(On this date, October 5, 2013, the Osborne County Hall of Fame is pleased to present to the world the first of the five members of the new OCHF Class of 2013)
Michael W. Dryden BS, DVM, MS, PhD, DACVM
University Distinguished Professor of Veterinary Parasitology
Department of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506
Michael W. Dryden was born on May 12, 1959 in Osborne, Kansas. Mike’s parents are Dixie (Pierce) Blunt and Victor Dryden (1933-1986). His mother was born and raised in Osborne and his dad was born and raised in Stockton, Kansas. Mike went to elementary school and middle school in Osborne and Downs, Kansas . Mike is a 1977 graduate of Waconda East High School in Cawker City, Kansas. Mike was an excellent student athlete in high school and was honored to receive 1st Team All-State in football his senior year.
It was in high school that he met and started dating Joan Winkel from Glen Elder, Kansas and the two were married in 1979. Following graduation from high school in May of 1977, Mike attended Kansas State University majoring in Wildlife Biology. He was accepted into the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University in the fall of 1980. Mike was awarded his Bachelor of Science Degree in 1982 and his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree in 1984.
After graduating from the College of Veterinary Medicine, Mike, Joan and their son Shawn moved to Beloit, Kansas, where in May of 1984 Mike worked as a mixed animal practitioner with Dr. Charles Luke at the Solomon Valley Veterinary Hospital. Mike, Joan and Shawn moved to Wichita, Kansas where he was employed in August 1985 as a small animal practitioner at Bogue Animal Hospital West.
Then in July 1986 Mike was accepted as a Graduate Research Assistant in Veterinary Parasitology at Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in West Lafayette, Indiana. Mike, Joan and Shawn moved to West Lafayette in August 1986. Their daughter Sarah was born while they were at Purdue. During his graduate program at Purdue his studies included both Veterinary Parasitology and Medical/Veterinary Entomology. With his primary research focus being the biology of fleas infesting dogs and cats. He was in fact the first veterinarian in the world to get a doctorate studying flea biology. At Purdue University Mike earned both a MS (May 1988) and a PhD (May 1990) in Veterinary Parasitology. It was while a graduate student at Purdue that the veterinary students started calling him “Dr. Flea.”
Upon completion of the graduate program Mike accepted an offer from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University and in June of 1990 Mike, Joan, Shawn and daughter Sarah moved to Manhattan KS.
Mike is recognized as a passionate educator. He co-taught the Veterinary Parasitology course in the College of Veterinary Medicine from 1990 to 2001 and became course coordinator in 2002 and has been a guest lecturer in several other courses. In 2010 along with Dr. Patricia Payne he developed the “Evidenced Based Small Animal Clinical Parasitology Training Course” at Kansas State University. The unique course is the first of its kind developed in the world. This week long course is designed to provide technical service veterinarians working in industry and veterinarians in academia a comprehensive clinical education in the areas of the biology, epidemiology, treatment and control of fleas, ticks, mites, heartworms, and intestinal parasites of dogs and cats. Since 2010 almost 100 veterinarians from the U.S., Canada, Australia and Europe have attended the course. The course has become so popular that the sessions book up a year in advance.
At the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University Mike has developed a research program that has been involved in three primary areas: (1) biology and control of fleas and ticks infesting dogs and cats, (2) investigations into the interactions and disease transmission of urban wildlife with domestic pets and humans and (3) diagnosis and control of gastrointestinal parasites of dogs and cats.
Research projects in the area of flea and tick biology and control have constituted the majority of this research effort. His research team has conducted laboratory and field evaluations of prospective flea and tick products in Manhattan, Kansas and Tampa, Florida, including investigations of the largest selling flea and tick products in the world; ActivylÒ, AdvantageÒ, CapstarÒ, ComfortisÒ, FrontlineÒ plus, K9 AdvantixÒ, ProgramÒ, RevolutionÒ, SentinelÒ and VectraÒ 3D.
Conducting such a large research program has necessitated cooperative research with numerous faculty and students. The team has co-authored research grants and publications with faculty and graduate students in the Departments of Clinical Sciences, Entomology, Biology and Electrical and Computer Engineering at Kansas State University. He has also co-authored publications with numerous researchers at other Universities.
Mike was promoted to Full Professor in the Department Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University in 1999. In addition he has adjunct professor status in the Department of Entomology, Kansas State University and the Center for Urban and Industrial Pest Management, Purdue University.
“The world has more than 2,000 different kinds of fleas, but there is only one species that commonly infests dogs and cats in North America. Americans spend more than $1.5 billion a year trying to fight this pest on their pets. Michael W. Dryden says people should know their enemy and not assume all flea products are created equal.
“Dryden is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on fleas and ticks that infest dogs and cats and was once the subject of a documentary about his work with fleas. He has been an expert source on fleas for The Wall Street Journal and ‘Good Morning America.’” – From Kansas State University Short Bios at http://www.k-state.edu/media/mediaguide/bios/drydenbio.html.
Dryden’s research has radically changed the veterinary profession’s understanding of flea and tick ecology. In addition he has developed novel methods for evaluating flea and tick control products and proposed new concepts that revolutionized flea and tick control. Virtually every major pharmaceutical company utilizes his laboratory and research team to help develop and evaluate their flea and tick control products.
In 2007 Mike was honored to receive an endowment from the Merial Corporation to establish the “Dryden-Merial Tick Research Center at Kansas State University”. This endowment help fund a tick research laboratory and provide salary for an additional research technician.
Mike’s clinical parasitology research has generated over 125 basic and applied research journal articles, 8 book chapters and over 100 published scientific abstracts. The importance of his research on the veterinary profession and his passion as an educator is exemplified by the fact that he has been invited to lecture in over 21 countries (many multiple times), presenting over 850 invited seminars at national and international scientific conferences, numerous colleges of veterinary medicine around the world and dozens of veterinary continuing education symposiums. His research has also received both National and International media recognition with Mike appearing in segments on Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, the Discovery Channel, Mona Lisa Productions in France, and televised appearances in Canada, England, and Spain, and interviews and articles in over 100 newspapers and magazines.
Mike has been recognized with numerous awards and honors.
- 1995: the “Pfizer Award for Research Excellence” for contributions that significantly advance our knowledge of animal health.
- 2002: Founding member of the Companion Animal Parasite Council
- 2005: the Kansas Veterinary Medical Association’s “KSU-Distinguished Service Award”
- 2006: the “Teaching Excellence Award” in recognition of outstanding instruction of second year veterinary students.
- 2006: designated the “Frick Professor of Veterinary Medicine”. An endowed professorship recognizing and honoring a faculty member who has developed an exemplary national and international reputation in veterinary medicine.
- 2007: the “Recognition Award in Urban Entomology” by the North Central Branch of the Entomological Society of America.
- 2010: the “Excellence in Teaching Award” from the American College of Veterinary Dermatology. Recognizing contributions to the education of future veterinary dermatologists at American College of Veterinary Dermatology Residents’ Forum.
- 2010: honored as the “Veterinarian of the Year” presented at the Purina® Pro Plan® 56th Annual Show Dogs of the Year® Awards, presented by Dogs In Review® at the Grand Hyatt in New York City.
- 2011: Honored with the designation of “University Distinguished Professor” at Kansas State University. The UDP designation represents the highest honor Kansas State University can bestow on its faculty, an award that recognizes those making outstanding contributions to teaching, research, and service to their professions and communities.
- 2011: designated a Charter Diplomate in Parasitology in the American College of Veterinary Microbiology subspecialty Veterinary Parasitology
- In addition, in a survey conducted in 2005 of leading Veterinary Dermatologists they stated that Dr. Dryden’s flea research was the “most significant scientific advancement in modern Veterinary Dermatology”.
- Mike was also awarded a U.S. patent for development of the most efficient flea trapping system ever invented (M.W. Dryden, A.B. Broce & K.E. Hampton. Patent # 5,231,790, August 3, 1993).
Mike currently lives in Manhattan, Kansas with his wife, Joan. Their son Shawn is a graphic and web design artist at New Boston Creative Group who lives in Manhattan with his wife Mindy (Bates) Dryden and daughter Harper. Mike and Joan’s daughter Sarah also lives in Manhattan and works as a supervisor for Vets First Choice.
Mike is an avid hiker and nature photographer. He has been interested in wildlife and conservation most of his life and was majoring in wildlife biology when he was accepted in the College of Veterinary Medicine. Mike and Joan have made numerous hiking and photography trips to the Grand Teton and Rocky Mountain National Parks. In addition they have traveled to Arches National Park, Denali National Park, Katmai National Park, Lake Clark National Park, Glacier National Park, Olympic National Park, Red Woods National Park, Saguaro National Park, Yellowstone National Park and Zion National Park. Invitations to lecture in exotic locations and various countries have afforded him the opportunity to practice his photography in Hawaii, on Islands on the Great Barrier Reef, Kruger and Pilanesburg National Parks in South Africa and throughout Western Europe.
Examples of his photography can be found at www.drmichaeldryden.com.