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Lifelong Learning

Hall of Honor Inductee

Moorhead High School

Phone: 218-284-2300
Fax: 218-284-2333

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Cathy Sue Carlson

Inducted Saturday, September 28, 2019


Cathy Carlson graduated from Moorhead High School in 1972. During high school, she was a member of the National Honor Society and played flute and piccolo in the band and orchestra. Carlson graduated with a bachelor’s degree in physics from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn. In 1983 she earned her veterinary medicine degree from University of Minnesota, and in 1986 she received her doctorate in pathology from North Carolina State University.

Carlson worked as a research associate in the College of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State for three years. From 1990-98 she worked as an instructor, assistant professor and associate professor in the Department of Comparative Medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C. In 1997-98 she also served as interim director for the School of Medicine’s Comparative Medicine Clinical Research Center.

In 1998, Carlson joined the faculty of the University of Minnesota as an associate professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine and was promoted to professor in 2004. She has served as chair of the Veterinary Clinical Sciences Department since 2018.

Carlson has served on numerous committees and has written more than 150 peer-reviewed scientific articles. An expert in bone pathology, Carlson’s most active research currently concerns the pathogenesis of osteochondrosis — a development disorder of the skeleton that affects pigs, dogs, cattle, horses and humans.

Carlson is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Orthopedic Research Society, American College of Veterinary Pathologists, and Osteoarthritis Research Society International. She has received several research awards and millions of dollars in federal grant support. Carlson is past recipient of the University of Minnesota’s McKnight Presidential Fellows Award and the 2008 Mark of Excellence Award. In 2018, Carlson received an honorary doctorate from the Swedish Agricultural University, Uppsala, Sweden.

Cathy and her husband M. Gerard (Gerry) O’Sullivan live in Shoreview, Minn. They have two adult children, Mary and Aisling.

Cathy Carlson accepts her Hall of Honor plaque from Linda Jones, Moorhead High School Hall of Honor committee member.
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