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Published: 1/15/2019
WSAVA Honorary Treasurer Michael Day...
 
Emeritus Professor Michael Day is the WSAVA’s new Honorary Treasurer and also fulfils other leadership roles across the WSAVA and the WSAVA Foundation. 

Could you introduce yourself to our members?  
In 2017, I retired after a 35-year academic career as a veterinary pathologist and immunologist with a research focus on small companion animal immune-mediated and infectious diseases.  I am now Emeritus Professor of Veterinary Pathology at the University of Bristol, UK, and Adjunct Professor of Veterinary Pathology at Murdoch University, Western Australia.

Since 2017, I have been Director of Pathology for Asia Veterinary Diagnostics, a diagnostic laboratory based in Hong Kong with a branch in Singapore.  I am Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Comparative Pathology and now devote much of my time to voluntary roles with WSAVA and as trustee to several charities, including Mission Rabies.  In parallel with my WSAVA committee work, I also spent many years working on and chairing several BSAVA committees and was BSAVA President in 2013-14.

You’ve played a key role at the WSAVA as Chair of three Committees and now as an Executive Board member.  You’re also on the Board of the WSAVA Foundation and the AFSCAN project.  What do you most enjoy about your work with the WSAVA?
I began working with the WSAVA in 2003 as a member of the Gastrointestinal Standardization Group.  I was a member and then chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee, a member and then chair of the Vaccination Guidelines Group (VGG), the foundation chair of the One Health Committee (OHC), foundation Vice-President of the WSAVA Foundation and a member of the AFSCAN Board.  I became a member of the Executive Board (EB) in 2017 and was elected as Honorary Treasurer of WSAVA in 2018.  I continue to chair the VGG and work with AFSCAN and sit on the OHC and Foundation as EB liaison.

In all of these roles, I have enjoyed the international dimension of our work and the simple fact that we make such a difference to development of the profession in so many parts of the world. The challenges faced by our colleagues in many regions are significant and the way that they tackle them is inspirational.

What are you most proud of?
I am very proud of everything that the WSAVA achieves but, personally, I am proud of three aspects of our work that I have directed: 

  • the changes in protocols for vaccination of dogs and cats driven by the WSAVA Guidelines
  • the leadership shown by the WSAVA in bringing companion animals into the global One Health agenda
  • the development of a culture of clinical research in African veterinary schools that we have provided through AFSCAN.  I was particularly pleased to launch our major new research programme on dog and cat ectoparasites and arthropod-borne infectious diseases in Tanzania last December.  The project will provide important novel surveillance data across six sub-Saharan African countries and is being performed, under my direction, by a team of veterinary parasitologists and a major reference laboratory.  

What is the most challenging aspect of the work?
Simply finding the time!  Although this has become considerably simpler in the absence of a ‘day job’, juggling so many commitments while still travelling extensively to lecture means that my diary is always full. The old adage about being busier in retirement than while working is perfectly true!
 

What do you like to do outside work?
At the moment I am planning a wedding!  My fiancée is Professor Mary Marcondes and we met through working together in the WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines Group.  Mary has just retired as Vice-Director of the Veterinary School at São Paulo State University and we are beginning to divide our time between the UK and Brazil. 

Our marriage will have two parts – the ceremony in São Paulo and then an informal gathering in Perth for my Australian family.  Together, we have four children and a grandson and a shared passion for travelling and art galleries.  I also enjoy my garden in the UK and, over the past year, have researched and written my family genealogy.  I am also attempting to learn some Brazilian Portuguese! 
 
Is there anything else you’d like WSAVA members to know about you?
On a serious note to end, I have been open with sharing the fact that just over a year ago I was diagnosed with advanced gastric adenocarcinoma.  Thanks to the amazing skills of my oncologist and surgeon I have been given back my life and can continue to focus on the people and activities that are important to me.

People have said that my fight against cancer was ‘inspirational’, but the key is positivity and determination, backed up by the support of family and friends.  If you have a family member or colleague facing this battle, never underestimate how important your support can be.
 
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