Natasha Olby, VetMB, PhD, is a leader in veterinary neurology and neurosurgery, and demonstrated a long-term contribution to canine research.
Natasha Olby, VetMB, PhD, professor of veterinary neurology and neurosurgery at the North Carolina (NC) State University College of Veterinary Medicine, was named the winner of the 2023 American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Career Achievement in Canine Research Award. Announced at the AVMA Convention in Denver, Colorado, the award recipient is selected by the AVMA Council on Research, which honors a member of the association who has demonstrated a long-term contribution to the field of canine research.1
“I am really honored to receive this award; it is truly a highlight of my career,” said Olby, in an organizational release. “But more than that, it is a recognition of all the dogs, owners, graduate students, fellows and colleagues who have worked so hard on all of the projects over the years.”1
Olby is a leader in the field of veterinary neurology and neurosurgery and is recognized as an expert on canine spinal cord injury and intervertebral disc disease, according to the AVMA. Her work has helped to increase the understanding and treatment of acute spinal cord disease, and she has impacted the lives of thousands of dogs through her clinical service, the education of veterinary students, and her research in advancing canine health.1
"Dr Olby's pioneering work in the realm of canine spinal cord injury and disease has greatly influenced the standard of care for canine patients, with the potential to improve human health as well," said Lori Teller, DVM, DABVP (canine/feline), CVJ, president of the AVMA, in an organizational release. "Dr Olby's devotion to improving the lives of dogs and their families, her continued innovation in research, and her strong commitment to mentorship make her a truly deserving recipient of this award.”1
Olby was a founding member of the Canine Spinal Cord Injury Consortium, an international group of clinicians and scientists dedicated to improving outcomes of spinal cord injury through multicenter clinical investigations. She has also led key collaborative studies that have defined the pathogenetic basis and clinical features of cognitive decline in dogs, improving the lives of both aging dogs and their owners, according to the AVMA.1
Olby is board certified in the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) neurology specialty and served as ACVIM president of the organization from 2008 to 2011. She was received the Dr. Kady M. Gjessing and Rhanna M. Davidson Distinguished Chair in Gerontology distinction at NC State in 2017.2
Other previous honors bestowed upon Olby include the Upjohn Prize for Medicine, the John Presthus award from the European College of Veterinary Neurology, an American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Hero in Medicine, the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians’ Faculty Achievement Award1, and the Faculty Achievement Award from the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians2.
Olby earned her veterinary degree at Cambridge University and is the coeditor of the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) Manual of Canine and Feline Neurology, as well as Advances in Veterinary Neurology, published by the Veterinary Clinics of North America. The author or coauthor of more than 100 scientific publications, she also authors book chapters in a variety of veterinary textbooks and manuals.2