February 2, 2018
John Francis Prescott has distinguished himself by his creativity and leadership in research and teaching. He is the foremost authority on the animal bacterial pathogen Rhodococcus equi, for which he has identified major virulence factors, unraveled aspects of pathogenesis, and is leading international efforts to obtain and annotate its genome sequence. He is also well-known worldwide for his research on Clostridium perfringens. His five editions of Antimicrobial Therapy in Animals have been translated into Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese, and Italian and he is a leader in the movement to develop effective strategies for the use of antimicrobial agents in animals.
Dr. Prescott graduated VetMB from the University of Cambridge in 1973 and PhD from the same University in 1977. He has worked at the Ontario Veterinary College as a bacteriologist since 1976, initially as an Assistant Professor and clinical bacteriologist, and since 1979 as a teacher and research worker. He was promoted to Professor in 1988. From 2003 to 2008 he was Chair of the Department of Pathobiology.
He has had diverse interests in bacterial infections in animals, but is best known for work in the area of Rhodococcus equi pneumonia in foals, an area on which he has organized four international workshops. He has published over 250 peer-reviewed papers and numerous book chapters, most notably in the area of rhodococcal pneumonia, leptospirosis, effective antimicrobial drug use, and equine bacterial disease. Research in his laboratory on Clostridium perfringens is currently supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and by the Canadian Poultry Research Council (via Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through their Poultry Science Cluster program).
Dr. Prescott is on the editorial board of Veterinary Microbiology (Elsevier Science). He has acted as an ad hoc reviewer for many other journals, as well as for grants and programs. He was a member of the Council, Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, where he served on both the National Issues Committee and the Prudent Use of Antimicrobial Drugs Committee. He was Co-Chair of the 2011 national conference on Antimicrobial Stewardship in Canadian Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine: How is Canada doing, and what needs to change? He was elected Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences in 2008.