Demos-Davies wins Pritchard Fellowship, works to advance radiation therapy

August 9, 2019

Kim Demos-Davies, DVM, PhD student, is this year’s Pritchard fellowship recipient at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM). Demos-Davies focuses her research on solving the problems that patients can experience after receiving radiation therapy. “Radiation therapy has been reported to cause cognitive deficits in human patients treated with extra-cranial radiation,” she says, “and to cause brain inflammation in similarly-treated mice.” Little research has previously been done on what causes these problems but, for her PhD, Demos-Davies’ primary objective will be to find the link between radiation and brain inflammation so that patients can avoid these outcomes in the future.

After finishing graduate school, Demos-Davies plans to pursue postgraduate residency training in veterinary clinical pathology. She then hopes to transition to a faculty position in academia.  “My career goal is to work for a university as a clinician-scientist in veterinary clinical pathology,” she says.

Demos-Davies says she chose the CVM because she had such a positive experience during her interview process. “I was impressed with the faculty and resources in both the Comparative and Molecular Biosciences Graduate Program and the veterinary medicine curriculum,” she says. The University of Minnesota is one of few universities in the United States that has a veterinary school and multiple other medical disciplines all on one campus. Demos-Davies says this environment breeds collaborations between veterinary researchers and human medical researchers that allows them to investigate complex disease processes affecting animals and humans alike. According to Demos-Davies: “Collaboration between human medicine and veterinary medicine encourage advancements in therapeutics for both humans and animals.”

The purpose of the fellowship is to provide payments to full-time academic graduate student enrolled in CVM working toward a PhD. Recipients must be in good academic standing and possess exceptional potential as an academic clinical scholar. Preference is to be given to a student interested in large animal internal medicine. 

Bill Pritchard, DVM, PhD, grew up in Wisconsin and pursued his undergraduate degree at University of Wisconsin-Madison. He served in special operations during World War II and later received his DVM from Kansas State University. He received his PhD from the CVM in XXXX and taught in the beginning years of the College. He went on to study law at Indiana University, where he received a Juris Doctor. He then took on academic posts at Purdue University, University of Florida, and briefly at the University of Iowa before becoming dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California-Davis in 1962. Bill has consulted and advised around the world. He’s traveled to 112 countries, counseled the president of the United States and presidents of three Afridan nations, and served organizations including USAID, The Rockefeller Foundation, and PEW Charitable Trusts. He has received four honorary doctorate degrees.