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College Associate Professor,
VMDL Director Passes Away

The University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine community was shocked and saddened to learn of the sudden death of Dr. Alex Bermudez on Oct. 8, 2012.

“The passing of Dr. Bermudez is a terrible loss to the College of Veterinary Medicine, on both a personal and professional level,” said CVM Dean Neil C. Olson. “Dr. Bermudez was a great friend and mentor to so many within the College and to so many former and current students. He was an inspiring teacher and an exceptional leader. He was also an accomplished researcher and his work, especially in avian medicine, has greatly advanced our scientific understanding within the one health/one medicine model.”

Olson announced that Dr. Gayle Johnson has agreed to serve as interim director of VMDL effective immediately.

“Dr. Johnson has served as associate director of the VMDL for several years and is well qualified to assume the duties as the interim director of the diagnostic laboratory during these difficult times,” Olson said.

Johnson is a professor of veterinary pathobiology at the College of Veterinary Medicine. She earned her doctor of veterinary medicine degree at the University of California-Davis. She also possesses master of science and master of preventive veterinary medicine degrees from UC-Davis. She earned a PhD in veterinary sciences from Washington State University. She is a diplomate in the American College of Veterinary Pathology. Dr. Johnson is involved in tracking the epidemiology and pathogenesis of West Nile viral infection by monitoring spontaneously infected horses and other domestic animals. She also investigates neurological disease, other infectious diseases and small ruminant lentiviruses.

The faculty and staff of the VMDL conduct tests determining the causes of animal deaths and illnesses, and pursue research into the toxins, biochemical changes, tissue alterations and pathogens that cause animal and human disease. The laboratory conducts approximately 200,000 diagnostic tests annually.

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Last Update: October 10, 2012