Archived News

2006 Teaching and Research Awards

June 20, 2006

June 2006

Faculty members recognized the outstanding teaching and research accomplishments of their peers at the annual Spring Faculty Reception June 15.

Walter Boyce, professor in the Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, received the Carl Norden-Pfizer Distinguished Teacher Award in appreciation of his ongoing, distinguished teaching performance. Boyce's ability, dedication, character and leadership have led to significant contributions to instruction in the professional DVM, professional MPVM, and graduate clinical programs. Since his arrival as a faculty member in 1988, Boyce has built courses emphasizing wildlife health.

Students of veterinary parasitology describe Boyce as approachable and engaging. They report that his teaching approach and software resources help them integrate complex concepts into their other academic course work and clinical practice.

Since 1998, Boyce has co-directed the school's Wildlife Health Center, which sponsors regional research, service programs and educational opportunities in wildlife health. Boyce also educates the public through frequent meetings and media interviews on hot topics such as mountain lions and avian influenza.

Kent Pinkerton has received the Faculty Teaching Award. While a professor-in-residence in the Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Cell Biology, Pinkerton taught veterinary anatomy, toxicology and development courses, especially as those subjects relate to the lungs and their function.

Pinkerton describes teaching about the cardiopulmonary system as an exciting and satisfying experience. He says that since no two people learn in exactly the same way, he continually adapts and refines his lectures and instructional materials. He co-developed the Virtual Heart, one of the school's first instructional software programs.

Pinkerton directs the Center for Health and the Environment, a research group that studies environmental health and toxicology issues across the disciplines of medicine, engineering, agriculture and the sciences. In 2005, Pinkerton became a founding co-director of the San Joaquin Valley Aerosol Health Effects Center, an EPA-funded research group aimed at furthering society's understanding of how small particles in air pollution affect human and animal health.

Alan J. Conley, Department of Population Health and Reproduction, has received the 2006 Pfizer Animal Health Award for Research Excellence. Conley's reproductive studies across a variety of species have led to new insights into gender differentiation, the nature and regulation of sex hormones, and the improvement of reproductive function. He has also advanced the understanding of the evolution of reproduction in different species.

Colleagues note Conley's extremely productive research program as well as his training of highly qualified graduate and post-doctoral students. Conley is a UC Davis Chancellor's Fellow, having been recognized in 2002 for early career accomplishments and the potential to influence fellow researchers in their fields.

The second Pfizer Animal Health Award recipient is Reen Wu, a professor in the Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Cell Biology who holds a joint appointment in the School of Medicine. Wu’s research focus is on airway epithelial cells, which play critical roles in maintaining airflow, defending against microbial infection, and protecting airways from injury by inhaled air pollutants. Wu's key career contribution is the development of an air-liquid interface cell culture model for airway epithelial cells that has set the standard for lung investigators worldwide. In the past three years, Wu has developed new initiatives and made research contributions in the application of bioinformatics and high-throughput technologies to the study of airway epithelial cells.

Lynn Narlesky, (530) 752-5257