Basic and Clinical Research
Penn Vet is a key contributor to new knowledge emerging from basic and clinical research.
As one of the pre-eminent veterinary schools in the world, we don’t simply keep pace with new equipment, diagnostic procedures and treatment modalities; we are frequently partners in their invention or development.
Translational research — the research that takes scientific discoveries out of the laboratory and puts them to use as new treatments to cure disease or repair injuries — is a large part of Penn Vet’s work.This benefits not only the animals we serve, it spills over into the field of human medicine through many collaborations among scientists and doctors at our School, Penn’s Medical School, and the Schools of Dentistry and Nursing as well as the University’s life sciences programs.
An exciting example of translational research is in biopharmaceuticals. This scientific endeavor allows us to produce what are known as “transgenic” animals — cows or goats into which special genes are introduced which result, for example, in the animal’s producing milk containing specific human proteins. These proteins can then be harvested from the milk and processed into medications to treat disease in humans. The potential for this field of study is enormous, and at New Bolton Center, crucial work is being done in its research laboratories to improve and streamline this process. Other areas of translational research underway include swine animal welfare and reproduction, gene therapy for arthritic and degenerative joint conditions in horses, drug interactions in race horses, nutrition and reproduction in dairy cattle, equine lung physiology, degenerative disc disease, fracture fixation and new shoeing techniques for sport horses. Several of these translational research efforts may be directly applicable to human disease and injury.