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University of Iowa News Release


July 6, 2007

Butler Receives Veterinary Immunology Awards

John E. Butler, Ph.D., professor of microbiology in the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, has been named the recipient of national and international awards in the field of veterinary immunology.

The Veterinary Immunology Committee of the International Union of Immunological Sciences (IUIS) has selected Butler to receive its 2007 Distinguished Veterinary Immunology Award sponsored by Pfizer Animal Health. Butler also will receive the 2007 Distinguished Veterinary Immunology Award from the American Association of Veterinary Immunologists (AAVI).

The AAVI award is given to an individual whose contribution to veterinary immunology is widely acknowledged as significant and important to the understanding of the immunology of domestic and/or wild animals.

The IUIS presents its award to honor a leader in the field of immunology who has provided contributions to the field through publications in peer-reviewed journals, education and training of students, and the promotion of the importance of the immunology field. Butler has served as a mentor for numerous international veterinary immunologists as well as graduate and undergraduate student researchers.

Butler is the director of graduate studies in the UI Department of Microbiology, and he is a member of the UI Interdisciplinary Immunology Program. His research has involved many species such as mice, rats, guinea pigs, cattle, swine, rabbits, humans and xenopus, a species of frog. These experiences have given Butler a unique look at the diversity of the immune systems of different species and have led him to the development of the isolator piglet model, which is the focus of his current research. The model is used to study the "critical window" of development in swine, the period of the highest mortality rate. During this period, the animals must develop their own immune systems to protect against pathogens as immunity from the mother wanes. Failure to do this can lead to conditions such as allergy and inflammatory bowel disease. The model is especially relevant for understanding the role of certain viruses. Butler also is involved in other collaborative research such as the engineering of pigs that can produce human antibodies for immunotherapy.

Butler will receive his international award and present a lecture at the Eighth International Veterinary Immunology Symposium, to be held Aug. 15-19 in Ouro Preto, Brazil. The national award will be presented at the annual Conference of Research Workers in Animal Diseases meeting Dec. 2-4 in Chicago.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5139 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

MEDIA CONTACT: David Pedersen, 319-335-8032,; Writer: Brandy Huseman.