Faculty honored with Zoetis Distinguished Teacher and Excellence in Research Awards

Zoetis Award Winners 2023

Dr. Fiona Maunsell and Dr. David Pascual were recently named as the UF College of Veterinary Medicine’s winners of the 2023 Zoetis Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award and the Zoetis Award for Veterinary Research Excellence, respectively.

Maunsell is a clinical associate professor in the college’s food animal reproduction and medicine service, or FARMS, department of large animal clinical sciences. Her clinical and research interests include general bovine medicine, infectious diseases of calves and mycoplasma infections of cattle and small ruminants, especially Mycoplasma bovis infections. She works in a collaborative research and diagnostic group on mycoplasmal infections as well as with researchers in UF’s Emerging Pathogens Institute on the epidemiology of production animal diseases with public health significance.

“Dr. Maunsell is highly deserving due to her dedication to excellence and incredibly heavy teaching load in the professional D.V.M. curriculum,” said her department chair, Dr. Diane McFarlane. “Because of her thoughtful personality, patience and her strong sense of fairness, Dr. Maunsell is a favorite of both the food animal and non food-animal students.”

McFarlane added that with the non-FARMS students, Maunsell is able to teach dairy calf and cow disease processes in a generalized manner applicable to other species. With the food animal medicine-focused students, Maunsell “goes above and beyond, including teaching clinical skills during after-hours wet labs and tailoring clinical preceptorship experiences to ensure these students are day-one ready to work as food animal veterinarians” after graduation, McFarlane said.

In addition, Maunsell has served as faculty adviser of the Food Animal Club, the American Association of Bovine Practitioners Student Chapter and the American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners Student Chapter since 2016. She is also one of two coordinators of the highly successful Food Animal Certificate Program.

A professor of immunology and microbiology in the college’s department of infectious diseases and immunology and the college’s former associate dean for research and graduate studies. Pascual’s research focuses on mucosal immunology and vaccines. He is widely regarded as a leading authority on mucosal immunity in animals and humans.

“Dr. Pascual is a world-class immunologist who has used his interests in infectious diseases and the fundamental biology of the immune system to advance both basic science and translational research toward the betterment of animal and human health,” said his department chair, Dr. Julie Moore.

“His 30-plus years as an independent researcher have yielded significant advances in our understanding of mucosal immunology,” she added.

A major emphasis of his work is to develop a naso-oropharyngeal livestock vaccine for brucellosis, a zoonotic bacterial that can cause debilitating, chronic disease in humans and, depending on the Brucella species, can reduce farm animal productivity and induce abortion in wild and domestic animals. He is also focused on developing therapeutics to treat autoimmune diseases and is a fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology.

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