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.

Dr. Carrie Finno

Dr. Carrie Finno

Dr. Finno received the 2021 Zoetis Excellence in Research Award for her exceptional research on equine genetics and Vitamin E-associated neurodegeneration.

Finno received a BS (1999) from Emory University, DVM (2004) from the University of Minnesota, and PhD (Comparative Pathology) from UC Davis (2012). She completed an internship in large animal medicine (2005) at the University of Minnesota and a residency in Large Animal Internal Medicine (2008) at UC Davis, obtaining board certification as a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (2008).

In 2014, Finno joined the Department of Population Health & Reproduction and is an Associate Professor of Veterinary Genetics.

Finno’s research productivity is truly exceptional and is on an uphill trajectory. Severe alpha-tocopherol deficiency can result in early-onset neurodegenerative disease, termed Ataxia with Vitamin E Deficiency (AVED), due to genetic mutations in tocopherol transfer protein (TTPA). Finno and her team use two animal models of alpha-tocopherol deficient neurodegeneration to examine the effect of diet and genotype on overall gene expression changes during early postnatal development. She uses the spontaneously occurring model of neuroaxonal dystrophy in the horse and the experimental tocopherol-transfer protein knockout model in the mouse. Her most significant findings thus far have defined the dysregulation of cholesterol homeostasis within the central nervous system of these two animal models of vitamin E deficient neurodegeneration.

Finno has further contributed immensely to the discovery of genetic mutations in horses, its association with specific diseases such as Hoof Wall Separation Disease in Connemara ponies, occipitoatlantoaxial malformation in Arabian horses, myosin-heavy chain myopathy in Quarter horses, and fatal hypocalcemia in Thoroughbred foals. She has further translated these genetic discoveries to widely available diagnostic tests. Finno is also a key player in an international effort to create a database of functional elements within the equine genome, the Functional Annotation of Animal Genomes (FAANG) consortium. These efforts have resulted in the establishment of an unprecedented biobank of more than 100 equine tissue types. Finally, Finno is a wonderful mentor to her students and trainees as attested by one of her graduate students: “Every research success in the Finno lab reflects a graduate or undergraduate student’s talent that has been carefully cultivated by the deft hand of Dr. Finno.”

 

  • Past recipients of the Zoetis Award for Research Excellence
  • 2020 Jeff Stott
    2019 Peter Havel
    2018  Nicole Baumgarth
    2018  Janet Foley
    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