Ed Breitschwerdt, professor of medicine and infectious disease at the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine, is the recipient of the 2017 Asa Mays DVM Award for Excellence in Canine Health Research from the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation.
In a press release, the nonprofit AKC-CHF singled out Breitschwerdt’s innovative, leading-edge research in infectious disease research that, “has advanced our knowledge of deadly pathogens that cross species barriers, contributing to both canine and human health.”
“As a clinician, research scientist and educator, he has impacted not only our current understanding, but has prepared many young scientists to continue this work into the future,” said Mary Smith, CHF board member, who presented the award over the weekend at the group’s biennial conference.
“Throughout my career, it has been a privilege to provide medical care for man’s best friend,” said Breitschwerdt. “I have also had the very good fortune to be a member of an outstanding and caring profession.”
Breitschwerdt is an internationally recognized expert in vector-borne diseases, a group of conditions, such as Lyme disease, that are transmitted by an infected host. He has has spent more than three decades studying vector-transmitted pathogens and co-directs the CVM’s Vector Borne Diseases Laboratory. He also directs the Intracellular Pathogens Research Laboratory at NC State’s Comparative Medicine Institute.
He is particularly well-known as an expert in the bacterium Bartonella and Bartonellosis, the group of infectious diseases it causes. The Intracellular Pathogens Research Laboratory isolated, genetically characterized and named the first Bartonella species ever found in a dog anywhere in the word. He is also an adjunct professor of medicine at the Duke University Medical Center.
In March, Breitschwerdt received the 2017 Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges Excellence in Research Award. Other notable honors include the Holladay Medal, the highest award given to a NC State faculty member, in 2013, and the NC State Alumni Association Outstanding Research Award in 2012. The CHF has awarded Breitschwerdt five grants for Bartonellosis and lymphoma research.
“I accept this award on behalf of the many professional students, interns, residents, graduate students, fellow faculty and research collaborators who have brought recognition to the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine and to me personally,” said Breitschwerdt. “I am most appreciative for the financial support from the AKC-CHF that made it possible for us to improve the health and well-being of dogs and their owners.”