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Dr. Robbins Recipient of Reed Rumsey Award for Avian Medicine

Dr. Kabel Robbins, a resident in the Department of Population, Health and Pathobiology in NC State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, is a recipient of the Reed Rumsey Student Award for the Advancement of Avian Medicine. The national honor is presented annually by the American Association of Avian Pathologists to recognize leading research by veterinary students, graduate students, residents, or interns.

The award will be presented at the American Veterinary Medical Association/ American Association of Avian Pathologists, Poultry Science joint meeting July 16-19 in St. Louis, Missouri.In addition to recognizing significant avian research, the award includes $1,000 plus travel expenses to attend the annual meeting.

Dr. Robbins is in the second year of the poultry medicine residency training program for the Master’s of Specialized Veterinary Medicine, Poultry Medicine. His current research has focused on Enterococcal spondylitis (ES), an emerging disease predominately afflicting broiler males in the U.S.  The disease can cause lameness, motor weakness, or paralysis and affects 35 percent of a flock and be fatal for some 15 percent. 

Through multiple clinical and epidemiological field investigations, Dr. Robbins analyzed outbreaks of ES throughout North Carolina and collected and analyzed several hundred isolates of the causative agent, Enterococcus cecorum, from the spinal abscesses and gastrointestinal tracts of diseased broilers. He also performed trace-back investigations from affected broiler flocks to their hatchery of origin and parent broiler breeder farm to determine the possibility of vertical transmission.

Dr. Robbins, who will be asked to discuss his most recent ES findings at the AVMA/ AAAP meeting in July, has presented previously at other meetings including the 2010 National Meeting on Poultry Health and Processing, the 2010 North Carolina Veterinary Conference, and before breeder companies.

In his letter of support to the AAAP Awards Committee, Dr. Michael Martin, the administrator of the Poultry Health Management House Officer Program, called Dr. Robbins’ ES research “exceptional” saying he demonstrated outstanding clinical skills while evaluating North Carolina poultry populations and has worked tirelessly in collecting and analyzing data from numerous flocks.

The Reed Rumsey Student Award for the Advancement of Avian Medicine is named for the respected scientist who served the AAAP in various roles as vice president, president, and as a member of the Board of Directors.He bequeathed $25,000 to the AAAP for the establishment of an award program that recognizes significant contributions to avian medicine.

Posted March 1, 2011