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Thursday, 26 July, 2012

CSU Professor Edward Hoover to Receive the Merial-AAVMC Excellence in Research Award

Washington, D.C. –  July 26, 2012 
Veterinarian and Colorado State University (CSU) Professor Edward Hoover will receive the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges’ (AAVMC) 2012 Merial-AAVMC Excellence in Research Award on Saturday, August 4, at the Merial-NIH National Veterinary Scholars Symposium in Colorado.

Dr. Hoover, whose work led to the development of a vaccine for feline leukemia, is a University Distinguished Professor in CSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences.

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.

For three decades, Dr. Hoover’s lab focused on the pathogenesis and intervention of retrovirus and prion infections — in particular, the feline leukemia virus (FeLV), the feline and simian immunodeficiency viruses (FIV, SIV), and chronic wasting disease (CWD) of cervids (deer and elk). In addition to affecting animals, these diseases serve as models for human diseases such as aplastic anemia, leukemia, and HIV infection/AIDS.  Research in the Hoover laboratory led to development of the first successful and most widely used FeLV vaccine, now used to immunize cats worldwide against leukemia. More recently, Dr. Hoover has performed pioneering research on CWD in deer and elk, which is caused by prions. His current work focuses on: (1) the mechanisms of transmucosal prion infection and excretion; (2) detection of prions in body fluids of live animals; (3) the CWD species barrier in cervid and non-cervid species; and (4) experimental vaccines for prion and protein misfolding diseases.
“[Dr. Hoover] has masterfully employed cutting-edge technology alongside classical techniques to make key discoveries that have led the scientific community,” wrote Dr. Gregg A. Dean, a former student of Dr. Hoover’s who now heads CSU’s Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology. “When I entered Dr. Hoover’s laboratory, he was already a renowned expert in feline retrovirology. His work provided the basis of the commercial feline leukemia vaccine that turned the tide on this insidious pathogen. Over the last 25 years, we have seen FeLV diminish from a major cause of morbidity and mortality in cats to a diagnosis that is remarkable in its rarity.”  Dean went on to praise Dr. Hoover for his numerous contributions, which include mentoring many Ph.D. students and postdoctoral fellows or research scientists.

Dr. Hoover has received over $40 million in extramural research funding as either a principal investigator or co-investigator and has been the recipient of numerous grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including an NIH grant to provide multidisciplinary research training in molecular mechanisms of disease to veterinarians to prepare these trainees to become principal investigators in biomedical research.

He received his bachelor’s degree and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) from the University of Illinois, as well as master’s and doctoral degrees from The Ohio State University. Dr. Hoover is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology; selection as a fellow is based on scientific excellence, originality, and leadership; high ethical standards; and scholarly and creative achievement.

Each year, Merial, the animal health division of Sanofi, contributes support to the veterinary profession in the form of scholarships to students at veterinary colleges, research grants, philanthropy, and products as part of its commitment to the future of the veterinary profession and educational mission of veterinary colleges.

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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 by advancing academic veterinary medicine.  Its members include all 33 veterinary medical colleges in the United States and Canada, eight departments of veterinary science, eight departments of comparative medicine, 12 international colleges of veterinary medicine, and three affiliate members.  On the Web:

Jeanne Johnson, Communications
Phone:  202/371-9195, x144    

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