University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine Dean Carolyn Henry recently announced the recipients of three faculty awards. The awards are usually presented during the CVM’s annual Honors Banquet. However, because the 2020 banquet could not be held in person, Henry revealed the award winners during one of the college’s weekly Town Hall meetings.
Faculty members nominate the recipient of the Zoetis Award for Veterinary Research Excellence, which is presented to a faculty member or graduate student whose research related to veterinary medicine has promise of national recognition. This year’s winner is Department of Veterinary Pathobiology Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies Christian Lorson, PhD.
Lorson’s lab comprises several research teams, whose investigations focus largely on translational medicine and neurodegenerative diseases, such as spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), spinal muscular atrophy with respiratory distress, Huntington’s Disease, and others. Lorson is also the co-founder of Shift Pharmaceuticals, which is researching treatments for SMA.
Henry called Lorson a true leader for the college in research.
She said he is, “Someone who understands translational research from basic ideas in a laboratory through models and into commercialization of products that not only help animals, but help people.” She noted that Lorson a prime example of what the CVM can bring to efforts such as MU’s Precision Health Initiative.
In accepting the honor, Lorson credited his team.
“I think what you really realize is that it’s a team effort, all the time,” he said. “Whether it’s the administrative component or whether it’s in the lab, it’s never all about one person, it’s always about the team. And I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have had a great team for a long time so special shout out to everybody in the lab, past and present. Thank you very much.”
Henry then presented the Zoetis Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award. The student body selects an outstanding teacher who, through ability, dedication, character and leadership, contributes to the advancement of the profession. The 2020 recipient is Patrick Hunt, DVM, MS. Until recently, Hunt was a clinical instructor in the Veterinary Health Center working in the Small Animal Emergency and Critical Care Service. He recently relocated to Cincinnati, Ohio.
The CVM Class of 2021 nominated Hunt for the award.
“Though many exemplary faculty members were nominated and voted for this individual stands out for his faciliatory teaching style teaching style and willingness to allow students to assume leadership on clinical cases,” Henry read from Hunt’s nomination letter. “This unconventional method results in clinical instruction which encourages mutual and respectful contributions from all students.”
The final award Henry presented was the Dadd Award, which honors excellence in veterinary medicine teaching as judged by peers.
“When you make enough of a difference in teaching that your peers in teaching recognize that, I think that’s a very special thing,” Henry said.
George Dadd was a veterinarian and physician born and trained in England. He promoted the earliest formal veterinary medical education in the United States. Dadd equated veterinary medicine to human medicine, sought the best students for veterinary medicine, and pioneered the use of anesthesia for clinical use in animals.
Henry announced that the recipient of the 2020 Dadd Award is Leah Cohn, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, a professor of small animal internal medicine.
John Middleton, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, a professor of food animal medicine, nominated Cohn for the honor. Middleton noted in his nomination letter that he had worked with Cohn for nearly 19 years and interacted with her not only at the college, but also in the American College of Internal Medicine.
“I have observed her teach students, mentor and teach house officers and graduate students, deliver continuing education, and speak to the public and news media,” Middleton wrote. “In all facets of these teaching activities, she is articulate and extremely well-versed in the subject matter. Most importantly, she is a skilled orator who delivers information to her audiences with clarity of thought and at a level of complexity suited to the particular group she is educating. As a teacher she sets high standards, while also understanding people, and she is conscientious about being inclusive and understanding of other’s perspectives.”
“Thank you so much,” Cohn responded. “I’m really really honored.”