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Presidential Award for ARS Veterinary Medical OfficerBy Marty Clark
July 12, 2002
Agricultural Research Service scientist David L. Suarez received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) at a ceremony today in Washington, D.C.
Suarezs selection was based on research explaining how chickens and turkeys contract avian influenza, as well as contributions to several new types of vaccines for treating avian influenza.
Since joining ARS in 1995, Suarez has assisted, at the request of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with studies of a new strain of influenza (H5N1) that appeared in chicken and human populations of Hong Kong in 1997.
Suarez has also served on the Live Bird Market working group, which is involved with eradication efforts in the northeastern United States, and has developed a rapid influenza detection system for use there.
He has also developed a rapid diagnostic test, using standard molecular genetics technology, that can be used for quick influenza subtyping by diagnostic laboratories that do not work routinely on influenza viruses. The test is being used in live bird markets in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and in the northeastern United States.
Suarez continues to investigate why these viruses crossed species boundaries from poultry to human--important research for the poultry industry and human health.