OVC’s Undergraduate and DVM Students Showcase their Summer Research Projects

September 11, 2023

The Summer Career Opportunities and Research Exploration (SCORE) Program supports OVC’s undergraduate and DVM students working on summer research projects. The program gives students an opportunity to share their research experiences while developing plain language research communication skills that will serve them throughout their academic and professional careers. 

“The SCORE program allowed me to look at research in a new light,” said program participant Izabella Witelus. “It gave me an opportunity to engage differently with research and practice communication skills by presenting a project I’ve been working on to those who were not closely involved.” 

On July 27th and August 22nd, the students participated in an oral presentation competition hosted by the SCORE program. The presentations highlighted the research projects that students engaged in during the summer while supervised by OVC faculty. The students summarized their research in three-minute presentations and skillfully answered questions posed by a judging panel comprised of faculty members and graduate students.  

Congratulations to all SCORE 2023 program participants on their outstanding research contributions this summer at OVC.  

The winners of this year’s SCORE presentations are: 
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Student Category 

1st Place: Miranda Bie (Supervisor: Dr. Anthony Mutsaers) - Investigation of the Effects of the PI3K Inhibitor LY294002 and the PIK/mTOR Dual Inhibitor GSK2126458 on canine Malignant Melanoma Cells 

2nd Place: Jacob Maxwell (Supervisor: Dr. Derek Haley) - Steering Surplus: Behavioural Responses of Non-Replacement Dairy Calves to Transportation and Handling 

3rd Place: Tie 
Veronica Fursova (Supervisor: Dr. Jeff Caswell) - Understanding How Bovine Respiratory Disease Risk Factors Promote Development of Pneumonia as a Strategy to Develop Novel Methods to Prevent Disease 
Claire Johnston (Supervisor: Dr. Xiu Ting Yiew) - Volume Kinetic Investigation into the Mechanisms of Distribution, Elimination, and Third-Space Effect of Balanced Isotonic Crystalloid During Awake, Anesthetized, and Recovery States in Healthy Female Cats 

Bachelor’s Degree Student Category 

1st Place: Lucie Weiland (Supervisor: Dr. Andrew Peregrine) - Evaluating the Relationship Between Parasite Fecal Egg Counts and FAMACHA Scores, DAG Scores, and Body Condition Scores in Ontario Pastured Sheep 

2nd Place: Izabella Witelus (Supervisor: Dr. Emma Borkowski) - Optimizing Storage for Fecal Sample Storage for Fecal Egg Counts 

3rd Place: Danielle Halasz (Supervisor: Dr. Giannina Descalzi) - Sex Differences in the Emotion Pain Network in a Neuropathic Model for Chronic Pain  

Selected SCORE participants also got an opportunity to present their work at conferences outside of U of G, which included the National Veterinary Scholars Symposium in San Juan, Puerto Rico held in August, and the Canadian Emerging Veterinary Scholars Summit in Calgary (CEVSS) coming up in October. 

“I'm greatly looking forward to presenting my summer project at CEVSS,” said SCORE participant, Jacob Maxwell. “In addition to the continuous guidance I received from my advisor Dr. Derek Haley, SCORE provided me with the framework to take a pilot project from concept to background to data and next steps.” 

This year’s SCORE presentation judges included Dr. Andria Jones-Bitton, Connor McCorkell, Dr. Tracey Chenier, Katherine Perry, Dr. Laura Favetta, Carys Vyn, Dr. Jennifer McWhirter, Simon Jeeves, Dr. Emma Borkowski, and Ashley Proctor.  

The SCORE organizing committee consists of Dr. Giannina Descalzi, Dr. Diego Gomez-Nieto, Keriann Mcgoogan, Dr. Jennifer McWhirter, Grace Nichol, and Dr. Courtney Schott, and is managed by Taylor Scully. 


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