Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA
Students at the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine spend 15 months in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital and Clinics before graduation. Primary care clinics and a referral practice offer case material for the training of all veterinary students.
“Students start learning in the clinic during their third year,” says Ginger Guttner, communications manager for the school. “We have problem-based learning and a strong research component that offers students additional avenues for learning.”
Since 1973, the school has graduated 3,157 veterinarians. The original entering class consisted of 36 students, all Louisiana residents. While class size has increased over the years, 110 students are admitted into the school each year out of a pool of approximately 700 applicants. The LSU SVM also offers MS and PhD degrees in Biological and Veterinary Medical Science and provides advanced training for interns and residents in veterinary medicine, pathology, and lab animal medicine.
In addition to educating more than 350 veterinary students and seeing more than 29,000 hospital cases each year, the school conducts a wide array of research.
In 2019, the LSU SVM was awarded more than $11.5 million in funding over five years from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to launch the Center for Lung Biology and Disease (CLBD) beginning January 2, 2019. Samithamby Jeyaseelan, DVM, PhD, the William L. Jenkins Professor in the Department of Pathobiological Sciences, will serve as principal investigator, and Rhonda Cardin, PhD, associate dean for research and advanced studies, will serve as co-investigator.
The CLBD will augment research on campus in the molecular and cellular immunological mechanisms of pulmonary diseases. Lung diseases are an increasing problem, especially in babies, the immunocompromised and the elderly, and Louisiana is in the top five states most affected by pulmonary diseases. The over-arching goal of the CLBD is to gain new insights into the pathogenesis of devastating lung diseases that will guide improved strategies to treat and prevent lung diseases in human populations.
The LSU SVM is also home to the Center for Experimental Infectious Disease Research (CEIDR) since 2004, receiving nearly $30 million over three phases. The CEIDR is the first National Institutes of Health (NIH): Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) award received at LSU in Baton Rouge. The LSU SVM is also home to the Louisiana Biomedical Research Network (LBRN) and NIH funded IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) program that serves the entire state for supporting biomedical research with Konstantin “Gus” Kousoulas, PhD, professor of Pathobiological Sciences, as the PI. The LBRN program receives approximately $20 million in funding over five years. Both CEIDR and LBRN are administered by the Division of BIOMMED with Dr. Kousoulas as director.
In 2019, Shafiqul Chowdhury, PhD, professor of Pathobiological Sciences, was elected as a senior member by the National Academy of Inventors. NAI Senior Members are active faculty, scientists, and engineers who have a record of success in patents, licensing, and commercialization. They have produced technologies that have brought, or aspire to bring, real impact on the welfare of society. Dr. Chowdhury’s research interests are bovine herpesvirus type 1 (BHV-1) and equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1), the pathogenesis and genetically engineered vaccines against BHV-1 and EHS-1, and BHV-1 as a vaccine vector for immunization against other viral diseases in cattle.
In 2016, Mandi Lopez, DVM, PhD, DACVS, LSU SVM professor in Veterinary Medical Sciences, was named a Fellow to the National Academy of Inventors. Being elected as an NAI Fellow is a high professional distinction accorded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible improvement on the quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society. Dr. Lopez’s research interests are in adult stem cell applications, orthopedic implants, kinetics/kinematics, anterior cruciate ligament rupture, laminitis, and hip dysplasia.
The school hosts an annual Open House. Every year the event is free and open to the public, allowing family, friends and people in the veterinary field to learn the latest developments in animal health care, welfare and research. Equine treadmill demonstrations are held throughout the day, along with companion animal underwater treadmill demonstrations.
“For one day, we open the building to the public,” says Guttner. “Each year, we have about 4,000 attendees.”
The LSU SVM also hosts an annual summer camp. There is one week dedicated to children ages 6-9 and another week for children ages 10-13. Activities include learning to scrub up like a surgeon, teddy bear repair, and learning about therapy animals, horses, cows, wildlife, exotic animals, parasites, and more.
In addition to educational opportunities for young people, the LSU SVM offers continuing education opportunities, presentations, and seminars throughout the year. Scientific and medical experts (both national and international) come to the LSU SVM to share their research and knowledge.
“We do more than just educate veterinarians,’ says Guttner. “We’re also a biomedical research facility and conduct research that deals with human–as well as veterinary–medicine.”
At a Glance:
Location: Baton Rouge, La.
Opening date: 1973
Number of students: 420
Financial aid offered: Yes
Programs offered: DVM, MS, Ph.D., Residency