Faculty, graduate research awards given at Phi Zeta Day

Three faculty members and three graduate students whose achievements over time have demonstrated excellence in research were honored at Phi Zeta Day on March 5. The faculty and graduate student awards are especially prestigious, and are part of a tradition of recognizing current and future leaders in research and discovery in the field of veterinary medicine.

The selection process for the key faculty awards consisted of nominations selected from a pool of names suggested by faculty colleagues. Packets were reviewed by a selection committee consisting of previous awardees from the past three years.

Dr. Linda Hayward and Dr. Harvey Crumm

Dr. Linda Hayward and Dr. Harvey Crumm.

Receiving the Pfizer Animal Health Award for Research Excellence, which included $1,000 and a plaque and represents the college’s most prestigious faculty research award, was Dr. Linda Hayward, an associate professor in the department of physiological sciences.

Courtney said that Hayward, who came to UF in 1997, has received national and international recognition for her research on neural control of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. He noted that she has run a well-funded and productive research program for many years, and has done so while simultaneously being “one of the best teachers in the department” and while shouldering numerous service obligations at the departmental, college, university and national levels.

“Her work has contributed to the understanding of how exercise, hemorrhage and exposure to various toxicants affects the long-term function of the cardiovascular and respiratory system, and her most recent focus on stress effects on the rennin-angiotensin system may have significant human healh applications in the area of hypertension,” Courtney said.

“As if that is not enough, Dr. Hayward has a heavy teaching load in the DVM program, oversees the Merial Veterinary Scholars Program for the college, and organized and hosted the 2011 Merial-NIH National Veterinary Scholars Program Symposium held last summer at the Disney resort in Orlando,” he said. “She is also involved in graduate education, mentoring graduate students and teaching in and serving as the course coordinator for the departmental graduate course in Physiology of Mammals. She is a well-regarded teacher, and her student evaluations are near the top of the department, indicating that she is an effective and valued instructor for both veterinary and graduate students.

Dr. Harvey Crumm, representing Pfizer, presented Hayward with the award.

Dr. Charles Courtney and Dr. David Freeman.

Dr. Charles Courtney and Dr. David Freeman.

Receiving the FVMA Clinical Investigator Award, which included $500 and a plaque, was Dr. David Freeman, professor and chairman of the department of large animal clinical sciences.

“Dr. Freeman came to UF in 2004 and has since established an internationally recognized research program in equine colic,” said Dr. Charles Courtney, associate dean for research and graduate studies. “Especially notable is his consistent and productive research on the role of oxygen-derived free radicals, proinflammatory mediators, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in intestinal function and healing.”

Among the notable outcomes of this work has been the finding that the equine colon is not subject to a reperfusion component after ischemia as was widely believed.

Receiving the C.E. Cornelius Young Investigator Award, which included $500 and a plaque, was Dr. Antonio Pozzi, an assistant professor in the department of small animal clinical sciences.

Pozzi joined UF’s faculty is 2006 and has since built an international reputation for his work in small animal orthopedics with special interests in minimally invasive orthopedic surgery and biomechanics and treatment of the cranial cruciate ligament deficient stifle.

“Key to his research success has been our Comparative Orthopedic and Biomechanics Laboratory, a joint effort between our college and the Colleges of Medicine and Engineering at UF,” Courtney said, adding that Pozzi was instrumental in establishing the laboratory and has been its driving force.

“Not only has he won several awards for his work from the Veterinary Orthopedics Society, a number of our residents that he mentored also have won awards for their research presentations at national meetings,” Courtney said.

Dr. Charles Courtney and Dr. Astrid Grosche.

Dr. Charles Courtney and Dr. Astrid Grosche.

The Charles F. Simpson Memorial Scholarship Award, which consisted of $500 and a plaque, went to Dr. Astrid Grosche, a recent Ph.D. recipient in the department of large animal clinical sciences.

Grosche came to UF in 2006 and her research interests are on the role of neutrophils and inflammation in ischemia-reperfusion injury in the equine colon, which is a highly relevant topic in equine gastrointestinal disease and surgery.

“Since her arrival at UF, she has published 16 manuscripts in refereed publications and was first author on five of these,” Courtney said. “In addition to her research interests, she is a valuable member of Shands Renal Transplant Team and is frequently on call to prepare a donor kidney for implantation.”

Dr. Charles Courtney and Marc Rumpler.

Dr. Charles Courtney and Marc Rumpler.

The CVM Excellence in Doctoral Studies Award went to Marc Rumpler, a Ph.D. student in the department of physiological sciences. Rumpler’s research has focused on the characterization of the pharmacokinetics of the anti-cholinergic agent glycopyrrolate in equids with emphasis on racing thoroughbreds.

He first developed a highly sensitive analytical test, which subsequently permitted him to characterize the pharmacokinetic profile of the drug following different dosing regimens.

“He has also completed studies that will provide new and important information relating blood levels of this drug to several key physiological parameters, including cardiovascular, respiratory and GI responses,” Courtney said. “This work can serve as a useful model for evaluating the performance-altering properties of other drugs that are tightly regulated in racing animals.”

Dr. Charles Courtney and Dr. Laura Cuddy.

Dr. Charles Courtney and Dr. Laura Cuddy.

The CVM Excellence in Master’s Studies Award recipient, which included $100 and a plaque, was Dr. Laura Cuddy, a resident in small animal surgery who completed her master’s degree in 2011 and who will complete her residency this year.

Cuddy’s thesis research involves the biomechanics of the canine elbow joint and the effects of ulnar osteotomy. She has received awards for the Best Podium Presentation by a resident at the Annual Conference of the Veterinary Orthopedics Society and for the Best Research Presentation by a Resident at the Annual Symposium of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.


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