AVMA acknowledges four veterinary scientists with research awards

Updated July 2, 2024

The AVMA has honored four veterinary scientists with 2024 AVMA Excellence Awards for contributions to research.

Dr. David Anderson
Dr. David Anderson

Dr. David Anderson (North Carolina State ’90), a professor and associate dean for research and graduate programs at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, was awarded the 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. Anderson previously served as head of the veterinary college’s Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences.

Dr. Anderson’s research focuses on developing and evaluating new biomaterials and devices for applications in orthopedic medicine. Specifically, he is investigating bone biomaterials for reconstructing large bone defects, nerve conduits for bridging large peripheral nerve defects, and fully implantable, muscle-driven prosthetic limbs for musculoskeletal reconstruction following amputation. He is a co-founder of NuShores Biosciences, established to commercialize patented bone and tissue regeneration technologies. Dr. Anderson helped form and served as founding director of the International Camelid Institute and International Academy of Farm Animal Surgeons.

A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, he is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has served on the scientific advisory committee for the World Buiatrics Congress.

Dr. Karen Tobias
Dr. Karen Tobias

Dr. Karen Tobias (Illinois ’85) is the recipient of the AVMA Clinical Research Award.

The award is given 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. Tobias is a professor of small animal surgery in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine and was named an institute professor at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture in 2020. A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS), she is known for her expertise in small animal soft tissue surgery and congenital vascular liver disease, focusing on canine portosystemic shunts or portovascular anomalies. Dr. Tobias developed and received a patent for a mechanical device used to secure bandages and dressings over wounds and incisions.

Dr. Tobias has served as president of the Society for Veterinary Soft Tissue Surgery, on the board of regents of the ACVS, and on the executive board of the Academy of Veterinary Surgical Technicians. She is the author of “Manual of Small Animal Soft Tissue Surgery,” and co-author of “Veterinary Surgery: Small Animal Expert Consult,” and “Atlas of Ear Diseases of the Dog and Cat.”

Dr. Jan Suchodolski
Dr. Jan Suchodolski

Dr. Jan Suchodolski is the recipient of the AVMA Career Achievement in Canine Research Award. The award honors an AVMA member’s long-term contribution to the field of canine research.

Dr. Suchodolski is a 1997 graduate of the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna in Austria and earned a PhD in veterinary microbiology in 2005 from Texas A&M University. Dr. Suchodolski serves as a professor of small animal clinical science and is associate director for research and head of microbiome sciences of the gastrointestinal laboratory at Texas A&M’s College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Suchodolski also holds the Purina Pet Care Endowed Chair for Microbiome Research.

He is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists in immunology and serves on the board of directors of the Comparative Gastroenterology Society. Known for his expertise in the study of the canine gut microbiome and metabolome, Dr. Suchodolski’s research focuses on characterization of intestinal microbiota using metagenomics and metabolomics in animal models with spontaneously occurring inflammatory bowel diseases and how the perturbations are modulated by antibiotics, probiotics, and prebiotics. Dr. Suchodolski’s work has led to the development of new diagnostic commercially available markers for microbiome dysbiosis. One of these markers, the canine microbiota dysbiosis index, is now licensed to an international veterinary diagnostic laboratory.

Dr. Joshua Stern
Dr. Joshua Stern

Dr. Joshua Stern (Ohio State ’08) was honored with the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) Career Achievement in Feline Research Award. The award recognizes contributions to advancing feline health through research.

Dr. Stern is associate dean and director of research and graduate studies at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, where he also serves as a professor of cardiology in the Department of Clinical Sciences. He previously served as associate dean for veterinary medical center operations, chief veterinary medical officer, and professor of cardiology in the Department of Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of California-Davis (UC-Davis) School of Veterinary Medicine.

A diplomate and president of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine’s subspecialty of cardiology, Dr. Stern founded and serves as principal investigator at the UC-Davis Stern Translational Cardiac Genetics and Pharmacogenomics Laboratory.

His research focuses on cardiac genetics and cardiac pharmacogenomics. Dr. Stern’s research on naturally occurring hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in cats has led to a disease-modifying treatment for the condition and he has been instrumental in improving feline cardiac diagnostics, treatment modalities, and overall patient care.

He has played a vital role in advancing feline genetics and genomics through his work with the 99Lives Cat Genome Sequencing Consortium and as the inaugural chair of the Feline Scientific Advisory Board at the Morris Animal Foundation. Dr. Stern is an advising faculty member of the North Carolina State Feline Health Center.