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Past Award Winners


WSAVA-Hill's Next Generation Award

Dr. Guyan Weeransinghe, an Australian veterinarian working in small animal practice and as a state government veterinary officer, has been announced by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) and Hill's Pet Nutrition as the winner of the 2018 Next Generation Veterinary Award. The award acknowledges the work of a veterinarian who graduated within the past ten years and who has contributed significantly to the betterment of companion animals, the veterinary profession and society at large. "Given the importance of the human-companion animal bond, veterinarians have an important role to play in global initiatives such as One Health, which unite human and veterinary medicine with environmental health, to secure a safer future for our planet,” said Dr. Iveta Becvarova, Director of Global Academic and Professional Affairs at Hill's Pet Nutrition. “As a past President of Australian Veterinarians in Public Health (AVPH), Guy has already made an outstanding contribution in this area. His leadership of various One Health projects and his involvement in running veterinary continuing education (CE) on this topic, remind all companion animal veterinarians that our work also has a global dimension.”

Read more about Dr. Guyan Weeransinghe in the Press Release

WSAVA Global One Health Award

Professor Edward B Breitschwerdt DVM, from North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Professor Christopher W Woods MD, from Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, were nominated for the Award in recognition of their work on atypical manifestations of bartonellosis in people and, in particular, veterinary healthcare providers. The WSAVA Global One Health Award is presented by the WSAVA’s One Health Committee (OHC) to an individual or organization which has promoted an aspect of One Health relevant to companion animals. 
ultiple Bartonella spp. can infect people and their pets with Cat Scratch Disease the most recognized manifestation. However, Bartonella spp. are considered ‘stealth’ pathogens and can be difficult to diagnose. Professors Breitschwerdt and Woods have developed more sensitive Bartonella tests for use with humans and other species and have applied these tests to people, in the process discovering new chronic disease associations, including headaches, blurred vision, fatigue and polyarthritis that can be confused with Lyme disease. Veterinarians appear to be at high risk due to contact with pets and their fleas.

Read more information about prof. Breitschwerdt and prof. Woods in the Press Release

WSAVA Companion Animal Welfare Award

Dr. Nalinika Obeyesekera, a veterinarian from Sri Lanka, is the first recipient of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association’s new Award for Companion Animal Welfare. The Award, developed by the WSAVA’s Animal Wellness and Welfare Committee (AWWC), recognizes individual veterinarians who have made a significant contribution to animal welfare and inspired others to play their part in advancing welfare globally. Dr Obeyesekere graduated with a BSc in Wildlife Biology and Management from UC Davis, USA, and, in pursuit of her primary interest, animal behavior, returned to Sri Lanka in 1985 to work in the environmental sector. She later obtained a BVSc at the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka and also has a MVSc from Murdoch University in Australia. She is now the owner-director of Pet Vet Clinic in Sri Lanka, a clinic which paved the way for small animal practice in Sri Lanka and which is an internship center for the University of Peradeniya and an externship center for the Royal Veterinary College in London.

Read more about Dr. Nalinika Obeyesekera in the Press Release

WSAVA International Award for Scientific Achievement

Dr. Colin Harvey, is the recipient of the prestigious 2018 World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) Award for Scientific Achievement in recognition of his work to highlight the importance of veterinary oral and dental conditions in companion animals and in developing tools to support the incorporation of dental procedures and dental preventive strategy into daily veterinary practice. The Award, given annually to an individual judged to have made a significant contribution to the field of small animal medicine, will be presented during this year’s WSAVA World Congress, which takes place from 25-28 September in Singapore. Colin Harvey graduated from the University of Bristol School of Veterinary Sciences before completing an internship and surgical residency at the University of Pennsylvania. He was trained in dental procedures by faculty of the School of Dental Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Until his retirement in 2013, he was Professor of Surgery and Dentistry at the University of Pennsylvania, a position he held for 33 years. As a Boarded Specialist in both Surgery (ACVS, 1972) and Dentistry (Charter Diplomate of AVDC, 1988), he introduced a full range of oral and maxillofacial surgical procedures into clinical, teaching and research activities. This led to improvements in the major oral surgery reconstructive techniques necessary for cancer patients, as well as in the management of oral trauma and congenital and acquired oro-nasal defects. On his retirement, the Penn Vet Dental and Oral Surgery Operatory was named in his honor.

Read more about Dr. Colin Harvey in the Press Release

WSAVA-Henry Schein Cares Interational Veterinary Community Award

Dr. Gopinathan Gangadharan, has been a long standing and active member of the Malaysian Small Animal Veterinary Association (MSAVA). He is currently the longest serving member of the Executive Committee (of 20 years) in Malaysia and he has been reappointed as the secretary to the FASAVA Executive Board on numerous ocassions, due to his experience and knowledge in administration. In addition, Dr. Gangadharan has contribuited substantially to Continuing Education events and activities in the region.

WSAVA Global Meritorious Service Award

Dr. Amilan Sivagurun, a past President of the Malaysian Small Animal Veterinary Association (MSAVA) and architect of the highly successful 2016 Federation of Asian Small Animal Veterinary Association (FASAVA) Congress in Malaysia, has received the 2018 World Small Animal Veterinary Association’s Award for Global Meritorious Service. The Award was made in recognition of his contribution to small animal practice in Malaysia through increasing continuing education (CE), raising standards of animal welfare through better practice and enhancing access to veterinary therapeutics. Dr Amilan graduated from the University of Pretoria, Onderstepoort, and later undertook a residency in Veterinary Ophthalmology at the Faculty. He is a Director and Consultant ophthalmologist at the Animal Medical Centre, a veterinary hospital in Kuala Lumpur established by his father, Dr S Sivagurunathan.

Read more about Dr. Amilan Sivagurun in the Press Release


WSAVA Global Meritorious Service Award

Bojan Zorko, a Specialist in Canine and Feline Medicine, is Professor of Veterinary Radiology at the University of Ljubljana and a Director of the International Veterinary Radiology Association for Central and Eastern Europe.

During a distinguished career in small animal medicine, he served as President of the Slovenian Small Animal Veterinary Association for six years and has been Regional Director of FECAVA for Slovenia for more than 20 years.  He lectures veterinary students and post-graduates on a range of topics in small animal medicine; has authored numerous papers and is active in research.  His current interest is the use of stem cells in the treatment of dogs with chronic arthritis.

Professor Zorko has made an outstanding contribution to the development of veterinary medicine in Slovenia through his long service to voluntary veterinary organizations and his commitment to teaching and his research.  His dedication to life-long learning has been matched by his willingness to support the next generation of veterinarians in his country and to raise standards of veterinary education, both in Slovenia and elsewhere in Eastern Europe.

WSAVA Global One Health Award (OHC)

The Blue Dog Programme is an educational initiative to help children to interact safely with dogs. The award will be accepted by Professor Tiny de Keuster, a European Veterinary Specialist in Behavioural Medicine (Companion Animals) and founder of the programme.  

Through her work as a behaviourist, Professor de Keuster, a visiting professor at the University of Ghent in Belgium, was involved with a number of studies which highlighted that injuries from dog bites were a significant problem in Belgium.  Most of the injuries occurred in young children in their own homes and were inflicted by a familiar dog. Concluding that current bite prevention programmes were ineffective, she was inspired to create Blue Dog with the support of the Federation of European Companion Animal Veterinary Association (FECAVA); the Board of the European Society of Veterinary Clinical Ethology (ESVCE); the British Veterinary Behaviour Association and Dogs Trust.

The Blue Dog Trust was created November 2005 as a non-profit organisation and was launched at the joint WSAVA/FECAVA Congress held in Prague in 2006.  Since then, Blue Dog has evolved to offer a range of educational resources for children, parents and school teachers, including an engaging website, fact sheets and a DVD and accompanying booklet for parents. In addition to offering advice to help reduce the risk of dog bites, Blue Dog also provides information on selecting the right dog; the benefits to a family of owning a dog and offers guidance on where to get a dog and on responsible dog ownership.  Its work has spread around the world with more than 80,000 copies of its DVD distributed to 21 different countries and the accompanying Blue Dog booklet translated into 17 languages.

While it is the brainchild of Dr de Keuster, Blue Dog was created by a team of veterinarians, behaviourists, child psychologists, school teachers and teachers from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent.  Its scientific input is based on feedback from a team of international behavioural specialists and the efficacy of selected scenes from the DVD as a learning tool was assessed by Dr Kerstin Meints from the Lincoln Infant Laboratory, University of Lincoln, UK, and supported by the Dutch Veterinary Association. 

WSAVA International Award for Scientific Achievement  

Jens Häggström is Professor of Small Animal Medicine at the University of Uppsala in Sweden. His studies into myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD) in dogs confirmed its status as an inherited condition and led to the development of breeding program aimed at reducing the prevalence of the disease in affected breeds, including Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.  He also played a key role in an EU-funded project, LUPA, aimed at unravelling the genetic background to disease in dogs.

One of his most important achievements is in the area of clinical trials.  Ten years ago, his clinical study into angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors in pre-clinical MMVD in Cavalier Kings Charles Spaniels led to a significant change in clinical practice.  He has since led trials examining a variety of drugs to treat canine heart disease.  These have increased the profession’s understanding of the condition and have enhanced standards of veterinary practice around the world.

Jens Häggström is also a co-founder of a breed screening program for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) in cats.  Called the PawPeds Screening Program, it is the largest database of pedigree and feline health information in the world with data from approximately 30,000 unique cats and results from 60,000 heart screens.  It has been successful in reducing the prevalence of HCM in affected breeds by excluding affected cats from breeding.

WSAVA Hill’s Next Generation Award

Dr Luba Gancheva, is a Bulgarian veterinarian who now lives and works in Romania. She graduated from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Forestry in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 2010, and began working in a small animal practice in the city. She demonstrated her commitment to continuing education and received a Master of Science in Infectious Diseases from Triaka University in Bulgaria.  She now lives in Bucharest, Romania, and works at the Cabinet Filip Veterinarul animal hospital.

Her PhD thesis, entitled ‘Clinical Manifestation of Brucellosis in Dogs, caused by Brucella Canis,’ was based on a study she conducted on the incidence of this disease in the Balkans.  As a result of her thesis, Dr. Gancheva was invited to speak at two congresses in the Balkans, where she realized how enthusiastic her colleagues in the region were to continue their professional development.  

In 2015, she launched an online veterinary journal called ‘Vets on the Balkans,’ with the goal of helping regional veterinarians work more collaboratively and share their experience and knowledge.  The journal has presented more than 90 cases and has developed a strong readership. It has also built partnerships with many of the key companion animal veterinary associations in the region.

Building on this success, Dr. Gancheva in 2016 launched an initiative called ‘Learn and Travel with Vets in The Balkans’.  The program enables veterinarians to increase their knowledge and experience by working in clinics in nearby countries. The first placements were made earlier this year, and they were supported through sponsorships and donations from 12 participating practices in Bulgaria, Turkey, Romania, Belgium, Italy and Croatia.

WSAVA President's Award

Dr Jolle Kirpensteijn was awarded the WSAVA President’s Award in recognition of his service to the association. A past president of the WSAVA and long-standing advocate of its work, Dr Kirpensteijn first became involved with the WSAVA as a Member Representative for the Netherlands in 2005. He joined its Executive board in 2006 and served as WSAVA President from 2010 to 2012.  

During his presidency, Dr Kirpensteijn worked to enhance the effectiveness of the WSAVA’s operations. He focused particularly on strengthening continuing education (CE) initiatives, improving communications and helping create a clear strategy to ensure the WSAVA became a truly global community.



WSAVA International award for Scientific Achievement

Dutch Veterinary Professor Erik Teske was the recipient of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association’s (WSAVA’s) 2016 International Award for Scientific Achievement, which is awarded to an individual judged to have made a significant contribution to the field of small animal veterinary medicine. Erik Teske graduated at from the University of Utrecht in 1981 and became a specialist in internal medicine in 1986. His areas of expertise include clinical cytology, epidemiology, and oncology where non-Hodgkins lymphoma and prostate carcinoma in the dog have been the focus of his work. He has written more than 120 publications in refereed journals and contributed 16 book chapters, as well as to many other publications. He lectures widely and co-organizes a European School for Advanced Veterinary Studies course on internal medicine. 

WSAVA/Hill's Next Generation Award

Dr Julie Stafford received her award from Dr Marina Debenardi, Worldwide Director, Global Professional Veterinary Affairs at Hill's Pet Nutrition. Dr. Stafford has shown leadership qualities and dedication to the veterinary field both as a student at Oregon State University and as a professional.

WSAVA Meritorious Service Award

This year’s recipient is Dr Jorge Guerrero, a Peruvian veterinarian residing in Pennington, NJ, USA. He has served the profession with distinction, taught more than a generation of veterinary students, helped to educate veterinarians on three continents and, almost single-handedly, developed and established the LAVC, a major veterinary conference in a relatively underserved region of Latin America.

WSAVA One Health Award

The Founder of Mission Rabies, Luke Gamble, is the Recipient of WSAVA’s Global One Health Award. Luke Gamble graduated from Bristol University in 1999 and is based in his New Forest surgery, Pilgrims Veterinary Practice. In 2003, he set up Worldwide Veterinary Service (WVS), a charity providing veterinary aid around the world, followed, in 2013, by sister charity, Mission Rabies, which is leading the battle against canine rabies and works closely with the WSAVA’s charitable Foundation. Dr Gamble is CEO of both organisations and has raised more than four million pounds to support the charities’ projects around the world. He lectures internationally on animal welfare and veterinary subjects and, in 2014, was asked by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to sit on an expert panel for the International Control of Neglected Zoonotic Diseases based on his rabies work globally.

WSAVA President's Award

The President's award was presented to June Ingwersen by Dr Colin Burrows, President of the WSAVA, in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the association. June has been working with the WSAVA since 2008 and throughout her time in the secretariat has shown dedication and commitment to the association, providing help and assistance to members all over the world.


WSAVA International Award for Scientific Achievement 

This year's recipient is Dr Michael R Lappin, Professor of Small Animal Clinical Veterinary Medicine at Colorado State University, USA. Dr Lappin's principal areas of interest are the prevention of infectious diseases; the upper respiratory tract disease complex; infectious causes of fever; infectious causes of diarrhea and zoonoses of cats. He is a member of the WSAVA One Health Committee and received the award in recognition of his contribution to science and to global veterinary learning.

WSAVA Global One Health Award 

This year's recipient is Dr Nalinika Obeyesekere, CEO of Blue Paw Trust, which contributes to human health and the advancement of animal welfare in Sri Lanka. Dr Obeyesekere received the award in recognition of her tireless work to improve standards of veterinary care in Sri Lanka, which includes leading a key project that eliminated human and canine rabies from the capital city of Colombo.

WSAVA Global Meritorious Service Award 

This year's recipient is a Nepalese veterinarian Dr Mukti Narayan Shrestha. Dr Shrestha is the first Nepalese veterinarian to hold senior ranks in the government.  He is also the first to be trained in the care of zoo animals and has been involved in programs to conserve wild animals in Nepal's Central Zoo. Throughout his career he has also run his own companion animal practice  - the first in Nepal - and has lectured around the world.  Dr Shrestha is President of the Veterinary Practitioners' Association of Nepal (VPAN) and an Adjunct Professor at the Himalayan College of Agricultural Science and Technology (HICAST). He is currently involved in relief work following the recent earthquake that devastated Nepal.

He received the award on the strength of his pioneering achievements and self sacrifice both for the development of the veterinary profession and  service to humankind.

WSAVA President's Award

This year, the award has been made posthumously to Professor Jan Gajentaan, who died in February 2015. Professor Gajentaan championed the role  of the companion animal veterinarian, founding first the Dutch Voorjaarsdagen (Spring) Congress before co-founding the Federation of European Companion Animal Veterinary Associations (FECAVA).  He went on to play a pivotal role within in the WSAVA for many years as President, Honorary Treasurer and organizer of two World Congresses.  His daughter was presented with the award on his behalf.

WSAVA Hill's Excellence in Veterinary Healthcare Award 

This year's recipient is Dr S. Sivagurunathan,  whose commitment  to driving up standards of veterinary care has contributed significantly to the increase in the quality of small animal medicine in his home country of Malaysia.  Dr Siva is chairman of the Animal Medical Center (AMC) Group of Hospitals in Malaysia and is a past president of both the Malaysian Small Animal Veterinary Association and The Veterinary Association, Malaysia.  He is also a founder member of VetOne, USA, an organization for veterinary innovators.   He lectures on veterinary ethics and animal welfare at University Putra Malaysia; represents the Minister of Agriculture and is the founder and deputy chairman of the Malaysian National Animal Welfare Foundation.

He received the Award in recognition of his work to raise standards of companion animal health care and his understanding of the human/animal bond.

WSAVA Hill’s Next Generation Award 

This first recipient of this Award is Dr Pantakarn Onnak, from Chonburi, Thailand.   Dr Onnak's career is characterized by her commitment to use her skills as a veterinarian to make a positive impact both on Thailand's animals and on its people.  Her voluntary assignments include running a program to neuter stray dogs and cats, abandoned in Bhuddist temples  and educating young people about preventative health in companion animals and the importance of neutering.

She received the award in recognition of the example she sets as a young professional contributing to the betterment of animal life, the veterinary profession and society.

The WSAVA-The Henry Schein Cares International Veterinary Community Service Award

This year's recipient is Dr Nantarika Chansue from Nonthaburi in Thailand who has dedicated her life to the service of the veterinary profession and to wider Thai society. In addition to her 'day job' in academia, she serves on numerous committees and conservation and education-related volunteer programs, helping to create a interface between the veterinary profession and the general public and highlighting the role veterinarians and animals can play in human social development.  

Dr Chansue received the award in recognition of her outstanding contribution towards keeping the animal, human and environmental worlds in harmony throughout South East Asia. 



  • The WSAVA International Award for Scientific Achievement: Dr. Michael Herrtage.
  • The WSAVA Global Meritorious Service Award: Dr. Lawson Cairns.
  • The WSAVA Global One Health Award: Prof. Lucille Blumberg.
  • The WSAVA Hill's Pet Mobility Award: Prof. Kenneth Johnson.
  • The WSAVA Hill's Excellence in Veterinary Healthcare Award: Dr. Gen Kato.
  • The WSAVA Henry Schein Cares Award for International Community Service: Annelize Roos.
  • The WSAVA President's Award: Dr. Larry Dee.


  • The WSAVA International Award for Scientific Achievement: Prof. David Twedt.
  • The WSAVA Hill's Pet Mobility Award: Prof. Lonnie King.
  • The WSAVA Hill's Excellence in Veterinary Healthcare Award: Prof. Thierry Olivry.
  • The WSAVA President's Award: Dr. Ray Butcher, Prof. Peter Ihrke.


  • The WSAVA International Award for Scientific Achievement: Prof. Richard Halliwell.
  • The WSAVA Global One Health Award: Prof. Ab Osterhaus.
  • The WSAVA Hill's Pet Mobility Award: Prof. Daniel Lewis.
  • The WSAVA Hill's Excellence in Veterinary Healthcare Award: Dr. Marty Becker.
  • The WSAVA President's Award: Prof. Anjop Venker-van Haagen.


  • The WSAVA International Award for Scientific Achievement: Stephen Withrow.
  • The WSAVA Hill's Pet Mobility Award: Steven Budsberg.
  • The WSAVA Hill's Excellence in Veterinary Healthcare Award: Chand Khanna.
  • The WSAVA President's Award: Rau Benavente.