Smith Receives American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnostics’ Richard Walker Bacteriology Award

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Courtney Smith, a first-year veterinary student and Ph.D. student in veterinary pathobiology at the Texas A&M; College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) was recently awarded the Richard Walker Bacteriology award. The award acknowledges the best student presentation at the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnostics (AAVLD) annual meeting held this year on Oct. 24 in Providence, Rhode Island.

Courtney Smith

Smith’s oral presentation highlighted her work on a diagnostic tool that identifies fungal pathogens through DNA sequencing in paraffin-embedded tissue specimens, a common technique to preserve samples. “We believe this tool will aid in the proper identification of fungal infections and subsequently aid in selection of anti-fungal therapeutics, thereby reducing the development of resistance in fungi and improving patient prognosis,” said Smith.

“Courtney has always done a fabulous job in all her presentations, and this definitely speaks to all the hard work she puts into her research projects,” said Dr. Aline Rodrigues Hoffmann, assistant professor in the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology at the CVM and Smith’s advisor. “We are really proud of her and are glad to have her as part of our research team!”

Smith said the experience was both exciting and humbling, and she credits her achievement, in part, to the support of her advisor. “Surely none of this would be possible without Dr. Rodrigues Hoffmann’s mentoring,” she said.

“Courtney is an amazing student,” said Dr. Roger Smith, professor and interim head in the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology. “I can’t tell you how many times I hear faculty members tell me that when they see Courtney, they just smile. She is such a good student and an even better person.”