The Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine received 33 research grants totaling $3.5 million in funding in fiscal year 2022.* Funding came from federal and state institutions, private foundations and nonprofits and industry and academic partners.

Examples of standout projects illustrating our impact on animal and human health are found below. For a holistic overview of our research, please visit our research page


Highlighted Projects

New canine cancer treatment

  • "Increased affinity of cancer therapeutic via single-domain antibody and dimer targeting of canine PD-1"
    • Principal investigator: Dr. Christopher Cebra, Glen Pfefferkorn and Morris Wendorf Endowed Professor in Camelid Medicine 

This National Science Foundation Partnerships for Innovation - Technology Translation project seeks to produce a prototype antibody therapeutic for the treatment of cancer in dogs.

As cancer is a leading cause of death in people and dogs, new technologies need to be brought forth. Development of cutting-edge therapeutics for humans and animals requires relevant and robust model systems that provide predictable outcomes.

The broader impact/commercial potential of this includes the development of safe, effective, and affordable treatments for animal diseases including cancer in dogs. A robust immune system is critical for effective treatment of cancer. Beyond surgery, radiation, and chemotherapeutics, new approaches include agents shown to block tumors from circumventing the body’s immune defenses.

Classic immunotherapy is very expensive, though effective; we are interested in developing an alternative immune platform at a reduced cost in order to make it accessible to animals. This would provide pet owners and veterinarians an effective, economical, and safe treatment for the nearly 6 million dogs diagnosed yearly with cancer. Creation of manufacturing processes of these new prototypic therapeutics will be utilized to demonstrate the feasibility of project outcomes and contribute to the general public's appreciation of this platform in generating less expensive biologics-based therapies.

Increasing emergency response Capacity

  • "Enhancing OVDL emergency preparedness for regulatory testing through exercise and inter-agency coordination"
  • "Increasing regional testing capacity and rapid pathogen characterization capabilities at the Oregon Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory"
  • Enhancing expedited bulk sample submission and message processing at the Oregon Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

Three grants from the National Animal Health Laboratory Network will allow the Oregon Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory housed at Oregon State University to continue to expand its role in responding to large disease outbreaks in the Pacific Northwest.

The laboratory’s primary purpose is to test and diagnose animal diseases, including infectious diseases in agricultural animals. However, when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, the OVDL assisted with the testing of human samples as well, at a time when testing capacity in Oregon was severely limited.

“We’ve really illustrated that animal testing and human testing are one and the same, and our capabilities in large-scale animal testing translate to human testing,” said Justin Sanders, an assistant professor in OSU’s Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine and one of the principal investigators on OSU’s TRACE project, which tracks the presence of COVID-19 throughout the state. “Maintaining those capabilities for the future and building on them is critical.”

Each of the three grants addresses a specific facet of the lab’s emergency response work. The first will pay for a series of practice exercises designed to improve interagency coordination and spot any gaps in the OVDL’s current preparedness for regulatory testing.The second grant will help the OVDL incorporate the new equipment it acquired for SARS-CoV-2 testing into existing emergency testing workflows so it can expand its animal disease testing, as well as implement rapid sequencing of pathogens at the lab. The third will streamline data transfer between the OVDL and the national laboratory network, and improve communication around disease surveillance and emergency response. 

*Data provided by the Oregon State University Research Office. Unrounded total: $3,497,803. FY 2022 ran from July 2021 through June 2022.