Gustavo Aguirre, DVM

​Recipient: AVMA Lifetime Excellence in Research Award 2013


Dr. Gustavo Aguirre, winner of the AVMA Lifetime Excellence in Research Award for work spanning over 4 decades on degenerative retinal diseases affecting both dogs and humans, described the development of his research career from his earliest days spent raising a group of dogs with a familial retinal degenerative disease in his own backyard to his present research identifying genes associated with those diseases. It would be tempting to look at Dr. Aguirre today and think that he probably had an easy and rapid progression to scientific prominence but those in attendance learned differently. He had the audience in laughter throughout his talk as he described false starts down research in other fields, missteps, and wrong decisions throughout a significant portion of his career. His was a story of success achieved through perseverance and dedication.