News Release

AAVMC recognizes UTCVM’s Rouse with Excellence in Research Award

Recognized for his work in viral immunology and immunopathology

Grant and Award Announcement

University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture

Dr. Barry T. Rouse

image: Dr. Barry T. Rouse, a veterinarian and an immunologist in the Department of Biomedical and Diagnostic Services at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, has received the 2022 AAVMC Excellence in Research Award. view more 

Credit: Photo courtesy UTIA.

The American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) has named Dr. Barry T. Rouse, a veterinarian and an immunologist in the Department of Biomedical and Diagnostic Services​ at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, as the recipient of the 2022 AAVMC Excellence in Research Award. Presented annually, this national award recognizes an individual who, over the course of his or her career, has demonstrated excellence in original research, leadership in the scientific community, and mentoring of trainees and colleagues in any discipline of veterinary medicine.

When Rouse joined the UT faculty in 1977, there were very few viral immunologists, and he was one of the first to work with the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) model in mice.

Named a Distinguished Professor in 1994 and a UTIA Institute Professor in 2017, Rouse is world-renowned for his immunopathology research discoveries involving HSV-1 and ocular disease. He primarily studies HSV and how this virus can cause critical eye and nervous system tissue damage, with a view towards the development of therapeutics and vaccines.

Continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since 1978, Rouse’s research has garnered more than $20 million in funding and produced more than 425 peer-reviewed scientific papers and book chapters.  His work has been cited more than 26,600 times and he is in the top two percent of cited scientists.

Passionate about training and developing the next generation of scientists, Rouse has mentored almost 80 post-doctoral fellows and graduate students who have enjoyed successful academic careers at places like the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Stanford University, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. His past and current students identify him as not only tough on them but tough on everybody; he questions the status quo and counts among his hobbies “making people discuss and defend their views.”

Rouse is often invited to lecture, deliver keynote addresses, and present his scholarly research across the world. He has also won several awards for his research, most notable of which was the Alcon award for his contributions to vision research and an award from the Humboldt foundation, which supported his sabbatical leave in Mainz, Germany. He also received the American Veterinary Medicine Association’s Lifetime Excellence in Research Award. Rouse has been very active in grant reviewing for NIH and other research funders. He is a member of numerous editorial boards and a reviewer for many journals.

A 1965 veterinary graduate of the University of Bristol in England, Rouse also earned a doctoral degree in immunology at the University of Guelph, performed postdoctoral studies at the world renowned Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Australia, and earned a Doctor of Science degree at the University of Bristol.

The Excellence in Research Award, which is sponsored by Elanco, was presented during the AAVMC’s 2022 Annual Conference and Iverson Bell Symposium held in Washington, D.C. in March and featured a video highlighting a few of Rouse’s impacts on the scientific community. Visit to watch the video.

Through its land-grant mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions.


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