UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine
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2013 Year in Review

A national leader in veterinary research, the school celebrated the opening of Veterinary Medicine 3B—a leading-edge biomedical research facility dedicated to a variety of issues such as environmental pollution, food safety, public health, and infectious diseases, including those that can be passed between animals and humans. UC Davis leads the nation’s 28 veterinary schools with $67.2 million in research funding for the fiscal year 2012-2013.

The Veterinary Center for Clinical Trials launched to accelerate identification and development of diagnostics and therapeutics for the benefit of veterinary and human patients. More than 40 clinical trials are now in progress.

Leigh Griffiths, assistant professor of cardiology and cardiac surgeon at the school, teamed with three biomedical engineers from the campus to develop a new approach to heart valve replacement— potentially giving transplant patients longer, healthier lives. Their collaboration won the annual Big Bang! Business Plan Competition at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management.

Studies from the newly dedicated Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center discovered the presence of brucellosis in harbor seals and the H1N1 flu strain in elephant seals, increasing the understanding of One Health issues among human, animals and the environment. Years of research by the center also contributed to California’s ban on lead ammunition.

The Western Institute for Food Safety and Security remains on the frontlines of protecting the nation’s food supply thanks to a $10.5 M grant renewal from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the next five years. The center is heavily focused on assisting the FDA with the national implementation of the proposed Produce Safety Rule and part of the Food Safety Modernization Act. 

Jonna Mazet, director of the One Health Institute, visited Washington D.C. to lead a White House briefing on PREDICT—a project of USAID’s Emerging Pandemic Threats Program that aims to prevent, detect, and rapidly respond to novel infectious pathogens that can spread from wildlife to humans. 

Companion animals continue to receive the most technologically advanced patient care at the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital with the help of:

A new TrueBeam linear accelerator that delivers more powerful cancer treatments with pinpoint accuracy and precision

3-D printing based upon a CT scan that enables dental and oral surgeons to accurately determine the extent and location of an injury or mass, see how close lesions are to vital structures such as the brain, and determine the potential consequences of making an incision into a particular area of the patient’s skull

The matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometer—the most advanced diagnostic tool for rapid identification of bacterial and fungal organisms which significantly shortens the time required to initiate patient care/treatment

Veterinary and human surgeons teamed up to perform the first canine laryngectomy to save the life of Bean, a shelter rescue.

FARM Club students won a new portable ultrasound machine thanks to their ingenious music video parody that won first place in a contest. 

Faculty launched year three of a new curriculum, built on the foundations of defined learning outcomes, acquiring entry-level clinical skills, problem solving, critical thinking and lifelong learning.

Jonna Mazet was elected to the prestigious Institute of Medicine, one of the nation’s highest honors in health and medicine. She is the fourth faculty member from the school to be elected and joins only 17 total IOM veterinary medicine members.

A three-day Donkey Welfare Symposium held at the school drew people from around the globe to learn more about the health and welfare of the world’s leading working animal. 

Danika Bannasch was appointed as the inaugural recipient of the Maxine Adler Endowed Chair in Genetics.

The Koret Shelter Medicine Program developed the UC Davis Virtual Consultant, a free online self-evaluation tool for shelter staff, veterinarians, and volunteers world-wide to help improve the well-being of shelter animals. 

The school provided 710 scholarships and awards to students amounting to $2 million—more than $200,000 more than last year. The scholarship program is enhanced by the school’s grant program, which provides another $2 million in financial support. More than 90 percent of students receive scholarship or grant funding.

Staff member Harold Davis, manager of the Emergency & Critical Care Service, was selected as the 2013 Western Veterinary Conference Veterinary Technician Continuing Educator of the Year. Davis, who has worked at the VMTH for more than 30 years, is an outstanding example of the dedicated, professional team of staff supporting the clinical service, research and teaching missions of the school.