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Veterinary Medicine Honors Distinguished Alumni

October 24, 2008

Three veterinarians recently were recognized with Iowa State University’s premier honor awarded to outstanding veterinary alumni. The Stange Award for Meritorious Service in Veterinary Medicine recognizes distinguished alumni for outstanding professional achievements. The award is the highest honor given to alumni of Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. It was presented during special ceremonies held by the university and the college on Oct. 24.


Dr. Scott Armbrust (ISU ’75), Green Bay, Wisc., is a leader in the field of bovine embryo transfer, and has been instrumental in opening new foreign markets for frozen embryos. As president and owner of Paradocs Embryo Transfer, Inc., he specializes in bovine embryo transfer, marketing and exporting.

Dr. Armbrust began his veterinary career in Wisconsin as a dairy practitioner. After concentrating his efforts for seven years in dairy production and reproduction, he left practice in 1982 to specialize in embryo transfer, establishing Paradocs. He proceeded to promote the use of U.S. bovine genetics and develop international markets, focusing on the Holstein breed of cattle. His efforts, along with training numerous veterinarians from around the world in bovine embryo transfer techniques, have earned him international respect.

Dr. Armbrust continually provides extraordinary service to his profession. In 1998, he was president of the American Embryo Transfer Association, and he was a board director from 1995-1999. He is also a past chair of the association’s Export Cooperator Committee, where he leads ongoing efforts to expand foreign embryo markets. He has been a tireless promoter of professionalism in the embryo transfer industry.

He has served as a mentor and advisor to numerous dairy families throughout Wisconsin and the upper Midwest. Dr. Armbrust has also been active in the community through his activities with 4-H and FFA organizations.


Dr. Maarten Drost (ISU ’62), Gainesville, Fla., is an internationally recognized leader in the field of theriogenology. A professor emeritus at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Drost is an expert in ruminant reproduction, including embryo transfer technology. He was a pioneer in the area of fetal surgery, and demonstrated the role of the fetus in the initiation of parturition in sheep by performing bilateral fetal adrenalectomies in 1968. He was also the first in the world to produce a water buffalo calf by embryo transfer (in the US) in 1983, and the first five water buffalo calves in Europe (Bulgaria) in 1985.
His Web atlas, The Drost Project, is a visual guide to veterinary reproduction for students and specialists in the field of animal reproduction. In 2000, Dr. Drost wanted to preserve his and the collections of teaching images of others. Each image has a title and a caption. His unique Web atlas (drostproject.vetmed.ufl.edu) currently averages 7,500 hits per day, and is a free global educational resource.

Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Florida in 1977 (as a founding faculty member), he was on the faculty at the University of California, Davis for 11 years, and spent one year each at Cornell University and the State University at Utrecht in The Netherlands. He has been a guest lecturer and speaker at veterinary conferences and symposia worldwide. He has authored numerous book chapters and books, and published more than 100 refereed papers. He is also known for his annual Bovine Embryo Transfer Workshops for Veterinarians, and numerous hands-on workshops in bovine obstetrics. His research focused on the role of the fetus in the initiation of parturition, the development of nonsurgical embryo transfer in cattle and water buffaloes, and the management of fertility in lactating dairy cows during summer heat stress in Florida.
In 2007, Dr. Drost was presented with the Distinguished Service Award at the University of Florida. At the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, he received the Teacher of the Year Award in 1979, 1985, 1989, 1995, and 2003. He was the 2004 recipient of the prestigious David E. Bartlett Lecture Award by the Society of Theriogenology. He served as associate editor of Theriogenology, from 1977 to 1998. Dr. Drost is a diplomate of the American College of Theriogenologists.


Dr. Gary Knutsen (ISU ’75), Naples, Fla., is an accomplished researcher, pathologist and entrepreneur. He is the president and managing member of Systems Pathology Company, LLC; a computerized imaging company. He is also chairman and CEO of Toxicologic Pathology Associates, Inc., a company that serves the research pathology needs of the FDA’s National Center for Toxicologic Research.

His most noteworthy accomplishment was the founding of Pathology Associates International (PAI) in 1981. Under his direction, PAI became the largest, independent toxicologic pathology provider in the world. PAI emphasized the assessment state-of-the-art molecular, immuno and “omics-related” technologies and the integration of this science to augment traditional toxicologic pathology methods. The company was listed on INC magazine’s 500 list and the Fast 50 for its growth and service. PAI is now a division of Charles River Laboratories.

After obtaining his master’s degree in veterinary physiology (ISU ’76), Dr. Knutsen was a researcher in pulmonary physiology at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease (USAMRIID) in Ft. Detrick, Md. He later transferred into a veterinary pathology residency at USAMRIID.  Prior to founding PAI, he was head of the Experimental Pathology/Histotechnology Laboratory at the Frederick Cancer Research Facility, National Cancer Institute in Maryland.