CVM microbiologists observing bacterial growth on culture media.
The Office of Applied Science conducts applied research in support of current and evolving FDA regulatory issues. We work with our customers to provide research solutions that ensure the safety of animal derived food and animal health products. We have an internationally-recognized research program.
We protect human and animal health by conducting research applied to regulatory decision-making about animal food and drugs.
CVM's research complex contains offices, laboratories, animal buildings, and pastures. Our facility includes mass spectrometry, microbiology, whole-genome sequencing, and stem cell laboratories; analytical instrument rooms; a radiolabeled materials laboratory; and many specialized laboratories designed for multidisciplinary studies. The animal research buildings accommodate beef cattle, dairy cattle, calves, swine, sheep, poultry, and a variety of aquatic species.
Investigators at the Office of Applied Science possess expertise in a wide variety of scientific disciplines, including veterinary medicine, animal science, biology, stem cell physiology, molecular biology, chemistry, genomics, proteomics, microbiology, immunology, physiology, epidemiology, pathology, aquaculture, and pharmacology.
Learn about our Principal Investigators and the research they conduct.
- Develop and validate quantitative and qualitative analytical procedures for analyzing drugs, additives, and contaminants in animal tissues and feed.
- Investigate the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of drugs, feed additives, and contaminants in food animals (including minor species).
- Develop models for determining the safety and efficacy of veterinary drugs and food additives in domestic animals.
- Investigate the effects of drugs, food additives, and contaminants on immunological and physiological functions of domestic animals.
- Evaluate screening tests for drug residues in animal-derived foods.
- Investigate interactions between genetic factors and metabolism/disposition of drugs in food-producing animals.
- Evaluate rapid screening tests for detecting foodborne pathogens in animal feed and the environment.
- Develop methods for in vitro antimicrobial sensitivity testing and phenotypic and genotypic characteristics of bacteria.
- Investigate mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance.
- Investigate the effects of antimicrobial use in animals on
- Efficacy against pathogens.
- Changes in the microbial ecology of the host and environment.
- Development of antimicrobial resistance in pathogenic and commensal microorganisms.
- Determine the characteristics of drug resistant pathogens in the environment.
- Evaluate the general microbiological quality of feed/feedstuffs before and after processing.
- Investigate potential biomarkers for animal diseases and for therapeutic response to pharmaceuticals.
- Develop methods for the identification of genetically engineered animals and animal products.
- Investigate the physiology and growth of stem cells to ultimately use in veterinary therapeutics and stem cell therapies.
The Division of Residue Chemistry develops and evaluates analytical methods for drug residues in animal tissues, fluids, and feeds. These methods are used in regulatory programs and in research studies. The division conducts metabolism and pharmacokinetic studies that aid the Center for Veterinary Medicine in improving drug availability for minor uses and minor species. Using state-of-the-art instrumentation, regulatory scientists are able to develop better models for drug bioavailability, fate, and disposition. The division is also responsible for reviewing drug residue diagnostic tests (screening tests) and for determining accurate product labeling.
The Division of Applied Veterinary Research conducts research using terrestrial and aquatic animals and animal systems in support of current and evolving regulatory issues. We provide research solutions to issues of animal health, food safety of animal-derived products, and other animal-industry associated technologies.
DAVR conducts research to investigate the pharmacology of veterinary drugs, primarily in food-producing animals; interactions between diet and drugs in food producing animals; interactive effects of dietary, environmental, physiological, immunological, and genetic factors on drug metabolism; animal and public health problems associated with animal feeds; growth requirements and behavior of cultured stem cells, development of methods to differentiate tissues from genetically engineered animals, and new procedures and models to support the evaluation of the safety or efficacy of animal drugs. These research efforts support scientific and regulatory decision-making by the Center for Veterinary Medicine.
The research our division conducts to support our stakeholders spans a variety of disciplines including microbiology and analytical chemistry, and we employ innovative proteomic, genomic, and molecular methodologies, as well as advanced pharmacokinetic modeling, in our investigations. Current efforts include developing new procedures and models for evaluating drug safety and efficacy, conducting residue depletion of drugs in food-producing animals to address food safety concerns, developing bioassays to predict the efficacy of veterinary stem cells, and developing innovative pharmacological models for drug bioavailability assessments.
The division houses a large aquaculture facility with multiple cold- and warm-water fishes. The aquaculture team performs drug incursion studies to determine the fate of approved and unapproved drugs in edible fish tissues, and standardizes antimicrobial susceptibility testing methods for aquatic bacterial pathogens to improve monitoring for antimicrobial resistance and to foster more judicious use of antimicrobials by the aquaculture industry. They study chemical and drug pharmacokinetics in edible tissues and organs from farmed fish species, develop identification methods for aquatic pathogens, and develop models of fish diseases to study drug effectiveness. This group of scientists also maintains the internationally used Phish-Pharm Database, which consists of over 700 articles that include data from 191 aquatic species (fish, shellfish, and more). This database is a valuable resource to investigators of drug metabolism in aquatic species as well as government and private organizations involved in the drug approval process for aquatic species.
The Division of Emerging Technologies (DET) employs rapidly evolving technologies to conduct basic and applied research in microbial food/feed safety and animal health to ensure the availability of safe and effective drugs and safe animal food products. The division conducts research on the emergence, persistence, and spread of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria in food animals, animal products and the environment using One Health approach. The division uses omics (metagenomics and metatranscriptomics) approaches to evaluate the nature and magnitude of resistance in different environments, establish improved methods to detect pathogens in different food and feed matrices, and develop novel models as a potential alternative to animal testing to measure the effect of drugs on the human and animal gut microbiome.
The health of humans, animals, and the environment is interconnected. The One Health approach to public health addresses challenges with this inter-connection at the forefront.
The development of antimicrobial resistance is a public health challenge that impacts human, animal, and environmental health. The National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS),which was established in 1996, is an interagency collaborative effort between the FDA, USDA and CDC that tracks antibiotic resistance in bacteria from retail meats, food producing animals and human clinical cases of infection. The Office of Applied Science’s Division of Emerging Technologies conducts the retail meat testing component of NARMS, performing phenotypic and genotypic tests to characterize bacteria isolated from animal-derived food products such as beef, pork, poultry and seafood. These data are analyzed for trends and used to help inform policy and regulatory decisions. The findings are published annually in the NARMS reports.
The Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network (Vet-LIRN) partners with over 40 state and university veterinary diagnostic laboratories to investigate potential problems with FDA-regulated animal food and drugs. Vet-LIRN also works to build laboratory capacity, perform antimicrobial resistance monitoring, and prepare for routine and emergency response. Vet-LIRN provides funding to network laboratories to facilitate these activities and support the Center for Veterinary Medicine’s mission of protecting human and animal health.
How we work
People in a wide variety of roles contribute to the Office of Applied Science’s success. In addition to our team of world-class scientists and clinicians, folks with expertise in business management, project management, facilities management, and quality control are critical to advancing the public health questions that drive our work from idea to deliver on goals. Interested in learning more about the entire team that makes our research happen? Visit How Our Research Gets Done.
How to work with us
Visit USAjobs.gov and search on “CVM” to find vacancies at the Center for Veterinary Medicine.