He was born May 12, 1959 in Osborne KS. A 1977 graduate of Waconda East High School, in Cawker City KS. It was in high school that he met and started dating Joan (Winkel) and they were married in 1979. Following graduation from high school in May of 1977, he 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. He 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, They moved with their son Shawn, to Beloit KS, where in May of 1984 he worked as a mixed animal practitioner with Dr. Charles Luke at the Solomon Valley Veterinary Hospital. In August 1985, they moved to Wichita where he was employed as a small animal practitioner at Bogue Animal Hospital West.

Then in July 1986 he was accepted as a Graduate Research Assistant in Veterinary Parasitology at Purdue’s College of Veterinary Medicine in West Lafayette, IN. in August 1986. While at Purdue his graduate studies included both Veterinary Parasitology and Medical/Veterinary Entomology. With his primary research focus being the biology of fleas infesting dogs and cats. At Purdue University he earned both a Masters Degree (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 he 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.

At the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University he heads a research team that has been involved in three 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 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. The research team has conducted laboratory and field evaluations of prospective flea and tick products in Manhattan KS and Tampa FL.

The second area of active research involves investigating the interactions of urban wildlife with humans and their pets. As a result of continual urbanization, displaced wildlife often find refuge and seek food in suburban areas. Interactions with some of the most common species of urban wildlife, such as raccoons, skunks or opossums may pose serious health risks. Past research projects in this area were focused on studying the prevalence and distribution of urban wildlife and the diseases they carry.

The third area of research includes investigations into the diagnosis and control of gastrointestinal parasite transmission in dogs and cats.

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.

Dr. Dryden was promoted to Full Professor in the Department Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University in 1999 and was named a University Distinguished Professor in 2011. In addition he is an adjunct professor in the Department of Entomology, Kansas State University and the Center for Urban and Industrial Pest Management, Purdue University.

His research has changed the veterinary profession’s understanding of flea and tick ecology. In addition the team has developed novel methods for evaluating flea and tick control products and proposed new concepts that revolutionized flea and tick control.

The flea and tick research has received both National and International media recognition with me 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 numerous newspapers and magazines.

Between 1988 and 2009 these various research efforts have resulted in over 100 journal articles and book chapters and over 90 abstracts and presentations at scientific meetings. He has invited to lecture in over 20 countries, presenting over 750 invited seminars at national and international scientific conferences and continuing education meetings. Dr. Dryden has served on numerous national, international, and university committees. Including serving as a board member on the International Ectoparasite Symposium, the National Conference on Urban Entomology and was a founding member of the Companion Animal Parasite Council.

Dr. Dryden has also been recognized with a number of awards and honors.

  1. 1995 the “Pfizer Award for Research Excellence” for contributions that significantly advance our knowledge of animal health.
  2. 2005 the Kansas Veterinary Medical Association’s “KSU-Distinguished Service Award”
  3. 2006 the “Bayer Teaching Excellence Award” in recognition of outstanding instruction of second year veterinary students.
  4. 2006 he was awarded an endowed professorship “E.J Frick Professor of Veterinary Medicine”.
  5. 2007 the “Recognition Award in Urban Entomology” by the North Central Branch of the Entomological Society of America.
  6. 2010 he was presented an “Excellence in Teaching Award” from the American College of Veterinary Dermatology. Recognizing his contributions to the education of future veterinary dermatologists at American College of Veterinary Dermatology Residents’ Forum.
  7. 2010 Veterinarian of the Year 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. The award was presented by Ceva Animal Health.
  8. 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”.
  9. He 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).

Dr. Dryden currently lives in Manhattan KS with my wife, Joan. Their son Shawn is a graphic and web designer at New Boston Creative Group and their daughter Sarah works as a supervisor at Vets First Choice


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