A hospital director at a leading Surrey animal hospital has received a highly respected veterinary award for his pioneering oncology research.

Gerry Polton, an RCVS and European specialist in veterinary oncology at North Downs Specialist Referrals (NDSR) in Bletchingley, is the 2024 British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) Woodrow Award winner.

The award is presented to vets who have contributed to the advancement of small animal medicine. His prolific veterinary oncology research, much of it completed by bringing together oncologists from across the world to collaborate, has seen his work cited 1,833 times, 25 papers cited at least 25 times and 37 papers cited at least 10 times.

Gerry, who is a keen proponent of collaborative clinical research, said: “I am incredibly flattered to receive this award. I don’t feel my name belongs alongside those of previous recipients, many of whom really are true greats of the profession.

“My motivation to elevate and share knowledge comes from a drive to make patients’ and owners’ lives better by improving care quality generally and to improve professional colleagues’ sense of confidence and competence and so to make their lives better, too.”

Gerry’s career started in primary care practice, while he received a Masters of Science in clinical oncology from the Institute of Cancer Research in 2003 and a European Diploma in Oncology in 2010.

While Gerry has published literature on a range of cancer subjects, he is probably most renowned for his work in canine anal sac gland tumours.

SÚverine Tasker, chief medical officer for Linnaeus, said: “Our congratulations go to Gerry for this richly deserved accolade. “His pioneering work has helped steer the way the veterinary profession treats many different cancers.”

NDSR offers specialist-led services in anaesthesia and analgesia, cardiology, dentistry, dermatology, diagnostic imaging, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, soft tissue surgery and spinal surgery. 

For more information, visit https://www.ndsr.co.uk or search for North Downs Specialist Referrals on social media.