Awards / Honors

CSU expert in small-animal liver disease earns top service award

June 14, 2013
By Coleman Cornelius

David Twedt, a professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences, has received the 2013 Distinguished Service Award from the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

David Twedt, DVMJust two months after receiving an international award for scientific achievement, a Colorado State University small-animal veterinarian who has pioneered minimally invasive techniques for diagnosing liver and digestive disease has received the 2013 Distinguished Service Award from the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

David Twedt, a professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences, was honored  at the ACVIM Forum in Seattle in June. The award recognizes a diplomate’s outstanding volunteer service to the professional organization.

“It is a tremendous honor to receive this award,” said Twedt, who has led ACVIM and its members in several capacities. “It has been very rewarding to be involved the ACVIM and to be able to watch internal medicine grow over the years to become one of the leading specialties in veterinary medicine. Being recognized for my service by my peers will stand out as one of my greater professional accomplishments.”

In April, the World Small Animal Veterinary Association honored Twedt with its International Award for Scientific Achievement.

David Twedt, shown leading CSU veterinary students through a procedure, is widely considered the father of veterinary endoscopy.“He is widely considered the father of veterinary endoscopy,” said Chris Orton, interim head of the Department of Clinical Sciences.

The decorated professor is known worldwide for discoveries in liver and gastrointestinal disease in dogs and cats. Twedt has developed techniques using endoscopy and laparoscopy, which rely on thin, lighted tubes and specialized cameras to visualize a patient’s internal structures. More recently, he has investigated antioxidants and approaches based on stem-cell therapy to treat chronic liver disease in dogs.

Amazing mentor

Twedt, who joined the CSU faculty in 1978, also has helped educate more than 4,200 students in the university’s renowned Professional Veterinary Medicine Program – and for many veterinary students has been a remarkably down-to-earth and supportive mentor.

Twedt, left, is a leading international expert in liver disease in dogs and cats and has taught thousands of students in the CSU Professional Veterinary Medicine Program.“Dr. Twedt is an amazing mentor and friend who helped me become the internist, and person, I am today,” said Christina Bradbury, who completed a three-year residency in small animal internal medicine at CSU and is a practicing veterinarian in California. “During my time as a resident, I felt completely supported and comfortable asking him any question. He was able to make complex topics seem simple, and the mundane topics interesting. My residency was one of the best times in my life, and I feel so lucky to have had Dr. Twedt as one of my mentors.”

Jessica Timian, who is completing a three-year residency in small animal internal medicine at CSU, noted Twedt’s humor.

“Three years ago, I met Dr. Twedt. I was in endoscopy, holding a scope for the first time. He looked at me and said, ‘That scope means more to me than your residency, so don't break it,’” Timian recalled. “He obviously thought he was being very funny, and I didn't realize at that moment that it was funny, because nothing could be farther from the truth. He is not only a fabulous mentor, but one of the most caring, generous, patient men I know. The residents, students, staff members and technicians love him. I always find it inspiring and humbling to be on service with him.”

Howard Seim, a small-animal surgeon, is among Twedt’s colleagues in the CSU College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences to praise his influence. “There are literally individuals all over the world who, because of David Twedt, are capable of making diagnoses with minimally invasive techniques that have helped numerous dogs and cats,” Seim said.

Twedt has won many other awards, including the 2004 Norden-Pfizer Distinguished Teacher Award and the 2010 CSU Exceptional Practice Management Skills Award for PVM Education.