(SCHAUMBURG, Illinois) August 4, 2022—The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) today named Dr. Stanley Marks, professor of small animal medicine at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, as the winner of the 2022 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. Marks has influenced tens of thousands of veterinarians worldwide through his talent as a teacher and through his research publications in internal medicine,” said Dr. Lori Teller, president of the AVMA. “He is undoubtedly one of the foremost authorities in canine gastroenterology, and his body of work has been exceedingly impactful on our profession. He is truly deserving of this most prestigious award.”
Dr. Marks’ research has had an immediate, significant and deep impact on the profession’s understanding of swallowing disorders and chronic enteropathies in dogs and veterinarians’ capacity to diagnose these disorders practically and minimally invasively. His mission has been to call attention to esophageal disorders in dogs by training veterinarians in the diagnosis and management of this condition and educating the public to recognize subtle cues associated with swallowing impairment and steps that can be implemented to minimize aspiration. Most importantly, he has pioneered innovative therapeutics that have a significant impact on human and canine patients alike.
Dr. Marks has completed an enormous body of research evaluating the upper esophageal sphincter in dysphagic and healthy dogs. His research team has evaluated the heritability of cricopharyngeus muscle dysfunction, a devastating swallowing disorder in which affected animals are unable to propel food and water from the pharynx through the upper esophageal sphincter. Dr. Marks’ work on this disorder has revealed that breeds with a hereditary predisposition or high incidence of cricopharyngeus muscle dysfunction include the Golden retriever, Maltese, miniature dachshund, toy poodle, cocker spaniel, and Cavalier King Charles spaniel. He is working with breeders to collect DNA from affected and non-affected dogs in an effort to eradicate this devastating disorder.
Dr. Marks is currently working with veterinary radiologists and esophagologists to elucidate the pathogenesis of esophageal achalasia-like syndrome, a common primary esophageal motility disorder in dogs with megaesophagus in which the lower esophageal sphincter fails to relax in response to swallowing.
One Health is important to Dr. Marks, as seen from his recognition by the human medical community, and he has been invited frequently to speak on his research at the Advanced Practices in Voice and Dysphagia Conference. Perhaps the pinnacle of his accomplishments in One Health is his election to the board of the Dysphagia Research Society and his work on the abstract selection committee of this society.
Overall, Dr. Marks’ research has led to the development of nine novel and innovative diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in dogs. Moreover, his fruitful and long-standing collaboration with M.D. colleagues have resulted in a similar number of new procedures in human patients and the integration of human and canine health research that benefit human and canine patients alike. He is currently validating the first canine swallow impairment questionnaire that he created for owners (the Dog Swallow Assessment Tool, or DogSAT) that will allow veterinarians to rapidly gauge the severity of the animal’s swallowing impairment and help localize the cause of the problem.
Dr. Marks’ outreach, expertise, and passion for training veterinary students and residents in the discipline of dysphagia has been instrumental in exponentially growing the U.C.-Davis caseload of dysphagic canine patients, now the largest worldwide. He has influenced thousands of veterinarians worldwide as an educator and public speaker, and through his research publications in internal medicine. Dr. Marks’ teaching excellence has been recognized through multiple “Favorite Faculty Teacher” awards at his university as well as best speaker awards at various conferences around the world.
For more information, contact Michael San Filippo, media relations manager, at 847-732-6194 (cell) or msanfilippoavma [dot] org (msanfilippo[at]avma[dot]org).