Dr. Karen Tobias recognized with 2024 AVMA Clinical Research Award

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(SCHAUMBURG, Illinois) June 12, 2024—The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) today named Dr. Karen Tobias, a distinguished professor of small animal surgery at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, as the winner of the 2024 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. Tobias’s innovative research in veterinary surgery has set new standards in animal healthcare," said Dr. Rena Carlson, president of the AVMA. "Her work not only advances our understanding of complex surgical techniques but also translates directly into improved outcomes for our animal patients. We are honored to recognize her achievements with this prestigious award."

Dr. Tobias, a 1985 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, has made numerous significant contributions to veterinary medicine throughout her career. Her pioneering research in the field of small animal surgery has led to advancements in the surgical treatment of congenital vascular liver disease, known as portosystemic shunts, a condition that affects the liver in dogs and cats. Her extensive studies have provided critical insights into the pathophysiology and treatment options for this condition, significantly improving survival rates and quality of life for affected animals.

In addition to her research on portosystemic shunts, Dr. Tobias has developed innovative techniques for the surgical management of a variety of congenital and acquired diseases. She has authored over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and several textbooks, which are widely used by veterinary professionals and students around the world.

Dr. Tobias has also been a dedicated educator and mentor, guiding the next generation of veterinarians and researchers. She has supervised numerous graduate students and residents, fostering a culture of scientific inquiry and clinical excellence. Her commitment to teaching and mentorship has been recognized with multiple awards throughout her career.

Dr. Tobias' exceptional work as an educator and mentor has been recognized with multiple awards throughout her career. Some of her notable accolades include the SCAVMA Last Lecture Award from the Class of 2018 and 2025, the Western Veterinary Conference 2020 Small Animal Educator of the Year Award, the prestigious UTIA Institute Professor Award in 2020, and the Lindsay Young Endowed Professorship in 2023.

"Receiving the AVMA Clinical Research Award is a tremendous honor," said Dr. Tobias. "It reflects the collaborative efforts of my colleagues, students, and the support from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. I am deeply grateful for this recognition and look forward to continuing our work to advance veterinary surgery and improve animal health."

To learn more about the AVMA Clinical 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.