James Thomson
Pioneer of Stem Cell Research
University of
WIsconsin-Madison


Making discoveries is fun and exciting and realizing you are the first to discover something is intellectually very rewarding. To discover something requires hard work in both basic and applied research. Basic research focuses on cellular and molecular processes in selected organs or tissues and applied research uses this information to solve specific problems such as creating new medicines or vaccines.

Veterinary pathology provides many opportunities for careers in both basic and applied research. Employment opportunities are in academia, government, and industry. Developing the skills to ask critical questions in research requires additional training beyond the veterinary degree and usually takes place in a university, veterinary or medical school.

Training often includes acquiring a Ph.D. degree - a process that requires ~3-5 years. Typically, only about a year of this time is spent in formal class work; the majority of the time is spent in lab work, seminars, discussions, and writing. Ph.D. students are usually paid a stipend roughly equivalent to the starting salary in clinical practice.

Career opportunities in research abound, and the long term earning potential is excellent. If you enjoy intellectual excitement, constantly learning new things, and having a flexible working environment that allows you to pursue things of interest to you, research in veterinary pathology may be the career for you.