During the 2014 Merial–National Institutes of Health Veterinary Scholars Symposium, held July 31-Aug. 3 at Cornell University, the AVMA and American Veterinary Medical Foundation conferred awards on two individuals for their efforts in advancing veterinary research. Following are some key achievements of these award recipients.
AVMA Lifetime Excellence in Research Award
This award recognizes a veterinary researcher on the basis of lifetime achievement in basic, applied, or clinical research.
Dr. Henry J. Baker
Dr. Baker (Auburn ’60), is professor emeritus of pathobiology at Auburn University and former editor-in-chief (2007-2013) of the Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. At the beginning of his career, Dr. Baker interned and then practiced at the Angell Memorial Hospital in Boston before entering postdoctoral training in pathology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore. In 1968, he joined the faculty of the University of Alabama Medical Center as associate professor of comparative medicine, and in 1974, he became professor and chairman. In 1986, Dr. Baker joined the faculty of the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, as professor and director of comparative medical genetics. In 1991, he was appointed director of Auburn’s Scott-Ritchey Research Center, where he established a research program on molecular and medical genetics of lysosomal diseases, the central focus of his research interest. A diplomate of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine, Dr. Baker was also editor of the journal Laboratory Animal Science from 1984-1991.
American Veterinary Medical Foundation/AKC Career Achievement Award in Canine Research
This award honors a candidate’s long-term contribution to the field of canine research.
Dr. Deborah W. Knapp
Dr. Knapp (Auburn ’83) has directed Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine’s Comparative Oncology Program for more than 20 years. She also serves as program co-leader for the Medicinal Chemistry program in the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research. Dr. Knapp completed her residency and master’s at Purdue and is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in the specialty area of oncology.
Her research has centered on invasive transitional cell carcinoma of the urinary bladder, which she says is a prime example of a comparative approach leading to marked improvement for the outlook for dogs with this cancer and the findings being translated for application to humans. Dr. Knapp’s current research in invasive bladder cancer includes studies of genetic causes, the role of chemical exposures, targeted therapy, and epigenetic-based therapies.