program staff in Beltsville, MD, with multiple research locations that conduct laboratory and field research. Much of the research is conducted in ARS or other federally owned facilities with locations for animal health and protection research programs in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Texas, Utah, Arkansas, West Virginia Nebraska, and New York. Locations in the first eight of those states are colocated with or near CVMs and have substantial research collaboration with them which includes bidirectional sharing of expertise, facilities, and equipment. Some of the ARS animal health and protection programs are co-located with and use university facilities, either in CVMs or colleges of agriculture, including those of

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
×

the University of Arkansas, Purdue University, the University of Wyoming, and Washington State University. The three largest laboratories dedicated to animal health and protection research are the National Animal Disease Center for livestock (Ames, IA), the Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory for poultry (Athens, GA) and the Aquatic Animal Health Research Laboratory for fish (Auburn, AL). ARS animal health and protection locations, location names, research subjects, and other pertinent information are reported in Appendix K.

Much of the animal health and protection research, including the study of foreign and emerging animal diseases, involves the use and manipulation of pathogens that require biosafety level 2 (BSL2), BSL3, and BSL3 agriculture (BSL3 AG) laboratory and animal-housing facilities. Many of the facilities were built in the 1960s and 1970s and are at the end of their life cycle. Those facilities need to be replaced urgently, especially those at the National Animal Disease Center; the Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory; the Plum Island Animal Disease Center in Orient Point, NY; the Avian Disease and Oncology Laboratory in East Lansing, MI; and the Arthropod-Borne Animal Disease Research Laboratory in Laramie, WY (USDA-ARS 2004c; USDA, 1999). Federal legislative and procurement processes have created long delays in renovation or replacement of critical facilities while funding for initiation of new research projects has moved faster. In some instances, biocontainment facilities have been temporarily closed because of biosecurity and biosafety inadequacies and productivity has been delayed.

The design for a replacement of the existing USDA animal health facilities in Ames, IA, has been completed, and construction is under way. The $455 million state-of-the-art facility will merge the National Veterinary Services Laboratories, the Center for Veterinary Biologics, and with the National Animal Disease Center into a single USDA research, diagnostic, and animal health service center. However, the new facility does not contain any additional space to accommodate new ARS research programs in livestock and poultry health.

The larger research locations support core specialized research facilities in bioinformatics, DNA sequencing and analysis, proteomics, functional genomics, microarrays, and electron microscopy. A large infrastructure component for the research is the specialized biocontainment facilities used to conduct whole-animal research in livestock, poultry, and wild animals with infectious agents.

Expertise

Animal health and protection programs conduct multidisciplinary research in microbiology, virology, parasitology, pathology, toxicology, immunology, epidemiology, molecular biology, biocontainment, physiology, agricultural engineering, genomic, chemistry, proteomics, bioinformatics, and vaccinology. The programs focus on basic and translation research to solve national-priority animal

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
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health and protection problems. Whole-animal research is emphasized. Collaborations with co-located or adjacent universities have capitalized on scientific expertise and physical assets not present in the ARS-owned laboratories.

Human Resources

Scientists (category 1) responsible for conducting research in ARS are classified principally as microbiologists (series GS-403) and veterinary medical officers (series GS-701), but occasionally physiologists (series 413), chemists (series 1320), geneticists (series 440), agricultural engineers (series GS-890), and other scientists in miscellaneous biological fields (series 401) are used. The microbiologists include immunologists, molecular biologists, and others. The diversity of training, expertise, and background of all scientist positions is critical for a successful multidisciplinary approach to animal health and protection research. With few exceptions, category 1 scientists have PhDs as their terminal educational degree; they usually complete one or two postdoctoral programs before being recruited to ARS. Research support staff provide individual scientists and research projects with technical assistance in the research process and include biological laboratory technicians or aids (category 7), postdoctoral research associates (category 2), support scientists (category 3), and animal caretakers.

For all programs in animal health and protection, the number of scientists employed by ARS increased from 177 to 282 from FY 1999 to FY 2004 (Figure 4-7). For animal health alone (NP 103), the increase has been a more modest 96 to 118 (Figure 4-7). For all ARS programs, the number of microbiologists (GS-403) increased from 138 to 191 from FY 1986 to FY 2001 while the number of veterinary medical officers (VMOs) (GS-701) decreased from a high of 64 in FY

FIGURE 4-7 ARS scientists in animal health and protection (STP 3.2) and animal health national program (NP 103). SOURCE: USDA-ARS, 2004c.

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
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FIGURE 4-8 Veterinary medical officers (VMOs) and microbiologists employed by ARS. SOURCE: USDA-ARS.

1986 to a low of 30 in FY 2001 (Figure 4-8). During FY 2001 and FY 2002, ARS faced the challenge of filling 13 and 11 vacant VMO positions, respectively. In FY 2003, the number of VMO positions rebounded to 45 (AAVMC, 2004). However, the number of positions that were vacant was not reported (AAVMC, 2003a). The increase in microbiologists reflects a changing need in the research program for more basic scientists in new disciplines of molecular biology, proteomics, and other biotechnology fields.

The decline in VMOs has reached a crisis in ARS and reflects both a difficulty in recruitment and retention of DVM with PhD degrees to those positions and a deemphasis on whole-animal and translational research to solve field health problems (Witter, 2005). In response to such a personnel crisis, ARS has developed a recruitment and retention policy to improve success in locating and hiring qualified VMOs by offering more competitive salaries, recruitment and retention bonuses, and student loan payments. The shortage of qualified VMO candidates has been in the specialty disciplines of pathology, infectious diseases, laboratory animal medicine, and microbiology (in the subspecialties of immunology, virology, and bacteriology). The ability of the recruitment and retention policy alone to meet the needs of ARS for VMOs is unknown.

Education

Although the ARS mission does not have an education component, employees—both scientists and support staff—are provided training opportunities to improve knowledge, skills, and abilities to complete their research tasks. In addi-

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
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tion, ARS provides cooperative research training for graduate students at CVMs and departments of veterinary science through mentorship, graduate-faculty committee participation, and cooperative research projects conducted at ARS facilities and with ARS scientists. In addition, some ARS employees have furthered their education and have become better equipped to accomplish their jobs by completion of PhD degree programs.

In FY 2003, ARS added a PhD training program for veterinarians in association with various CVMs with the goal of educating and training new VMOs with noncompetitive conversion to category 1 scientist positions after completion of the PhD program (USDA-ARS 2003c). The first position was filled at the University of Georgia early in FY 2004. Four positions will be filled in FY 2005 at the University of Kentucky, Iowa State University, Michigan State University, and Auburn University. The program will be expanded with eligibility of additional CVMs in the future. In exchange for the funding of the PhD educational program, the students will complete a 3-year research service period as scientists at an ARS laboratory after completion of the PhD degree program.

Financial Resources for Research

Funding for research in ARS comes primarily from funds appropriated directly by Congress for Current Research Information System (CRIS) research projects. For animal health and protection (STP code 3.2), direct appropriated funds have grown from $77 million in FY 1999 to $128 million in FY 2004 (Figure 4-9). For the animal health component (NP 103), the funding rose from $44 million FY 1999 while to $59 million in FY 2004 (Figure 4-9). The individual research locations

FIGURE 4-9 ARS funding for animal health and protection (STP 3.2) and in animal health national program (NP 103). SOURCE: USDA-ARS.

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
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receive 90% of the appropriated funds, and 10% is allocated for central and area administration. The CRIS project funds pay for all direct and indirect (overhead) research costs, including all salaries, local administrative costs, utilities, facility and equipment maintenance, research equipment, research animals, and supplies and materials. In addition to congressionally appropriated funding, individual scientists can obtain extramural funds to conduct complementary research studies that are not funded by the appropriation process. In FY 2004, ARS scientists in animal health and protection had extramural funding of $13.4 million in reimburseable agreements and $7.1 million in trust agreements. The trust-fund agreement involves cooperative research between ARS and another party; ARS is paid in advance to conduct research. Reimbursable agreements are similar, but the payment to ARS is in arrears. The trust agreements funded in 2004 included about $1.4 million in cooperative research and development agreements, (CRADAs), which are trust agreements between ARS and industrial partners. In addition, ARS, through cooperative research projects, has enhanced the research productivity of in-house projects by using and funding outside expertise principally at CVMs and colleges of agriculture. During FY 2004, ARS funded $18.3 million through specific cooperative agreements for STP code 3.2 (J. Stetka, USDA-ARS, personal communication, September 20, 2004).

Distribution of Resources and Disciplines

Research priorities are developed on the basis of input from stakeholders with a major contribution by commodity and professional associations and federal action agencies. Ideas for specific research projects originate from the national program staff (NPS) and each research location and are implemented through a coordinated effort. The placement of new and continuation of existing research projects at individual research locations depend on preexisting fiscal, physical, and personnel resources; scientific expertise; commodity focus of the program; and congressional mandates for funding. Large multidisciplinary research projects are coordinated between several locations through the NPS. This system has led to some congressionally mandated projects, not being placed despite the scientific need and the availability of appropriate expertise because of location or congressional districts. In other situations, much-needed research has gone unfunded despite preexisting expertise and scientific need because of the lack of congressional support.

The expertise needed to solve health and food-safety problems for a commodity is scattered among a few large locations and multiple small locations. Some of the small locations have inadequate scientific personnel and expertise, so a critical mass needed to solve the animal health problems efficiently does not exist. Such inefficiency has increased the cost of the research through duplication of facilities, equipment, and personnel. For example, several regional poultry health laboratories were built during the last century to solve regional health

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
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issues. Critical research needs in poultry health have shifted to solving national and international health issues. However, the preexistence of multiple dedicated poultry health laboratories at the Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory (Athens, GA), the Avian Disease and Oncology Laboratory (East Lansing, MI), the South Central Poultry Laboratory (Starkville, MI) and the Poultry Products and Safety Laboratory (Fayetteville, AR) and poultry health programs in large ARS laboratories at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (Beltsville, MD) and the National Animal Disease Center (Ames, IA) has perpetuated inefficient research programs in poultry health based on regions. Some projects are coordinated among laboratories to share expertise—for example, the Marek’s projects between Georgia and Michigan—but in general, the poultry facilities operate as separate entities. The USDA Strategic Planning Task Force has recommended consolidation of some poultry health programs (USDA, 1999).

Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service

CSREES was formed in 1994 through the Department Reorganization Act, combining the Cooperative State Research Service and the Extension Service (USDA, 2004f). The CSREES mission is to “advance knowledge for agriculture, the environment, human health and well-being, and communities through national program leadership and federal assistance.” CSREES is the primary agency in USDA that provides competitive and noncompetitive extramural funding for research, education, and extension programs and has long-term ties with the land-grant university system (Wagner, 2004). The CSREES links to land-grant universities include historically black colleges and universities, American Indian institutions, Hispanic and other universities, and other public and private organizations (USDA, 2004f). The 28 CVMs in the United States are among the institutions that receive support through formula funds, competitive grants, and other funding programs. For the competitive grants, each proposal undergoes a rigorous peer review by outside experts, Grant award periods range from 6 months to 3 years.

Infrastructure, Expertise, and Human Resources

CSREES does not directly conduct research, and it has no laboratory or facility infrastructure for such endeavors. Facilities for administration of programs are in Washington, DC, and national program leaders (NPLs) and support staffs administrator the grants programs. Scientists with experience in research, higher education, or extension programs fill the NPL positions (Wagner, 2004). Such NPLs are expected to represent the agency and present policy in their fields of scientific expertise. For the animal protection program, five veterinarians are employed as NPL, and a person is being sought to fill a sixth position.

CSREES is responsible for CRIS, USDA’s reporting system for information financial, administrative, and research progress on current research projects in agri-

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
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culture, forestry, and food and nutrition. The CRIS program is used by ARS, SAESs, the state land-grant university system, and other cooperating state institutions.

All research sponsored by USDA is subject to annual review and mandatory CRIS reporting. In the Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998, Congress addressed the need for review of research facilities: “The Secretary shall continue to review periodically each operating agricultural research facility constructed in whole or in part with federal funds … pursuant to criteria established by the Secretary to ensure that a comprehensive research capacity is maintained” (USDA 1999, p. ix). This is a valuable tool for management of USDA research programs and serves as a tool for information access and coordination of research programs.

Education

Because of the linkages between research and educational programs at universities (on campus or extension), CSREES is in a unique position to support development of knowledge and its dissemination and implementation. Some of the funding is directed toward education grants to Alaska native-serving and native Hawaiian-serving universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, tribal colleges, special international study thesis/dissertation research travel allowance, and food and agricultural science national needs graduate and postgraduate fellowships. This is a critical link with the education process at universities to address shortages of human resources in research through their support of programs to educate and train the next generation of animal health researchers.

Financial Resources for Research

The core of CSREES competitive grant funding is provided through the NRI grants program (D. Morris, USDA-CSREES, personal communication, December 10, 2004). The funding for all fields of agricultural research was flat at $100-110 million per year in FY 1999-2002 but was increased to around $150 million in the last two funding cycles and to $180 million in 2005 (Figure 4-10).

Examination of all CSREES research funding that is targeted for animal health and protection shows that various types of specific grant programs other than NRI have provided valuable support, including Small Business Innovation Research, special research grants, the National Integrated Food Safety Initiative, Hatch funds, animal health and disease (1433) funds, Evan-Allen funds (historical black land-grant universities and Tuskegee University), McIntire-Stennis funds (forestry schools) and biotechnology risk assessment grants.

For FY 1999-2003, a broader analysis of research in animal systems that included reproduction, nutrition, management, genetics and genomes, physiology, and animal health and welfare showed funding (RPA# 301-315) of $75-91.9 million (Table 4-15). Funding of research in four major divisions in animal

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
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FIGURE 4-10 Total NRI funding to states for FY 1999 to FY 2004. SOURCE: P. Johnson, USDA-CSREES, personal communication, January 4, 2005.

protection (RPA#311-315) ranged from $29.8 to $40.4 million (Table 4-14); they were animal diseases; internal and external parasites and pests; toxic chemicals, poison plants and other hazards affecting animals; and animal welfare, well-being, and protection. The largest sources of CSREES funds for animal protection research have been the NRI and Hatch funds, which account for 53-69% of the funds per year (FY 1999-2003).

A review of FY 2004 and FY 2005 funding of research related to animal protection was similar to that in FY 1999-2003 with some moderate increases for animal health (1433), food safety, critical issues, agrosecurity, and the Food and

TABLE 4-14 CSREES Research Funding by Grant Category for Animal Protection in RPA#311-315, FY 1999-2003 (thousands)

Grant Category

FY 1999

FY 2000

FY 2001

FY 2002

FY 2003

Hatch

$7,979

$9,275

$8,435

$8,201

$7,680

McIntire-Stennis

52

69

76

106

112

Evan-Allen

826

1,402

1,323

995

627

Animal Health (1433)

3,706

3,990

3,847

3,664

3,639

Special research grants

1,351

2,238

2,185

2,856

3,427

National Research Initiative

12,753

7,941

10,249

17,911

12,512

Small Business Innovation Research

735

$500

855

728

1,117

Other CSREES

2,447

5,414

8,335

5,963

3,829

Total CSREES

29,848

30,829

35,305

40,424

32,943

SOURCE: USDA-CSREES, 2004.

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
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TABLE 4-15 CSREES Funding in Selected Fields for FY 2004, FY 2005, and Proposed in President’s FY 2006 Budget (thousands)

Program Area

FY 2004

FY 2005

FY 2006 (Proposed)

Animal Health (1433)

$4,532,000

$5,057,000

$0

Minor Use Animal Drugs

526,000

583,000

588,000

Higher Education Agrosecurity

0

0

5,000,000

Critical Issues

444,000

1,102,000a

0

Food Safety

13,305,000

14,847,000

0

Food and Agriculture Defense Initiative

7,953,000

8,928,000b

30,000,000

aFunds to be used equally between animal and plant diseases.

bThese funds will support the National Plant Diagnostic Laboratory Network, the National Animal Health Laboratory Network, and the Extension Disaster Education Network.

SOURCE: Wagner, 2004.

Agricultural Defense Initiative (Table 4-15). However, the proposed budget has eliminated funding for Animal Health (1433), Critical Issues, and Food Safety. Funds from the National Integrated Food Initiative are proposed to be reallocated to another food-safety program. Similarly, some funds from the Hatch Act funding of agricultural experiment stations are redirected to NRI for competitive grants, so the Hatch Act is reduced from $178,707,000 in FY 2005 to a proposed $89,354,000 in FY 2006.

One of the CSREES programs is targeted only to animal protection, that is, the USDA 1433 animal health formula-funds program used for animal health and disease research. The program was created specifically to provide resources for research on methods for detection, prevention technologies, agent characterization, and dose-response relationships for high-consequence agents in the food supply. Funds are distributed to states on the basis of animal inventory and research capacity. The nation’s agricultural experiment stations and CVMs have the necessary expertise and infrastructure to respond effectively to this critical need.

A 1989 National Research Council study addressed the needs for research in agricultural, food, and environmental systems (NRC, 1989). The study identified the need for investment in human capital and the scientific knowledge base to maintain and expand the US national and international markets, create new products or new uses for existing products, and protect animal health and food safety (NRC, 1989). A central part of the recommendation was the creation of NRI (which would be a new federally funded competitive grants program at that time) and a proposed increase in USDA competitive research funding from $50 to $550 million per year. The proposed funding would be new money, not from redirection or reallocation of existing research and education funds, such as formula funds and ARS in-house research funds. However,

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
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the maximal appropriation for the NRI program was $154 million in FY 2004, and that funding was for all fields of research in agricultural, food, and environmental systems (Figure 4-10).

Other Subagencies

Several additional USDA agencies affect and are affected by research in veterinary medicine and associated sciences. FSIS is an action subagency whose mission is to ensure that the nation’s commercial supply of meat, poultry, and egg products is safe, wholesome, and correctly labeled and packaged (USDA, 2004c). FSIS does not have a direct mission of research, which is the responsibility of ARS (intramural) and CSREES (extramural). However, FSIS has initiated and completed some limited in-house development and validation of diagnostic tests for use in its food-safety service laboratories. In addition, it has on rare occasions partnered with ARS, FDA, APHIS, and universities to provide small sums for emergency special projects in food safety. In addition, FSIS depends on veterinarians trained in food-safety inspection for its core food-safety mission. For research information and results, FSIS depends on ARS- and CSREES-funded universities and other institutions. Current funding at ARS and CSREES for veterinary research is insufficient to address expanding food-safety issues, including Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, Avian Influenza, Salmonella, and toxic residues (N. Bauer, FSIS, personal communication on December 17, 2004).

APHIS is responsible for protecting and promoting US agricultural health, administering the Animal Welfare Act, and carrying out wildlife-damage management activities (USDA, 2004d). In APHIS, Veterinary Services protects and improves the health, quality, and marketability of our nation’s animals, animal products, and veterinary biologics by preventing, controlling, or eliminating animal diseases and monitoring and promoting animal health and productivity (USDA, 2004e). Research is not a direct element of the APHIS mission, but some research is necessary to fulfill its action-agency mission. For example, some research on wildlife control is conducted at the National Wildlife Research Center, Fort Collins, CO, and some research on risk assessment and surveillance is conducted at the Center for Animal Health and Epidemiology, Fort Collins, CO. ARS- and CSREES-funded universities and other institutions conduct most of the research necessary for APHIS to fulfill its mission. ARS and APHIS meet each year to develop a research priority list for APHIS. APHIS relies heavily on veterinarians in its work force. It provides small amounts of research funding for special emergency projects directly to ARS or university researchers—less than $300,000 per year (J. Korshun, APHIS, personal communication. December 10, 2004).

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
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CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION

Veterinary scientists play a critical role in the research capabilities of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where most are employed as epidemiologists and are associated with applied or field research directed toward the public-health mission of the agency.

Infrastructure

CDC comprises 12 centers, institutes, and offices each with facilities dedicated to a specific mission; each unit responds individually in its field of expertise. For example, the National Center for Infectious Diseases (NCID), which depends heavily on expertise in veterinary science, is dedicated to “prevent illness, disability and death caused by infectious diseases in the United States and around the world.” Global needs to combat terrorism and the resulting expansion of the mission of CDC implies an expanded need for veterinary scientists (AAVMC, 2003b; Hoblet et al., 2003; Nielsen, 2003; NRC, 2003a; NRC, 2004a)

External self-standing and collaborative programs are funded by CDC. The Arthropod-borne and Infectious Disease Laboratory (AIDL) at Colorado State University has 30 researchers directed to prevention, diagnosis, and control of mosquito-borne encephalitis, yellow fever, dengue, hantaviruses, parasitic disease, and Lyme disease. AIDL cooperates both with CDC and with laboratories in USDA (see http://www.cvmbs.colostate.cvmbs/aidl.html). CDC also funds small cooperative programs that include a companion animal syndromic surveillance program with Banfield Pet Hospital and Purdue University.

In 2000, CDC established the Specialty Centers for Public Health Preparedness Program, a national effort focused on improving the capacity of frontline public-health staff to address public-health threats in academic centers. Its mission is to provide public-health practice curricula, training to support preparedness for bioterrorism, disease-outbreak investigation, and other public-health emergencies. The Center for Food Security and Public Health in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University is designated a CDC Specialty Center for Public Health Preparedness for Veterinary Medicine and Zoonotic Diseases—the only center so dedicated to veterinary medicine (see http://www.cfsph.iastate.edu/).

Expertise and Human Resources

Veterinarians and other veterinary scientists in CDC work in disciplines as diverse as environmental toxicology, environmental health tracking, zoonosis surveillance, occupational safety and health, laboratory animal training, and models of animal sentinels for ecosystem health events (Table 4-16). Veterinarians are assigned as leaders and team members for such programs as NCID, the National

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
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TABLE 4-16 Veterinarians at CDC

Discipline or Department

Number of Veterinarians

State health departments

6

CDC: Emerging infectious disease

36

CDC: Occupational safety and health

7

CDC: ADIS/STC

6

Immunizations

4

Environmental health

5

Othera

5

aAssignment of veterinarians in other disciplines or departments: global health, laboratory safety, and terrorism, three each; health statistics one; and reproductive health, one.

SOURCE: Pappaioanou et al. 2003.

Center for Environmental Health, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS), and Public Health Emergency Preparedness. Of those, NCID is particularly attuned to the critical need for a strong interface of CDC with veterinary science. NCID has created a new position, associate director for veterinary medicine and public health, which is dedicated to enhancing partnerships among the human and veterinary medical, research, and public-health communities. The mission of NCID is accomplished by conducting epidemiological and laboratory research and surveillance, epidemic investigations, training, and public-education programs to develop, evaluate, and promote prevention and control strategies for infectious diseases.

Recognizing the contributions of veterinarians and veterinary scientists to public health in the United States, Julie Gerberding, director of CDC, stated that “veterinarians are important team members in public health.” She has identified a critical need to replace losses of such scientists in the next decade. An estimated 200 veterinarians will be required. In 2004, 99 veterinarians were in the commissioned Public Health Corps. Of those, about 50% were eligible to retire by 2006.

Considering the global threats of emerging zoonotic disease, threats to food safety, and bioterrorism, there is an unprecedented demand for the expertise of veterinary scientists in research in the public-health workforce. Research skills and experience in problem-solving, use of quantitative and qualitative analytical methods, preventive large-population medicine, field epidemiology, public-health surveillance, cost-effective therapies for production medicine, and global communication are required for effective work of teams of professionals drawn from diverse biomedical fields. “With their broad training in the health and management of multiple species and the environment, in herd health, and in a populations base approach to problem solving, veterinarians are uniquely suited to participate in solving problems across the public health spectrum” (Pappaioanou et al. 2003).

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
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Educational Resources

Training in CDC is centered in EIS fellowships and graduate stipends that support veterinarians. EIS offers a 2-year postgraduate intensive program of training for health professionals in epidemiology and public health for 60-80 physicians, veterinarians, and doctoral-degree professionals in related fields. Veterinarians applying to the program must have a master of public health or equivalent degree or have demonstrated public-health experience or course work. A review of EIS alumni records from a the period 1951 through 2002 revealed that veterinarians made up 195 of 2,629 EIS officers, only 7% (Pappaioanou et al. 2003) (Figure 4-11 and Table 4-17). The mean percentage of veterinarians in EIS classes each year was 6.7% (range, 0-29.7%). The type of veterinarians accepted into EIS has changed over 51 years in several ways:

  • The first veterinary EIS officer in a minority group was accepted in 1971, and the proportion in minority groups increased to 15% during 2000-2002.

  • The proportion of veterinarians having one or more graduate degrees increased from 15% in 1951-1959 to 88% during 1990-1999.

  • Assignments of students after completion of the course has shifted from 64% assigned to state health departments in 1950-1959 (with 27% to regional rabies or general field stations and 9% to headquarters positions) to 62% assigned to headquarters positions in 1990-1999 (38% to state health departments).

  • Veterinarians entering directly from veterinary school decreased from 64% during 1951-1959 to 3% during 1990-1999.

In the 1990s, 18 (26%) of veterinarians entering the EIS program came from

FIGURE 4-11 Veterinarians and nonveterinarians participating in Epidemic Intelligence Service program, 1951–2004. SOURCE: Pappaioanou et al. 2003.

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
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TABLE 4-17 Veterinarians in Epidemic Intelligence Service,: 1951–2004.

 

Decade

1951–59

1960–69

1970–79

1980–89

1990–99

2000–01

Number of veterinarians

33

34

13

33

69

29

CDC: Infectious disease

2

5

9

11

30

14

CDC: Environment

1

7

6

5

CDC: Other

1

8

2

3

7

Regional field post

9

3

State health department

21

7

2

12

26

10

SOURCE: Pappaioanou et al. 2003.

a post-DVM-graduate degree program, 13 (19%) from academic positions, 25 (36%) from positions with the federal government, five (7%) from state or local government, four (6%) from clinical practice, and one (1%) from a nongovernment organization. To increase trained epidemiologists, APHIS signed an agreement with the EIS program at CDC in 1984 that dedicated two positions each year for veterinarians who would return to APHIS for employment. Similar programs were arranged for the Air Force and Army in 1994; and in 2001 USDA signed a similar agreement with FSIS.

The number of veterinarians in CDC’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry has grown since 2001. In August 2002, there were 75 veterinarians, of whom 42 (56%) were graduates of the EIS program. Eleven veterinarians held program-management positions, one was a division director, four were associate directors of divisions or offices, and four were branch chiefs (Pappaioanou, et al. 2003 p. 389, col. 1, par. 5).

Of the 118 veterinarians that entered the EIS in the period 1977-2000, 84 are employed by federal, state, or local government agencies (Pappaioanou et al. 2003). Of the 69 veterinarians that entered federal employment, most work with CDC (30), USDA (16), and DOD (10); the remainder work in FDA, NIH, the DHHS Office of the Secretary, and the Environmental Protection Agency. State agencies employed 22 veterinarians, and three are in local agricultural or health departments. Sixteen post-EIS veterinarians are employed in nongovernment positions: academic programs seven, industry three, and nonprofit organizations six (Pappaioanou et al. 2003).

Under the CDC program of emerging-infectious-disease laboratory fellowships, college graduates are recruited for 1-year assignments and postdoctoral scientists for 2-year assignments in public-health laboratories. The intramural program is effective and responsive to national needs. CDC has an established competitive-grants program that is open to veterinary scientists in the United States; it emphasizes zoonotic disease, food safety, occupational health, parasitic disease, global health, and laboratory animal medicine.

In the professional curriculum, core courses in veterinary public health, epidemiology, and preventive medicine vary widely among veterinary schools in the United

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
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States. Veterinary schools with specific courses indicate a median of 60 hours in these disciplines with contact time ranging from 30 to 150 hours; advanced training was available in the subjects at 79% of 27 schools in 2004 (Riddle et al., 2004). There is a consensus that high-quality postgraduate training is the key to increasing the supply of veterinarians and veterinary scientists in the biomedical-sciences workforce (NRC 2004a) and that the absence of commitment by CVMs, which do not prepare veterinary students adequately for careers in other than private clinical practice, should be corrected by changes in recruitment of applicants and in curricula (NRC 2004a).

Financial Resources for Research

CDC has direct appropriations from the federal budget directed to the mission of regulatory public health, but research on risk-analysis systems, on models of disease, and in other applied fields is critical to its mission. Financial resources for collaborative programs directed by CDC come from several sources. The Laboratory Response Network is a classified system of laboratories with diagnostic capabilities that are dedicated to identification and confirmation of specialized agents useful to bioterrorists. At least 75% of category A infectious agents are zoonotic so strategies to control and prevent disease must include the expanded databases on animal disease that are available from the National Animal Health Laboratory Network and other veterinary diagnostic systems. Two surveillance projects are dedicated to food safety: FoodNet, a network of CDC, USDA, FDA, and nine state institutions; and PulseNet, an international network of public-health laboratories for typing and electronic database comparisons of foodborne bacteria (King 2003). Veterinary institutions’ access to and participation in collaborative surveillance projects is critical, and field research is essential for currency in these programs.

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

DOD uses animals in research, development, testing, and evaluation programs critical to military operations in defense of our national interests (Box 4-1). Most research programs are directed to health protection of forces operating in various hazardous environments around the world. Development of vaccines, drugs, and therapies for protection of service members and their families has high priority. Other high-priority activities are improved medical care of battlefield casualties and defense against chemical and biological warfare. At the end of the cold war, Congress directed DOD to oversee medical research benefiting the civilian population. As a result, considerable research is directed toward breast, prostaic, and ovarian cancer and other important human diseases. However, most of that research is done through an extramural program of DOD. Animal research programs not directly related to human health include the study of hazard sensors, of learning and memory, and of improved use of working animals, including dogs

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
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BOX 4-1
End Points of DOD Directed Animal Research

Clinical Investigations

  • Development and testing of HIV vaccines.

  • Better understanding of the development, diagnosis, and treatment of colon carcinomas.

  • Identification of induced antibody responses to vaccine development.

  • Treatment and prevention of hemorrhagic shock.

  • Treatment of acute lung injury.

  • Treatment of advanced prostaic cancer.

  • Treatment and prevention of neuropsychiatric disorders.

  • Determination of active mechanisms affecting altered fluid handling in alcohol exposure.

  • Skin transplantation.

Medical

  • Development and evaluation of malaria vaccines.

  • Antigen detection during vaccine development.

  • Development of meningococcal and anthrax vaccines.

  • Mechanisms of dermal tissue damage during lesion development.

  • Methods for inducing controlled hypothermia.

  • Evaluation of acute effects of laser exposure.

  • Mechanisms of occupational and chronic fatigue.

  • Quantification of munitions compound toxicity on wildlife.

  • Development of lymphoma.

  • Blast overpressure exposures.

  • Development of active topical skin protectants against chemical-warfare agents.

  • Determination of molecular mechanisms, detection, and treatment of breast, prostaic, and ovarian cancers and neurofibromatosis.

Nonmedical

  • Updating of national and international laser safety standards.

  • Identification of environmental and human health risks.

  • Developing methods and technologies for toxicity testing.

  • Developing preventive measures for environmental toxins.

  • Developing biomonitoring systems.

  • Evaluating toxic hazards of occupational chemical exposure.

  • Training.

  • Graduate medical training.

  • Training of surgical residents in critical skills.

  • Advanced trauma life-support and medical-emergency training.

  • Veterinary personnel medical-emergency training.

  • Training for research and animal care personnel to improve handling techniques and protocol procedure performance.

SOURCE: DOD 2001

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
×

and marine mammals. Veterinarians are essential to all components of this work in both principal-investigator and support roles.

Infrastructure

According to the DOD Animal Use Profiles, the US Army accounts for about 45% of DOD intramural animal use, the Navy 30%, the Air Force 5%, and other DOD 20%. Total animal use by DOD declined by about 40% from 1994 to 1996 and has since remained steady (DOD, 2001). All intramural DOD laboratories engaging in animal research are accredited by the American Association for the Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care. Telephone interviews with veterinary officers in all branches of the service revealed a general satisfaction with the animal research infrastructure, given the current scope of biomedical research conducted in the military.

Expertise

Most veterinarians involved in research in DOD are board-certified in laboratory animal medicine or pathology or have the PhD degrees in physiology, pharmacology, toxicology, or microbiology, reflecting their research leadership and support roles in the various DOD programs. The US Army employs 418 veterinarians (R.G. Webb, Veterinary Corps Branch, personal communication, March 31, 2005), more than any other uniformed service. Of them, 29 are diplomates in laboratory animal medicine, 29 are diplomates in veterinary pathology, and 19 are DVM-PhDs.

Human Resources

AVMA’s Veterinary Market Statistics (AVMA 2004c) show 474 veterinarians employed in the uniformed services as of December 2004. We were unable to determine the number of veterinarians involved in investigator or support roles in research, nor to determine the number of nonveterinarians contributing to animal research programs.

Financial Resources

Financial resources for medical research and related nonmedical research are relatively unchanged in recent years and have been directed mostly toward chemical and biological defense and naturally occurring infectious disease. Thus, animal use will continue to be important in DOD. Research for the improvement of human health with animal models suggests a continued need for veterinarian involvement, although veterinary research for the sake of animals will probably not be a major focus in DOD.

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
×

FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION

“The mission of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is, in part, to protect the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, and medical devices. The FDA is also responsible for advancing the public health by helping to speed innovations that make medicines more effective, safer, and more affordable; and helping the public get the accurate, science-based information they need to use medicines to improve their health” (FDA, 2004).

Organizational Structure of FDA

FDA is organized into eight main offices and centers—the Office of the Commissioner, Office of Regulatory Affairs, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM), and National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR). CVM is the most relevant to this study. Some other centers also conduct veterinary research, but it is not their main focus. For example, many research programs NCTR use animal models to assess the toxicity and carcinogenic risk associated with specific products, such as drugs, cosmetics, biologics, food, and veterinary products. NCTR, in conjunction with CVM, is also studying antimicrobial resistance in relation to food-producing and non-food-producing animals. However, tearing apart research in those centers that is peculiar to veterinary science would be impossible. Therefore, this discussion focuses on the CVM.

CVM is a consumer-protection organization whose core functions include animal-drug review, compliance-related actions, postapproval monitoring, and animal-feed safety. The staff are organized into five offices: the Office of the Director, Office of New Animal Drug Evaluation, Office of Surveillance and Compliance, Office of Management, and Office of Research. The Office of Research conducts basic and applied research in broad fields of analytical chemistry, pharmacology, toxicology, immunology, microbiology, animal nutrition, and residue chemistry to support regulatory decision-making by the CVM (FDA, 2004).

Infrastructure

The Office of Research is housed in a state-of-the-art research complex consisting of offices, laboratories, animal facilities, and animal pastures in Laurel, MD. The facilities include radioactive laboratory, mass-spectrometry laboratory, analytical-instrument rooms, and animal-research buildings that can accommodate beef cattle, lactating dairy cattle, calves, swine, sheep, dogs, poultry, and a variety of aquatic species (FDA, 2001).

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
×

TABLE 4-18 Annual Budget of Office of Research in the Center of Veterinary Medicine of the Food and Drug Administration, FY 2001–FY 2005

Fiscal Year

Budget for Premarket Research

Budget for Postmarket Research

Total

2001

$2,816,201

$5,466,743

$8,282,944

2002

3,102,544

6,022,585

9,125,129

2003

2,977,380

5,779,620

8,757,000

2004

2,666,620

5,176,380

7,843,000

2005

2,728,500

5,296,500

8,025,000

Educational Resources

The CVM initiated its Student Summer Internship Program in 1997. The program provides training with a stipend to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students with the goal of stimulating the students’ interests in pursuing careers important to the center. About 70 interns have participated in the program since its initiation.

Financial Resources for Research

Because the Center of Veterinary Medicine’s role includes research and other regulatory activities, the committee discusses only the budget of its Office of Research, which bears direct relevance to veterinary research. In support of the premarket or drug-review function of FDA, the Office of Research conducts studies in standardization of test methods, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, and antibiotic resistance. The office develops analytical methods and evaluates screening tests for detection of drug residues in imported and domestic food products. It also conducts postapproval monitoring of retail meats for drug-resistant foodborne pathogens under the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System and molecular typing of those pathogens as part of the national PulseNet program. The budget of the Office of Research for FY 2001-FY 2005 is shown in Table 4-18. In addition to in-house research, the Center of Veterinary Medicine funds a small number of extramural grants and cooperative agreements; this funding has been declining in the last 5 years (Table 4-19).

NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

NSF, an independent agency of the government, was established in 1951. Its mission is “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; and to secure the national defense.” Unlike CDC, FDA, and USDA, NSF does not conduct laboratory research, but it initiates and supports scientific and engineering research through grants and contracts.

NSF is structured as seven disciplinary directorates: Biological Sciences; Computer, Information Science and Engineering; Education and Human Re-

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
×

TABLE 4-19 Extramural Grants and Cooperative Agreements Funded by Center of Veterinary Medicine, FY 2000–FY2005

Fiscal Year

Number of Grants and Cooperative Agreements

2000

10

2001

8

2002

8

2003

4

2004

3

sources; Engineering; Geosciences; Mathematics and Physical Sciences; and Social, Behavior and Economic Sciences. Although the Directorate for Biological Sciences may be the most relevant to veterinary research, other directorates may also provide funding for veterinary research. For example, the Directorate for Engineering supports research in biomedical engineering. The Directorate for Education funds the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program, which aims to develop models of graduate education and training that emphasize collaborative research among multiple disciplines (Box 4-2). Veterinary researchers can also seek funding from other crosscutting programs that span the NSF directorates (Zamer, 2005).

BOX 4-2
An Opportunity for Development of Scientific Expertise Needed in Veterinary Science Research

“The Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program [was] initiated in 1997 and [comprised about] 125 award sites [in 2004]. The IGERT program has been developed to meet the challenges of educating U.S. Ph.D. scientists, engineers, and educators with the interdisciplinary backgrounds, deep knowledge in chosen disciplines, and technical, professional, and personal skills to become in their own careers the leaders and creative agents for change. The program is intended to catalyze a cultural change in graduate education, for students, faculty, and institutions, by establishing innovative new models for graduate education and training in a fertile environment for collaborative research that transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries. It is also intended to facilitate greater diversity in student participation and preparation, and to contribute to the development of a diverse, globally-engaged science and engineering workforce.

“IGERT is an NSF-wide endeavor involving the Directorates for Biological Sciences (BIO), Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), Education and Human Resources (EHR), Engineering (ENG), Geosciences (GEO), Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS), Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE), the Office of Polar Programs (OPP), and the Office of International Science and Engineering (INT).

SOURCE: NSF, 2004.

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
×

TABLE 4-20 Awards by Each Agency under joint NIH-NSF Program in Ecology of Infectious Diseases, FY 2000–2004

 

Awardsa

FY 2000

FY 2002

FY 2003

FY 2004

Awards by FICb

3

2

3

2

1

0

0

0

Awards by NIEHSc

1

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

Awards by NIAIDd

3

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

Awards by NSFe

5

3

7

3

7

1

6

4

Total

12

 

11

 

8

 

6

 

aNumbers in right column under each fiscal year numbers of awards that involve veterinarians.

bFogarty International Center, NIH.

cNational Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH.

dNational Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH.

eNSF.

SOURCE: J. Rosenthal, Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health and NSF 2004.

In FY 2000, NSF and NIH announced the multiyear interagency program on ecology of infectious diseases. Because many emerging diseases are zoonoses or vector-borne diseases and many are linked to environmental changes, the agencies recognized that a concerted effort among experts in different disciplines was needed to understand the emergence and transmission of infectious diseases. The mission of the program is to develop predictive models for the dynamics of infectious diseases. The program has funded 37 interdisciplinary research projects in FY 2000-2004, many of which involve veterinarians (Table 4-20). It has brought together researchers in different disciplines (for example, veterinarians, ecologists, and virologists) and illustrates the benefits of interdisciplinary studies and interagency coordination.

Although NSF supports research on animals in various programs, it does not support research with disease-related goals, nor research on animal models for studying diseases or testing of drugs. Some veterinary researchers are supported by NSF awards, but no NSF program is targeted to veterinary science (Zamer, 2005). In FY 2002-2003, 16 of the 28 CVMs reported collective expenditures of about $3.5 million on 48 research projects supported by NSF. Most of the CVMs expending NSF funds had one or two projects supported by NSF, and one reported that it had 14 NSF-funded projects. Amounts of NSF funds expended at individual CVMs ranged from below $5,000 to over $770,000. Because NSF does not track the number and amount of grants awarded for veterinary research, the committee cannot assess the trends of NSF funding for veterinary research (S. Scheiner, The National Science Foundation, personal communication on July 12, 2004).

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
×

PRIVATE-SECTOR RESEARCH RESOURCES

The private sector conducts considerable research in veterinary science, but the resources, specific activities, and outcomes are not easily determined. Private businesses do not release much of the information that is available on the other research venues discussed. Nevertheless, the animal health and human pharmaceutical and biologics industries, companies that manufacture feeds and pet foods, private animal diagnostic laboratories, contract animal research laboratories, laboratory animal suppliers, and other private enterprises are major participants.

The Animal Health Institute (AHI), an organization that represents 16 manufacturers of animal health products, reported that its members spent $516 million in 2003 and about $511 million in 2002 on R&D for products registered or intended for registration in the United States. Large portions of those funds ($439 million in 2003) were directed toward development of new products and the remainder to further studies of existing products. About $65 and $72 million were directed to studies outside the companies’ internal R&D budgets in 2002 and 2003, respectively (Animal Health Institute, 2004). It is not known what proportion of the reported expenditures was directed to CVMs or other academic entities. Other companies are active in animal health research but are not members of AHI. The human-pharmaceutical industry spends billions on research, but the amount that is related to research in veterinary science is not known. Some products originally intended for application in human beings become useful for animals instead. In addition, many of the drugs used regularly in companion-animal veterinary practice are directly from human-drug formularies.

Private veterinary diagnostic laboratories are potential sources of research data because they receive many tissue and clinical laboratory samples from veterinary patients, especially companion animals. Research on animal nutrition is conducted by companies that produce pet foods, nutritional supplements, and other animal feeds. Indeed, considerable research on nutrition of companion animals is conducted by pet-food companies. Suppliers of laboratory animals conduct research on the genetics, nutrition, and welfare of laboratory animals. Private foundations support research laboratories that conduct animal research. Some contract research laboratories also conduct animal research. However, the committee was unable to quantify any of the resources devoted to those activities because of lack of data.

Suggested Citation:"4 Resources for Veterinary Research." National Research Council. 2005. Critical Needs for Research in Veterinary Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11366.
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Research in veterinary science is critical for the health and well-being of animals, including humans. Food safety, emerging infectious diseases, the development of new therapies, and the possibility of bioterrorism are examples of issues addressed by veterinary science that have an impact on both human and animal health. However, there is a lack of scientists engaged in veterinary research. Too few veterinarians pursue research careers, and there is a shortage of facilities and funding for conducting research. This report identifies questions and issues that veterinary research can help to address, and discusses the scientific expertise and infrastructure needed to meet the most critical research needs. The report finds that there is an urgent need to provide adequate resources for investigators, training programs, and facilities involved in veterinary research.

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