Veterinary Oncology Specialty Training

New fellowship trains future veterinary oncology clinician-scientists

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When Dr. Samantha Schlemmer read the posting for the Seeker Oncology Research Fellowship at the Flint Animal Cancer Center, it was as if the stars had aligned.

Schlemmer was nearing the end of her residency in clinical pathology at Texas A&M and considering her next steps when she learned about the research fellowship.

“I was a little unsure of my chances since I’d been away from research for a while,” said Schlemmer.

“But I applied because the position combined my interests in pathology, oncology, patient care, and research. The job was perfect. The timing was perfect. Best of all, I didn’t have to choose between my passions.”

According to FACC director of clinical research, Dr. Doug Thamm, the new two-year research-intensive has the potential to transform a well-trained clinician like Dr. Schlemmer into a clinician-scientist.

“We are deeply gratified for the funds provided for the Seeker Oncology Fellowship,” said Thamm. “This gift offers the opportunity to mentor specialists who not only can answer clinical questions but can also pursue a bench-to-bedside approach to challenging problems in veterinary oncology.”

Schlemmer looks forward to capitalizing on this unique opportunity.

“I admire all the work the FACC has done, and I am grateful and excited for the opportunity to train with renowned researchers in veterinary oncology and cancer biology. I look forward to being a part of moving the program forward.”

Schlemmer successfully achieved board certification in pathology in September. Her first few months will be spent rotating through various labs, meeting people, and gathering project ideas.
She looks forward to diving into a meaningful study, likely focused on cancers that are difficult to treat or diagnose, such as hemangiosarcoma or bladder cancer.

About the Seeker Oncology Research Fund

Longtime FACC friend Bets Keen established the oncology research fund to honor her mother and the care their family companions have received at the cancer center for many decades. It is named in memory of Bets’ beloved golden retriever Seeker, her “once-in-a-lifetime dog,” and one of the American Kennel Club’s most titled goldens ever. Through this fellowship, she hopes that we can SEEK to find longevity for our canine friends.