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DOCS Research

Furthering Animal Health Through Discovery and Research

Faculty members in the Department of Clinical Sciences are engaged in research programs exploring the causes and treatments of important veterinary problems as well as conducting basic research into underlying processes.

We are dedicated to excellence in educating and training veterinarians and comparative biomedical scientists, furthering health care and wellness through discovery and clinical research, providing outstanding and compassionate medical care to a diverse range of animal patients, effectively engaging the animal-owning public and government and industry partners, and providing leadership in integrating biomedical sciences to advance One Health.

Research Concentrations

Research in the Department of Clinical Sciences is concentrated in eight key areas:

Canine Spinal Cord Injury

This program is developing and testing methods of improving outcomes for spinal cord injuries in dogs. Research includes limiting the extent of damage that occurs immediately after an injury using neuroprotective drugs and restoring function to damaged nerves using potassium channel blockers. Additionally, we are constantly improving our post operative care of patients with regards to nutrition, pain control, management of the bladder, and physical rehabilitation.

Companion Animal Epilepsy

The goal of this program is to learn more about the cause of epileptic seizures in dogs and cats and to study more effective treatments for seizures in our companion animals.

Comparative Ophthalmology

This program has three main areas of ongoing research: ocular Inflammation and Immunology; ocular pharmacology, toxicology, and drug delivery; and ocular Imaging

Comparative Pain

The lab’s mission is to improve the ability to manage pain in nonhuman species by measuring acute and chronic pain, studying the neurobiological signature of pain in chronic disease, evaluating novel therapeutics for pain relief, and collaborating to build on translational models of chronic pain.

Gastrointestinal Physiology

The long-term objective of this research laboratory is to study mechanisms responsible for maintaining and restoring the intestinal barrier, with the ultimate objective of pharmacologically restoring the mucosal barrier in patients suffering from diseases associated with increased intestinal permeability.

Intestinal Pathogens

The long-term goals of this program are to define mechanisms of intestinal defense and repair in infectious enteritis and identify rational approaches to nutritional and pharmacologic enhancement of epithelial repair. Toward this end, our laboratory is focused on the study of two enteric protozoal pathogens, Cryptosporidium parvum and Tritrichomonas foetus, as well as on the role of enteric bacteria in both inflammatory bowel disease and necrotizing enterocolitis.

Leukocyte Biology

The Leukocyte Biology Laboratory is interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms of phagocyte activation. Specifically, we are studying the role of cytoskeletal proteins such as the leukocyte specific actin bundling protein L-plastin (LPL) in regulating the signaling cascades that lead to the development of the effector phenotype in neutrophils and macrophages.

Tick-Transmitted Diseases

The focus of this research is to benefit animal health. It is our intention to provide quality answers to diagnostic questions. The assays, antigens and controls used are developed and validated as a component of our research.