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I submitted my first USDA grant for a predoctoral fellowship for my proposed PhD project using zinc to enhance lymphocyte functions relevant to vaccination in dairy calves. If awarded, this grant will provide me funding for the next 3 years of my PhD and allow me to participate in personal growth opportunities such as an international experience in London, UK studying zinc redox biology. This experience gave me the opportunity to improve my written communication skills, grantsmanship, and the importance of comma placement (although my advisor might argue that I still have a long road ahead on this...). I have been working tirelessly (that’s a lie, I am very tired) on this grant for months and am anxiously awaiting a response from the USDA. While I appreciate everything I learned in the writing process, I am excited to get back to the bench!
In reflection, I have some advice for future grant writers about the writing process.
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By Angel Abuelo
Exciting news in the Abuelo Lab! We can now announce that the lab has received one of the very competitive "National Needs Fellows" training grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Through the grant "Strengthening Dairy Health Through Multidisciplinary Doctoral Training of Veterinary Scientists", the lab will train 3 Ph.D. scientists in the next 5 years to enhance dairy health biosecurity through the optimization of immunity.
This is a great opportunity to work with us and our many collaborators worldwide. Due to the conditions of the grant, this opportunity is only open to US citizens or permanent residents (no exceptions are allowed). If you are interested in our work, please contact us!
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The Abuelo lab would like to welcome Rafael Castro Vargas to our lab this semester! Rafael is a veterinarian originally from Colombia and initially joined our lab as a visiting scholar in September 2022. Yesterday Rafael was officially accepted in the Comparative Medicine and Integrative Biology graduate program! Rafael has previous experience conducting important research for the food animal industry including but not limited to his work with Staph. aureus. Rafael’s proficiency with veterinary medicine and research will make him a tremendous asset to the lab. Rafael will be working on our Salmonella enterica serotype Dublin projects. Rafael will produce vaccination recommendations that dairy producers can immediately implement, making his project critically important for the health and welfare of dairy calves.
Despite only having recently arrived in Michigan, Rafael has already been participating in classes and started screening animals for enrollment on his project. We are so excited to have Rafael join the lab and cannot wait to see the important contributions that he makes to the dairy industry. Welcome to the lab Rafael!