A veterinary student conducting research into stem cell repair, another studying the use of CAR T cells against canine B cell lymphoma, and a student with an interest in equine neuromuscular disorders and protein aggregate diseases are being recognized for their efforts—and the promise they hold—by Boehringer Ingelheim’s Animal Health business.
As part of its Veterinary Scholar Program, each year Boehringer Ingelheim presents awards for exemplary research projects. This year’s winners were recognized this weekend at the National Veterinary Scholars Symposium held in Boston.
The 2019 Boehringer Ingelheim Veterinary Graduate Award was presented to Dr. Amy Stieler Stewart, a graduate student at North Carolina State University pursuing her PhD. Originally from Merritt Island, Florida, Stewart attended the University of Florida for her undergraduate and veterinary degrees. She then completed a one-year internship in Large Animal Medicine and Surgery at the University of Georgia. She returned to the University of Florida in 2012, completed a three-year residency in Large Animal Medicine and became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in 2015. During her time at NC State, Stewart has focused on the study and use of intestinal stem cells in repair following ischemic injury. She has a passion for internal medicine, veterinary student education and translational research with the hope of developing new therapies for patients with intestinal injuries.
The 2019 Boehringer Ingelheim Veterinary Research Scholar Award was presented to Mariel Covo, from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine, for her work involving delivery of vectors to generate CAR T cells in canine patients with B cell lymphoma. This work represents a scientific advance in veterinary medicine, and has clinical implications for the delivery of therapeutic retroviral vectors for use in medical treatment. Covo has participated in regular meetings with members of another lab at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine pioneering CAR T cell therapy to share findings, with the aim of progressing CAR T cell therapy in both human and canine patients. This collaboration provides a unique opportunity to approach a common goal from multiple perspectives, bridging the fields of human and veterinary medicine.
In addition, Zoë J. Williams, a combined DVM and PhD degree student at Michigan State University, was recognized as an honorable mention 2019 Boehringer Ingelheim Veterinary Research Scholar. She is interested in equine neuromuscular disorders and protein aggregate diseases, and has investigated the clinical characteristics, etiopathology, and possible treatments of Myofibrillar Myopathy (MFM) in horses. She is a multidisciplinary equestrian with two horses of her own. Her academic interests include large animal internal medicine, veterinary comparative research and the One Health initiative.
“The pace of change and innovation in healthcare for animals and humans continues to accelerate, though there remain many needs to be addressed, emerging and future diseases to be combat, and opportunities to prevent instead of treat chronic conditions,” said Everett Hoekstra, president of Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA Inc. “Veterinarians are uniquely placed to contribute in all of these areas and lead innovation in both animal and human health. That’s why it is so important to encourage and showcase emerging talent in veterinary science through awards and programs such as this.”
The Boehringer Ingelheim Veterinary Scholars Program provides opportunities for veterinary schools to introduce students to biomedical research. By providing a supportive environment in which students can experience research in an established laboratory, complemented by seminars and discussion groups on the scientific process, ethics, and research opportunities, participants gain practical insight into the skills required and opportunities for careers in biomedical research.
More than 3,500 students have received stipends to conduct research since the program started 30 years ago.
Students from 42 veterinary schools participating in the Veterinary Scholars Program are eligible for this recognition. Winning students receive monetary prizes and a stipend to attend the annual National Veterinary Scholars Symposium to accept their awards and present their research.
About Boehringer Ingelheim’s Animal Health Business
Boehringer Ingelheim is the second largest animal health business in the world, with net sales of almost $4.7 billion (3.9 billion euros) worldwide in 2018, about 10,000 employees and a presence in more than 150 markets. The company has pioneered advancements in vaccines, parasite-control products and therapeutics that limit pain and slow disease, and aims to create the future of animal wellbeing for pets, horses and livestock by focusing on prevention.
Boehringer Ingelheim’s Animal Health Business has a significant presence in the United States, with more than 3,000 employees in places that include Georgia, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, New Jersey and Puerto Rico. To learn more, visit www.boehringer-ingelheim.us, www.facebook.com/BoehringerAHUS or www.twitter.com/Boehringer_AH.
About Boehringer Ingelheim
Improving the health of humans and animals is the goal of the research-driven pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim. The focus in doing so is on diseases for which no satisfactory treatment option exists to date. The company therefore concentrates on developing innovative therapies that can extend patients’ lives. In animal health, Boehringer Ingelheim stands for advanced prevention.
Family-owned since it was established in 1885, Boehringer Ingelheim is one of the pharmaceutical industry’s top 20 companies. Some 50,000 employees create value through innovation daily for the three business areas: human pharmaceuticals, animal health and biopharmaceuticals. In 2018, Boehringer Ingelheim achieved net sales of around $20.7 billion (17.5 billion euros). R&D expenditure of about $3.8 billion (3.2 billion euros), corresponded to 18.1 per cent of net sales.
As a family-owned company, Boehringer Ingelheim plans in generations and focuses on long-term success. The company therefore aims at organic growth from its own resources with simultaneous openness to partnerships and strategic alliances in research. In everything it does, Boehringer Ingelheim naturally adopts responsibility towards mankind and the environment.