Zhang Named Recipient of AAVMC Excellence in Research Award

January 12, 2024

Dr. Qijing Zhang, a Clarence Hartley Covault Distinguished Professor in Veterinary Medicine and the Dr. Roger and Marilyn Mahr Chair in One Health, has been named the recipient of the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) 2024 Excellence in Research Award.

The AAVMC Excellence in Research Award recognizes outstanding research and scholarly achievements in the field of veterinary medicine. The award honors those who demonstrate excellence in original research, leadership in the scientific community, and exceptional mentoring of trainees and colleagues in any discipline of veterinary medicine.

A member of the National Academy of Sciences, Zhang’s research has regional, national, and global impact on the control of antibiotic-resistance pathogens in animals and humans. As a renowned microbiologist, Zhang built a world-class research program on antimicrobial resistance and food safety.

His expertise in antibiotic resistance has earned him international acclaim. He is an expert in areas related to antibiotic resistance development, persistence, transmission from animal reservoirs to humans, and mitigation strategies. He is a pioneer in the effort to understand mechanisms involved in the emergence, persistence and fitness of antibiotic-resistant Campylobacter, a major zoonotic pathogen worldwide.

Zhang’s research group at Iowa State was among the first to document the impact of antibiotic resistance on bacterial fitness. His work is often used as a resource for science-based policy making by regulatory agencies on the use of antimicrobials in animal production. His work also identified emergence and transmission of zoonotic pathogens and their intervention strategies, contributing to improvement of animal health and public health.

He has published more than 185 peer-viewed papers and 15 books/book chapters. His publications are cited more than 12,000 and he has made more than 150 presentations at conferences and institutions globally. During his career, Zhang has received competitive grants totaling over $25 million from various funding agencies including NIH, USDA, NSF, and FDA.

A faculty member in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Preventive Medicine since 2003, Zhang held the Frank K. Ramsey Endowed Chair in Veterinary Medicine from 2003-2012 and again from 2017-2019. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Microbiology as well as an Honorary Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists.