The founding director of WSU’s Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health, Dr. Guy Palmer, has received the 2019 Excellence in Research Award from the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges.

“The AAVMC is proud to recognize outstanding educators and researchers like Dr. Palmer who elevate academic veterinary medicine and inspire others through their commitment to professional excellence and service,” said the association’s Chief Executive Officer Dr. Andrew T. Maccabe. “We look forward to publicly honoring him for his achievements during our 2019 annual conference.”

Selected by a committee of peers, the honor designates Palmer as the outstanding veterinary medical researcher of the year. The association’s Board of Directors established the annual research award in 2010 to recognize outstanding research and scholarly achievements in the field of veterinary medicine. It recognizes an individual who, over the course of his or her career, has demonstrated excellence in original research, leadership in the scientific community, and mentoring of trainees and colleagues in any discipline of veterinary medicine.

Palmer is WSU’s regents professor of Pathology and Infectious Diseases and the Jan and Jack Creighton Endowed Chair in Global Health. His research has led to discoveries related to pathogen emergence and spread, including insight into how pathogens evade the immune system. His work aims to reduce the impact of zoonotic diseases on human health, economic development, and food security using a One Health approach.

He leads global health programs in Africa and Central America. He directed the National Institutes of Health Training Program in Infectious Diseases from 2003–2018 and currently holds a NIH MERIT award for research on pathogen emergence. He holds joint appointments at the University of Nairobi and at the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NMAIST), where he directs the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation‑supported Integrated PhD Program between WSU and NMAIST.

In nominating Palmer for the award, WSU College of Veterinary Medicine Dean Dr. Bryan Slinker wrote that Palmer has taken the Allen School from a concept with no physical presence or faculty in 2008 to “a highly successful, one‑health oriented program of about 20 core faculty and major research, surveillance, and intervention programs around the world, housed in a new research building, generating over $55 million in private gifts in the past 10 years, and awarded nearly $15 million in mostly federal competitive research funding last year.”

Palmer was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2006. His service includes the Board on Global Health at the National Academies, the Board of Scientific Counselors, and the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition.
He received his bachelors and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degrees from Kansas State University and a PhD in infectious diseases from Washington State University.

Palmer’s award will be officially presented during the AAVMC’s 2019 Annual Conference and Iverson Bell Symposium, March 8–10, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., where he will also address attendees.