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Friday, January 22, 2016

AAVMC Names Recipient of 2016 Excellence in Research Award

 
 Dr. James E. Womank

Washington, D.C., January 22, 2016  – The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) has named Dr. James E. Womack, the W.P. Luse Endowed and Distinguished Professor at  the Texas A&M University (TAMU) College of Veterinary Medicine and Biological Sciences, as the recipient of the 2016 AAVMC Excellence in Research Award. Selected by a committee of peers, the honor designates Dr. Womack as the outstanding veterinary medical researcher of the year.

The AAVMC Board of Directors established the annual research award in 2010 to recognize outstanding research and scholarly achievements in the field of veterinary medicine. It recognizes an individual who, over the course of his or her career, has demonstrated excellence in original research, leadership in the scientific community, and mentoring of trainees and colleagues in any discipline of veterinary medicine. Dr. Womack, who holds a joint appointment in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine, is being recognized for almost four decades of research into how genetics and genomics can be successfully applied to improve agriculture, biotechnology, and human health.

"The AAVMC is always pleased to recognize outstanding educators in academic veterinary medicine," said AAVMC Executive Director Dr. Andrew Maccabe. "These are extraordinary people who exemplify excellence and inspire others through their commitment and visionary dedication to academic veterinary medicine.”

Dr. Womack is an internationally recognized expert in animal genomics and comparative mammalian genetics who worked to develop comparative genome maps that revealed novel approaches for veterinary medicine, disease prevention, therapeutics, and control.

He was awarded the CIBA Prize for Research in Animal Health, Basel, Switzerland, and inducted as a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science and in the US National Academy of Sciences. He is also the recipient of both the prestigious George Bush Award for Excellence in International Research, and the Wolf Prize, the world's most prestigious award for research in agriculture, with special acclaim recognizing his record of training young scientists.

Over the past 10 years, he has secured over $15 million in research funding from private foundations, the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the National Science Foundation, and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). In 2011, the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture awarded him a five-year, $9.75 million grant to help reduce the incidence of Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD) Complex in beef and dairy cattle. BRD is responsible for more than $690 million in production losses annually in the United States.  

He served as coordinator for the USDA Cattle Genome Research Program and is past president of the International Society for Animal Genetics, the American Genetics Association, and the Texas Genetics Society.

In addition, over the course of his career, he has supervised 47 graduate students, eight residents/interns/postdoctoral fellows, and two pre-doctoral fellows. Along with collaborators, they have published 358 peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals.

Dr. Womack earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics education from Abilene Christian University and a doctorate in genetics from Oregon State University.
 
His award will officially be presented at the AAVMC's 2016 Annual Conference, March 4-6, 2016, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C., where he will also address attendees. This year’s conference, themed Fifty & Forward, is a special conference commemorating the AAVMC’s 50th anniversary.

The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) is a nonprofit membership organization working to protect and improve the health and welfare of animals, people and the environment around the world by advancing academic veterinary medicine. Members include 49 accredited veterinary medical colleges in the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia.


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AAVMC MEDIA CONTACTS:                                                                                             
Jeff Douglas or Jeanne Johnson                                                                                       
Phone:  202/371-9195, x144                                                                                           
Email: jdouglas@aavmc.org or jjohnson@aavmc.org