Frederick A. Murphy Honored With $100,000 Penn Vet World Leadership Award

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Media Contact:Jordan Reese | jreese@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604
Media Contact:Gail Luciani | luciani@vet.upenn.edu | 215-898-1475March 20, 2009


PHILADELPHIA –- Frederick A. Murphy has been selected as the 2009 recipient of the Penn Vet World Leadership Award. Murphy is the James W. McLaughlin Professor in Residence, Department of Pathology at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

The Penn Vet World Leadership Award is given annually to a veterinarian who has dramatically changed the practice and image of the profession and substantially influenced the lives and careers of others. The award provides the recipient with $100,000 in unrestricted funding, the largest monetary award in veterinary medicine, underwritten by the Vernon and Shirley Hill Foundation.

he Penn Vet World Leadership Award will be presented April 20, in Philadelphia at Penn Vet.

Also honored that day will be two student recipients of the annual Penn Vet Student Inspiration Award. The students will each receive $100,000, the highest unrestricted veterinary cash award in the world. The student awards are also provided by the Hill Foundation.

"As an internationally acclaimed authority in comparative virology, Dr. Murphy is a pioneering researcher, respected advisor in health policy and outstanding spokesperson for the veterinary profession, which has led to his unparalleled contributions to veterinary medicine," Joan C. Hendricks, Penn Vet dean, said. "We are proud to recognize his vast and impressive achievements with this year's Penn Vet World Leadership Award."

Murphy has made significant contributions that benefit society and advance the veterinary profession through his research work on viruses impacting animals and humans. In addition, he has highlighted the critical importance of new and emerging diseases of animal origin as the major cause of these new illnesses, and he has provided leadership at national and international levels, all the while mentoring and teaching young scholars. His previous appointments include dean and professor of virology at the University of California, Davis; director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention; and associate dean of research at Colorado State University.

Murphy’s greatest impact on the future of the veterinary profession is expertise in infectious disease. In particular, he has played a leadership role in viral pathogenesis and has articulated clearly the role of animal pathogens in new and emerging diseases.

“I really cannot believe that this great honor has come to me,” Murphy said. “Three thoughts come immediately to mind: First, I thank Vernon and Shirley Hill for their kindness and incredible generosity; I also thank the committee members and the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.

“I would like everyone to know that I share this honor with my family. Everything that has been good in my life is grounded in my family life.”

“Shirley and I are pleased to support the prestigious Penn Vet World Leadership Award, which recognizes the outstanding individuals whose achievements have significantly advanced both the veterinary profession and humanity,” Vernon Hill said. "Dr. Murphy truly exemplifies excellence in the critical global health arena. We are honored to underwrite this award to help advance Dr. Murphy’s important research.”

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