Investigators recognized for outstanding research

Published on September 30, 2015
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Dr. Ian D. Duncan Dr. Urs Giger

During the 2015 Merial–National Institutes of Health Veterinary Scholars Symposium, held July 30-Aug. 2 at the University of California-Davis, the AVMA and American Veterinary Medical Foundation presented awards to two individuals for their efforts in advancing veterinary research.

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. Ian D. Duncan

Dr. Duncan (Glasgow ’71), a professor of neurology in the Department of Medical Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, has been described as a true trailblazer in comparative biomedical research. He received his doctorate in pathology from Glasgow University in 1975. 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 also human medicine, having translational impact on patients with multiple sclerosis and Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease.

Dr. Duncan is a fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, Royal College of Pathologists, and Royal Society of Edinburgh.

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.

AVMF/Winn Excellence in Feline Research Award

This award honors a candidate’s contribution to advancing feline health through research.

Dr. Urs Giger

Dr. Giger (Zurich ’77) is a professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and director of the Josephine Deubler Genetic Disease Testing Laboratory. He’s also head of the Clinical Program in Medical Genetics and Pediatrics. His extensive contributions to the expansion of knowledge in feline medicine include the characterization of the feline AB blood type system, description of a number of blood cell abnormalities such as osmotic fragility syndrome and leukocyte adhesion deficiency, and discovery of numerous genetic defects associated with feline hereditary diseases.

Dr. Giger is an American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine–certified specialist in small animal internal medicine as well as a diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (companion animals) and European College of Veterinary Clinical Pathology.