AVC faculty member honoured by University of Guelph

Dr. Ian Dohoo, a founding faculty member of the Atlantic Veterinary College at UPEI, was recognized recently for his contributions to veterinary medicine with an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of Guelph.

Dr. Dohoo was among 10 people who received honorary degrees from the University of Guelph during its convocation week, which took place from June 11 to 15. Others who received honorary degrees included renowned environmental activist David Suzuki, and comedian and television personality Rick Mercer.

"It is a great honour to receive this recognition from the University of Guelph—my alma mater for my DVM and PhD degrees—particularly this year when the Ontario Veterinary College is celebrating its 150th anniversary," says Dr. Dohoo.

A veterinary epidemiologist, Dr. Dohoo studied veterinary medicine at Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, graduating in 1976. After completing his doctoral studies under the supervision of Dr. Wayne Martin, founding chair of the Department of Population Medicine, Dr. Dohoo was awarded a PhD from the University of Guelph in 1982.

“On behalf of the Atlantic Veterinary College, I congratulate Dr. Dohoo on receiving this honour,” says Dr. Don Reynolds, Dean of the College. “Dr. Dohoo is renowned for his expertise in veterinary epidemiology and for his dedication to advancing animal and human health through teaching, research and collaboration. This recognition is well deserved.”

This is the second honorary degree conferred upon Dr. Dohoo. In 2008 he was awarded an honorary degree in veterinary medicine by The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. He has received many other awards, including being elected a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences in 2005, one of the highest honours for individuals in the Canadian health science community.

During its convocation week, the University of Guelph honoured two other alumni who studied under Dr. Martin. Dr. John McDermott, an advocate for using livestock to improve life in developing countries, was awarded an honorary degree, and Dr. David Waltner-Toews, population medicine professor at the University of Guelph, was named Professor Emeritus.

“Recognition of three of Dr. Martin’s former students at the same time is a real testament to his legacy,” says Dr. Dohoo.

Dr. Dohoo will retire from AVC in late August after an illustrious career spanning 27 years.

Dr. Kerry Lissemore, Associate Dean Academic, Ontario Veterinary College, read the following citation upon the conferring of Dr. Dohoo's honorary degree:

Mr. Vice-Chancellor: On the recommendation of the Senate of the University of Guelph, it is my privilege to present to you the candidate, Ian Dohoo, for the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa.

Dr. Ian Dohoo has had a profound impact on the veterinary profession, significantly advancing our knowledge of veterinary epidemiology as well as disease surveillance and management in food animal and farmed aquatic species.

Dr. Dohoo earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree and PhD from the University of Guelph, where he whetted his intellectual appetite for the field of epidemiology, the study of health and disease in animal populations.

As a graduate student, he fostered seminal developments in milk somatic cell counting methods to monitor the mammary gland health and milk quality of dairy cows. Thirty years later, this technology is used to monitor the health and milk quality of the majority of dairy cows and virtually all the bulk milk supply from commercial herds in developed nations around the world.

In 1985, Dr. Dohoo made the pivotal decision to become one of five initial faculty members to start the Atlantic Veterinary College. He was the founding Director of AVC’s Centre for Veterinary Epidemiological Research – a world-renowned centre for animal health and performance that will impact students, researchers, scientists and farmers for generations to come.

Along with mentor and colleague, Dr. Wayne Martin, he also created the seminal textbook for students of veterinary epidemiology – a profound contribution to veterinary graduate education around the world.
Dr. Dohoo has received numerous teaching and research awards. They include an honorary Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in 2008. In 2005, he was one of the first four veterinarians in Canada elected by national and international peers as a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, one of the highest honours for individuals in the Canadian health science community.

Dr. Dohoo is an exemplary contributor to veterinary epidemiology through knowledge and innovation. In recognition of his excellence in teaching, research and service, I ask you, Mr. Vice-Chancellor, to confer upon Ian Dohoo, the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa.

Photo: Dr. Ian Dohoo (left) is awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree by Dr. Alastair J. S. Summerlee, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Guelph.