Dr. Haroldo Toro of Auburn University has been honored with the Phibro Animal Health Excellence in Poultry Research Award, presented by the American Association of Avian Pathologists (AAAP) for sustained excellence in poultry disease and health research over a period of 20 years or more.

Toro, a professor of avian diseases in the Department of Pathobiology in Auburn’s College of Veterinary Medicine, recently received the award at the association’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C. The AAAP is an international association that promotes scientific knowledge to enhance the health, well-being and productivity of poultry to provide safe and abundant food for the world. Phibro Animal Health Corporation sponsors the award, which was presented by Dr. Hector Cervantes, AAAP past president and Phibro representative, at the association’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

Toro’s research incorporates pathological, epidemiological, etiological and immunological aspects of viral diseases affecting commercial poultry. During the last decade, his research has focused on chicken anemia virus, or CAV, and the interactions of CAV with other avian pathogens, the biology of infectious bronchitis virus and its role in respiratory disease of commercial chickens, and the development of novel vaccines to protect chickens against distinct viral diseases.


After relocating to the U.S. in 2002, Toro established successful collaborations with Drs. Vicky van Santen and Frederic Hoerr at Auburn, as well as investigators at other institutions, including Drs. David Suarez and Qingzhong Yu at the USDA’s Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory. Collaborative work with these and other scientists, as well as successful applications for funding from the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association, the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture program and the Alabama Experiment Station, allowed him to contribute toward expanding the knowledge on avian diseases affecting the U.S. poultry industry.

Toro is an active member of the Avian Diseases Editorial Board and is the AAAP liaison to Auburn’s veterinary college. He has been the recipient of a number of other honors while serving on the Auburn faculty, including the Alumni Professorship Award from the Auburn Alumni Association in 2013, the L.G. Wolfe Award for Excellence in Graduate Education that same year and the Pfizer Award for Research Excellence in 2007.