Athens, Ga. – Dr. Steeve Giguère, Ph.D., D.V.M. and Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, has been appointed to the Marguerite Thomas Hodgson Chair of Equine Studies in the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine.
The Hodgson Chair is funded by a one million dollar endowment established by a donation to the department of large animal medicine from Marguerite Thomas Hodgson. The purpose of the endowment is to support a faculty member who will conduct research to improve equine health and teach students state-of-the-art techniques in equine medicine.
Giguère received his doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Montreal, where he continued to complete an internship in equine medicine and surgery. He then went on to complete a residency in large animal internal medicine at New Bolton Center at the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. in veterinary microbiology and immunology from the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph.
“This is the first endowed chair in equine medicine at UGA, and it has enabled us to hire a superbly qualified faculty member who will enhance our tradition of excellence in equine studies,” said Dr. Sheila Allen, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine.
Giguère comes to the College of Veterinary Medicine from the department of large animal clinical sciences at the University of Florida, where he was honored with numerous teaching awards including the Carl Norden-Pfizer Distinguished Teacher Award and numerous selections as the Large Animal Clinician of the Year.
Giguère enjoys teaching and said, “There is nothing more gratifying than seeing the evolution of a veterinary student from their first day on clinics, when they have much theoretical knowledge that they do not know how to apply, to their last rotation, when they have evolved into astute young clinicians.”
The endowment “comes at a very opportune time,” said Dr. Andrew Parks, professor and head of the department of large animal medicine, “because it allows us to solidify and expand an already successful research program in the department.”
Giguère has received multiple awards and grants for his research in the field of equine medicine. A major focus of his research is the bacterial pathogen Rhodococcus equi. According to Giguère, “Pneumonia caused by Rhodococcus is a very common problem in foals, especially on large breeding farms, and I am particularly interested in better understanding how the immune system of foals differs from that of adult horses.”
His research involves various aspects of the disease including diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and better understanding immune responses to the pathogen.
Giguère said he “looks forward to collaborating with the many clinicians and basic scientists in the various departments of the College of Veterinary Medicine and from other colleges as well.”
The University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, founded in 1946, is dedicated to training future veterinarians, providing services to animal owners and veterinarians, and conducting investigations to improve the health of animals as well as people. The college benefits pets and their owners, food-producing animals, and wildlife by offering the highest quality hospital and diagnostic laboratory services. The college is equipped with technologically-advanced facilities dedicated to safeguarding public health by studying emerging infectious diseases that affect both animal and human health. The college enrolls 96 students each fall out of the approximately 500 who apply. It has more than 145 faculty members.