Fred Enright, LSU AgCenter professor emeritus, has been selected to receive a Distinguished Alumni Award from the Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences.
Enright, of Baton Rouge, who retired as head of the Department of Veterinary Science in 2010, will be one of three to receive this award at a Sept. 28 ceremony in Stillwater, Okla.
Enright received his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Oklahoma State in 1970. He went on to complete his Ph.D. at the University of California at Davis in 1974.
In 1976, he joined the Department of Veterinary Science in the LSU AgCenter. One of his most outstanding achievements was testing a vaccine for brucellosis that went on to become the official vaccine in the United States. Brucellosis is a disease of cattle that causes late-term abortion and can be devastating in a herd.
“The current vaccine that’s used in the United States is RB-51. Louisiana is the first place where we actually used the vaccine in cattle, and it worked,” Enright said.
In addition to his vaccine work, Enright has been involved in cancer research in conjunction with the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge.
His research with gene therapy involved the introduction of a gene or group of genes into an animal to either correct the result of an abnormal gene or to form a new product that has a beneficial effect for the animal or for those using products derived from the animal.
“Physicians have been in search of a treatment for cancer that destroys cancer cells only,” Enright said. “Most existing cancer treatments destroy not only cancer cells but also normal cells.”
The side effects of cancer chemotherapeutic drugs -- anemia, fever, weakness and digestive upsets -- are because of the destruction of the normal cells.
Enright has received a variety of awards including the LSU AgCenter Diversity Initiative Award for Excellence (2004), Fulbright Scholar to conduct research and teaching at the National Institute of Agricultural Technology in Argentina (2000), and the LSU School of Medicine Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award (1998).