Dr. Jonna Mazet Receives 2021 AVMA Global Veterinary Service Award
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) named Dr. Jonna Mazet, professor of epidemiology and disease ecology at the University of California, Davis’ School of Veterinary Medicine, as the winner of the 2021 Global Veterinary Service Award.
The Global Veterinary Service Award was established initially as the XIIth International Veterinary Congress Prize after the 1934 International Veterinary Congress (former name of the World Veterinary Association), recognizing outstanding service by an AVMA member who has contributed to international understanding of veterinary medicine. It was renamed in 2019 in honor of the visionary international leadership exemplified by Dr. René Carlson and Dr. Leon Russell, both past presidents of the AVMA and World Veterinary Association. The AVMA Council on Research selects the recipient.
“Dr. Mazet’s contributions to global understanding and advancement in the areas of epidemiology, wildlife medicine, disaster preparedness, One Health and disease detection have been immeasurable,” said Dr. Douglas Kratt, president of the AVMA. “She is exceedingly well respected across the global scientific community because of the high caliber of her work as a veterinarian, scientist, teacher, researcher and mentor, and she epitomizes the characteristics celebrated by this award.”
Dr. Mazet has spent her career promoting the value of collaboration—locally, nationally and internationally—to advance animal health and welfare, human and ecosystem health, and the critical role that the veterinary profession plays in these arenas. One such collaboration was through USAID’s global disease discovery and surveillance project PREDICT, from which she just completed a more than a decade-long tenure as the principal investigator and global director. From its launch in 2009, and under the direction of Dr. Mazet and her team, PREDICT has developed novel surveillance methods and strengthened capacity around the world to enhance the early detection and discovery of zoonotic viruses with pandemic potential, including SARS-CoV-2.
The international transdisciplinary collaborations and networks built by PREDICT have also contributed to the education and training of more than 6,000 people across more than 30 countries in best practices in zoonotic disease surveillance. Through her leadership of PREDICT, Dr. Mazet has been an unwavering advocate for, and a keen promotor of, the critical importance of international collaborations to advance animal, human and ecosystem health.
Recently, Dr. Mazet served as the project director of another collaboration aimed at building global One Health capacity: the USAID One Health Workforce—Next Generation Project. The mission of this project is to empower One Health University Networks in Africa and Southeast Asia to become global leaders in transforming the capacity of workforces to more effectively engage across sectors to prepare current and future health workers to prevent, detect and respond to emerging disease threats of epidemic and pandemic importance. Dr. Mazet is currently bringing her perspective and approaches built from her veterinary foundation to address some of the world’s most pressing problems as the UC Davis Vice Provost for Grand Challenges.
Dr. Mazet is also committed to educating and training future generations of global health researchers and practitioners. As a valued member of the UC Davis faculty and immediate past director of the One Health Institute, Dr. Mazet has mentored well over 80 graduate students and postdoctoral trainees, including many international trainees. In 2006, she co-founded the Health for Animals and Livelihood Improvement (HALI) Project with Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania, which continues to build One Health capacity across that country.
Dr. Mazet’s expertise in leading successful One Health collaborations has been recognized by state and national governments and national and international organizations. She served for almost two decades on the Governor of California’s Oil Spill Technical Advisory Committee, a committee she was appointed to less than 10 years after completion of her DVM degree at UC Davis. Since 2016, she has served as an elected member to the U.S. National Academies Forum on Microbial Threats, focused on developing recommendations for new approaches to mitigate microbial threats to national and global security through the collaborative efforts of leaders from multiple disciplines and organizations.
Since 2017, Dr. Mazet has served on the Scientific Advisory Board of the One Health Platform, and in 2019, she joined the UC Global Health Institute Board of Directors as co-vice chair. She also serves on and was the founding chair of the National Academies’ One Health Action Collaborative, which brings together experts from across human, veterinary, plant and environmental health to put forward strategies for unifying these disciplines in healthcare systems, disease surveillance networks and the minds of the public at large.
“To be recognized by the veterinary community with this prestigious award is an incredible honor,” said Dr. Mazet. “I can’t imagine how I would have been able to build such an amazing network of international collaborators working to make the world a better place, if it hadn’t been for my training as veterinarian in a systems approach to health problem solving, as well as the support and encouragement that I have received from our veterinary community.”
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