College News

Cornell’s Clinical Fellows Program: a two-pronged approach to your career

researchIf you’re looking for the best of both worlds – clinical and research – consider applying to Cornell’s Clinical Fellows Program. Applications are currently being accepted for the 2012 fellowship at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. The anticipated starting date is August 1, 2012.

The two-year fellowship was the first in the country to address a growing shortage of academic veterinarians who conduct research on animal diseases and basic biology, providing an intensive research experience under the mentorship of a strong scientist who supports investigations of laboratory or clinical hypotheses relevant to clinical disease. Approximately 80% of the appointment will be devoted to research, with the remaining time available for clinical practice in the applicant’s field of specialty. Positions are available for specialists in any discipline.

“We anticipate that this model for academic veterinary training will address the critical shortage of clinicians and scholars who are needed to train the next generation of veterinarians and to continue to make advances in the treatment of disease," said Michael I. Kotlikoff, Cornell's Austin O. Hooey Dean of Veterinary Medicine. “In addition, our clinical fellows work shoulder to shoulder with Cornell’s world renowned scientists, positioning them to fast track their research careers and make immediate contributions to their chosen field.”

Current fellows in the program are doing just that. For example:

erinThrough Dr. Erin Daugherity’s clinical fellowship, she established an animal model capable of evaluating the interaction between fat accumulation and hepatic cancer, the fifth most common cancer in the world with a poor prognosis and increasing incidence despite decreasing risk factors. Mentored by a committee that includes researchers from Cornell’s Ithaca campus and Weill Medical College, Daugherity is also investigating the interaction between fatty liver disease and cancer induction. In a presentation she offered at the 2011 Digestive Disease Week meeting, titled Excessive Dietary Fat Consumption in Mice Induces Hepatic Apoptosis Through the DNA Damage Checkpoint Protein Atm, Daugherity explained that her research suggests that a high fat diet triggers DNA damage that induces ATM-dependent apoptosis.

LucianoDr. Luciano Caixeta spends one day a week on the road with the College’s ambulatory clinic, visiting dairy farms in upstate New York. The rest of the time, he studies a hormone that affects lipid fat metabolism and other metabolic issues associated with the transition period for dairy cows. The opportunity to divide his time between applied research, clinics, and classroom study attracted the native Brazillian to Cornell.
“I want to avoid the problems that I see in the field,” said Dr. Caixeta. “With first-hand knowledge of the conditions, I can return to the research lab and try to fix the issue so that the animals have a better life.”

The program is designed to help students who have a dual interest in clinical work and scientific investigation meet the financial and time demands of qualifying for a position in veterinary academic medicine, which has traditionally required students to complete an M.S. or Ph.D. after they finish their doctorate of veterinary medicine (DVM). Newly minted DVMs graduate with loans of $80,000 on average. Erin D

Applicants must have a DVM or equivalent degree and have completed a residency training program in any specialty field by July 2012. This program is not intended for applicants with a PhD or enrolled in a PhD program. Applying to the program is conducted in two phases. During Phase one, applicants should submit a letter of intent or have a nomination letter submitted from their Residency Program Director/Department of Clinical Science Chair by December 15, 2011. Once this letter is received, Cornell will contact the applicants to help identify potential faculty mentors. Phase two of the application is due on March 15, 2012. More information can be found at

Salary will be $65,000 annually and will include health insurance and other Cornell University benefits. $15,000 will be provided annually in research supply funds. Correspondence should be directed to Dr. Joel Baines, Veterinarian Research Training Oversight Committee Chair, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853-6401. Dr. Baines’ email address is and telephone number is 607-253-3391.