American Veterinary Medical Association honors Iowa State professor for public service

AMES, Iowa -- The American Veterinary Medical Association presented its highest honor for public service to an Iowa State University professor known for his leadership in veterinary infectious disease research, teaching and outreach. Dr. James Roth, Clarence Hartley Covault Distinguished Professor in Veterinary Medicine, received the AVMA Public Service Award July 18 at the association's annual convention.

The award recognizes a veterinarian for long-term, outstanding public service or unusual contributions to the practice or science of public health and regulatory veterinary medicine.

Roth is executive director of the Institute for International Cooperation in Animal Biologics, a World Organization for Animal Health-collaborating center that provides training, brings about harmonization of regulations and assists countries in obtaining needed veterinary biologics such as vaccines. Roth also is director of the Center for Food Security and Public Health, which is working to increase national preparedness for accidental or intentional introduction of disease agents that threaten food production or public health.

Roth earned his DVM (1975) and Ph.D. (1981) from Iowa State. His research has focused on factors that suppress immune function and make animals susceptible to disease, and on understanding protective antigens and protective immune responses to aid the development of improved vaccines. He is the author of 130 research articles, one textbook and 27 book chapters. Roth is president of the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists. He has served on several federal boards, including the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity. In 2005, he testified before a United States Senate committee on the need for new facilities for animal health research and preparedness for emerging animal diseases.