Dr. Peter Eyre, of Blacksburg, Va., professor emeritus and former dean of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech, was honored with an "American Veterinary Medical Association President's Award" for exceptional service to the profession of veterinary medicine during opening ceremonies of the association's national convention in New Orleans.

Eyre has also been honored for service and achievement by a major Canadian university and a distinguished scientific professional society over the past several months.

“The AVMA President's Award is unquestionably one of the most prestigious and coveted honors in the veterinary profession,” said Eyre, who served as dean of the veterinary college from 1985 to 2003. “I am deeply honored and very grateful.”

During the presentation, American Veterinary Medical Association President Dr. Greg Hammer praised Eyre for the major contributions he had made to the profession of veterinary medicine through his extensive career in veterinary education and research..

In recognition of the major contributions Eyre has made to the field of pharmacology over his career, the University of Guelph has established “The Peter Eyre Prize in Pharmacology” to recognize exceptional student achievement in that field. Eyre helped build that university’s pharmacology and toxicology programs in the late 1960s, 1970’s, and early 1980’s. From these beginnings, a B.Sc. (undergraduate) degree program in Biomedical Sciences developed which is housed in the Ontario Veterinary College, and attracts some 200 students each year.

Finally, the American Academy of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics has honored Eyre with the designation of Emeritus Fellow.

“If I can claim anything remarkable about my career, it is that it was unpredicted and unordered,” said Eyre, who continues to teach pharmacology at Virginia Tech and has been very active in the Virginia Governor’s School for Agriculture’s academic programs. “My life’s work has resulted from a combination of intense personal interests with a series of fortunate opportunities that included exceptional colleagues and mentors, and outstanding academic institutions.”

Eyre served as the second dean of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, and is credited with leading a series of initiatives that consolidated the operating partnership between Virginia and Maryland, fortified the college’s political and economic foundations, and developed its programs. He has served on the board of directors and as president of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC). He also served on the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Council on Government Relations, and provided leadership for many other professional associations.

Prior to assuming the deanship of the veterinary college, Eyre served as chairman of the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College in Ontario, Canada, where he also served as associate director of the Canadian Centre for Toxicology.

After earning the BVMS degree and the MRCVS diploma in veterinary medicine, Eyre earned B.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in pharmacology, all from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

As a biomedical researcher, Eyre was responsible for the acquisition and completion of over $1.2 million in sponsored grants and contracts, and authored 350 scientific publications, including more than 200 in refereed journals.

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