March 12, 2019

2019 Recipients of Awards for Advancing Research in Respiratory Disease to Focus on Filling Knowledge Gaps in PRRS, Mhp

DULUTH, Ga. (March 12, 2019) — The Awards for Advancing Research in Respiratory Disease (AWARRD) provide more than $100,000 each year for research relating to infectious porcine respiratory diseases. This year, three outstanding research proposals were selected, and their authors received $35,000 each from Boehringer Ingelheim, the sponsor of the awards. 

The Respiratory Disease Research Board, consisting of seven independent swine veterinarians and researchers, reviewed several exceptional proposals before making their final decision. 

Daryl Olsen, DVM, a board member and senior partner at AMVC, said, “The swine industry is continually seeking ways to improve the health and performance of pigs, but there are still many unanswered questions, particularly when it comes to respiratory diseases. The AWARRD program in general, and the three proposals the board chose to fund this year, will help answer some of those questions, and hopefully yield solutions that will be applicable to everyone in our field.” 

Boehringer Ingelheim congratulates the following recipients of the 2019 Awards for Advancing Research in Respiratory Disease: 

  • Alyssa Betlach, DVM, Swine Vet Center, Saint Peter, Minnesota 
    • “Spatial and temporal detection patterns for Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae under controlled aerosol exposure for gilt acclimatization” 
  • Juan Sanhueza, DVM, Ph.D., University of Minnesota, St. Paul 
    • “Toward the best testing strategy for PRRSv stability: time-to-negative processing fluids in breeding herds” 
  • Mariana Kikuti, DVM, Ph.D., University of Minnesota, St. Paul 
    • “Genetic diversity of PRRSV in piglets during an outbreak” 

“The primary goal of these awards is to fund field-applicable research focused around key questions in our industry, and to do so in a collaborative fashion,” said Reid Philips, DVM, PRRS technical manager, Boehringer Ingelheim. “We’re proud to be a part of this effort to help move the swine industry forward in its understanding of respiratory disease, and we’re excited to see how the outcome of these research proposals positively impacts the control and management of respiratory disease.”   

The board also granted research completion awards to the following individuals for successfully completing past projects funded by the AWARRD program: 

  • Carles Vilalta, DVM, Ph.D., University of Minnesota, St. Paul 
    • “Evaluation of tail pail fluid as an indication of PRRSV status in the sow herd” 
  • Marie Culhane, DVM, Ph.D., University of Minnesota, St. Paul 
    • “Association of the presence of Influenza A virus in pigs at weaning with post-weaning performance and cost of production”

Over the past 15 years, the AWARRD program has provided more than $1.3 million in support of the development of less costly, innovative diagnostic testing and sampling processes; identified more effective biosecurity practices; sought to better understand respiratory diseases; and developed risk assessment tools, intervention programs and vaccination strategies. The program is supported through funding from Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA Inc. 

Applications for the 2020 awards will be open for submission in late 2019. For more information on the Respiratory Disease Research Board and the AWARRD program, visit


About the Respiratory Disease Research Board 

The Respiratory Disease Research Board, an independent group of swine veterinarians and researchers, selects the Awards for Advancing Research in Respiratory Disease annually. Board members for the 2019 award selection process include:

  • Luc Dufresne, DVM, Seaboard Foods, Shawnee Mission, Kansas 
  • Tim Loula, DVM, Swine Vet Center, P.A., St. Peter, Minnesota
  • Daryl Olsen, DVM, AMVC, Audubon, Iowa 
  • Montse Torremorell, DVM, Ph.D., Diplo. ACVP, University of Minnesota, St. Paul
  • Darin Madson, DVM, Ph.D., Iowa State University, Ames
  • Nathan Winkelman, DVM, 2018 AASV President-elect, Swine Services Unlimited, Inc., Rice, Minnesota
  • Adam Schelkopf, DVM, MS 2018 AASV Young Swine Veterinarian of the Year, Pipestone Veterinary Services, Pipestone, Minnesota


Boehringer Ingelheim
Improving the health and quality of life of patients is the goal of the research-driven pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim. The focus in doing so is on diseases for which no satisfactory treatment option exists to date. The company therefore concentrates on developing innovative therapies that can extend patients’ lives. In animal health, Boehringer Ingelheim stands for advanced prevention. 
Family-owned since it was established in 1885, Boehringer Ingelheim is one of the pharmaceutical industry’s top 20 companies. Some 50,000 employees create value through innovation daily for the three business areas of human pharmaceuticals, animal health and biopharmaceuticals. In 2017, Boehringer Ingelheim achieved net sales of nearly 18.1 billion euros. R&D expenditure, exceeding three billion euros, corresponded to 17.0 per cent of net sales. 
As a family-owned company, Boehringer Ingelheim plans in generations and focuses on long-term success, rather than short-term profit. The company therefore aims at organic growth from its own resources, with simultaneous openness to partnerships and strategic alliances in research. In everything it does, Boehringer Ingelheim naturally adopts responsibility toward mankind and the environment. 
More information about Boehringer Ingelheim can be found on or in our annual report:

About Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health

Boehringer Ingelheim is the second-largest animal health business in the world. We are committed to creating animal well-being through our large portfolio of advanced, preventive healthcare products and services. With net sales in 2017 of 3.9 billion euros ($4.4 billion) and around 10,000 employees worldwide, we are present in more than 150 markets. For more information, visit here:    


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