WSU veterinarians receive awards for teaching and research

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The American Association of Veterinary Clinicians has awarded a pair of Washington State University veterinarians, Drs. Katrina Mealey and Rance Sellon, two of its most prestigious awards.

Mealey was recognized with the Faculty Achievement in Research Award, while Sellon received the Faculty Achievement in Teaching Award. The awards are presented to AAVC members who have achieved national recognition through their efforts on behalf of veterinary medicine. Mealey and Sellon are both faculty members in the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Veterinary Clinical Sciences department.

“Regents Professor Dr. Katrina Mealey and Dr. Rance Sellon are exceptionally deserving of these prestigious awards recognizing achievement in research and teaching,” said Dr. Dori Borjesson, dean of the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine. “They are truly committed to advancing veterinary medicine through discovery and innovation and through teaching the next generation of veterinarians. Both are long-term, dedicated members of our college who exemplify the highest standards of excellence in our profession. We are truly proud of them both.”

Mealey’s tenure at WSU spans more than two decades in which she has established herself as a leader in veterinary pharmacogenetics and made countless contributions to veterinary medicine, including her discoveries of mutations in the MDR1 gene in dogs and cats that can lead to deadly reactions to common medications. She was the first to develop a genetic test to identify affected animals, and as the director of the Program in Individualized Medicine (PrIMe) at WSU, she has led the effort to identify drugs potentially dangerous to dogs and cats with the mutation.

Closeup of Katrina Mealey
Katrina Mealey

At WSU, she is also the director of Public Impact Initiatives and the Richard L. Ott Endowed Chair. She holds 10 patents and has co-authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications. She is also a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and the American Association for the Advancement of Science and was elected as a member of the Washington State Academy of Sciences. She was named the 2018 WSU Woman of the Year and has received many notable accolades, including Pfizer’s Award for Excellence in Veterinary Research, a Women in Life Science Award, and the 2019 Lloyd E. Davis Award, which recognizes outstanding lifetime achievements in research, teaching, and professional service in the field of veterinary pharmacology.

“Dr. Mealey exemplifies the qualities of this award,” Dr. Mark Papich, a professor and veterinarian at North Carolina State University, wrote in his letter nominating Mealey. “She has spent her entire career promoting veterinary clinical pharmacology, teaching, and conducting valuable research to advance veterinary pharmacology.”

Closeup of Rance Sellon
Rance Sellon

Sellon, a professor for nearly three decades at WSU, has been invited to participate many times in class hooding and commencement ceremonies and mentored 33 clinical residents in small animal internal medicine and oncology. He has been selected as a WSU Teaching Scholar on multiple occasions and has received a number of other teaching awards.

He also was selected as co-recipient of the 2021 Washington State Veterinary Medical Association WSU Faculty Member of the Year and was recently named as the national recipient of the 2023 American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award, presented by Zoetis.  

Aside from his teaching accolades, Sellon is highly regarded for his clinical expertise and service. He spends a significant amount of time on the clinic floor, providing state-of-the-art clinical service and teaching in small animal internal medicine and oncology.

“As Rance nears the end of his career at WSU, I know his teaching legacy will be profound and memorable to students and faculty alike – for years past his retirement,” Dr. Lynne Nelson, who is the associate dean of faculty programs and teaching at the College of Veterinary Medicine and a cardiologist at the teaching hospital, wrote in her nomination letter.

The AAVC is an association of veterinary clinicians that focuses on teaching and research in veterinary sciences.

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