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December 15, 2020

Veterinarians elected to National Academy of Medicine

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Veterinarians Drs. William A. Beltran and Amy L. Vincent were elected to the prestigious National Academy of Medicine this October.

Dr. Beltran
Dr. William A. Beltran
Dr. Vincent
Dr. Amy L. Vincent

Election to the National Academy of Medicine is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.

Dr. Beltran was recognized by the academy for his translational research that has provided the scientific community with several clinically relevant large animal models of inherited retinal degeneration. These models have been used successfully to test neuroprotective, optogenetic, and gene therapy strategies, which have led to human clinical trials.

The academy recognized Dr. Vincent for her groundbreaking research leading to improved vaccines and surveillance for swine influenza, characterization of vaccine-associated enhanced disease in a swine influenza model, and characterization of the pandemic potential of swine influenza viruses.

They are the only veterinarians among the 100 new members elected to the academy during the organization’s annual meeting on Oct. 19.

“This distinguished and diverse class of new members is a truly exceptional group of scholars and leaders whose expertise in science, medicine, health, and policy will be integral to helping the NAM address today’s most pressing health challenges and inform the future of health and health care for the benefit of everyone around the globe,” NAM President Victor J. Dzau said.

Dr. Beltran, who earned his veterinary degree in 1994 from the National Veterinary School of Alfort in France, is a professor of ophthalmology and director of the Division of Experimental Retinal Therapies at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. The division is dedicated to providing the necessary scientific and technical support to facilitate the development, testing, and screening of new retinal therapies that can prevent blindness in humans and their animal companions.

Dr. Vincent (Iowa State ’02) is a research veterinary medical officer and lead scientist with the National Animal Disease Center in Ames, Iowa, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Research Service. She is also an affiliate associate professor in the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Graduate Program at the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine.