Danielle Mzyk, a candidate for both a Ph.D. and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree at NC State, is one of five students nationally to receive a scholarship to defray travel expenses to attend the 2016 American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) Forum. She was nominated in a letter by Derek Foster, an assistant professor in the Department of Population Health and Pathobiology, who said “Upon graduation, Danielle could easily enter a research career in academia, industry or government. But with her interest in clinical medicine and pharmacology, she would make an excellent internist. She has the potential to make significant contributions to ACVIM in the future … “
The conference took place June 8-11 in Denver, and while there, Danielle had an opportunity to present the results of her research work examining the impact of animal age on the pharmacokinetics of antimicrobials. You may not really know what that means, but if you eat, it’s actually pretty important to you, personally.
Danielle’s interest in internal medicine is an outgrowth of her focus on food safety issues resulting from antibiotic drug residues in beef and dairy cattle. Currently, she is working on research to evaluate the pharmacological impact on calves to determine the relationship between animal age and residue levels. She is also interested in studying differences in residues between healthy and sick animals. A thorough understanding of residue data plays a key role in protecting food safety — specifically, in developing more reliable measures of when residue levels are low enough to not be a hazard to human health.
By combining a Ph.D. in pharmacology with a DVM in internal medicine, Danielle says that she will be able to verify drug residue safety based on her own research. “There are only about five board-certified clinicians in internal medicine in the world who are also board-certified pharmacologists.,” she points out. Combining the clinical and research aspects of the residue issue will make her uniquely qualified to play a constructive role in the critical area of protecting the safety of global food supplies.