International Canine Health Awards winners revealed
The winners of the International Canine Health Awards (ICHA), organised by the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, have been announced.
Among the winners include a pioneering professor in molecular genetics, an internationally-renowned professor in canine haematology, and a devoted deerhound breed health coordinator.
Launched in 2012, the awards pay recognition to individuals who have gone above and beyond to promote the health and wellbeing of dogs through their work in the veterinary sector.
This year's International Award winner has been named as Professor Dr Tosso Leeb for his expertise in veterinary molecular genetics, which has led to the formation of a world-class canine genetics research program in Bern, Switzerland.
Professor Leeb, who is director of the Institute of Genetics of the Vetsuisse Faculty, also leads his own research group which is working tirelessly to identify the causative genetic variants for inherited diseases.
Professor Dr Urs Giger scooped the Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his work, which spans across four decades and has been dedicated to the study of clinical haematology in dogs, hereditary diseases and genetic predispositions, and transfusions medicine.
Many of Professor Giger’s investigations have involved the discovery of new disorders, the development of new specific diagnostics and the introduction of new and improved therapies in dogs.
The Postgraduate Student Inspiration Award has been bestowed to Dr Valeria Bergomi to help further expand her research and work in canine diabetes and anatomic pathology. Diabetes mellitus affects a large number of dogs and
Valeria’s current project is mainly focused on identifying the immune cell population surrounding and infiltrating pancreatic islets in dogs, to hopefully advance targeted treatments that will prevent islet destruction.
Finally, Dr Sarah Helps has been named winner of the Breed Health Co-ordinator Award for her dedication and commitment to improving the health of the Deerhound.
Her passion for the breed has seen her support veterinary research into dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) to improve understanding, early diagnosis and prevention, and she initiated a longitudinal study into the prevalence of DCM in UK Deerhounds in 2015.
ICHA panel chair, Dr Andrew Higgins, said: “We are delighted to recognise these four dedicated professionals for their passion and commitment into improving canine health and welfare.
“These winners have demonstrated their dedication to raising awareness, knowledge and understanding of canine diseases and thoroughly deserve the awards they have been honoured with today. We want to thank them for their contribution to improving dog health – they are truly an inspiration.”