AVMA & AVMF Sponsor Young Investigator Awards at the 2014 Merial NIH Veterinary Scholars Symposium

Dr. Elizabeth Lennon was awarded first place in the Young Investigator Award competition at the Merial NIH Veterinary Scholars Symposium the first week in August 2014 in Ithaca, New York. The competition, sponsored by the American Veterinary Medical Association and its charitable foundation, the AVMF, recognizes the scientific advancements made by veterinarians who are pursuing advanced research training through doctoral or post-doctoral programs. Dr. Lennon presented her work in a talk entitled "Mast Cells Play a Protective Role in a Model of Inflammatory Bowel Disease". Dr. Lennon received an honorarium of $2,500.

Dr. Elizabeth Lennon won first prize for her investigation on the protective effect of mast cells in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (photo courtesy of Sarah Blodgett Photography)


Two other finalists received honorariums from the AVMA/AVMF as well. Dr. Blake Hildreth presented "Deletion of the nuclear localization sequence and C-terminus of PTHrP decreases osteogenesis and chondrogenesis but increases adipogenesis and myogenesis in mesenchymal stem cells" and received $1,000 for second place in the competition. Dr. Katherine Tolbert presented "Cysteine Protease Activity of Feline Tritrichomonas Foctus Promotes Adhesion-dependent Cytotoxicity to Intestinal Epithelial Cells" and received an honorarium of $500.

Dr. Harry Dickerson, Chair of the AVMA Council on Research, presenting the second place award to Dr. Blake Hildreth (photo courtesy of Sarah Blodgett Photography)

Dr. Katherine Tolbert’s presentation of her research during the Young Investigator Award competition (photo courtesy of Sarah Blodgett Photography)


The symposium had more than 600 attendees, with 452 veterinary students presenting the results of their research projects. Applications were received for the Young Investigator Award competition and were reviewed by veterinarians and faculty members of several veterinary schools. This primary review group ranked all applicants and selected the top three finalists, who were then invited to present their research at the symposium. The three finalists were judged by members of the AVMA Council on Research for the scientific merit of their research, the quality of their presentation, and their response to questions.

The AVMA congratulates all of the young investigators who submitted the results of their scientific investigations and for their work to advance animal and human health through research.

2013 Young Investigator Award Winners

Why is research important to both animal and human health? Learn more in our Reference Guide on Biomedical Research.