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2015 Excellence In Feline Research Award Recipient

Winn Feline Foundation


Vicki Thayer, DVM, DABVP (Feline)
Executive Director
888-963-6946, extension 702
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Steve Dale, CABC
Media Contact and Winn Board Member
Media Info


Wyckoff, NJ, August 11, 2015:
Urs Giger, DVM, MS, PhD, FVH, is the recipient of the 2015 Winn/AVMF (American Veterinary Medical Foundation) Excellence in Feline Research Award. Dr. Giger has held the endowed Charlotte Newton Sheppard Professor of Medicine Chair at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia since 1997.

Winn Feline Foundation Board Director, Mr. George Eigenhauser, presented the award and $2500 honorarium to Dr. Giger at the NIH/Merial Young Scholars Symposium during an outdoor, evening reception on the campus of University of California-Davis on August 1.

The AVMA Council on Research selected Dr. Giger from a number of distinguished nominees. This award reflects his outstanding contributions in advancing feline health through his clinical and basic research, service and teaching in feline medicine over the past 30 years. In particular, his research in feline clinical genetics, hematology and transfusion medicine has been transformative.    

Winn President, Glenn Olah DVM, PhD, DABVP (Feline), noted, “Winn Feline Foundation’s early funding of Dr. Giger’s investigation into feline blood types determined the importance of blood type in transfusion reactions and hemolytic disease of newborn kittens (neonatal isoerythrolysis). Our knowledge of the inheritance of feline blood types, hematology and other hereditary diseases in cats has grown significantly through his research efforts.”

Initially earning his veterinary degree from the University of Zurich, Switzerland in 1977, Dr. Giger continued on to pursue a residency in small animal internal medicine at the University of Florida, then joined the veterinary faculty at the University of Pennsylvania in 1984. He is a Diplomate of the American and European Colleges of Veterinary Internal Medicine as well as a Diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Pathology. Dr. Giger received the 2002 Scientific Lifetime Achievement Award from the World Small Animal Veterinary Association and the 2007 International Bourgelat Award from the British Small Animal Veterinary Association.

Heading the Metabolic Genetics and the Josephine Deubler Genetic Disease Testing (PennGen) Laboratories, Dr. Giger still remains a clinical scientist who regularly sees his own patients and does bench work with students, residents and fellows in his laboratories. He is also a frequent speaker on feline and canine hereditary diseases, clinical hematology and transfusion medicine at national and international conferences and seminars. In past years, he joined Winn in promoting International Genetic Diseases Conferences to veterinary professionals and cat fanciers.

Dr. Giger’s research over 3 decades is reflected in over 200 original research publications as well as many more reviews, chapters, proceedings and scientific abstracts. With several published peer-reviewed articles relating to feline health and disease and other research topics each year, he continues to make important medical contributions. Dr. Giger’s numerous accomplishments demonstrate he has dedicated his professional career to the betterment of feline health.

Winn Feline Foundation and the American Veterinary Medical Foundation are pleased to collaborate in this effort to focus attention on the importance of feline health studies and the committed researchers who conduct these lifesaving investigations into the prevention and care of feline disease for “Every Cat, Every Day”.

About Winn Feline Foundation

Winn Feline Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 1968 that supports studies to improve cat health. Since 1968, Winn Feline Foundation has funded more than $5.2 million in health research for cats at more than 30 partner institutions world-wide. For further information, go to www.winnfelinefoundation.org.

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