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Eleven Veterinary Students Win Top Awards at Morris Animal Foundation's Annual Research Competition

DENVER, July 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Eleven innovative veterinary students from around the world were honored for research projects that improved the lives of companion animals and wildlife. The students, whose projects were funded through Morris Animal Foundation's (MAF) Veterinary Student Scholars (VSS) program, presented posters of their results at MAF's annual meeting in June. Members of MAF's esteemed scientific advisory boards judged the competition. More than 30 veterinary students participated in the third annual VSS competition. Winners received awards between $500 and $5,000 each. To learn more about these projects, go to


"The future of veterinary medicine depends on these outstanding students and their fellow classmates," said Patricia N. Olson, DVM, PhD, MAF president and CEO. "By giving students the opportunity to work on MAF-funded projects while they are in veterinary school, we hope to encourage them to consider a career in animal health research."

Following are the winners of the 2009 competition:

Ballard Award for Companion Animals, $5,000 each (tie)

Mia Lieberman, University of California-Davis

D07EQ-622: "Isolation and Purification of Lytic Bacteriophages Against Streptococcus equi subspecies equi"

Stephanie Montgomery, North Carolina State University

D07CA-627: "Development of a Genomic Assay to Profile Archival Canine Hemangiosarcomas"

Ballard Award for Wildlife, $5,000 each (tie)

Samantha Haskins, University of Illinois

D07ZO-647: "Do Immune Responses to Helicobacter Change Over Time in Captivity in Wild-Caught Namibian Cheetahs?"

Michelle Madonia, University of Illinois

D07ZO-610: "Wildlife-Human Interactions and Zoonotic Disease in Kabarole District, Uganda: The Case of Monkeypox"

2nd Place for Companion Animals, $2,500 each (tie)

Courtney Varney, University of Florida

D07EQ-609: "Cardiovascular Effects of N-Butylscopolammonium Bromide in Horses"

Aimee Jalkanen, The Ohio State University

D07CA-616: "MicroRNA Expression Profiling of Canine Osteosarcoma"

Blaire Holland, North Carolina State University

D07EQ-626: "Luteal Function and Ovulation in Mares Treated with PGF2a During Early and Mid-Diestrus"

Kimberly Ann Bridges, Western University of Health Sciences

D07MS-614: "Molecular Evaluation of Canine and Feline Parvoviruses in Southern California"

2nd Place for Wildlife, $2,500

Laura Waring, Royal Veterinary College

D07ZO-636: The Effect of Population Density on African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) Endoparasite Burden: A Study of Three South African National Parks

3rd Place for Wildlife, $1,500

Santiago Diaz, University of Florida

D07ZO-607: "Use of Elephant-Specific Monoclonal Antibodies and Recombinant Antigens of Mycobacterium tuberculosis to Improve an ELISA Test for Elephants"

IMPACT Award, $500

Ana Iris Mota Torres, University of Veracruz (Mexico)

D07FE-606: "Feral Cats: Trap-Neuter-Mark and Return Program"

About Morris Animal Foundation: Morris Animal Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit established in 1948, is dedicated to funding animal health research that protects, treats and cures companion animals, horses and wildlife. MAF has been at the forefront of funding breakthrough research studies benefiting animals on all seven continents. MAF has its headquarters in Denver. Charity Navigator ranks MAF as a four-star charity, the highest rating. MAF is a BBB Wise Giving Alliance Charity Seal Holder. For more information, call 800.243.2345 or visit

    Media Contact:
    Tina M. Martinez

SOURCE Morris Animal Foundation
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