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Dean Lairmore honored with 2013 Alumnus of the Year Award

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Neil C. Olson, dean of the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine (on left), presents Dean Michael Lairmore with the 2013 Alumnus of the Year award.

The following announcement is provided by the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Michael Dale Lairmore, DVM ’81, is the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine 2013 Alumnus of the Year. Lairmore was honored during the College’s Alumni Reunion Weekend on Sept. 27-28.

Lairmore earned his doctor of veterinary medicine in 1981 at the University of Missouri. He then completed a PhD in experimental pathology at Colorado State University and a postdoctoral fellowship in molecular retrovirology at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta.

Dr. Lairmore is dean and professor of the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Previously, he was professor and associate dean for research and graduate studies at the College of Veterinary Medicine at The Ohio State University. He is recognized internationally as an authority in comparative oncology and retrovirology. In 2010, in recognition of his outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service, he was elected to the National Academies of Science Institute of Medicine, one of the highest honors in the field of health and medicine.

Lairmore thanked his mentors, including Dr. Charles “Mac” Scanlan, a member of the MU College of Veterinary Medicine Class of 1968, who allowed him to gain experience in his clinic. Scanlan returned to Mizzou to pursue additional training of his own and during that time served as Lairmore’s advisor for a Phi Zeta research project. The Phi Zeta experience “opened up another world,” Lairmore said, and it was through that experience he was considered for the research position he later pursued at Colorado State.

“I want to thank the University of Missouri for giving me a chance,” Lairmore said, accepting his award.

The National Institutes of Health has funded Lairmore continuously since 1992. He has authored or co-authored more than 175 scientific publications. Lairmore serves on the editorial board for Viral Immunology and is a reviewer for more than 30 journals.

Lairmore has been honored with numerous awards. The Ohio State University named him a Distinguished Scholar in 2004, and in 2005 he was named a Fellow for the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences. The American Cancer Society in 2008 awarded him the Hero of Hope Award for his outstanding contributions to cancer research. Lairmore’s other awards include the Pfizer Award for Research Excellence, the David White Research Award, and the National Gamma Career Award from the Omega Tau Sigma veterinary fraternity.

Lairmore and his wife, Donna, have five children.

The announcement of the Alumnus of the Year Award was made during the reunion banquet at the Adams Conference Center. CVM Dean Neil C. Olson also addressed the alumni in attendance and revealed that the College had just received official notice that it has been fully reaccredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education. He also discussed the Missouri Legislature’s decision to earmark $1million to support the College’s large animal medicine program and plans to use that money to enhance the herd of cows kept at Middlebush Farm for teaching.

The following day alumni were invited to have breakfast with retired faculty members, enjoy rides with the Mule Club, meet some of the birds being cared for by the Raptor Rehabilitation Project, tour the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital and attend a tailgate party at the College before the football game against Arkansas State. 

 Trina Wood, Communications officer