Noted reproduction expert dies

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Patrick W. Concannon, PhD, a pioneer in canine reproduction who conducted some of the initial studies on hormone measurements during the estrous cycle of dogs, died Feb. 23.

Patrick W. Concannon, PhD (Courtesy of Cornell University)

His research focused on the endocrinology of reproduction in several species, including dogs, cats, groundhogs or woodchucks, cattle, and horses. Dr. Concannon obtained his master’s degree in comparative biology at Northeastern University in Boston in 1965 and his doctorate in animal physiology (reproduction) at Cornell University in 1971.

One of the major contributions from Dr. Concannon and his group at Cornell came in the 1970s when they reported that estrogen decline, not peak, was necessary for luteinizing hormone release in the bitch, and that pre-ovulatory secretion of progesterone was necessary for onset of receptive behavior.

“This report led, in the mid-1980s, to expanded application of serum progesterone testing, using both (radioimmunoassays) in laboratories and in house semiquantitative ELISA kits that became tremendously powerful tools in planning breeding management with frozen or extended semen,” according to proceedings from the Society of Theriogenology 2000 Annual Conference.

Dr. Concannon authored or co-authored over 150 research publications in animal reproduction and pathology; authored numerous abstracts presented at national and international conferences, including the World Small Animal Veterinary Association; and edited or co-edited five books in the areas of animal rights legislation and small animal reproduction. He earned honorary membership in the European Veterinary Society for Small Animal Reproduction, the American College of Theriogenologists, and the veterinary honor society of Phi Zeta.

His career spanned 40 years of teaching in the biomedical sciences, of which 32 were spent at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, where he conducted animal health research and was a lecturer in human physiology, animal physiology, and veterinary endocrinology and theriogenology. He retired in 2000.

Dr. Concannon was founder and chairman of the Quadrennial International Symposium on Canine and Feline Reproduction and the International Veterinary Information Service organization. The latter, established in 2000, is a nonprofit educational organization created to improve access to clinically relevant information for veterinary students and practitioners, particularly those in developing countries and Latin America.

“He was a firm believer in the importance of disseminating information and helping veterinarians and students around the world. He volunteered a very significant part of his time to the development of IVIS and we believe that we would not be what we are today without his vision and determination,” according to a post on the IVIS website.