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Insight/Report on Private Giving
Recipient of First Kenneth W. Smith Professorship Announced
Dr. Michael R. Lappin, a professor, clinician and researcher specializing in feline infectious diseases is the College's first recipient of the Kenneth W. Smith Professorship.
Dr. Lance Perryman, Dean of the College, and members of the Smith family presented the award to Dr. Lappin during the annual 50th Class Reunion dinner, part of the College's homecoming celebrations in October.
"First and foremost, it is wonderful that an award of this type has been created in the memory of Dr Smith," Dr. Lappin said. "I am extremely honored to have been chosen by a jury of my peers to receive this award. This professorship will allow us to further the science of small animal medicine."
The Kenneth W. Smith Professorship was created to honor the life and work of Dr. Kenneth Smith, a graduate of the Professional Veterinary Medical Program and a longtime professor and clinician at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Dr. Smith, who died in 2000, was highly respected and much beloved by colleagues, clients, staff and students at the school and in the community.
The professorship is awarded to a senior faculty member specializing in small animal care who is recognized for having clinical and teaching skills similar to those for which Dr. Smith was well known and respected. Dr. Lappin has been with Colorado State since 1988. His area of specialization is in feline infectious diseases and feline medicine. He holds numerous honors as a researcher and as a teacher.
"I am interested in the health of cats and of people who have cats, especially those cat owners who are HIV positive or living with cancer," Dr. Lappin said. "In my research, I've examined ways of providing the safest possible environment for cats and for people and I've found no reason for these cat owners to surrender their pets because it has been suggested that they present a health risk-quite the contrary, the benefits of cat ownership outweigh the risks in most situations."
Dr. Lappin has been engaged in cooperative research with Bayer Animal Health, Pharmacia, Schering-Plough, Fort Dodge Animal Health, and Heska Corporation. He has patents pending for new diagnostic tests related to maintenance of feline health. Dr. Lappin has studied diseases such as toxoplasmosis, cryptosporidiosis, and giardiasis, as well as health problems caused by blood parasites. In collaboration with the Heska Corporation, he is researching the possibility of testing cats for vaccine needs with a simple annual blood test instead of annual revaccination, thereby reducing many vaccine-related health problems for animals.