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Sabrina Van Schyndel named 2023 recipient of the Nandi Scholarship

Phase 4 Doctor of Veterinary Medicine student, Sabrina Van Schyndel, was named a 2023 recipient of the Nandi Scholarship from the Theriogenology Foundation. The Nandi Theriogenology Scholars Program awards $10,000 scholarships annually to three students in their final year of veterinary school who have demonstrated superior potential for future clinical and scholarly excellence and leadership in animal reproduction.

Having grown up on a farm, Van Schyndel started her post-secondary education at the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Sciences at the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC). She was recruited by Dr. Stephen LeBlanc, professor at Ontario Veterinary College in the department of Population Medicine, to complete a Master of Science in Epidemiology before entering the DVM program in 2020.

Her master’s thesis research was a controlled trial of an immune stimulant to help present disease in peripartum dairy cows that involved 1,600 cows from six herds – two in Ontario and four in Quebec. The research involved sampling 1,000 cows each week, which Van Schyndel did personally over the course of a year. The study was published in the Journal of Dairy Science, a high-impact journal related to dairy production, with Sabrina as its first author. She later took initiative to analyze the data from that trial to produce a paper on the physiology and mechanism of action of the product in her clinical trial which was published in PLoSONE.

Over and above her own intensive research, she contributed meaningfully to several other research projects in her group, all directly or indirectly related to bovine reproduction. These extraordinary efforts led to her being an author on seven additional peer-reviewed scientific publications.

Outside of academics, Van Scyndel has contributed leadership skills and service to the university, the agricultural community and her peers. During her undergraduate degree, she served as a director of College Royal, a campus-wide open house with dozen of student organized events that draws thousands of visitors to campus each year.

When asked what impact Van Schyndel will have as she continues her studies and enters a career as a large animal veterinarian, LeBlanc, who is also Director of Dairy at Guelph, speaks highly of his former student, “Sabrina has the skills, energy, and intellectual curiosity and engagement to be an outstanding veterinarian who will contribute to the application and improvement of bovine theriogenology. Her commitment to food animal producers and their animals will help to advance food supply veterinary medicine and animal welfare.”

Read Van Schyndel’s publications

Reproductive management practices on dairy farms
Comparison of cow-side diagnostic techniques for subclinical endometritis in dairy cows
The effect of pegbovigrastim on circulating neutrophil count in dairy cattle

For more information

Dr. Stephen LeBlanc, Professor, Population Medicine
Ontario Veterinary College
University of Guelph
519-824-4120 extension 54594

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