Dr. Natasha Olby wins 2023 AVMA Career Achievement in Canine Research Award

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(SCHAUMBURG, Illinois) July 16, 2023—The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has named Dr. Natasha Olby, professor of veterinary neurology and neurosurgery at the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, as the winner of the 2023 AVMA Career Achievement in Canine Research Award.

This award honors an AVMA member's long-term contribution to the field of canine research. The AVMA Council on Research selects the recipient.

"Dr. Olby's pioneering work in the realm of canine spinal cord injury and disease has greatly influenced the standard of care for canine patients, with the potential to improve human health as well," said Dr. Lori Teller, president of the AVMA. "Dr. Olby's devotion to improving the lives of dogs and their families, her continued innovation in research, and her strong commitment to mentorship make her a truly deserving recipient of this award.”

Dr. Natasha Olby acceptance speech

Dr. Olby is a leader in the field of veterinary neurology and neurosurgery, recognized as an expert on canine spinal cord injury and intervertebral disc disease, whose work has illuminated the understanding and treatment of acute spinal cord disease. Dr. Olby has made a profound impact on the lives of thousands of dogs through her clinical service, the education of veterinary students and her research career dedicated to advancing canine health.

Dr. Olby was a founding member of the Canine Spinal Cord Injury Consortium (CANSORT-SCI), an international group of clinician scientists (veterinarians and MDs) and basic scientists dedicated to improving outcomes of spinal cord injury through multicenter clinical investigations on dogs with naturally occurring spinal cord injury. And as the inaugural Dr. Kady M. Gjessing and Rhanna M. Davidson Distinguished Chair in Gerontology, she has led key collaborative studies that have defined the pathogenetic basis and clinical features of cognitive decline in dogs, improving the lives of both aging dogs and their owners.

Dr. Olby’s contributions extend beyond research and into mentorship. She has been instrumental in the career development of many residents, graduate students and junior faculty. Her former mentees have gone on to make significant impacts in the field, a testament to her profound influence.

In addition to the 2023 AVMA Career Achievement in Canine Research Award, Dr. Olby has previously been honored with the Upjohn Prize for Medicine, the John Presthus award from the European College of Veterinary Neurology, an American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Hero in Medicine, and the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians’ Faculty Achievement Award.

“I am really honored to receive this award; it is truly a highlight of my career,” said Dr. Olby. “But more than that, it is a recognition of all the dogs, owners, graduate students, fellows and colleagues who have worked so hard on all of the projects over the years.”

To view Dr. Olby’s acceptance video, click here or visit https://vimeo.com/843300776/5a3f06a11e.

To learn more about the AVMA Career Achievement in Canine 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/text) 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.