2007 Veterinary Memorial Fund research grants awarded

The Veterinary Memorial Fund statue sits in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

The Veterinary Memorial Fund statue sits in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

BLACKSBURG, Va., Oct. 22, 2008 – Almost $70,000 in clinical research grants have been awarded to four principal investigators in the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech through the 2008-09 distribution of Veterinary Memorial Fund research grants.

Founded in 1984 by the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association and the veterinary college and recently joined by the Maryland Veterinary Medical Association, the Veterinary Memorial Fund is a program that helps bereaved pet-owners deal with their grief and raises money to improve the quality of healthcare available for future generations of companion animals.

Proposals were selected for funding on the basis of contemporary clinical importance by a committee comprised of veterinarians in private practice and veterinary college faculty-members.

“This program serves as a good example of the translational medicine research programs we are building throughout the college,” said Dr. Gerhardt Schurig, dean of the veterinary college. “Working closely with practitioners in the field to identify current animal healthcare challenges, we are able to focus the power of university research in a way that produces solutions… quickly and effectively.”

Professors and grant requests that have been funded include the following

One of the principal benefits of the Veterinary Memorial Fund is the way it links community veterinarians around the state with college researchers in a way that directly serves animals and their owners, Schurig noted.

When a companion animal passes away, the practitioner makes a financial donation to the fund. The dean of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine then sends a letter of condolence announcing the memorial to the bereaved.

Then a team of private practitioners and college researchers work together to identify the kind of research that needs to be done to address urgent veterinary healthcare issues in the field, proposals are evaluated and funded, and the work is completed, Schurig said.

The fund is one of the oldest such funds in the nation. Since its inception, it has raised almost $1 million that has been used to fund more than 100 clinical research programs.