Dr. Ed Breitschwerdt , a professor of medicine at NC State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, is a 2013 recipient of the Alexander Quarles Holladay Medal for Excellence, the highest honor bestowed on a faculty member by the trustees and the university.
The honor recognizes faculty members who during their careers have made “outstanding contributions to the University” through their achievements in research, teaching, or extension and engagement. The Holladay Medal is named for Col. Alexander Quarles Holladay, the university’s first president.
Dr. Virginia Marie Aldigé, Distinguished Professor of Sociology in the NC State College of Humanities and Social Sciences also was honored with the 2013 Alexander Quarles Holladay Medal for Excellence.
As related in the NC State award announcement, Dr. Breitschwerdt’s career has been dedicated to improving human and animal health through a better understanding of diseases that humans and animals share. A faculty member at NC State for the past 30 years, he also is an adjunct professor of medicine at Duke University Medical Center.
Dr. Breitschwerdt directs the Intracellular Pathogens Research Laboratory in the Center for Comparative Medicine and Translational Research, has served on “One Health” task forces for the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM), the Institute of Medicine, and the North Carolina One Health Collaborative.
Among the recognition Dr. Breitschwerdt previously received, he is a recipient of the ACVIM Robert W. Kirk Award for Professional Excellence, as well as the Norden Distinguished Teacher Award and Clinician of the Year Award from the College of Veterinary Medicine. He has also been awarded NC State’s Outstanding Extension Service Award and the Alumni Association Outstanding Research Award.
Dr. Breitschwerdt reviews for more than 35 journals, has been a journal editor, has served on more than 80 college and university committees, was president and chairman of the Board of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, and serves on numerous international consensus panels developing policy regarding vector borne disease. While research is his main focus, with 290 original research articles to date, he takes time to educate practitioners and the lay public on his findings.
“In order to understand the importance of Dr. Breitschwerdt’s accomplishments, one must appreciate that when he began his research the links between chronic tick-borne infection and animal/ human disease were poorly understood or even recognized,” says Dr. Lizette Hardie, who heads the CVM Clinical Sciences department and nominated Dr. Breitschwerdt for the award.
“Dr. Breitschwerdt has unceasingly given his time and energy to the College of Veterinary Medicine, NC State, and to his profession,” Dr. Hardie continues. “He has taught thousands of veterinary students and served as a direct mentor to 18 residents, 23 graduate students, and seven post-doctoral fellows.”
According to Dr. Hardie, Dr. Breitschwerdt reaches outside NC State to the community and the globe, translating his research into practical solutions for real problems. His laboratory actively collaborates with international colleagues and has contributed to the commercial development of improved diagnostic tests for tick-borne diseases that will be used to screen pets throughout the world.
“He can tell a story or ask a question that will inspire a student, an intern, a resident, a junior faculty member or a colleague to work for a lifetime,” says Dr. Hardie. “As one of the initial faculty members at the College of Veterinary Medicine, he helped make this a great institution.”
Previous College of Veterinary Medicine recipients of the award, which was established in 1992, are Founding Dean Terry Curtin (1993) and Dr. Kenneth Adler, professor of cell biology (2004).