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February 15, 2020

Veterinary faculty among 2019 elected AAAS fellows

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Three faculty members at U.S. veterinary colleges, two of them veterinarians, are among 443 fellows chosen this past year by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which is the world’s largest scientific society. Election as a fellow is an honor bestowed upon association members by their peers. The association’s fellowship program recognizes individuals whose efforts toward advancing science applications are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished.

The 2019 fellows will be recognized at a certificate and pinning ceremony on Feb. 15 during the association’s annual meeting in Seattle. (Note: The AAAS does not identify new fellows as veterinary faculty members or veterinarians, so this list might not be comprehensive.)

Section on Biological Sciences

Ellen Puré, PhD
Ellen Puré, PhD

Ellen Puré, PhD, is a professor and chair of the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. She is also director of the Penn Vet Cancer Center, which integrates research and cancer care, speeding the translation of science to the clinic.

She is an expert in the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying diseases associated with chronic inflammation and fibrosis, including cancer. Among other key discoveries, Dr. Puré’s work has uncovered new ways that inflammation and fibrosis contribute to the development, growth, and spread of cancer. She’s helping pioneer therapeutic strategies that target the tumor microenvironment as a way of slowing or stopping cancer’s spread, and she’s working to understand how tumors might seed distant tissues to promote metastasis, according to a university press release.

Dr. Puré received her doctorate in immunology in 1981 from what was then the University of Texas-Southwestern School of Medicine. She then completed postdoctoral fellowships at Rockefeller University and the UT-Southwestern Medical Center.

Dr. Rumbeiha
Dr. Wilson K. Rumbeiha

Dr. Wilson K. Rumbeiha is a professor of toxicology at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. He formerly was a professor of veterinary toxicology in the Department of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine at Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He is also a diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology and American Board of Veterinary Toxicology.

Dr. Rumbeiha’s research interests are investigating antidotes for the treatment of acute neurotoxicity of highly toxic compounds, novel diagnostic toxicology test methods, and the toxicity of toxins in harmful algal blooms.

Dr. Rumbeiha received his veterinary degree in 1982 from Makerere University School of Veterinary Medicine in Kampala, Uganda. Later, he attended the University of Guelph Ontario Veterinary College, where he obtained his doctorate in biomedical sciences with a focus on toxicology.

Dr. Rumbeiha completed his residency at Kansas State University. He had a short stint in industry at Embro Corp., St. Louis Park, Minnesota, and then at White Sands Research in Alamogordo, New Mexico, before joining academia.

Section on Medical Sciences

Dr. Baumgarth
Dr. Nicole Baumgarth

Dr. Nicole Baumgarth is a professor of immunology with the Center for Comparative Medicine and the Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

Her laboratory is exploring the immunological mechanisms that regulate and control immunity to pathogens. Dr. Baumgarth and fellow researchers use two mouse models for their studies on influenza infections and infections with Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease. She is also interested in the development and regulation of B-1 cells and the regulation and function of natural IgM.

Dr. Baumgarth received her veterinary degree in 1987 and doctorate in 1989 from the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover in Hannover, Germany. She then conducted postdoctoral studies in Australia and at Stanford University. In 2000, she set up her own laboratory at UC-Davis, then under the directorship of Dr. Stephen Barthold, with whom she began to collaborate.

Dr. Baumgarth is the current director of a National Institutes of Health training grant at UC-Davis for veterinarians conducting research towards a doctorate and chair of the university’s Graduate Council, overseeing all graduate education at the university.