Undergraduate Offerings

Currently, the Department of Veterinary Medicine does not have a dedicated Undergraduate Program. Below are ways our faculty are contributing to the undergraduate programming on campus and in the community. 

Gemstone Honors Program - GEMS397

Dr. Yanjin Zhang and Dr. Daniel Nelson service as faculty mentor for one of the multiple four-year undergraduate research teams which is comprised of ten Gemstone Honors Program students.  Outstanding undergraduate students are invited to join the Gemstone honors program. In the Gemstone Honors Program, students with a similar interest form a team and work on a research project selected under the guidance of a faculty mentor.

Currently, the students under Dr. Zhang’s guidance are known as team EVICT. This team is conducting laboratory research for their project, exploration of a viral protein for cancer treatment, in the Department of Veterinary Medicine – Zhang Lab. Dr. Zhang is the instructor for this project seminar course.

In recent years, Dr. Daniel Nelson served as the faculty mentor for Team Phage, Team Gold, and Team Lytic.

Host Pathogen Interactions - FIRE 180

Dr. Daniel Nelson serves as the faculty mentor/collaborator for the First-Year Innovation and Research Experience (FIRE) stream on Host-Pathogen Interactions (HPI), one of 16 streams in the program.  FIRE provides first-year UMD students an inclusive faculty-mentored research experience that drives accelerated professional development and equality of opportunity. Each year he delivers lectures to the class, which is instructed by research specialist Dr. Jessica O’Hara, and works one-on-one with 4-6 of the top students from the class on an independent research project over the summer. These students then stay in the FIRE program their sophomore year as peer mentors to the new first-year students.

Terps in Space - UMD's Undergrad Spaceflight Experiments Program

Dr. Daniel Nelson mentored groups of undergraduate students for the University of Maryland Student Space Flight Program to test replication rates of bacteriophage in zero gravity. Where they sent samples to the International Space Station for Mission 11 in 2018 and are currently planning to send samples on Mission 14.

Liaison for science outreach, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS)

Dr. Daniel Nelson collaborates with the Special Projects Manager for Secondary Curriculum & Districtwide Programs, MCPS, to further develop a countywide DNA Resource Center whereby environmental phage samples collected by middle school students would be sequenced, the results analyzed by high school students, and potential antimicrobial proteins would be further evaluated in his lab and others at the University of Maryland. The DNA Resource Center received funding from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and we are working to implement these new developments within the program.

Independent Undergraduate Research - BSCI379

Dr. Daniel Nelson’s laboratory hosts multiple undergraduate researchers each semester and over the summer.

Independent High School Research

Dr. Yanjin Zhang hosts High School Interns in his laboratory each semester and over the summer.