Michael D. Lairmore, DVM, PhD

Photo: Michael Lairmore

Dean Michael Lairmore oversees all School of Veterinary Medicine teaching, research and service activities, personnel, facilities and funding resources. He presides over six academic departments, the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System, the Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center in Tulare, Veterinary Medicine Extension, and numerous centers of excellence.

Dean Lairmore is committed to finding new ways for the faculty, residents, students and staff of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine to contribute to the health of animals and people while being good stewards of the environment and the economy of California. His goals include building mission-focused programs that will continue to provide outstanding education for society-ready veterinarians and produce innovative research findings to address important problems ranging from clinical veterinary medicine to public health.

Upon his arrival at UC Davis in 2011, Dean Lairmore led the school on a strategic planning process to enhance current units and add important new programs in faculty, staff, and student development. He brought in new leadership, expanded student services infrastructure, and enhanced communication, marketing, and development activities, which have led the school to be named by QS World Rankings as the #1 institution in the world in veterinary sciences four years in a row, beginning with the inaugural ranking in 2015. The school also currently ranks as #1 among veterinary schools/colleges by US News and World Report. 

Through Dean Lairmore’s leadership, the school has created major advances in student diversity and expanded the number of women in leadership positions. Since 2011, he has guided the school to three record fundraising years, including $85 million in 2017-18. He is currently leading the largest capital campaign effort in the history of the school to complete a masterplan that includes a new Veterinary Medical Center.

Dean Lairmore earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Missouri at Columbia before working as a dairy and small animal veterinarian. Following private practice, he completed a residency and Ph.D. program in experimental pathology at Colorado State University at Fort Collins. He is board certified in veterinary anatomic pathology as well as veterinary virology and immunology. He is a member of numerous prestigious national boards and committees, is one of the few veterinarians elected as a Member of the National Academy of Medicine, the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences. He is also a Fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology and the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, and has received numerous teaching and research awards throughout his career. Dean Lairmore is a scientist who bridges multiple disciplines to address basic questions related to viral causes of cancer. His research has provided significant breakthroughs in the biology of human retroviruses and the understanding of viral-associated carcinogenesis. He has authored or co-authored 190 scientific publications.