Get a Little Help from Corporate Friends
by Lianne Carr
1990s, a combination of industrys need for toxicological pathologists
and the need for minorities in veterinary medicine led to the creation
of the Pfizer Minority Fellowship in Toxicologic Pathology.
Dr. Roberto Guzman,
the first Pfizer fellow at Illinois, says, With this fellowship
I received broad and excellent pathology training in the traditional
setting of a busy diagnostic laboratory while allowing enough flexibility
to pursue interests not typically available in residency programs, such
as a summer internship.
Now in the first year of a five-year combined residency and PhD
program, Dr. Tanasa Osborne is just beginning to realize the benefits
of her fellowship.
Dr. Guzman credits
the program with influencing his career choice. It gave me a firsthand
experience of the role of a veterinary pathologist in the pharmaceutical
industry and confirmed my commitment and desire to pursue a career in
Now a research
associate with Pfizer, Dr. Guzman says, Pharmaceutical companies
are the major employers of veterinary pathologists, and with the increased
demand for this specialty, partnerships between academia and industry
are necessary to assure a continuous supply of well-qualified pathologists.
A second recipient
of the Pfizer Minority Fellowship in Toxicologic Pathology, Dr. Tanasa
Osborne, entered the program last fall.
I was specifically
interested in the University of Illinois Toxicologic Pathology program,
but initially I wasnt aware that there was a Pfizer fellowship
available, says Dr. Osborne. Dr. Wanda Haschek-Hock encouraged
me to apply, and I was fortunate to receive the fellowship.
According to Dr.
Haschek-Hock, professor in veterinary pathobiology, Because this
fellowship is more tailored than the traditional pathology graduate
student position, it allows a focus on toxicologic pathology that is
not normally available.
She says that Illinois
is one of only two universities with formal training programs in toxicologic
pathology, according to a recent survey.
A similar program
was recently created in pharmacology. Dr. Kylie Kavanagh is the first
resident to participate in the University of Illinois/Pharmacia Corporation
Residency in Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology. The three-year program
is designed to train candidates for a career in academic, regulatory,
or industrial pharmacology while providing the knowledge and skill to
pass the examinations for board certification, according to Dr. Tomas
Martìn-Jimènez, assistant professor in veterinary biosciences.
The program begins
at Illinois with coursework and research. Then candidates spend a year
in Kalamazoo, Mich., completing an externship at Pharmacia Corporation,
where they attain broader experience in regulatory and/or industrial
pharmacology. The final phase, consisting of clinical rotations and
finishing research at the College, satisfies the requirements to sit
for the board examination of the American College of Veterinary Clinical
A less formal but
equally advantageous partnership exists between Pfizer Animal Health
and the anesthesiology section at Illinois. For three years Pfizer funded
the studies of Dr. Kurt Grimm, now a visiting assistant professor of
According to Dr.
William Tranquilli, professor of anesthesiology, Pfizer continues to
provide funds to be used by residents and for research. He stresses
the importance of establishing a good relationship with industry contacts
and also credits College administrators for their support in allowing
time for industry relationships to develop.
Noting that the
partnership with Pfizer is built on quality research and continuing
education programs, Dr. Tranquilli says, Pfizer supports us because
they believe in the contributions we make to veterinary anesthesia.