MU CVM Alumnus Named UC Davis
School of Veterinary Medicine Dean
Michael D. Lairmore, a 1981 graduate of the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, has been named the new dean at the University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. He begins his position Oct. 24. Lairmore is currently associate dean for research and graduate studies at the Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, where he also serves as associate director of the university’s Comprehensive Cancer Center.
UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi and Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Ralph J. Hexter announced Lairmore’s appointment Aug. 11, praising his accomplishments as a researcher and administrator. Hexter, who oversaw the search process, pointed to the interdisciplinary breadth of Lairmore’s resume: “Michael’s experience stretches from clinician to professor to administrator, and from veterinary medicine to pathology to cancer, in key roles at Ohio State and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. I am confident that his strength as a candidate will translate to his strength as our new dean of veterinary medicine.”
Lairmore attended Missouri as an undergraduate biology major and was accepted into the DVM program after only three years. He went on to earn a doctorate in experimental pathology from Colorado State University. He is board certified in two veterinary specialties — anatomic pathology and virology and immunology. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine, which is the health arm of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, and is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.
He joined the Ohio State University in 1990 after heading the Human T-lymphotropic Virus (HTLV) Reference Laboratory at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. While there, he focused on the linkages between human T-cell leukemia viruses and specific diseases, including some forms of cancer.
His research has focused on the biology of human retroviruses, including the roles some viruses play in the onset of certain types of cancer. He developed one of the first animal models for AIDS-associated pediatric pneumonia, facilitating studies aimed at treating that ailment. His research has received nearly continuous support from the National Institutes of Health, totaling nearly $30 million during his career. He has published more than 170 scientific papers, many in some of the country’s most prestigious research journals.
As dean, Lairmore will also preside over the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System, and the Veterinary Medicine Extension program.
“It will be an honor to serve as dean of one of the premier institutions of its kind in the world,” said Lairmore, who pointed to the school’s “extensive history of providing outstanding education for society-ready veterinarians and producing innovative research findings to address important problems ranging from clinical veterinary medicine to public health.”
He said his experiences and background will fit well with the philosophy and responsibilities of UC Davis as a major academic institution in a robust biomedical and agricultural environment with teaching, research and public service missions.
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