2016 Young Scientist Award Winners Mirja Nolff and Vito Colella


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.


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.

Mirja Nolff: Negative pressure wound therapy

“The incidence of multidrug resistant bacteria in companion animals is increasing.”

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.”


ABCD & Merial Young Scientist Awards

The 2015 AMYSA for Basic Research was presented to Dr Pawel Beczkowski (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 Bêczkowski 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.”


The ABCD and Merial Young Scientist Award, created in 2008, is funded by Merial and is presented to a young scientist in veterinary or biomedical sciences, who has 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.



July 2013 – ABCD & Merial Young Scientist Award winners Emily Porter (second left) and Pawel Beczkowski (centre) flanked by Jean-Christophe Thibault (Merial, at left), Karin Moestl (ABCD chair) and Claire Bessant (iCatCare, on the right)

This might also interest you
Evelyn Kuhlmeier, ABCD & BI Young scientist awardee 2023