Colorado State University Veterinarian to be Honored with National Research Award

Note to Reporters: A photo of Dr. Ed Hoover is available with the news release at

Dr. Ed Hoover, a Colorado State University veterinarian who led the development of a vaccine to prevent feline leukemia virus infection, will receive the prestigious Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges’ 2012 Merial-AAVMC Excellence in Research Award on Aug. 4.

He will receive the award at the Merial-NIH National Veterinary Scholars Symposium hosted by Colorado State’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Aug. 2-5 in Fort Collins.

For more than 30 years, Hoover has been an innovator in his field of pathology and the study of infectious diseases such as feline leukemia and chronic wasting disease. The university has honored his career with the title of University Distinguished Professor – one of only a dozen at CSU at any one time.

“He’s really a pioneer,” said Dr. Gregg Dean, Hoover’s former student who is now his department head in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology. “He uses cutting-edge technology but also traditional methods. It’s his ability to blend those two that allows him to comprehensively address how we can mitigate a disease within a population.

“It is a real source of pride for the entire college that someone from our group here at CSU has been selected as an outstanding contributor in veterinary medical research.”

Research in the Hoover laboratory led to development of the first successful and most widely used FeLV vaccine, now used to immunize cats worldwide against leukemia-causing virus. In addition to studying prevention of the disease, Hoover also examined how to identify at-risk cats and how the disease is transmitted to improve understanding of managing diseases in populations.

More recently, his research has focused on prions or misfolded proteins that cause such diseases as chronic wasting disease and how the diseases are transmitted among deer, moose and elk – research that could further understanding of Alzheimer’s and other human diseases. He is developing and evaluating more sensitive tests for chronic wasting disease – including the potential to test for infection in live animals, animal products and the environment. Hoover’s laboratory is also working on a vaccine for CWD. This work is funded by Denver-based Morris Animal Foundation and by the National Institutes of Health.

“Developing this test may eventually lead to a more rapid and sensitive test for CWD,” Hoover has said. “Just as significantly, it may lead to a substantial gain in our understanding of how prions spread, survive in natural habitats, and impact animal and public health.”

About the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges

The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges or AAVMC is a nonprofit membership organization working to protect and improve the health and welfare of animals, people and the environment by advancing academic veterinary medicine.