Associate Professor Erica Behling-Kelly wins inaugural ASVCP Early Career Award

Shelley Burton and Erica Behling-Kelly.  Photo credit: ASVCP

The ASVCP Early Career Award, an honor newly developed this year by the American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathologists (ASVCP) to recognize members in the early stages of their careers who show exceptional promise in the discipline of veterinary clinical pathology through efforts in research, diagnostic service, teaching and/or service to the Society. The award is restricted to individuals in the first six years of their careers after completion of residency training or advanced degree completion should this come after residency training. The award went to given to an ASVCP member who "shows exceptional promise in the discipline of veterinary clinical pathology," Dr. Erica Behling-Kelly.

Professor Tracy Stokol in the Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, penned a piece detailing Behling-Kelly's accomplishments, which was published in the ASVCP September 2017 Newsletter, and is republished below:

Dr. Erica Behling-Kelly received her DVM from the University of Georgia in 2002. She completed a PhD under the guidance of Dr. Charles Czuprynski at the University of Wisconsin in 2006, where she studied the effect of Histophilus somni on brain endothelial cells. Erica then completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Texas on lipoprotein metabolism, which started her down that slippery slope of studying all good things containing fat. But first, she was enticed by Dr. Karen Young to return to Wisconsin to become a clinical pathologist. Erica completed her residency and became board-certified in 2011. Lucky for us, we were able to recruit her to Cornell as a tenure-track clinical pathologist after her residency.

Erica has excelled at the triple threat: research, clinics and teaching. She has established an externally funded, sustainable, exponentially growing and productive research program on lipid metabolism. Her research is filling a dearth of knowledge on lipoproteins and is changing paradigms of the role of lipids in animal diseases. Erica has (re)gained a love for cows, enjoying taking our residents on “blood-letting” field trips. She also answers other clinically relevant questions, such as clinicians’ perceptions of the meaning of erythrocyte morphologic changes. Of note, her papers have been cited more than once as “Editor’s choice” in Veterinary Clinical Pathology.

Erica conveys her passion and enthusiasm for clinical pathology to faculty, residents, veterinarians and students alike. She has provided energy, humor and fresh ideas to our teaching of residents and students, using contemporary analogies (do you want Lord Aragorn or hobbits to fight your battles?) and motivates and inspires those who work with or are taught be her. Under her mentorship, two residents received Share the Future research grants and three have won awards at research symposiums at Cornell.

Erica is a gifted and talented clinical pathologist who “gives back” through service on committees at Cornell (e.g. department representative at the faculty senate) and for our professional organization (e.g. abstract reviewer for the annual meeting, education committee, editorial board of Veterinary Clinical Pathology). She has established herself as a sought after and highly valued investigator, collaborator, mentor, and colleague. Erica has a bright and promising future as a leader both at Cornell University and nationally and internationally through her research endeavors and commitment to the discipline of clinical pathology. She is truly deserving of this prestigious new award from our society.