2016 ABCD & Merial Young Scientist Awards

PRESS RELEASE

 

Mirja Nolff and Vito Colella win the 2016 ABCD & Merial Young Scientist Awards

 

The ABCD & Merial Young Scientist Awards (AMYSA) for Basic Research and for Clinical Research were presented at the occasion of the congress of the International Society of Feline Medicine, organised by International Cat Care, in Malta, on the 30th of June.

Mirja Nolff: Negative pressure wound therapy

The 2016 AMYSA for Clinical Research was presented to Dr Mirja Nolff (35), staff surgeon at the Clinic for Small Animal Surgery and Reproduction at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany. “The incidence of multidrug resistant bacteria in companion animals is increasing, she recalled. Antibiotic therapy is per definition rarely effective in these cases. Although the value of negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) has been shown to significantly reduce sepsis and improve healing in dogs, studies in cats were lacking. Our controlled study showed the benefit of  this technique for cats.”

Her work has highlighted the potential of this new form of therapy in cats, commented Dr Karin Moestl, chair of the European Advisory Board on Cats Diseases (ABCD), and may certainly help improve the quality of wound care and welfare in our feline patients.”

 

Vito Colella

The 2016 AMYSA for Basic Research went to Dr Vito Colella (28), PhD student and resident of the European Veterinary Parasitology College at the University of Bari, for his work on feline lungworm infection. “Recently, we demonstrated the ability of dead or alive C. aspersum snails to shed infective third-stage larvae (L3s) of these lungworms in the environment. These elimination pathways may represent alternative routes of environmental contamination and sources of the infection for cats  under field conditions and may significantly affect the epidemiology of feline lungworms.”

“Dr Colella’s work will contribute to a better understanding of the epidemiology and transmission patterns of feline lungworms, commented Dr Jean-Christophe Thibault, Merial’s Technical Director for Biologicals (Europe, Middle East and Africa). It will also assist in the identification and development of novel treatment and control strategies.”

 

ABCD & Merial Young Scientist Awards

The ABCD and Merial Young Scientist Award, created in 2008, is funded by Merial and is presented   to young scientists in veterinary or biomedical sciences, who have made an original contribution in the field of feline infectious diseases and/or immunology.

Applicants should have published their findings in a journal listed in PubMed or Web of Science or have had them accepted by another recognised assessing body. Candidates should be based in Europe, have completed a veterinary or biomedical curriculum, and be under 35 years of age at the time of application. Applications in the fields of both basic and applied sciences are welcome.

 

For further information, please contact Karin de Lange, ABCD secretary, karin.delange@abcd-vets.org

Notes to Editors:

 Photo attached (credit: ©iCatCare). Caption ABCD & Merial Young Scientist Award winners Mirja Nolff (second right) and Vito Colella (at right) flanked by Karin Moestl (ABCD chair, at left) and Jean-Christophe Thibault (Merial, second left),

  • The European Advisory Board on Cat Diseases (ABCD) is an independent panel of 15 leading veterinarians from eleven European countries, with an expertise in immunology, vaccinology and/or feline medicine. The ABCD was set up to compile guidelines for the prevention and management of major feline infectious diseases in Europe, based on current scientific knowledge. For more information, please visit abcdcatsvets.org
  • Merial is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health, well-being and performance of a wide range of animals. Merial employs 6,100 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide, with over $2 billion of sales in 2014. Merial is a Sanofi company. For more information, please see http://www.merial.com.

 

 

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Paweł Bęczkowski and Emily Porter win the 2015 ABCD & Merial Young Scientist Awards

Publication date: 21/09/2015

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September 2015 - Two ABCD & Merial Young Scientist Awards (AMYSA), for Basic research and for Clinical research were presented this year. The award ceremonies took place on the 2nd of July in Porto (Portugal), at the occasion of the congress of the International Society of Feline Medicine, organised by International Cat Care.

 

Paweł Bęczkowski: better understanding FIV infection

The 2015 AMYSA for Basic Research was presented to Dr Paweł Bęczkowski (31), a Polish resident in internal medicine (ECVIM) at the Small Animal Hospital at the University of Glasgow, UK. While studying at the University’s Centre for Virus Research, he focused on virus evolution in the disease progression of natural feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). Relatively little is known about this process in naturally infected cats: why do some infected cats remain healthy while others rapidly progress to immunodeficiency? Dr Bęczkowski found this may be due to the relative stability of the FIV env gene.

“His work may help contribute to a better understanding of FIV infection, commented Dr Karin Moestl, chair of the European Advisory Board on Cats Diseases (ABCD). “This work is not only of veterinary significance and of clinical relevance, but also of comparative significance, as FIV serves as a valuable model for HIV infection.”

Emily Porter: FCoV genotypes and the development of FIP

The 2015 AMYSA for Clinical research went to Dr Emily Porter (27) of Bristol University, for her work on the relationship between FCoV genotypes and the development of FIP. Feline coronavirus infection (FIP) is one of most common causes of infectious disease in young cats housed in multicat environments. However, only a small percentage of infected cats go on to develop disease signs associated with FIP. Sequencing of the complete genomes of pathogenic and non-pathogenic viruses allowed identifying differences in the viruses that may contribute to pathogenicity.

“Emily Porter’s work contributes to the identification of virus mutations relating to the development of FIP”, commented Dr Jean-Christophe Thibault, Merial’s Technical Director for Biologicals (Europe, Middle East and Africa). “It also opens the door to the development of a robust reverse genetics system, contributing to the development of new diagnostic tools and to the construction of genetically modified recombinant viruses as candidate vaccine strains”.

ABCD & Merial Young Scientist Awards

The ABCD and Merial Young Scientist Awards, created in 2008, are funded by Merial and are presented to young scientists in veterinary or biomedical sciences, who have made an original contribution in the field of feline infectious diseases and/or immunology.

Applicants should have published their findings in a journal listed in PubMed or Web of Science or have had them accepted by another recognised assessing body. Candidates should be based in Europe, have completed a veterinary or biomedical curriculum, and be under 35 years of age at the time of application. Applications in the fields of both basic and applied sciences are welcome.

For further information, please contact Karin de Lange, ABCD secretary, karin.delange@abcd-vets.org

Notes to Editors:

g Photo attached (credit: ©iCatCare). Caption ABCD & Merial Young Scientist Award winners Emily Porter (second left) and Paweł Bęczkowski (centre) flanked by Jean-Christophe Thibault (Merial, at left), Karin Moestl (ABCD chair) and Claire Bessant (iCatCare, on the right)

g The European Advisory Board on Cat Diseases (ABCD) is an independent panel of 17 leading veterinarians from eleven European countries, with an expertise in immunology, vaccinology and/or feline medicine. The

ABCD was set up to compile guidelines for the prevention and management of major feline infectious diseases in Europe, based on current scientific knowledge. For more information, please visit www.abcdcatsvets.org or www.abcd-vets.org.

g Merial is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health, well-being and performance of a wide range of animals. Merial employs 6,100 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide, with over $2 billion of sales in 2014. Merial is a Sanofi company. For more information, please see http://www.merial.com.

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