Zoetis Award for Research Excellence

Zoetis Award for Research Excellence

The purpose of this award is to foster innovative research, on which the scientific advancement of the profession depends, by recognizing outstanding research effort and productivity. Each year a UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine faculty member is honored with the Zoetis Award for Research Excellence. The School's Office of Research and Graduate Education accepts nominations for consideration by the Research Committee.


Nicole BaumgarthNicole Baumgarth 2018 Zoetis Excellence in Research Award

Pofessor Nicole Baumgarth receives the 2018 Zoetis Excellence in Research Award for her outstanding research on the regulation of B-cell responses during inflammation. She has characterized a subset B-cell population in mice, termed B-1 cells, which function in response to innate stimuli, including recent demonstration of the role of the IgM receptor FcmR in differentiation between B1 and B2 subsets. The significance of this work extends into antibody-mediated autoimmunity, where she continues to probe the roles of secreted IgM in normal B cell development and selection.

Dr. Baumgarth received her DVM from the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Germany, followed by her PhD in the laboratory of Dr. Klaus Petzoldt, also at Hannover. Following post-doctoral fellowships in the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (Australia) and Stanford University School of Medicine, she was hired at UC Davis in 2000, and is a faculty member in the department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology. She has previously received awards from the Keystone research symposia and has been a Chancellor’s Fellow.

Dr. Baumgarth studies the role of B-cell immune responses using models of influenza infection and infection by Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease. She has authored over 90 scientific papers, with over 5300 citations. Many of these publications are in high-impact journals, such as Nature Immunology and the Journal of Immunology.  She has served as the Principal Investigator for nine active or completed R01 grants through the NIAID.  In addition to maintaining an NIH funded laboratory she has also served on, and chaired, NIH Study Sections.

Dr. Baumgarth actively mentors young scientists as the principal investigator for the NIH T32 program for the Comparative Medical Science Training Program, which was recently renewed while under her leadership. Dr. Baumgarth is a tireless advocate for women and veterinarians as PI investigators in basic science. She constantly challenges not only her trainees, but every trainee she interacts with, to strive for excellence and to demonstrate a deep understanding of their work.

Janet E. FoleyJanet E. Foley 2018 Zoetis Excellence in Research Award

Professor Janet Foley receives the 2018 Zoetis Excellence in Research Award for her exceptional research at the interface between ecology and epidemiology. Her research program studies how community complexity contributes to disease persistence and emergence, and how causal factors are modified by anthropogenic change.

Dr. Foley received BA and MS degrees from George Mason University before receiving her DVM (‘93) and PhD (’97) from UC Davis. She joined the school’s faculty in 2000, and is a member of the department of Medicine and Epidemiology. Foley’s mentoring skills and passion for research make her lab a top choice for incoming students. She has served as Director of the Center for Vectorborne Diseases and is the incoming Chair of the Master of Preventive Veterinary Medicine Program.

Dr. Foley’s research is notable for both its breadth and its depth, with a particular emphasis on the study of tick-borne diseases and disease emergence in the western US and in Mexico. Her research includes assessments of various animal species' health in the wild and management of disease and other stressors in endangered and threatened species, such as the American pika, the endangered Amargosa vole, and the endangered San Joaquin kit fox.

As one example, Foley’s recent studies of the Amargosa voles, which are a subspecies of the California vole, have yielded new insights into their population dynamics and vulnerability to extinction. She has studied ectoparasites and infectious diseases that threaten the voles. Foley and her students have also discovered a tick on the voles that appears to be a previously undescribed member of the genus Ixodes.

Foley has authored more than 240 publications in high impact journals involving international collaborations from multiple countries. She is unquestionably on the short list of the top experts on tick-borne diseases affecting human and animal health in the western United States serving as resource for CDC, the California Department of Public Health, and many other federal and state partners on the topic of tick-borne disease.  She leads tick-borne disease research for the Pacific Southwest Center of Excellence in Vector-Borne Diseases.


  • Past recipients of the Zoetis Award for Research Excellence
  • 2017  Helen E. Raybould
    2016  Jonna Mazet
    2015  Pam Lein
    2014  Dori Borjesson
    2013  Paul Russell
    2012  Peter Dickinson
    2011  Ian Gardner
    2010  Xinbin Chen
    2009  Gino Cortopassi
    2008  Stephen Barthold
    2007  Susan Stover
    2006  Alan Conley / Reen Wu
    2005  Edward Robert Atwill
    2004  Charles Plopper
    2003  N. James MacLachlan
    2002  Eugene Steffey
    2001  Laurel Gershwin
    2000  Alan Buckpitt
    1999  Dallas Hyde / Peter Moore
    1998  Patricia Conrad
    1997  Isaac Pessah
    1996  John Madigan
    1995  Quinton Rogers / James Morris
    1994  NONE
    1993  Edward Feldman
    1992  James Cullor
    1991  Richard Yamamoto
    1990  Bennie Osburn
    1989  Shri Giri
    1988  Tilahun Yilma
    1987  Niels Pedersen
    1986  Ronald Hedrick