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Dr. Oliver Garden Wins International Canine Health Award for Outstanding Clinical Work and Research

By The Kennel Club | Published: May 24, 2017

From L-R - Prof Steve Dean, Prof Paul McGreevy, Harriet Davenport, Prof Oliver Garden, Shirley and Vernon Hill with Sir Duffield the dog. Photo credit- The Kennel ClubProfessor Oliver Garden, who recently left the UK to take up a prestigious position at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet), has won an international award as part of one of the largest and most distinguished veterinary awards in the world, the International Canine Health Awards. The award was given to Oliver in recognition of his tireless work as a small animal internist and immunologist.

Professor Garden, who previously worked at the Royal Veterinary College in London for twelve years, currently carries the title of Chair of Department of Clinical Studies-Philadelphia at Penn Vet.  Professor Garden has today won the coveted International Award category at the International Canine Health Awards, where he was awarded £40,000 towards his future work.

International Award Winner Prof Oliver Garden at the International Canine Health Awards 2017 in London. Photo credit- The Kennel ClubThe awards, which are run by the Kennel Club Charitable Trust and underwritten by a major gift from Vernon and Shirley Hill of Metro Bank, highlight those individuals who go the extra mile to promote the health and wellbeing of dogs through their work in the world of veterinary science.

This year’s awards were presented to winners by Professor Steve Dean, chairman of trustees of the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, on Wednesday 24th May at the Kennel Club in London, on behalf of the Vernon and Shirley Hill Foundation.

A highly intelligent and hardworking individual, Professor Garden undertook extensive postgraduate training in the UK and the United States and over the past two decades has become internationally known for both his highly successful clinical career and his strong research work. His research programmes into canine cancer immunology and autoimmune disease have led to significant advancements in this veterinary field and Professor Garden is now considered to be one of the top three canine immunology experts in the world.

As well as his research and practical work, Professor Garden has always been passionate about educating the next generations of veterinarians and has taught thousands of undergraduate students and mentored hundreds of postgraduate students and residents over the years, particularly at the Royal Veterinary College in England.

One of Professor Garden’s recent notable works was a global initiative to bring together nearly 200 specialists from around the world to form a new Clinical Immunology Special Interest Group in an effort to develop Veterinary Clinical Immunology into a medical speciality.

Professor Garden’s interest in dogs goes beyond viewing them from a veterinary point of view, as he also has a passion for them as pets. During his PhD studies, he worked with a large number of Irish Setter breeders, and regularly visited shows attended by the breeding community to raise awareness of diseases of the breed. He also organised a one-day symposium for dog breeders and a dog show to raise awareness of research into canine health undertaken by him and colleagues at the Royal Veterinary College. Both were successful, well-attended events. He also recognises the merit of astute observations made in the clinic, which may spawn seminal research into hitherto untouched areas. Oliver is an enthusiastic advocate of canine health and values the importance of public engagement with veterinary science. He is also a champion of One Health, a global initiative in which canine research informs human health and vice versa; this is an area of particular strength and expertise within Oliver’s new institution, Penn Vet.

Speaking about the award and his career, Professor Garden said: “It is truly humbling to be honoured in this way by the Kennel Club. I feel a sense of immense pride in receiving this award, which is as much a recognition of the countless colleagues, postgraduate students, residents, and veterinary students with whom I have had the sincere pleasure of working over the past two decades, as it is a reflection of any of my own achievements. Clinical research is always a team effort and I have been blessed to work with many awesomely talented, resourceful, and insightful colleagues and students over the years. I very much look forward to continuing my work on canine malignancies and autoimmune diseases at Penn Vet, which wonderfully embraces the ethos of translational research and One Health. I offer my heartfelt thanks to Vernon and Shirley Hill for generously sponsoring this award and for their love of dogs.”

The other awards were for the Lifetime Achievement Award, which received a prize of £10,000; Postgraduate Student Inspiration Awards, which also received a prize of £10,000 and the Undergraduate Student Inspiration Award which received a prize of £5,000.

Nominations for the awards were judged by a panel of influential representatives from the veterinary profession and the world of scientific research. This year’s judges were Nick Blayney, veterinary surgeon and veterinary advisor to the Kennel Club; Professor Robin Franklin, Professor of Stem Cell Medicine at Cambridge University; Professor Alan Kelly, Emeritus Dean, Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr Andrew Higgins, Honorary Editor-in-Chief at the Veterinary Journal; Professor John Innes, UK Referral Director at CVS; Professor David Argyle, Dean of Veterinary Medicine and Head of School, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh; Dr Siraya Chunekamrai, Honorary Secretary WSAVA and Chairperson of the WSAVA PR and Communications Committee; and Professor Holger Volk, Professor of Veterinary Neurology and Neurosurgery and Head of Department of Clinical Science and Services, Royal Veterinary College (and winner of last year’s International award).

Professor Steve Dean, chairman of trustees of the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, which runs the International Canine Health Awards, said: “It is easy to see why Professor Garden is highly regarded within the international veterinary community. Not only has he had a highly successful clinical career and produced some quite remarkable innovative research, he has also helped thousands of young graduates to develop their careers in veterinary research and inspired many veterinarians.

“We want to extend our congratulations to Oliver – he clearly has the enthusiasm for even more ground breaking research and we look forward to his achievements for many years into the future.”

Vernon Hill, founder and chairman of Metro Bank, and Shirley Hill, whose foundation underwrites the awards said: “Many congratulations to Oliver, we are happy to recognise such a talented individual for the International Award. His work in canine immunology is outstanding and we are really looking forward to seeing what he will achieve in the future.”

About the Kennel Club Charitable Trust

The Kennel Club Charitable Trust was established in 1987 and has provided grants of more than £10.5m to a range of organisations and charities.

The Trust awards grants to organisations to help them to achieve its objective of 'making a difference for dogs' and supports work with dogs across three distinct areas:

  • Science - funding research into health problems in dogs
  • Support - helping to train dogs to help human beings
  • Welfare - providing funds for dogs that need help or rescue

The Kennel Club Charitable Trust has committed a total of £2.7m of funding for the Kennel Club Genetics Centre at the Animal Health Trust, which is investigating a number of canine inherited diseases, having agreed £1.2m in funds over five years in 2009 and a further £1.5m over five years in 2013.

The Kennel Club Charitable Trust also runs the Bark and Read Foundation to support charities in the UK that are doing amazing work by taking dogs into schools and other places to help children to read. There are now twelve charities whose work to improve child literacy is supported by the Bark & Read Foundation.

To donate to the Kennel Club Charitable Trust please visit

About Metro Bank:

Vernon Hill is the founder and chairman of Metro Bank, the UK’s first new High Street bank in more than 100 years. The revolutionary bank currently has 48 stores across London and the Home Counties, with plans to expand to 100 by 2020. Metro Bank is publicly listed on the London Stock Exchange, symbol: MTRO.

Metro Bank PLC. Registered in England and Wales. Company number: 6419578. Registered office: One Southampton Row, London, WC1B 5HA. ‘Metrobank’ is the registered trade mark of Metro Bank PLC.

Metro Bank PLC is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in relation to our acceptance of deposits and provision of investment and insurance services. In relation to our consumer credit business, Metro Bank PLC is licensed and regulated by the Office of Fair Trading and not by the FSA. Most relevant deposits are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.  For further information about the Scheme refer to the FSCS website

Vernon and Shirley Hill, and Sir Duffield, their Yorkshire Terrier, have a deep commitment to the veterinary community including:

  • Sponsorship of The University of Pennsylvania World Veterinary Award
  • Sponsorship of The Hill Pavilion at The University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School
  • Sponsorship of the Kennel Club’s International Canine Health Awards

The Kennel Club

The Kennel Club is the largest organisation in the UK devoted to dog health, welfare and training. Its objective is to ensure that dogs live healthy, happy lives with responsible owners.

It runs the country’s largest registration database for both pedigree and crossbreed dogs and the Petlog database, which is the UK’s biggest reunification service for microchipped animals. The Kennel Club is accredited by UKAS to certify members of its Assured Breeder Scheme, which is the only scheme in the UK that monitors breeders in order to protect the welfare of puppies and breeding bitches. It also runs the UK’s largest dog training programme, the Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme and licenses shows and clubs across a wide range of activities, which help dog owners to bond and enjoy life with their dogs. The Kennel Club runs the world’s greatest dog show, Crufts, and the Eukanuba Discover Dogs event at ExCeL London, which is a fun family day out that educates people about how to buy responsibly and care for their dog.

The Kennel Club invests in welfare campaigns, dog training and education programmes and the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, which supports research into dog diseases and dog welfare charities, including Kennel Club Breed Rescue organisations that re-home dogs throughout the UK. The Kennel Club jointly runs health screening schemes with the British Veterinary Association and through the Charitable Trust, funds the Kennel Club Genetics Centre at the Animal Health Trust, which is at the forefront of pioneering research into dog health. The Kennel Club Cancer Centre at the Animal Health Trust contributes to the AHT’s well-established cancer research programme, helping to further improve dog health.


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 nearly 35,300 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 nearly 5,300 patient visits a year, while the Field Service treats more than 38,000 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.

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