Merck Animal Health Announces WSAVA Michael J. Day Scholarship Recipient for 2023

Winning veterinary student set to investigate canine distemper virus maternal antibody transfer in dogs

Rahway, NJ, January 23, 2024 – Merck Animal Health, known as MSD Animal Health outside  of the United States and Canada, a division of Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, N.J., USA (NYSE:MRK), today announced the 2023 recipient of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) Michael J. Day Scholarship, Lotta Truyen. A veterinary student at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Hannover, Germany, Truyen was selected as the winner based on her study proposal to examine how canine distemper virus- (CDV)-specific maternal antibodies are transmitted from mothers to puppies in order to inform future CDV vaccine strategies. As the recipient of this scholarship, Truyen will receive a $15,000 grant provided by Merck Animal Health to fund the study’s research.

“The next generation of veterinarians will be instrumental in impacting the way we prevent, treat and manage companion animal infectious diseases, which is why Merck Animal Health is proud to support to support Lotta Truyen’s research in honor of Michael J. Day,” said Ingrid Deuzeman, director, global marketing, Companion Animals, Merck Animal Health. “A deeper knowledge and understanding of canine distemper maternal antibody transfer and function will help establish improved vaccine strategies in the future.”

Established in honor of Emeritus Professor Michael Day, chair of the WSAVA’s Vaccination Guidelines Group (VGG) from 2009 until March 2020, the Michael J. Day Scholarship provides a selected recipient with research funding for studies in companion animal infectious diseases, clinical vaccinology, or immunology. The scholarship invites students studying towards a veterinary degree from an accredited veterinary establishment to apply. Last year’s recipient, Somnath Aryal, studied canine tick-borne diseases in Nepal. The winning study results are expected to become available near the end of 2024.


The WSAVA represents more than 200,000 veterinarians worldwide through its 116 member associations and works to enhance standards of clinical care for companion animals. Its core activities include the development of WSAVA Global Guidelines in key areas of veterinary practice, including pain management, nutrition and vaccination, together with lobbying on important issues affecting companion animal care worldwide.

About Merck Animal Health

At Merck, known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, we are unified around our purpose: We use the power of leading-edge science to save and improve lives around the world. For more than a century, we’ve been at the forefront of research, bringing forward medicines, vaccines and innovative health solutions for the world’s most challenging diseases. Merck Animal Health, a division of Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, N.J., USA, is the global animal health business of Merck. Through its commitment to The Science of Healthier Animals®, Merck Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, producers, pet owners and governments one of the widest ranges of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services as well as an extensive suite of connected technology that includes identification, traceability and monitoring products. Merck Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals and the people who care for them. It invests extensively in dynamic and comprehensive R&D resources and a modern, global supply chain. Merck Animal Health is present in more than 50 countries, while its products are available in some 150 markets. For more information, visit and connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, X (formerly Twitter) and Instagram.