Jody L. Gookin, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, is the winner of the 2011 Excellence in Feline Research Award from Winn and the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF). Dr. Gookin is nationally recognized for her contributions to the field of gastroenterology, particularly infectious causes of feline diarrhea. She and her colleagues are credited with the identification of Tritrichomonas foetus as a cause of diarrhea in domestic cats, and have worked for more than 12 years to establish its pathogenesis, develop diagnostic tools, discover the worldwide significance, and find an effective treatment for this common infection. The award consists of $2500 and a crystal cat, the “Winnie.” Winn President, Vicki Thayer, DVM, DABVP, made the announcement and presented the award at the annual convention of the American Veterinary Medical Association held in July in St. Louis.
Dr. Gookin received her DVM degree from the University of California at Davis, and her PhD in gastrointestinal physiology at North Carolina State University. She is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. Dr. Gookin is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences at North Carolina State University. She received a Winn Feline Foundation research grant in 2007 to study the prevalence and risk factors for venereal Tritrichomonas foetus infection, and another in 2009 to study the prevalence, identity, and antimicrobial susceptibility of Enterococcus spp. infection in kittens. In 2011, Dr. Gookin was awarded two Winn grants to study important intestinal infection of kittens caused by E. coli and Enterococcus. Dr. Gookin was a featured speaker at the Winn Feline Foundation Symposium held in June, 2008.
Winn Feline Foundation and the AVMF join together annually to present two awards designed to promote and encourage feline health studies by both established veterinary research scientists and by those entering the field. In addition to the “Winnie”, a matching scholarship winner is selected from a large group of student applicants. This year’s scholarship winner is Dr. Jessica Balter.