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ACZM Murray E. Fowler Lifetime Achievement Award

2020 ACZM Lifetime achievement award Don Janssen

Murray E. Fowler is recognized as the father of zoological medicine - a term that he gave the specialty he launched at University of California, Davis in 1967. Dr. Fowler was widely regarded for his teaching, scholarship and clinical practices that have been used to train veterinarians at zoos, universities and wildlife centers globally. He authored the first textbook on zoo animal medicine and was an author or editor of more than 25 books and more than 250 academic papers.  Dr. Fowler was a founding member of the American College of Zoological Medicine (ACZM), the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM), and the American College of Veterinary Toxicology (ACVT). He was a charter member and past-President of the American College of Zoological Medicine (ACZM), past-President of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians (AAZV), and was a member of many other professional organizations including the European Association of Zoo and Wildlife Veterinarians (EAZWV), the Brazilian zoo veterinarians (they even have a group called Groupo Fowler in his honor). He served as Editor of the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine. (1977-1988), and he was a Trustee of the Morris Animal Foundation (1981-1986), supporting a research fund for wildlife health. During his long career he was a mentor to many of the leaders in the field of zoological medicine today and this award is one way the ACZM will contribute to keeping his legacy alive.

The 2020 recipient of the Murray Fowler Lifetime Achievement Award is Dr. Donald L. Janssen.

Dr. Janssen pursued an undergraduate degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology and earned their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from U.C. Davis in 1978.  He completed post-doctoral training at the Zoological Society of San Diego and then worked as an Associate Veterinarian at the National Zoo for two years.  They became a diplomate of the American College of Zoological Medicine in 1984 (as the 10th individual to earn that distinction) after returning to the west coast where he spent almost their entire career at the San Diego Zoo Wild Animal Park and San Diego Zoo.  Dr Janssen has served as the Associate Editor for the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, President of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians, Chairman of the AZA Animal Health Committee, and as part of the Morris Animal Foundation Wildlife Scientific Advisory Board.  He has authored or coauthored over 50 publications, given numerous presentations and received distinctive accolades and awards.  His career has been marked by excellence in clinical medicine for the animals in his care, as well as fieldwork, including work on giant pandas, elephants, and many other species.  Most recently, Dr. Janssen's attention to leadership has left a lasting impact not only on his own institution, but many others in this field.   It is the sincere pleasure of the Executive Committee and the entire ACZM  to award the 2020 Murray Fowler Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Don Janssen. 

Award Information:
 This award recognizes an ACZM Diplomate that has demonstrated exceptional commitment and contributions to the ACZM while making significant lifetime contributions that have advanced the discipline of zoological medicine.  This award was created in honor of Murray Fowler, who was also the award's first designee in 2014.  The award was accepted posthumously by Dr. Fowler's wife, Audrey.  The award is presented at the annual ACZM business meeting.  It is awarded to no more than one Diplomate per year and will only be awarded in years when a Diplomate has been nominated by a member of the college and successfully approved by the ACZM Executive Committee.
To nominate a Diplomate for the ACZM Murray E. Fowler Lifetime Achievement Award a diplomate must submit a letter that provides the reasons for the nomination, two additional letters of support from ACZM members, and the individual's CV.  All nomination materials are sent to the ACZM secretary (

Prior Recipients:
2020: Dr Donald Janssen

2018: Dr Mitch Bush

2017: Dr. Suzanne Kennedy-Stoskopf

2016: Dr. Kay Mehren

2015: Dr. Dick Montali

2014:  (Inaugural) Dr. Murray E. Fowler