Dr. Ian Duncan, Professor in the Department of Medical Sciences at the University of Wisconsin, received the 2015 AVMA Excellence in Research Award. Described as a true trailblazer in comparative biomedical research, Dr. Ian Duncan received endorsements from both the veterinary and medical communities. His research contributions started early on with the study of the peripheral neuropathy associated with laryngeal hemiplegia in horses, and continued with neuroscience research that identified several previously unrecognized neuromuscular disorders in small animals. His work to understand the basic biology of genetic disorders of myelination has informed not only veterinary medicine, but human medicine as well, having translational impact on patients with multiple sclerosis and Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease. As described by one reference, the AVMA Lifetime Excellence in Research Award ‘correctly acknowledges Dr. Duncan as one of the world’s best exemplars of veterinary research providing the basis for significant new insights into the understanding and treatment of human disease”.
Dr. Duncan was presented with the award at the 2015 Merial NIH Veterinary Scholars Symposium, at which more than 400 veterinary students presented the results of their summer research projects. His acceptance included advice for developing a successful career in research, with points such as “stay focused” on a particular area of research rather than dabbling in several areas, and “remain open” to the possibility that what you think is true might not be so.