October 01, 2006


 College News

Hoffsis to head Florida veterinary college

Posted Sept. 15, 2006

Dr. Glen F. HoffsisThe University of Florida has appointed Dr. Glen F. Hoffsis as dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, effective Oct. 1. He succeeds Dr. Joseph DiPietro, who was dean for nine years. Dr. James P. Thompson has served as interim dean.

Most recently, Dr. Hoffsis was the associate director of veterinary services at Iams Co. Previously, he had a long career at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine culminating with 11 years as dean.

During Dr. Hoffsis' term, Ohio State moved from limited to full accreditation. The budget grew, research expanded, and the college added three buildings as well as nine endowed chairs and professorships—including the endowed deanship.

Dr. Hoffsis also is a past president of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, past president of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners, and former chairman of the Food and Drug Administration's Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee.

He is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and graduated from Ohio State in 1966.


Cornell to build diagnostic center


Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine plans to build an $80 million Animal Health Diagnostic Center.

The college recently received a $50 million grant from the state of New York toward construction of the 126,000-square-foot center. The university and other sources will contribute an additional $30 million.

The center should be complete in 2010, when it will replace existing facilities dating to 1978. The new facilities will incorporate laboratories at biosafety level 3 to enable the safe and reliable handling of highly pathogenic organisms.

Cornell's diagnostic center is a member of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network. Every year, the facilities conduct about a million tests on more than 150,000 samples from across the United States and Canada. Cornell works with the state of New York to ensure the early detection and control of pathogens that can affect the health of animals and humans.

At the announcement of the $50 million grant, New York Gov. George Pataki said to faculty and staff, "You have the brainpower, you have the education, you have the commitment, and now what you need are the resources."


Donations support a plethora of programs at colleges


Veterinary colleges have recently received funding benefiting a teaching hospital, shelter medicine, equine research, and wildlife health.

Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine received $1 million from Robert Lowder, a university trustee, and his wife, Charlotte. The funds will support the Small Animal Teaching Hospital, which has treated two of their Boxers.

The University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine accepted $1 million from Koret Foundation Funds of San Francisco for the Koret Shelter Medicine Program—as the school will call the program during a five-year funding commitment.

Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences accepted $1 million from horse enthusiasts Jon and Abby Winkelried. The gift will go to the Gail Holmes Equine Orthopaedic Research Center and the Equine Reproduction Laboratory.

Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine received $1.45 million from Janet Swanson, wife of a university alumnus. The gift will endow a residency at Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program and fund relocation of the Wildlife Health Clinic.

The University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine received the first Equine Consortium for Genetic Research grant through the Morris Animal Foundation. The foundation will raise $2.5 million for the grant.


Hundreds attend Veterinary Scholars Symposium


The Merck-Merial Veterinary Scholars Symposium attracted almost 300 students and scientists this year to Louisiana State University's School of Veterinary Medicine.

The annual event caps off summer training programs across the United States and Canada that introduce veterinary students to biomedical research.

Opening the 2006 symposium was Dr. William L. Jenkins, LSU system president and former dean of the veterinary school. The event's keynote speakers were Dr. Joan Hendricks, dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, and Dr. Ronald Veazey, chair of the Tulane National Primate Research Center's Division of Comparative Pathology.

Students presented more than 200 posters at the event. Faculty from LSU and from the primate research center organized six minisymposia on various topics in veterinary medical and biomedical research—including cancer biology, infectious disease, and experimental cardiology.

For the second year, finalists in the Young Investigator Award Competition for veterinary and doctoral students presented their research findings. For the first time, training-grant directors from the National Institutes of Health National Center for Research Resources held their meeting in conjunction with the symposium.

Directors of postdoctoral programs presented information about their institutions to the students and held individual discussions about research training opportunities available after veterinary college.

The students at the event hailed from 23 U.S. veterinary colleges, one Canadian veterinary college, and a research program at the NIH National Cancer Institute.

The 2006 symposium received support from the Merck Foundation, Merial Ltd., the AVMA, the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine, the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, the Louisiana VMA, and the LSU chapter of Phi Zeta.

Next year's symposium will be on the NIH campus.


Colleges partner to address public and animal health threats


Experts from the colleges of veterinary medicine at Michigan State University and the University of Minnesota are teaming up to increase collaboration between public health and animal health sectors against some of the world's most menacing public health threats.

The project aims to identify forces driving the emergence of new diseases and the worldwide implications, establish a shared vision for effective response, develop strategies for targeted activities, and sustain leadership and cross-disciplinary collaborations to successfully address these challenges.

All of these pursuits will involve a broad range of representatives from government, academia, and the private sector, as well as international representatives. This initiative will bring together organizations that have not previously worked together.

"We've seen West Nile virus, SARS, monkeypox, and avian influenza emerge from the animal world and create serious health threats to people, and there are many more diseases like them lined up," said Dr. Lonnie King, former dean of MSU's College of Veterinary Medicine and co-principal investigator of the project.

The project is funded with a $1.4 million grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation and additional contributions from Michigan State University and the University of Minnesota.

This initiative aims to develop a cadre of leaders from higher education, the private sector, and government regulatory agencies who can work effectively at the intersection of animal and public health.

"Starting with key leaders and decision makers in higher education, the private sector, and government oversight agencies, we urgently need to create a shared understanding and develop actionable alternatives that address these issues in a proactive rather than reactive manner," said Dr. Kevin Walker, professor at the National Food Safety & Toxicology Center at MSU, and co-principal investigator.

It is estimated that 75 percent of the newly emerging diseases are transmitted from animals and humans, according to Dr. Will Hueston, professor at both the College of Veterinary Medicine and School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota, director of the Center for Animal Health and Food Safety, and co-principal investigator.

"Diseases that transmit between animals and humans are not new; what is new is the potential magnitude and complexity of the biological, socioeconomic, and environmental factors involved," Dr. Hueston said.


University of Georgia opens research center


The University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine has opened a $63 million Animal Health Research Center.

The objective of the center is to facilitate research on vaccines, diagnostics, and therapies for em rging infectious diseases of zoonotic origin.

The three-story facility provides office and laboratory space for 50 investigators and staff. Other university researchers as well as federal and industry scientists also will have access to the center's laboratories—some of which meet the requirements for federal biosafety level 3—agricultural.

Ralph Tripp, PhD, will lead the vaccine development laboratory. His team is studying potential vaccines for emerging infectious diseases such as severe acute respiratory syndrome and avian influenza.