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Penn Vet Honors Two Graduates with 2023 Alumni Achievement Awards

Date: May 24, 2023
Dean Hoffman with Eric Lombardini and Douglas Antczak
From left to right: Penn Vet Dean Andrew M. Hoffman, Dr. Eric Lombardini, C’93, G’01, V’01, Dr. Douglas Antczak, V’73, and Dr. Sam Gilbert, V’15. (Image: John Donges/Penn Vet)

May 24, 2023; PHILADELPHIA, PA – The University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) has announced that two distinguished graduates received two of the School’s highest honors, the Alumni Award of Merit, and the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award. The awards are given annually to recognize alumni who are leaders in their fields and who embody the mission and values of Penn Vet. This year’s recipients were honored at the School’s annual Alumni and Reunion Weekend celebration held at Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center campus in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

The 2023 award recipients are Dr. Eric Lombardini, C’93, G’01, V’01, and Dr. Douglas Antczak, V’73.

“Throughout their careers, Drs. Lombardini and Antczak have contributed substantially to science and public service, important goals of the veterinary profession,” said the Gilbert S. Kahn Dean of Veterinary Medicine, Andrew M. Hoffman, DVM, DVSc, DACVIM. “They represent the best of the School’s alumni and they are role models for all who aspire to have an impact on the world in which we live.”

2023 Alumni Award of Merit: Dr. Eric Lombardini

The Alumni Award of Merit recognizes alumni who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and service to Penn Vet, excellence in the veterinary profession, and community engagement.

Dr. Lombardini earned his BA, his MSc in Viral Epidemiology, and his VMD, all from the University of Pennsylvania. He is an anatomic pathologist, and he holds a PhD in Microbiology from The Open University in the U.K. focused on cerebral malaria. Lombardini achieved the rank of Colonel in the U.S. Army, where he served as director of the Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences (AFRIMS) in Thailand, the Department of Defense’s largest medical research institute outside of the U.S. He also served on the U.S. Ambassador to Thailand’s executive committee. Lombardini retired from the U.S. Army in 2022, and he now serves as Boston Scientific’s vice president of pre-clinical global, where he leads over 180 scientists, veterinarians, toxicologists, and support staff, specializing in translational research across the lifecycle of Boston Scientific’s medical products and solutions. He is a recipient of the U.S. military’s Legion of Merit; the Bronze Star; the Humanitarian Service Medal in recognition of his meritorious participation in the global COVID-19 response; the Uniformed Public Health Service Commendation Medal; and the U.S. Army Surgeon General’s “A” proficiency designator for his contributions as an expert in the field of Veterinary Pathology.

2023 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award: Dr. Douglas Antczak

The Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award honors alumni who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and service to the veterinary profession.

Dr. Antczak is the Dorothy Havemeyer McConville Professor of Equine Medicine at the Baker Institute for Animal Health at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. His interdisciplinary research on the equine placenta has achieved international recognition for advances and discoveries in immunology, genetics, and reproductive biology of the horse. Antczak received continuous National Institutes of Health (NIH) support between 1981 and 2010 for his research on equine pregnancy immunology, emphasizing the relevance of this work to human health. From 1994 to 2009, he served as director of the Baker Institute, where he spearheaded new laboratory construction and led the Institute’s scientific mission to advance animal health through research. Through his relationship with the Havemeyer Foundation, Antczak has been a catalyst for cooperative research by way of the Foundation’s Workshop series that he initiated over 40 years ago. He is a principal participant in the international Horse Genome Project, a consortium of over 20 laboratories that produce genetic and physical maps of the horse genome.

Many of Antczak’s former trainees now serve on the faculty at veterinary colleges across the U.S. and abroad. In the early 1980s, Antczak launched a program that has provided research experiences for over 50 veterinary students over the past 35 years. This summer fellowship program now serves as a model for similar veterinary student training initiatives at Cornell University and elsewhere.

Antczak holds the International Symposium on Equine Reproduction’s 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award in Equine Reproduction and the International Union of Immunological Sciences’ 2010 Distinguished Veterinary Immunologist Award. In 2009, he was inducted into the University of Kentucky’s Equine Research Hall of Fame. Antczak received his BA in Biology from Cornell University and his VMD from the University of Pennsylvania. He conducted post-graduate research in England as a Thouron Scholar and received his PhD in Immunology from the University of Cambridge.

“This year’s Alumni Award recipients represent excellence across our veterinary profession,” said Penn Vet Alumni Board President Sam Gilbert, VMD. “They share a commitment to service and intellectual curiosity, both of which are core values here at Penn Vet. I am so pleased that we were able to honor their accomplishments and celebrate among our alumni peers and colleagues.”

About Penn Vet

Ranked among the top ten veterinary schools worldwide, the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) is a global leader in veterinary education, research, and clinical care. Founded in 1884, Penn Vet is the first veterinary school developed in association with a medical school. The school is a proud member of the One Health initiative, linking human, animal, and environmental health.

Penn Vet serves a diverse population of animals at its two campuses, which include extensive diagnostic and research laboratories. Ryan Hospital in Philadelphia provides care for dogs, cats, and other domestic/companion animals, handling more than 34,600 patient visits a year. New Bolton Center, Penn Vet’s large-animal hospital on nearly 700 acres in rural Kennett Square, PA, cares for horses and livestock/farm animals. The hospital handles more than 6,200 patient visits a year, while our Field Services have gone out on more than 5,500 farm service calls, treating some 18,700 patients at local farms. In addition, New Bolton Center’s campus includes a swine center, working dairy, and poultry unit that provide valuable research for the agriculture industry.