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Newly Elected AAAS Fellows add Honor to the School

November 21, 2017

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has awarded the honor of Fellow to three of our distinguished faculty in recognition of their contributions to science and technology, scientific leadership, and extraordinary achievements across disciplines.

Patricia A. Conrad, DVM, Ph.D.

Patricia A. Conrad, DVM, Ph.D.

Patricia A. Conrad, DVM, Ph.D.

Associate Dean for Global Programs
Professor of Parasitology and University Distinguished Professor
Co-Director, University of California Global Health Institute

Dr. Conrad is recognized for her research and contributions to the veterinary profession, taking a One Health approach that addresses the interconnectedness of humans, animals and the environment. An expert on how disease-causing single-celled parasites are transmitted, Conrad is known worldwide for her new insights on babesiosis, a tick-transmitted parasitic disease that afflicts humans, domestic animals and wildlife. Her experience working on tick-transmitted theilerial diseases of cattle in Scotland and Kenya led to the discovery of two new species of related babesial parasites in humans (B. duncani) and dogs (B. conradae) in the United States.

Conrad and the collaborative team at the California Animal Health and Food Safety System were the first to obtain isolates from cattle of the newly recognized Neospora parasite. Together, their work improved the diagnosis and control of neosporosis, a major cause of abortion in cattle that significantly impacted the dairy industry in California and many other countries. Conrad also leads the diagnostic test development as part of an innovative team working on Equine Protozoal Myeloencephatitis (EPM), a neurological disease caused by Sarcocystis neurona and Neospora hughesi, a new species identified in the Conrad laboratory.

In addition, Conrad has led a team of researchers investigating the presence of disease-causing parasites in freshwater, marine and coastal ecosystems in California. Of particular interest are parasites, most notably Toxoplasma and Sarcocystis, that find their way into the coastal waters and undermine the health of sea otters and other marine mammals. 

Her scholarship is reflected in more than 225 peer-reviewed scientific publications and book chapters, and more than 100 invited scientific presentations worldwide. She is a recipient of numerous prestigious teaching and research awards, including the 2017 American Veterinary Medical Association Lifetime Excellence in Research Award. She was inducted into the National Academy of Medicine (2011) and elected to Fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology (2012).

Jonna A. Mazet, DVM, MPVM, PhD

Jonna A. Mazet, DVM, MPVM, PhD

Jonna A. Mazet, DVM, MPVM, PhD

Executive Director, One Health Institute
Professor of Epidemiology and Disease Ecology

Dr. Mazet is being recognized for her innovative work in One Health to address some of the immense challenges our world faces, and in particular making the links between environmental degradation, animal health and human health.

Under Mazet’s leadership, the One Health Institute advances global health at the animal-human-environment interface through research, education, diagnostic surveillance, community outreach and service. In addition, she leads community-engaged research projects focused on health and environmental challenges faced by pastoral communities in sub-Saharan Africa, pathogen pollution of coastal waters and emergency preparedness and response, serving on multiple government and NGO advisory panels. Mazet was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2013 in recognition of her successful and innovative approach to emerging environmental and global health threats.

Mazet is active in One Health research programs globally, most notably in relation to disease transmission among wildlife, domestic animals, and people and the ecological drivers of disease emergence. She is the global director of a $175 million viral emergence early warning project, PREDICT, developed with the US Agency for International Development’s Emerging Pandemic Threats Program. Working in more than 30 countries, PREDICT facilitates the establishment of a global surveillance system for human diseases emerging from animals using geospatial modeling, genomics, molecular virology and targeted field studies.

Mazet’s strong record of scholarship, leadership in research and education, and success building networks for disease surveillance, emergency response, training, community engagement and development of science-based health policy demonstrates her amazing commitment to global health. In addition to PREDICT, the Health for Animals and Livelihood Improvement (HALI) Project she founded in 2006 with Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania is one example of her efforts to address health disparities. 

Stephen J. McSorley, PhD

Stephen J. McSorley, PhD

Stephen J. McSorley, PhD

Professor and Interim Director
Center for Comparative Medicine

Dr. McSorley is recognized for his excellence, originality and leadership in the microbiological sciences. His research program applies cutting edge immunological tools to study bacterial infection. His research creates a unique bridge between the bacterial pathogenesis field and the field of immunology by incorporating the complexity of the pathogens' biology with state-of-the-art analysis of adaptive immune responses. This research is innovative, timely and important for improving the understanding of prevalent diseases.

McSorley currently serves as the Interim Director of the Center for Comparative Medicine and Professor in the department of Anatomy, Physiology, and Cell Biology, where he leads a team of faculty who use animal models to further understanding of host immune responses to a variety of infectious diseases that can affect humans and animals. The McSorley laboratory focuses specifically on host immune responses to bacterial infections in the intestine and female reproductive tract with a view to generating new vaccines for Salmonella and Chlamydia infection. McSorley also partners with the Center of Companion Animal Health to develop new immune therapeutics for the treatment canine cancers.

McSorley has published over 80 peer reviewed papers and has been awarded multiple grants from the National Institutes of Health to support his research on immunology and infectious disease. He currently serves as an editor for several Immunology journals and teaches Immunology to Veterinary students in the second year of the professional curriculum. He was elected to Fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology in 2015.

“Election of Drs. Conrad, Mazet and McSorley as Fellows of the AAAS provides clear evidence of their outstanding contributions to science nationally and internationally,” said Michael Lairmore, dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine. “We are very proud of these individuals and honored to have them as a members and leaders within our school.”

The new AAAS Fellows will be recognized on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018 during the Fellows Forum at the 2018 AAAS Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas. At the forum, the new Fellows will be presented with an official certificate and a unique rosette pin, the emblem of Fellowship. The gold and blue colors of the AAAS Fellows’ rosette signify science and engineering, respectively.

UC Davis Announcement

AAAS Announcement