Dr. Joshua Stern named recipient of 2024 AVMF Career Achievement in Feline Research Award

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(SCHAUMBURG, Illinois) June 14, 2024—The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) today honored Dr. Joshua Stern, associate dean for research and graduate studies and professor of cardiology at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, as the winner of the 2024 American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) Career Achievement in Feline Research Award.

This award recognizes an AVMA member veterinarian’s long-time contribution to advancing feline health through their research.

"Dr. Stern's groundbreaking research in feline cardiology has significantly advanced our understanding and treatment of feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, offering hope and improved quality of life for countless cats," said Dr. Rena Carlson, president of the AVMA. "His dedication to both clinical practice and research embodies the spirit of this award."

Dr. Stern, a 2008 graduate of the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, has made numerous contributions to feline health over the course of his career. His work as principal investigator in the Stern Translational Cardiac Genetics and Pharmacogenomics Laboratory—formerly at the UC-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, where he served as professor of cardiology from 2013-2023, and currently situated at North Carolina State University—focuses on inherited heart diseases and pharmacogenetics, with a significant emphasis on hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in cats. This research has led to a disease-modifying treatment for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy which has hallmarked his career as achieving something few researchers can hope for in their lifetime – a new therapeutic treatment due to years of scientific contribution.

In addition to his research, Dr. Stern has been an influential educator, mentoring numerous veterinary students, residents, and scientists. His roles at Washington State University, UC Davis, and now at NC State have seen him guide and inspire the next generation of veterinary cardiologists and researchers. His passion for teaching and commitment to fostering future leaders is exemplified by his innovative approach to residency training at UC Davis, which included a dedicated year for research endeavors. Furthermore, Dr. Stern has actively promoted the development of clinician scientists through his leadership of college-wide graduate programs and the establishment of fellowship opportunities like the NC State VAL Fellows program to train the next generation of veterinary academic leaders.

Dr. Stern’s contributions extend beyond the realm of veterinary medicine into potential impacts on human health. His research into genetic mutations and their role in heart disease not only aids in veterinary diagnostics but also contributes to the broader understanding of similar conditions in humans. This crossover of veterinary and human medicine underscores the importance of his work within the One Health framework, promoting health outcomes across species.

Dr. Stern’s professional accolades include serving as the President of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Cardiology), Associate Editor for Cardiology at the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, and the Inaugural Chair of the Feline Scientific Advisory Board at the Morris Animal Foundation. His extensive publication record and the significant funding he has secured for his research highlight his influence and leadership in the field of veterinary cardiology.

“Receiving the AVMF Career Achievement in Feline Research Award is a tremendous honor,” said Dr. Stern. “It reflects the collective efforts of my students, colleagues and the countless feline patients who inspire our work every day. Together, we continue to push the boundaries of feline and translational cardiology to bring forward new knowledge and therapies that improve the lives of cats and their owners.”

To learn more about the AVMF Career Achievement in Feline Research Award and past recipients, visit www.avma.org/awards.

For more information, contact Michael San Filippo, media relations manager, at 847-732-6194 (cell) or msanfilippoatavma [dot] org (msanfilippo[at]avma[dot]org).

About the AVMA

Serving more than 105,000 member veterinarians, the AVMA is the nation's leading representative of the veterinary profession, dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of animals, humans and the environment. Founded in 1863 and with members in every U.S. state and territory and more than 60 countries, the AVMA is one of the largest veterinary medical organizations in the world. Informed by our members' unique scientific training and clinical knowledge, the AVMA supports the crucial work of veterinarians and advocates for policies that advance the practice of veterinary medicine and improve animal and human health.