Dr Kenneth Simpson, a Professor of Small Animal Medicine at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in the USA, is to receive the 2022 WSAVA Award for Scientific Achievement.

He received the award in recognition of his outstanding contribution, particularly in the areas of internal medicine and veterinary gastroenterology.

The Award, given annually to an individual judged to have made a significant contribution to the field of small animal medicine, will be presented during this year’s WSAVA World Congress, which takes place from 29-31 October in Lima, Peru. Dr Simpson will present a WSAVA Award Lecture during the Congress.

The WSAVA represents more than 200,000 veterinarians worldwide through its 115 member associations and works to enhance standards of clinical care for companion animals.

Its core activities include the development of WSAVA Global Guidelines in key areas of veterinary practice, including pain management, nutrition, and vaccination, together with lobbying on important issues affecting companion animal care worldwide.

WSAVA World Congress brings together globally respected experts to offer cutting edge thinking on all aspects of companion animal veterinary care.

Dr Simpson graduated from the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Edinburgh University in 1984, and gained a PhD in gastroenterology at the University of Leicester in 1988. He undertook an internship at the University of Pennsylvania and a residency in small animal medicine at the Ohio State University, before returning to the UK as a lecturer at the Royal Veterinary College in London. 

In 1995, he joined the Faculty of Small Animal Internal Medicine at Cornell University. He is a Diplomate of the American and European Colleges of Veterinary Internal Medicine and is a past-president of the comparative gastroenterology society.

Dr Simpson’s research interests are focused on inflammatory diseases of the GI tract, host bacterial interactions in health and disease, and culture independent bacteriology. His scientific contributions evaluating the interplay between genetic susceptibility, the microbiome, the host environment, and the host immune system played a key role in his research team’s discovery of an adherent-invasive E. coli (AIEC) and its role in granulomatous colitis of Boxers and French bulldogs. It also spurred studies that implicate AIEC metabolism as a target for therapeutic intervention in people with Crohn’s disease and dogs with granulomatous colitis.

“When I was growing up in Scotland, my uncle Gordon – an exceptional veterinarian and farmer – waited patiently while I learned to recognise sick from healthy sheep, and instilled in me the intimate connection between the environment, husbandry and health. His belief that I would make a good vet set me on a journey as rich as anyone could wish for. To those who have mentored me as a clinician and a scientist, and worked with me in the hospital and laboratory, I thank you for your inspiration, encouragement, and camaraderie,” said Dr Simpson.

Dr Frédéric Gaschen, Co-chair of the WSAVA Scientific Committee, said as a successful veterinary clinician-scientist, Dr Simpson has addressed many important fundamental and clinical questions related to canine and feline gastroenterology.

“He has also contributed significantly to the advancement of knowledge in human gastroenterology. His achievements are impressive and his publications record spans practice-relevant clinical studies to focused basic research investigations. In many ways, Dr Simpson has demonstrated that he is an exceptional member of our community.”

The Committee’s Co-chair, Dr Mary Marcondes added that Dr Simpson has contributed enormously to the veterinary medical profession. 

“His long list of scientific publications demonstrates how much he has added to veterinary science. This award is a recognition of his work and is well deserved.”

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