UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine
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Thank you to Retiring Faculty Members

Three faculty members retire in June 2011. Each represents a distinct aspect of veterinary medicine and education, whether as the chief of a clinical service, a researcher or a full-time advocate of the profession. The School of Veterinary Medicine faculty, staff and students are grateful for the expertise, mentoring and dedication of each of these professors.

Farewell to:

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Ronald P. Hedrick, PhD

Dr. Ron Hedrick earned his PhD in microbiology from Oregon State University in 1980, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship, also at Oregon. He joined the faculty ranks at Davis in 1982. He held a joint appointment in the Departments of Animal Science in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the Department of Medicine and Epidemiology in the School of Veterinary Medicine as part of the Aquaculture Program. Dr. Hedrick became Chief of the Fish Health Service at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital in 1985 and has served as a full member of the school’s faculty for the past 26 years. He spent a year in the early nineties as a visiting scientist at the Institut National de la Recherche Agronominque Virologie et Immunologie Moleculaire, Jouy en Josas, France. He served as Chair of the Faculty 1995-1996.

Dr. Hedrick is a research scientist with particular expertise in infectious, especially viral, myxozoan and microsporidian diseases of aquatic organisms. In 2006 he was awarded the Medal of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich for his understanding of whirling disease in salmonids and herpesvirus in ornamental koi.

He is a certified fish pathologist of the American Fisheries Society and served for five years as the coeditor of the Journal of Aquatic Animal Health. Among the many awards and honors Dr. Hedrick has received are the Beecham Award for Excellence in Research; American Fisheries Society Best Journal Papers; Snowdon Lecturer; and S.F. Snieszko Distinguished Service Award from the American Fisheries Society, of which he is a lifetime member. 

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Thomas W. North, PhD

Dr. Tom North earned his PhD in biochemistry from the University of Arizona in 1976. He became a member of the faculty of the schools of medicine and veterinary medicine at Tufts University in the 1980s and rose to become a professor in the Division of Biological Sciences at the University of Montana in 1988. He was a visiting professor in the Center for Comparative Medicine here at UC Davis and became a member of the faculty in 1998.

Dr. North is an internationally recognized authority on the mechanisms of drug resistance in immunodeficiency disease. His goals have included the development of strategies to combat drug resistance and to eliminate virus from reservoirs. He has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health and has been supported as principal investigator on three NIH grants. Dr. North’s studies have led to the development of the first animal model using RT-SHIV-infected primates, which enables studies of potent drugs used in Highly Active AntiRetrovial Therapy (HAART) for the treatment of AIDS in human patients.

Dr. North’s contributions and commitment to mentorship of professional students through the Students Training in Advanced Research program and training of graduate academic students is highly valued.

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Bennie I. Osburn, DVM, PhD

Dr. Bennie Osburn completed his DVM degree at Kansas State University, a PhD in comparative pathology from UC Davis and a research fellowship at Johns Hopkins University. In 1970, he joined the School’s faculty in pathology launching a scholarly career filled with teaching, research and public service contributions. As an educator, Osburn is proud to have taught DVM students and residents and to have mentored 50 graduate students. He made key discoveries about food animal viruses, developmental immunology, congenital infections and food safety and has published more than 280 peer-reviewed publications about health in sheep, primates, dairy cattle and other species. 

Dr. Osburn led the infectious diseases unit of the California National Primate Research Center 1974-1980, served as both associate dean for Research and Graduate Education 1976-1996 and as acting director of the Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center 1985-1989. He was appointed Dean in 1996 and is completing his third term after serving with distinction for 15 years.

Dr. Osburn has been active nationally and internationally representing academic veterinary medicine, including service as president of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges 2003-2005, and recently as chair of the North American Veterinary Medicine Education Consortium board, focused on the nationwide coordination of veterinary curricula, resources, testing and licensing.

Dr. Osburn is a member of the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Distinguished Member of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists, a Distinguished Veterinary Immunologist of the American Association of Veterinary Immunologists, and a Distinguished Practitioner in the National Academy of Practice in Veterinary Medicine. Among the many other awards he has received are the Kansas State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, Distinguished Alumnus Award; the K. F. Meyer-James H. Steele Gold Head Cane Award from the American Veterinary Epidemiology Society; the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine's Alumni Achievement Award; the California Cattlemen’s Association’s Gordon K. Van Vleck Memorial Award and the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges Melcher Leadership in Public Policy Award.