Faculty acknowledged for research accomplishments

Three college faculty members were acknowledged for their research accomplishments during Phi Zeta Research Emphasis Day on March 15. The winners were chosen from nominations selected from a pool of names suggested by faculty colleagues. And the winners were:

Dr. Ammon Peck with Dr. Jim Wellehan.

Dr. Ammon Peck with Dr. Jim Wellehan.

C.E. Cornelius Young Investigator Award: Dr. James Wellehan
This award, named for the college’s founding dean, acknowledges the contributions of a young faculty member who has advanced knowledge in an area of biomedical research. Wellehan, an assistant professor in the department of small animal clinical sciences, completed his D.V.M. and master of science degrees from the University of Minnesota.  He then travelled to the University of Guelph for an internship in Avian/Exotic/Wildlife Medicine and Surgery.  In 2002 he came to UF for the residency in zoological medicine. Afterwards he entered the college’s graduate program. He received his Ph.D. in 2010 doing research of astroviruses of marine mammals.  He holds two specialty board certifications.   After becoming a faculty member, Wellehan developed a research program in the molecular identification and characterization of novel pathogens in both domestic and non-domestic species.  He presently directs the Marine Mammal Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory and oversees the Veterinary Microbiology Diagnostic Facility in the Veterinary Hospital.  His research has translated into funding and he has developed collaborative relationships with researchers in our college, other universities and internationally.

Dr. Ammon Peck with Dr. Rick Alleman.

Dr. Ammon Peck with Dr. Rick Alleman.

FVMA Clinical Investigator Award: Dr. Rick Alleman
This award recognizes the outstanding contributions of an established investigator to the advancement of knowledge in an area of clinical veterinary medicine. Alleman is a longtime member of the CVM family, holding the rank of professor in the department of physiological sciences. He obtained his D.V.M.  degree from Louisiana State University in 1980 and became board-certified in both companion animal practice and clinical pathology.   After several years in practice, he came to UF to complete a residency in clinical pathology.  He then entered our graduate program and earned a Ph.D. in 1995 concentrating his studies in the molecular biology of infectious diseases, specifically the evaluation of Anaplasma marginale  major surface protein 3 as a diagnostic test antigen.  Here at the CVM, besides being chief of the clinical pathology service, he still finds time to perform research. His research focuses on ticks and the pathogens they carry and their effects on wildlife, domestic animals and people. This research has identified zoonotic pathogens found in Florida ticks. Over the past couple of years he has identified a bacteria that is in the group of bacteria that causes Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in Florida ticks. He and his collaborators were able to culture these bacteria in vitro, one of the first groups to do so. He has had a good publication record over the years, just recently having his 100th publication accepted.

Dr. Ammon Peck, Dr. Sergei Tevosian and Dr. Harvey Crumm.

Dr. Ammon Peck, Dr. Sergei Tevosian and Dr. Harvey Crumm, representing Zoetis.

Zoetis Animal  Health Award for Research Excellence: Dr. Sergei Tevosian
This award is given to acknowledge the outstanding contributions of an established investigator to advancing knowledge in an area of biomedical research. Tevosian, an asssociate professor in the department of physiological sciences, earned his master of science degree from Moscow State University in 1987. He then joined the department of genetics at the University of Illinois before entering the Ph.D. program at Tufts University.  After several years as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School, he joined the faculty of Dartmouth Medical School.  He came to UF in 2011. His main research focus since coming to UF has been on the function of the protein GATA4 in the development of the ovary and testis, and some of their constituent cell types.  He has been able to establish a critical role for one Wnt gene (WNT5A) in testis development and show that germ cell migration, and obviously subsequent spermatogenic development, was obligatorily dependent on this WNT gene. This has contributed to our understanding of how various genes regulate facets of both ovarian and testicular development. His research has been solidly funded by NIH, and he has had his current NIH RO1 grant since 2002.  Since 2008, Tevosian has published 11 research papers on which he served as either  first or corresponding author.  Outside of the CVM, this faculty member is an active member of the research community. He serves as an associate editor for Molecular Reproduction and Development, and he is on the editorial board for three other journals, including Biology of Reproduction, the premiere journal in reproductive biology. He has also served on the Department of Defense’s Breast Cancer and Ovarian Cancer review panels for each of the past five years. He also teaches gross anatomy to our veterinary students.


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