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July 01, 2021

Fortier picked as next AVMA editor-in-chief

Noted equine orthopedic surgeon takes helm from Matushek after 12 years
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Dr. Fortier
Dr. Lisa A. Fortier

Dr. Lisa A. Fortier joins the AVMA staff as editor-in-chief of the Association’s journals and director of the Publications Division, effective June 28. A career-long member of the AVMA, Dr. Fortier has over 25 years of experience in the veterinary profession and is now the 15th leader of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association and American Journal of Veterinary Research.

Dr. Fortier holds the title of James Law professor of surgery at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. She most recently served as director of equine programs and associate chair for research and graduate education at the veterinary college. She also was editor-in-chief of The Journal of Cartilage and Joint Preservation, the official open-access journal of the International Cartilage Regeneration and Joint Preservation Society. Prior to that, she served as president of the ICRS, and she also launched the society’s first journal, Cartilage.

In her new position, Dr. Fortier aims to help readers better understand the relevance of scientific manuscripts that appear in the AVMA journals, enhance their timeliness and relevance, increase the publications’ online portfolio, and expand readership on a more global level.

The objective of the AVMA Publications Division is to drive AVMA member value and satisfaction by publishing world-class peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Background and experience

In 1991, Dr. Fortier received her veterinary degree from Colorado State University. She went on to complete an internship in large animal surgery and medicine at Illinois Equine Hospital in Naperville, Illinois, and a residency in large animal surgery at Cornell. She also earned a doctorate in veterinary medicine at Cornell in 1998 and was a postdoctoral fellow in pharmacology in 2001. She is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.

Before joining the AVMA, Dr. Fortier saw patients and performed surgery in the Equine Clinic at Cornell in Ithaca, New York, and as a staff surgeon at the Cornell Ruffian Equine Specialists hospital in Elmont, New York. Her primary research interests involve equine orthopedic surgery, tendonitis, and arthritis with special interests in regenerative medicine including platelet-rich plasma, stem cells, and interleukin-1 receptor antagonist protein.

Dr. Fortier’s research has received over $20 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health, foundations, and other sources. Her laboratory at Cornell investigates the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the development of arthritis with the ultimate goal of identifying novel molecular targets for the treatment or prevention of arthritis.

In addition, Dr. Fortier is a member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners and has since 2014 been with its On Call program, a media assistance program that provides timely health updates on equine athletes during nationally televised events. She was recently named to the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority’s Racetrack Safety Standing Committee (see story).

“Throughout her career, Dr. Fortier has distinguished herself as a clinician, scientist, educator, and communicator,” said Dr. Douglas Kratt, AVMA president, in a press release. “We are delighted that she will be bringing her expertise as a surgeon, as the author of more than 150 publications, and as an editor to her new position leading AVMA’s veterinary journals.”

One of Dr. Fortier’s mentors was the late Dr. Joe Foerner, a renowned equine surgeon who was head of the clinic where she completed her internship. She recalls asking him why he was so involved with the AVMA and not other organizations.

“I remember he told me, ‘If you want to influence and improve every veterinarian’s life, you get involved in the AVMA.’ I stayed a lifelong member because of what he said. Those words stuck with me forever,” Dr. Fortier said. “It was serendipitous because on the day I was offered the position (as AVMA editor-in-chief), I was operating on a horse using the Foerner (knife) elevator.”

Matushek staying on

Dr. Fortier succeeds Dr. Kurt Matushek, who has served as head of the Association’s journals and Publications Division since 2009. He joined the division as an assistant editor in 1992 and was promoted to associate editor five years later.

Highlights of Dr. Matushek’s tenure at the AVMA include developing and implementing the structured format for abstracts published in the JAVMA and AJVR and overseeing the writing of the original version of the style guide for scientific manuscripts published in the journals. “Veterinary Medicine and the Law” and “Diagnostic Imaging in Veterinary Dental Practice” are two of the JAVMA features that he has been involved in developing over the years.

Now Dr. Matushek is transitioning into a new role within the Publications Division.

“With such a long tenure under his belt, now is the perfect time for Dr. Matushek to transition his efforts to include helping advance the digital capabilities of our scientific publications, along with the Publications team’s foundational work of editing manuscripts,” said Drs. Kratt; Lori Teller, chair of the AVMA Board of Directors; and Janet Donlin, AVMA CEO, in a May 12 announcement. “An exciting initiative is underway to redesign our journals website and move to a new, more modern and accessible web platform, and Dr. Matushek’s special expertise will be particularly valuable in that effort. We thank Dr. Matushek for his ongoing commitment to the AVMA and our members.”

Read Dr. Fortier’s editorial in this issue.