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William Huckle earns research excellence award


BLACKSBURG, Va., Nov. 10, 2005 – William Huckle of Blacksburg, an associate professor in the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine’s Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, has been awarded the “2005 Pfizer Animal Health Award for Research Excellence.”

The award recognizes veterinary college faculty members who are conducting research that has attained or is likely to receive national attention within the next three years.

Since joining the college in 1999, Huckle has distinguished himself as a productive and collaborative researcher who has developed scholarly partnerships with colleagues throughout the college and the university, according to Lud Eng, head of the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology.

Huckle is also affiliated with the School of Biomedical and Engineering Sciences, which is a collaborative venture between Virginia Tech and Wake Forest University.

Huckle’s research is focused on angiogenesis, or the mechanism by which cells communicate in order to produce new blood cells or maintain existing ones. Learning more about these basic processes has important clinical implications, including the role vascularization plays in the growth of cancerous tumors. He is currently principal investigator on a substantial program funded by the National Institutes of Health and he is a co-investigator on four additional NIH programs at the university. He has also held major research funding from the American Heart Association and AstraZeneca.

He is collaborating with Will Eyestone in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences on a project funded by the NIH that seeks to develop a transgenic strain of cattle that cannot contract Mad Cow Disease (Bovine spongiform Encephalopathy).

Huckle earned a bachelor’s degree from Williams College, a master’s degree from Virginia Tech and a Ph.D from the University of Iowa. Prior to joining the college in 1999, he served as a research fellow and senior research biochemist with Merck Research Laboratories. He also served in two positions at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill; he was a research assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology and a post-doctoral fellow/research associate at the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine (VMRCVM) is a two-state, three-campus professional school operated by the land-grant universities of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg and the University of Maryland at College Park. Its flagship facilities, based at Virginia Tech, include the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, which treats more than 40,000 animals annually. Other campuses include the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Va., and the Avrum Gudelsky Veterinary Center at College Park, home of the Center for Government and Corporate Veterinary Medicine. The VMRCVM annually enrolls approximately 500 Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and graduate students, is a leading biomedical and clinical research center, and provides professional continuing education services for veterinarians practicing throughout the two states.