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College of Veterinary Medicine Scientist Receives Award for Career Excellence in Poultry Research

David H. Ley, professor of poultry health management at the NC State University College of Veterinary Medicine, is the recipient of the Phibro Animal Health Excellence in Poultry Research Award for 2012 presented by the American Association of Avian Pathologists (AAAP).

Sponsored by the Phibro Animal Health Corporation, this honor recognizes “sustained excellence in research in poultry disease and health” during a period of 20 years or more. Dr. Ley received the award during the AAAP award luncheon at the recent annual meeting of the American Veterinary Medical Association in San Diego.

Dr. Ley, who directs the Mycoplasma Diagnostic and Research Laboratory in the CVM Department of Population Health and Pathobiology, focuses his current research on improving the health of commercial poultry by developing new knowledge that will contribute to the elimination or reduction of losses due to avian mycoplasmosis—a respiratory tract pathogen.

Specific objectives of the Ley laboratory are to develop rapid diagnostic capabilities to identify Mycoplasma species and strains causing disease, and to better understand the epidemiology of avian mycoplasmosis using strain-specific molecular markers gene sequencing.

“Dr. Ley has both a national and an international reputation in the field of avian mycoplasmosis,” says Dr. Malcolm Roberts, chair of the Department of Population, Health and Pathobiology. “His research has provided support to the poultry industry in both North Carolina and the United States, as well as enhancing our understanding of mycoplasmosis as an emerging disease in the house finch population of North America. The AAAP Phibro Animal Health Excellence in Poultry Research Award is a well-deserved honor for a distinguished scientific investigator who has been focused on a problem in the poultry industry and more recently among the wild bird population.”

Dr. Ley, who has master’s, doctorate, and DVM degrees from the University of California-Davis, joined the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine as an assistant professor in 1984. A Diplomate of both the American College of Poultry Veterinarians and the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists, Dr. Ley has published more than 60 major scientific articles on avian diseases and pathology in refereed journals and more recently he has been a protagonist of electronic media for professional scientific delivery and outreach.

He is current advisor and has served as head of the International Organization for Mycoplasmology, International Research Program for Comparative Mycoplasmology, Avian Mycoplasma Team. Dr. Ley has been an invited speaker at more than 50 scientific and industry meetings, most related to his research work in avian mycoplasmology and ranging from the effectiveness of serological tests to detect infection in turkeys, transmissibility of live mycoplasma vaccines, characterization of atypical M. gallisepticum isolates, development of molecular techniques to detect M. iowae, to the dynamics of mycoplasma conjunctivitis in house finches.

The AAAP was founded in 1957 to promote “scientific knowledge to enhance the health, well-being, and productivity of poultry to provide safe and abundant food for the world.” The Phibro Animal Health Corporation“helps producers meet the growing consumer demand for healthy, wholesome and delicious sources of protein.”