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OVC professor named University Professor Emeritus

Dr. Laurent Viel, centre, with University of Guelph Chancellor Martha Billes, left, and Dr. Luis Arroyo, OVC Department of Clinical Studies, right.

Dr. Laurent Viel, in the Ontario Veterinary College’s Department of Clinical Studies, was named University Professor Emeritus at Convocation ceremonies last week. Viel has taught at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College since 1984. 

Viel is renowned internationally for his exceptional contribution in the understanding of equine horse asthma or Equine Inflammatory Disease. In his early academic carrier, he pioneered the development of bronchoalveolar lavage in horses, a technique which revolutionized the research and clinical approaches in the understanding of equine asthma and new treatment modalities. The latter is now being used worldwide and has become the primary clinical tool recommended by the American and European College of Internal Medicine specialist. 

In addition, Viel pioneered the development of inhaled medication devices and the efficacy of such treatment, reducing the overuse of antibiotics. He recognized the presence of Rhinitis virus causing serious respiratory condition previously believed to be of influenza virus origin. With the assistance of his lab, a vaccine targeting this agent has been developed and is currently in use. 

Among his many accomplishments, Viel has served as the Equine Program Co-ordinator for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and University of Guelph partnership research program, as well as chair of the Equine Research fund program.

Viel was recognized with as an Ontario Association of Equine Practitioners Lifelong Honorary Member in 2016. He also received the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association Schering Plough Veterinary Research Award in 2008.