January 24, 2006, Dean Bennie I. Osburn presented the School of Veterinary Medicine Distinguished Service Award to Vincenzo Caporale, Director of the Zoonotic Experimental Research Institute in Teramo, Italy, to recognize his extraordinary contributions to veterinary research and international veterinary medicine.
Dr. Caporale is the Chair of the Scientific Commission of the World Organization for Animal Health, also known as the Office International des Epizooties (OIE) in Paris, France. Professor Caporale earned his veterinary degree from the University of Perugia in 1967, followed by both the Master of Preventive Veterinary Medicine degree at the School of Veterinary Medicine and a PhD in Comparative Pathology from UC Davis. He was a member of the faculty at the University of Bologna School of Veterinary Medicine from 1973-1988.
He joined the faculty of the Instituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell’ Abruzzo e del Molise "G. Caporale" in 1988. As director of that institute since 1990, he has served a critical leadership role in the regulation of animal diseases in Italy.
Dr. Caporale has been extensively involved in international veterinary medicine, having worked for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Health Organization (WHO), European Union, and World Organization for Animal Health (the Organization Internationale des Epizooties [OIE]). Within the OIE he has served terms as the Secretary General and Vice-President of the Commission of Foot and Mouth and other Epizootic Diseases, as Director of the OIE Collaborating Center for Epidemiology and Veterinary Service Management in Developing Countries, and since 2003 he has served as President of the OIE Scientific Commission for Animal Diseases.
He has had a strong and positive influence on the rational international regulation of animal diseases. Among his duties on the commission, Professor Caporale advises and assists the Director General on problems relating to infectious animal diseases, notably those with the potential to affect trade in terrestrial animals and their products or affect human health. He assists with problems of disease control at the regional and global levels and may also propose procedures for formally recognising the animal health status of OIE Member Countries, a status that affects members' ability to export animals and animal products.
Professor Caporale is an accomplished research scientist with particular expertise in the epidemiology of animal diseases. He lists more than 138 published manuscripts in international and national veterinary journals, dealing with foot and mouth disease, brucellosis, bluetongue virus, dioxin, emergency preparedness, and bovine pleuropneumonia, among other health issues.
During his visit to the School of Veterinary Medicine, Professor . Caporale made presentations to faculty and graduate students as well as students in the Master of Preventive Veterinary Medicine (MPVM) program.