AVMA honors four veterinary scientists

The AVMA recently recognized four veterinary scientists for their research contributions advancing animal and human health. The award recipients were honored at the National Veterinary Scholars Symposium, held Aug. 4-6 at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine.

AVMA Lifetime Excellence in Research Award

Dr. Gröhn
Dr. Yrjö Gröhn

Dr. Yrjö Gröhn, a professor of epidemiology at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, was awarded the 2022 AVMA Lifetime Excellence in Research Award.

Established in 2005, this award recognizes a veterinary researcher on the basis of lifetime achievement in basic, applied, or clinical research. Winners are selected on the total impact their career has had on the veterinary or biomedical professions.

Dr. Gröhn is an internationally recognized expert in analytical epidemiology, with an emphasis on applying mathematical modeling and other quantitative methods to livestock diseases and foodborne pathogens. He has enriched food supply veterinary medicine with cutting-edge research, the goal of which has been to identify economically optimal ways to manage health for animals and humans.

During his academic career, Dr. Gröhn’s research interests have evolved from studies of basic metabolism in ruminants and genetics to veterinary epidemiology, economic modeling, and food safety. Currently, his two main areas of research and scholarly activity are mathematical modeling of zoonotic infectious disease and optimizing dairy herd health and management decisions.

Dr. Gröhn’s pioneering work has led to improvements in the control of lameness and mastitis in dairy cattle as well as breeding of dairy cattle.

AVMA Clinical Research Award

Dr. White
Dr. Stephen D. White

Dr. Stephen D. White, a professor at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, is the winner of the 2022 AVMA Clinical Research Award.

Established in 1955 by the AVMA Council on Research, the award is given annually to an AVMA member who has made significant contributions to the diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of diseases in animals, including the study of mechanisms of disease, therapeutic interventions, clinical trials, development of new technologies, and epidemiological studies.

Dr. White has taken a collaborative approach to advancing knowledge in veterinary dermatology. This collaboration has included colleagues in other veterinary disciplines and in other countries, and many of his large retrospective studies characterizing skin disease in various species have involved colleagues at other veterinary schools and in other parts of the world to increase the number of cases reviewed and to increase the impact of the research.

His work has increased veterinary medicine’s understanding of skin diseases in several species in which there was limited prior knowledge and have provided valuable clinical information for treatments now being used in human dermatology.

AVMA Career Achievement in Canine Research Award

Dr. Marks
Dr. Stanley L. Marks

Dr. Stanley L. Marks, a professor of small animal medicine at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, is the winner of the 2022 AVMA Career Achievement in Canine Research Award. The award honors an AVMA member’s long-term contribution to the field of canine research.

Dr. Marks’ research has had an immediate, substantial, and deep impact on the profession’s understanding of swallowing disorders and chronic enteropathies in dogs, along with veterinarians’ capacity to diagnose these disorders practically and less invasively.

His mission has been to call attention to esophageal disorders in dogs by training veterinarians in the diagnosis and management of these conditions and educating the public to recognize subtle cues associated with swallowing impairment and steps that can be implemented to minimize aspiration. Additionally, Dr. Marks has pioneered innovative treatments that have a substantial impact on human and canine patients alike.

AVMF/EveryCat Health Foundation Research Award

Dr. Nolan
Dr. Mike W. Nolan

Dr. Mike W. Nolan, a professor of oncology at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, is the winner of the 2022 American Veterinary Medical Foundation/EveryCat Health Foundation Research Award.

Established in 2009, the award honors a candidate’s contribution to advancing feline health through research.

Dr. Nolan, who is board certified in radiation oncology by the American College of Veterinary Radiology, has dedicated much of his work to the treatment of feline gastrointestinal cancer. He also has contributed his skills in radiation oncology to collaborative work in feline urinary interstitial cystitis.

Dr. Nolan’s work on companion animals has enabled him to develop new treatment regimens that have shown promise in the human field, demonstrating the power of translational research. Exemplifying that, he has been instrumental in the development of the Consortium for Canine Comparative Oncology, a program linking the Duke Cancer Institute and NC State’s veterinary college.

A version of this article appears in the October 2022 print issue of JAVMA.