Dr. Katrina Mealey to receive distinguished alumni and research awards

Closeup of Dr. Katrina Mealey
Dr. Katrina Mealey

Washington State University regents professor Dr. Katrina Mealey will receive a pair of the University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy’s highest honors – the 2023 Distinguished Alumni Award and the Excellence in Research Award – on April 13.

Mealey is the holder of the Richard L. Ott Endowed Chair in Small Animal Medicine and Research and serves as the director of the Program in Individualized Medicine in WSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine. She is recognized as a pioneer in the field of pharmacogenetics in veterinary medicine and holds several patents that have been licensed by nine different companies on four continents.

“The fact that the UNM College of Pharmacy chose to recognize contributions in the field of veterinary pharmacogenetics marks an important milestone. For years several professional associations have advocated for inclusion of veterinary pharmacy curricula in colleges of pharmacy and officially recognizing non-human species in the definition of ‘patient,’ Mealey said. “I want to thank UNM for taking this bold step in recognizing the importance of veterinary pharmacogenetics.”

Mealey received a Presidential Scholarship to attend the University of New Mexico, where she graduated from the College of Pharmacy in 1986 and received the Eli Lilly Award for Scholarship, Ethics and Leadership. She earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University and finished a small animal internship at the University of Minnesota. She completed residencies in small animal internal medicine and veterinary clinical pharmacology at Texas A&M University, where also earned a doctorate in pharmacology.

During her more than two decades at WSU, Mealey’s research has changed the standard of care in veterinary medicine and influenced veterinary drug development and regulation. Her discovery of a mutation in the MDR1 gene in dogs and cats and the genetic tests she later developed to detect the condition have saved the lives of an untold number of animals and spared pet owners from the anguish of losing their pets.

She has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed research articles and the book “Pharmacotherapeutics for Veterinary Dispensing.” She has been the recipient of the WSU Innovation and Entrepreneurship Award, Pfizer Award for Research Excellence and numerous other national, regional and university-level awards. Mealey was elected a Fellow of the U.S. National Academy of Inventors in 2017, the Washington State Academy of Sciences in 2020 and the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2021.

The Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest honor the UNM College of Pharmacy bestows to its alumni. The award is presented annually to a distinguished alum with an outstanding record of achievement in professional practice, service or research. The college’s Excellence in Research Award was created to recognize the success of alumni and trainees in research in pharmaceutical, clinical or administrative sciences. 

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