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Dr. Sue Stover Honored with 2016 AVMA Lifetime Excellence in Research Award

August 3, 2016

Dr. Susan Stover, a professor of veterinary anatomy at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine whose work and research has substantially improved the welfare of horses and jockeys, is the recipient of the 2016 AVMA Lifetime Excellence in Research Award. 

Director of the school’s J.D. Wheat Veterinary Orthopedic Research Laboratory, Stover is described as having had a transformative effect on the understanding of the pathophysiology of catastrophic musculoskeletal injury in performance horses, and is known for charting new and sustained improvements in the welfare of these horses and the practice of veterinary medicine. Catastrophic fractures in racing horses continue to be a major welfare issue, and her research contributions have had an international impact and have influenced decisions on approaches to training and rehabilitation, horseshoeing, track surface types and preparation, diagnostic approaches, and fracture repair techniques for improving racetrack safety for horses and jockeys. Her career research record spans many aspects of comparative orthopedics, with a primary focus on bone development and remodeling, the response of bone tissue to exercise and the pathogenesis of fractures and ligament injury.

The translation of her research to the end user, such as the development of online training modules for race horse trainers and owners to educate the public about repetitive stress injuries in performance horses, has been Stover’s trademark. In addition, she has been recognized as an outstanding teacher and has trained a notable number of veterinary surgeons and orthopedic researchers. 

Stover graduated from Washington State University in 1976 with a DVM and completed an internship and residency in equine surgery at UC Davis. She returned to UC Davis after working in private practice in Washington. She became the ninth recipient and first female surgeon to be recognized by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) Founders Award for Career Achievement and has been recognized by both her alma maters as a Distinguished Alumnus.