The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) has announced the recipients of its annual awards that recognize professional excellence, achievement and service in academic veterinary medicine. Among these awards, was the 2021 AAVMC Excellence in Research Award, being presented to Dr Juergen A Richt from the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, and Extraordinary Lecturer in the Faculty’s Department of Veterinary Tropical Diseases (DVTD) since 2019.
Dr Richt is the Regents and University Distinguished Professor at K-State since 2008. He investigates zoonotic, emerging and transboundary diseases of livestock, focusing mainly on viral diseases. His work has led to strategies to identify, control and/or eradicate pathogens with significant impact on veterinary medicine, human health and food security. His recent work focuses on the establishment of preclinical animal models for SARS-CoV-2 in order to evaluate the efficacy of vaccines and therapeutics for COVID-19.
Dr Richt was deeply honored by receiving this prestigious award. “This is a tremendous recognition of our research over my professional career and is due to the dedication of my staff and collaborators,” he said.
The AAVMC Excellence in Research Award is sponsored by Elanco and designates the outstanding veterinary medical researcher of the year, as selected by a committee of peers. Founded in 1966, the AAVMC represents more than 40,000 faculty, staff and students across the global academic veterinary medical community.
The AAVMC Board of Directors established the annual research award in 2010 to recognize outstanding research and scholarly achievements in the field of veterinary medicine. It recognizes an individual who, over the course of his or her career, has demonstrated excellence in original research, leadership in the scientific community, and mentoring of trainees and colleagues in any discipline of veterinary medicine.
The AAVMC’s professional awards, as well as a student scholarship award, will be presented during its 2021 Annual Conference and Iverson Bell Symposium, which will be held virtually from 3 to 5 March 2021.
Short Biosketch: Dr Juergen A Richt
In 2010, Dr Richt became Director of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases (CEEZAD; (https://ceezad.org) and in 2020 Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Center on Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (CEZID; https://www.k-state.edu/cezid). In 2019, he was appointed as an Extraordinary Lecturer in the Department of Veterinary Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. Dr Richt received his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from the University of Munich and a PhD in Virology and Immunology from the University of Giessen, both in Germany. After moving to the United States in 1989, he completed three years of postdoctoral/residency studies at Johns Hopkins University and later served for eight years as a Veterinary Medical Officer at the National Animal Disease Center (USDA-ARS) in Ames, Iowa. He has edited several books, holds several patents, published more than 260 peer-reviewed manuscripts and raised more than $60 million in grants for veterinary research.
Dr Richt is a pioneer in veterinary science, most notably in the “One Health” field. His work on high consequence pathogens with zoonotic and transboundary potential led to strategies to identify, control and/or eradicate such agents. His basic and applied research includes studies on animal influenza viruses, animal prion diseases including bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), Rift Valley Fever virus (RVFV), African Swine fever virus (ASFV) and Borna Disease virus (BDV).