Biosafety Expert to Address
Dr. Jerry Jaax, DVM
The University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine will welcome Jerry Jaax, DVM, as the keynote speaker during its 66th commencement on May 15. Jaax is the associate vice president for research compliance and university veterinarian at Kansas State University. He is responsible for university-wide compliance with regulatory laws and guidelines for animal care and use programs, research involving humans, and recombinant DNA activities and biosafety.
Jaax received his DVM from KSU in 1972 and entered the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps. After various initial assignments, he was assigned to the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, and then as the chief of the Veterinary Medicine Division at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Maryland. He served as the consultant to the surgeon general of the Army for laboratory animal medicine. In 1996, he was named the director of the Biological Arms Control Treaty Office at Fort Detrick, and was responsible for the U.S. Army implementation and compliance with international biowarfare treaties and agreements. While at Fort Detrick, he was a key participant in the Ebola virus outbreak in Reston, Virginia, described in the No. 1 New York Times best-seller “The Hot Zone” by Richard Preston.
In 1998, he retired as a colonel from active duty and returned to K-State. He has been the principal investigator on several high-profile federal projects dealing with bioterrorism, and collaborates with scientists on other university biodefense and biosecurity projects and initiatives. He has been involved in the effort to bring the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility to Manhattan, Kansas. He has published and lectured internationally on bioterrorism, agroterrorism, emerging infectious disease issues and emergency response.
He has been the recipient of many military awards, including the Legion of Merit, and was inducted into the Order of Military Medical Merit. He has been recognized with several distinguished alumni awards from the K-State College of Veterinary Medicine.
Commencement will begin at 1 p.m. in the Jesse Hall Auditorium. The college will graduate 114 new doctors of veterinary medicine.
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