Today Americans for Medical Progress has announced three recipients for academic year 2009-2010 of the Michael D. Hayre Fellowship in Public Outreach, designed to inspire and motivate the next generation of research advocates. From the AMP press release:
The importance of animal research to medical progress will be highlighted in projects by three graduate students selected as Michael D. Hayre Fellows in Public Outreach, Americans for Medical Progress announced today.
Gillian Branden-Weiss and Breanna Caltagarone, students the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, and Megan Wyeth of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, will inform and engage the public as advocates for biomedical research.
Braden-Weiss and Caltagarone will create a "Thank a Mouse" interactive campaign for private practice veterinarians and their clients. Through the development of a website and other interactive materials, they will focus on the many contributions of animal research to veterinary treatments that help pets, livestock and wildlife.
Wyeth, a graduate student who conducts epilepsy research at UCLA, will expand the advocacy group Pro-Test for Science on the UCLA campus and create a model for similar student organizations throughout America. This April, Wyeth was a leader of an historic rally by Pro-Test that drew over 800 to stand in support of scientists targeted by animal rights extremists.
Americans for Medical Progress created the Fellowship in honor of its late Chairman, Michael D. Hayre, DVM. Its aim is to foster young voices to speak in support of science and advancing medical knowledge through responsible animal research.
An outstanding review panel led by Irving McConnell, DVM, CEO of The McConnell Group, Inc., selected this year's Fellows after reviewing several innovative proposals.
"We welcome Megan, Breanna and Gillian and the contributions they will make to research advocacy during their tenure as Hayre Fellows," said Dr. McConnell, a longtime friend and classmate of Dr. Hayre. "Mike Hayre was an inspirational leader and mentor who valued the contributions students made to biomedical science and animal welfare. He believed the future of medical advancement depended on the public's understanding and acceptance of animal research in medicine. I'm confident that Mike would view the work of this year's Fellows as essential to that vision."
There's more information about the 2009-2010 Hayre Fellows on the AMP website. From their profiles, they look like an exceptionally trained and motivated bunch. The first Hayre Fellow, Tom Holder, was a leader the UK student-led campaign group Pro-Test and is currently very active in the Speaking of Reseach advocacy network.
Congratulations to the 2009 Fellows!