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Celebrating Alumni and Faculty Achievement

The School of Veterinary Medicine confers several awards to honor distinguished graduates in the profession and to recognize the contributions of faculty members to veterinary medical education during the Commencement period each year (see related story).

Alumni Achievement Awards 2003

A pioneer in zoological medicine and an expert in companion animal medicine have been chosen to receive the 2003 Alumni Achievement Award, the highest honor bestowed by the School of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Mitchell BushMitchell Bush, DVM, Dipl., ACZM, is recognized for leadership and exceptional contributions in modern zoological medicine. Since his graduation from the School of Veterinary Medicine in 1965, he has actively pursued pioneering studies and clinical practice in zoological and comparative medicine.

Bush has worked for the National Zoological Park at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, since 1972. Since 1994 he has served as chief of veterinary services at the Smithsonian's Conservation and Research Center. He developed highly regarded training programs for zoo veterinarians at the National Zoo and around the world. He holds a position as assistant professor in the Department of Comparative Medicine at the Johns Hopkins Medical School, Baltimore, and is a visiting scientist at the Kruger National Park, South Africa. Bush serves as veterinary advisor for the Species Survival Plans for the cheetah, golden lion tamarin, maned wolf, tree kangaroo, red panda and lion.

Bush's more than 300 scientific publications highlight clinical and research interests in radiology, anesthesia, reproduction of endangered species, and other medical issues of zoo animals and free-ranging wildlife. In 2002, Bush published a review of 30 years of zoological cases at the National Zoo. He is a charter diplomate of the American College of Zoological Medicine and a former president of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.

Dr. Gerald V. LingGerald V. Ling, DVM, is honored for excellence in teaching, research and service as a faculty member in the School of Veterinary Medicine for 35 years. Ling graduated from the School of Veterinary Medicine in 1965 and joined the faculty in 1968. He influenced the early development of training programs for veterinary students and veterinarians in the specialties of endocrinology, hematology and internal medicine. Ling also helped establish the Small Animal Emergency and Small Animal Outpatient services at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.

Ling's research career has focused on diseases of the lower urinary tract in dogs and cats. He devised several techniques now routinely used by clinicians in the diagnosis and treatment of small animal urinary problems. He also developed a laboratory to analyze urinary stones of dogs and cats and provide suggestions for treatment based on these analyses. His distinguished textbook, Lower Urinary Tract Diseases of Dogs and Cats, is just one of the more than 100 publications he has authored.

Ling has helped educate an estimated 3600 veterinary students during his career. He received the 2002 Faculty Teaching Award.

2003 Carl J. Norden Distinguished Teacher Award

Dr. Barry BallBarry A. Ball, DVM, PhD, a professor in the Department of Population Health and Reproduction since 1996, has been honored with the 2003 Carl J. Norden Distinguished Teacher Award. Ball, who holds the John Hughes Endowed Chair in Equine Reproduction, has been recognized for his ability to effectively organize and communicate his extensive knowledge of equine reproduction and fertility issues both in the classroom and the clinic.

Veterinary students, specialty residents, and experienced practitioners alike cite Ball's abilities as a highly organized and knowledgeable teacher as well as his effectiveness as a caring mentor. He is credited for strengthening academic course work and the clinical teaching program in equine reproduction. He teaches both core and elective courses in the veterinary school, undergraduate courses, and continuing education offerings. In the clinical program, he has introduced new techniques in fetal monitoring and manipulation. He also designed a mentoring program to guide residents through case reviews and research projects. Ball has been invited to present seminars and lectures in the United States, Brazil and Mexico on equine reproduction and fertility issues.

2003 Pfizer Animal Health Award for Research Excellence

Dr. N. James MacLachlanThe 2003 Pfizer Animal Health Award for Research Excellence goes to N. James MacLachlan, BVSc, PhD, professor and department chair in the department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology. The Pfizer award fosters innovative research by recognizing outstanding research effort and productivity.

In the past three years, MacLachlan has authored or co-authored 19 publications based on research into the viral diseases of livestock. He has investigated the molecular biology and ecology of the bluetongue virus infection in ruminants and causes of the equine arteritis virus. Both infections pose significant issues in international trade.

Through his research, MacLachlan has played a key scientific role in the development of new international standards aimed at preventing the bluetongue virus from being introduced to countries through importation of animals and animal products. The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) is now reviewing these guidelines. MacLachlan directs the Gloria and Bernard Salick Equine Viral Disease Laboratory, established in 1999, and conducts basic research on viral disease organisms through the Bernice Barbour Communicable Disease Laboratory. His team recently joined an international collaboration to examine the evolution of West Nile virus in South Africa and compare it with the virus strain which has entered the United States.

2003 Faculty Teaching Award

Dr. Robert J. HigginsThis year's Faculty Teaching Award has been presented to Robert J. Higgins, BVSc, PhD, professor in the Department of Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology. This award publicly acknowledges the tremendous efforts of faculty who distinguish themselves through the design, content quality, and delivery of knowledge. Higgins teaches pathology of the nervous and endocrine systems and conducts clinical instruction of veterinary students and residents. Students consistently rank Higgins as an excellent and enthusiastic teacher with "a deep passion for his subject material that is contagious to his students."

Higgins' instruction encompasses the classroom, pathology laboratory, and veterinary clinics; and he teaches veterinary students, residents and veterinarians in continuing education. His course material has been described as meticulously prepared, coordinating information with illustration to enhance understanding of the highly complex subject of veterinary neuropathology. Higgins has worked at the School of Veterinary Medicine since 1982. He has authored more than 150 publications and abstracts. Higgins' research investigations include experimental gene therapy for brain tumors in mice and dogs.