Mississippi State’s Burke among prestigious international FFAR Vet Fellows

Contact: Allison Matthews

Portrait of Caitlyn Burke
Caitlyn Burke (Photo by Tom Thompson)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State’s Caitlyn Burke, a second year Doctor of Veterinary Medicine student, is among 2023 Vet Fellows announced today [July 13] by the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research and the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges.

The FFAR Vet Fellows program creates opportunities for veterinary students around the world to conduct research—under the direction of a qualified mentor—advancing global food security, sustainable animal production and environmental sustainability. Those selected for the prestigious honor gain valuable experience for their future research and public service careers by working internationally, at academic institutions or with private-sector partners. Burke, a native of Prattsville, Arkansas, is being mentored at MSU by Hall-Davis Endowed Professor of Pathobiology and Population Medicine Amelia Woolums and Executive Vice Provost and Graduate School Dean Peter Ryan.

MSU President Mark E. Keenum, who is chairman of FFAR and immediate past chairman of the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development, said Burke’s selection “speaks volumes about the quality of education our College of Veterinary Medicine provides.”

“I appreciate Dean Kent Hoblet and our world-class CVM faculty and researchers for their leadership and mentorship of Caitlyn and our other outstanding veterinary students,” Keenum said.

Burke’s research focus is on dystocia, or difficult calving—which contributes to increased risk of cow and calf respiratory and digestive disorders, mastitis, metritis, retained placentae and death. She is investigating using the hormone Relaxin to increase maternal pelvic size which, if successful, could reduce mortality and morbidity associated with dystocia in first-time calving heifers.

The program recognizes that veterinarians trained in animal science and public health are critical to addressing many global challenges within the veterinary and agricultural fields. The fellowship culminates with student presentations at the annual Veterinary Scholars Symposium.

“We are thrilled that Caitlyn Burke was selected to receive this highly competitive international fellowship. She is a dual degree DVM/Ph.D. student in a CVM program that began in 2009 with the goal of training veterinary medical scientists needed to meet societal needs. She is benefitting greatly from studying under her mentors, Dr. Peter Ryan, professor and executive vice provost, and Dr. Amelia Wollums, Hall-Davis Endowed Professor in the CVM.”

Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine provides world class research in animal and public health, high quality learning experiences, and cutting-edge medical care, all in a family-like atmosphere. Learn more at www.vetmed.msstate.edu.

Mississippi State University is taking care of what matters. Learn more at www.msstate.edu.