The Joan A. O'Brien Research Award Fund

Dr. O'Brien was a 1963 graduate of the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania - returning to this career after her children were in school. She completed an internship in 1964 stayed on the faculty at Pennsylvania until her retirement in 1989. Positions the she held there included Intern, Fellow, Instructor, Assistant and Associate Professor. During her tenure on the UP faculty she also served as Chief of Small Animal Medicine, Department of Clinical studies (1972-1986). Joan taught literally thousands of veterinary students as well as interns, residents and through numerous seminars to her professional colleagues around the world. Dr. O’Brien also held Visiting and Research Professorships at the Department of otolaryngology at the University of Pennsylvania and the Hahnemann Medical College in Philadelphia.
Joan was the wife of Bob O'Brien, mother of 3 children and grandmother to many more. She was a teacher to professional veterinary students, interns, residents and many others. She was also a friend and professional colleague to many of us in the veterinary community. Many of the current VCRS membership had the good fortune to work with her over the years.

As her adjunct appointments would suggest, her interest and efforts were centered on clinical research in the application of laryngology and broncho-esophagology in naturally occurring diseases of animals. Dr. O'Brien was author to numerous educational films, book chapters, scientific abstracts and articles in journals as well as invited seminars in the United States, England and Europe.

Dr. O'Brien was a Charter Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine which was formed in the early 1970's. In 1974 she received the Outstanding Woman Veterinarian Award and in 1975 the coveted AVMA Gaines Award as the Small Animal Clinician of the Year. She was also a founding member of the (Veterinary) Comparative Respiratory Society, which with her encouragement held the First Veterinary Respiratory Symposium at the University of Illinois in 1978.

The Veterinary Comparative Respiratory Society Board of Directors established a student award fund in 1989, and renamed it The Joan A. O'Brien Research Award in 1990 in recognition of Dr. O'Brien's many accomplishments and contributions, both clinical and research, to veterinary respiratory medicine. Providing sufficient participation, there are awards given at the annual Symposium of the Veterinary Comparative Respiratory Society for the best abstract (oral as well as poster presentation) made by a resident, professional or graduate student. The award consists of an engraved plaque and an unrestricted monetary gift.

2011 Joan A. O'Brien Research Award Recipients

E. Krafft, Investigation of cytokine expression in canine idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

F. ter Woort, Histopathological survey of lung inflammation in racing horses.

Click here for a list of previous Joan A. O'Brien Research Award Recipients and their abstract titles.

Contact to make a tax deductible donation to the Joan A. O'Brien Research Award Fund.