Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University
Area of Research:
Nutrition and Cardiology Program
Lisa M. Freeman, DVM, PhD, DACVN Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine Friedman School of Nutrition Science Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute Tufts University
John E. Rush, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Cardiology), DACVECC Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute Tufts University
Amanda R. Vest, MBBS, MPH School of Medicine Tufts University
Vicky K. Yang, PhD, DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology) Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine Tufts University
Description of Potential Research Projects:
Our group has more than 20 years experience studying nutrition and cardiac disease through clinical research in dogs and cats with naturally-occurring cardiac diseases. Our research program focuses on the role of nutrition in the development, progression, and treatment of cardiac diseases, including degenerative mitral valve disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and dilated cardiomyopathy. Most recently, we have been actively investigating the current diet-associated dilated cardiomyopathy issue affecting dogs. We also have long-standing interest in and active collaborative research in cardiac cachexia.
The Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine has four cardiologists and two cardiology residents managing a busy clinical cardiology service which provides a wealth of cases for clinical trials. We also have two veterinary nutritionists, with Dr. Freeman actively engaged in cardiology consultations and research. In addition to our clinical research program, Dr. Yang’s laboratory investigates the role that epitranscriptomics play in the development of veterinary cardiovascular disease and how manipulation of epitranscriptomics can be used to address these diseases therapeutically. Our group engages in a variety of One Health projects, including collaborations with cardiologists at Tufts University School of Medicine, Tufts Molecular Cardiology Research Institute, and Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Freeman is also on faculty at the Tufts School of Nutrition Science and Policy, so there are ample opportunities for collaborative research with human nutritionists at the School of Nutrition and the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University which includes laboratories focused on cardiovascular nutrition, nutritional epidemiology, and nutrition and genomics. The mentors are also active in the Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute which offers a wealth of educational and research services and funding opportunities, including KL2 awards and pilot grants (www.tuftsctsi.org). Therefore, this program will leverage strengths of an interdisciplinary team to advance knowledge in the field of nutrition and cardiology that will benefit human and veterinary patients.
Dr. Freeman will provide primary mentorship for this fellowship and has a long track record of and passion for mentoring. She is Director of the Residents’ Enhanced Veterinary Education and Academic Learning (REVEAL) Program which was developed through an NIH grant to attract more veterinarians to research and academic careers. While Dr. Freeman will be the primary mentor, all members of the team will be actively engaged and have long-term experience and a strong track record of successful mentorship. We are committed to a robust program and strong mentorship during the two years of the fellowship.
In addition to research, up to 25% effort will be available for cardiology and nutrition clinical care that is relevant to the research. In addition, there is the opportunity to spend time with Dr. Vest who manages human patients with advanced stage heart failure and studies cardiac cachexia and other metabolic alterations in human heart failure patients, as well as to attend cardiology rounds at area human hospitals. There are ample opportunities for seminars and workshops at Tufts and at the many medical institutions in the Boston area, as well as educational training through the Tufts Center for Enhancement of Learning and Teaching to help prepare for a career in academia.
Contact Information for Interested Potential Trainees:
Lisa M. Freeman, DVM, PhD, DACVN
Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute Tufts University