Meurs Receives Distinguished Professorship in Comparative Medicine

Kate Meurs, who first came to the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine as a small animal intern and now serves as the senior associate dean for research and graduate studies, has been named the Randall B. Terry, Jr. Distinguished Professor in Comparative Medicine.

Meurs’ ongoing, groundbreaking research broadens understanding of genetic disease in companion animals, information that often has potential to guide treatment of human disease.

A world leader in the field of cardiac disease genetics, Meurs has identified the genetic basis for numerous canine and feline cardiac diseases. Her research has led to refined treatment approaches for conditions ranging from feline cardiomyopathy to long QT Syndrome, a heart rhythm disorder.

“The Randall B. Terry, Jr. Distinguished Professorship in Comparative Medicine will help continue our work in the identification of genetic causes of disease in companion animals and the use of these genetic discoveries to develop plans for both treatment and prevention of genetic diseases,” says Meurs. “I am greatly appreciative of this recognition and this opportunity.”

The $1.5 million endowed professorship is funded through a landmark $16 million pledge to the college from the R.B. Terry Charitable Foundation, with $1 million coming from the foundation’s overall donation and $500,000 from the college’s Distinguished Professors Endowment Trust Fund.

The Terry Foundation has endowed several professorships at the college bolstering innovative medical research, including the Randall B. Terry, Jr. Distinguished Professor in Regenerative Medicine, awarded last year to Ke Cheng and the Randall B. Terry, Jr. Distinguished Professor in Translational Medicine for Jorge Piedrahita in 2016.

“I can’t overemphasize the impact of Dr. Meurs’ accomplishments in comparative medicine,” says CVM Dean Paul Lunn. “She has shown how cutting-edge genetic research can have an immediate impact on our understanding of cardiac disease. This is truly authentic translational research and a great example of a professor who practices what they preach.”

After receiving her DVM from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Meurs first came to NC State for a small animal rotating internship in 1990, going on to complete a cardiology residency at Texas A&M where she earned a Ph.D. in genetics.

“As an intern at N.C. State, I was exposed to the concept of advancing medical care through research and education,” says Meurs. “This was an important aspect of the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine culture as was the expectation for its trainees to make a lifelong contribution to the advancement of veterinary medicine.

Meurs, a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, returned to the CVM in 2011 as a professor and associate dean.

I can’t overemphasize the impact of Dr. Meurs’ accomplishments in comparative medicine. She has shown how cutting-edge genetic research can have an immediate impact on our understanding of cardiac disease. — CVM Dean Paul Lunn

In addition to her research, she has been a force in elevating the college’s reputation as an impactful research institution, encouraging cross-disciplinary collaboration and mentorship within faculty and student research and helping guide such projects as the Biomedical Partnership Center.

“I am so proud to work in this community of passionate clinicians, researchers and educators who are all working together to improve the way that we provide medical care to animal and human patients,” says Meurs.

~Jordan Bartel/NC State Veterinary Medicine