Michigan State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine houses and collaborates with researchers across disciplines that are deeply involved with the development of tomorrow’s medical and surgical solutions for animals and people.

As part of MSU and a recipient of funding from major stakeholders, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the United States Department of Defense (DOD), the College is set to continue and further develop its relationship with research collaborators. As a lynchpin that connects agriculture, engineering, environment, ecology, and medicine, the College of Veterinary Medicine has long-standing, collaborative relationships with the Colleges of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Natural Science, Osteopathic Medicine, and Human Medicine. These faculty demonstrate strength in basic, applied, and clinical research, and are eager to expand their work regarding emerging infectious and zoonotic diseases, an area of persistent and growing importance worldwide.

With its wide-reaching referral network of private veterinary practices, clinician experts, and high-resolution imaging and surgical resources, MSU’s Veterinary Medical Center is well-positioned to launch a successful, productive clinical trials program.

The MSU Veterinary Medical Center handles a yearly caseload of more than 30,000, and serves as a referral hospital for nearly 1,000 clinics nationwide. Clinical research programs can benefit patients that need care and offer financial advantages for clients.

The Hospital provides 20 specialty services, plus primary care. These services are staffed by experts in their fields; patients are supported by clinicians, residents, interns, and licensed veterinary technicians.

The state-of-the-art MSU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory supports the Hospital’s on-site Clinical Pathology Service, as well as a multitude of other diagnostic services nearby.

The full-service and AAVLD fully accredited Laboratory protects animal and human health across the world and serves all species. Each year, the MSU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory processes more than 230,000 cases and provides more than 1 million tests for clients’ samples from around the globe.

MSU’s Colleges of Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture and Natural Resources, along with the State of Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources, will establish a Biobank for Animal Models (BAM). This repository will store samples, such as viral, bacterial, and fungal isolates with their associated metadata; lesions, tumors, and healthy tissues; cancer and normal cell lines; and a variety of other sample types. BAM will be a major resource for secondary research by private companies because it will provide large sets of specimens that fulfill international standards in biomarker-based test validations for diagnostics and/or theranostics (combined therapeutics and diagnostics for tumors), as well as in the development of drugs and vaccines.

BAM will:

  1. Enable the standardization of tests and evaluation of newer, emerging diagnostic platforms
  2. Facilitate collaborative research between multiple investigators in Michigan and nationwide
  3. Provide a resource of samples to develop science behind policy for wildlife conservation and disease surveillance; and
  4. Establish a resource for secondary basic research from clinical trials-generated tissues, cell cultures, or infectious agents to develop new ideas and approaches to mitigate disease among animals and humans.

With the limited exception of the USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories, a comprehensive core facility attached to a diagnostic laboratory does not exist. BAM’s development as an adjunct to CLIP would enhance both basic and translational research. All the test samples and specimens from food animal and wildlife cases that fall under the umbrella of emerging and re-emergent zoonoses, emerging animal syndromes, or cases of unknown etiology would qualify to be stored in the proposed BAM. Furthermore, the capacity to store DNA from animals tested would help develop a large database of population genomic structure in Michigan.