Archived News

Faculty Members Retire

June 13, 2008

June 13

The school acknowledges retiring faculty members at the Spring Faculty Reception and the commencement ceremony. This year, eight faculty members bid farewell to their full-time duties:

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Alex A. Ardans


Ardans earned a D.V.M. degree from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 1965, and he holds an M.S. degree in virology. After serving as an instructor in large animal medicine at Colorado State University, he joined the UC Davis Department of Medicine faculty in 1969, and served as department chair during the early ’80s. Ardans is highly respected nationally and internationally as a leader in veterinary diagnostics.

Ardans chaired the planning and building committees and has served as director of the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System since its inception in 1987. The laboratory, a joint program with the California Department of Food and Agriculture, has a national reputation for excellence in food borne bacterial pathogen detection and in other testing and research collaborations relating to food quality and safety. Ardans oversees the mainlaboratory in Davis as well as laboratories in Turlock, Fresno, Tulare and San Bernardino. His efforts to include the study of fatal racing injuries and identify methods of prevention as part of the California Horse Racing Board Postmortem Program earned the laboratory recognition as the inaugural winner of the American Association of Equine Practitioners Equine Welfare Award in 1997.

Ardans also participated in drafting legislation and planning a program to develop the Kenneth L. Maddy Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory, also based at the school, and he has played a national role in accreditation and improvement of diagnostic laboratories throughout the United States. Ardans received the school’s Alumni Achievement Award in 2000.


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Robert H. BonDurant

BonDurant earned a D.V.M. degree from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 1974. He completed an internship in large animal medicine and surgery at the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, and a residency in food animal medicine and health management at UC Davis. He is a diplomate of the American College of Theriogenologists.

BonDurant joined the UC Davis faculty in 1976, and became chair of the Department of Population Health and Reproduction in 1993, a role in which he served for 13 years. He is recognized nationally and internationally as a pioneer in food animal theriogenology and reproduction, and has led long-term investigations of the pathogenesis and diagnosis of venereal diseases in cattle, particularly trichomoniasis. He was instrumental in establishing the Embryo Transfer Research Laboratory at UC Davis.

BonDurant received the School of Veterinary Medicine Alumni Achievement Award in 2004, and has also received the Carl J. Norden Distinguished Teaching Award, the Class of 1996 Favorite Teacher Award, and the 1982 Outstanding Young Man of America Award from the U.S. Jaycees. BonDurant was elected a member of the Spanish Royal Academy of Veterinary Medicine in 1996.


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Michael L. Bruss

Bruss earned a D.V.M. degree from Colorado State University in 1969 and a Ph.D. in physiology from UC Davis in 1974. He was a member of the faculty of the Department of Metabolism at the University of  Florida before joining the faculty in the Department of Physiological Sciences at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 1981. Bruss’ research has focused on the development of ketosis in ruminants. He has been involved in an ongoing project treating dairy cows with bovine somatotropin and examining milk production parameters. He is coauthor of the book, Clinical Chemistry of Domestic Animals.

Bruss is regarded as an exceptional and innovative instructor of professional and graduate students. He received the Carl J. Norden Distinguished Teacher Award in 1988 and was awarded Teacher of the Year by four different classes of professional students. He has served as Chair of the Faculty, Chair of the Master of Preventive Veterinary Medicine Curriculum Committee and as a member of the Admissions Committee, and as a mentor for students as a longtime volunteer for the Mercer Veterinary Clinic for Pets of the Homeless.


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Dean O. Cliver

Cliver earned an M.S. degree in dairy husbandry from Purdue University in 1957 and a Ph.D. in dairy science from The Ohio State University in 1960. He was a professor at the University of Wisconsin for 28 years before joining the Department of Population Health and Reproduction at UC Davis in 1995.

Cliver is a world-renowned expert in food virology. He has focused his research environmental virology, disease transmission through food and water, and microbiological safety of food and water. He has carried out studies of pathogens of particular interest in California such as the protozoans, Giardia lamblia (duodenalis) and Cryptosporidium parvum, and bacterial agents including E. coli 0157:H7 and various Salmonella species. He is frequently called upon by public agencies to give food safety-oriented presentations on microbiological hazard recognition and prevention.

Cliver has also carried out groundbreaking work with animal-associated viral and bacterial pathogens in non-animal products including fruits, juices, alfalfa and bean sprouts, and ornamental fountains. He has served on numerous national and international committees, and he is head of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Food Virology.


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Jeanne W. George

George earned a D.V.M. degree from the New York State College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University in 1971. She also completed an internship in large animal medicine and a residency in clinical pathology at Cornell. She completed a Ph.D. in pathology at the University of Georgia in 1980, and served on the faculty there until 1982, when she and her husband, Professor Emeritus Lisle George, came to UC Davis. She worked as a research clinical pathologist at the California Regional Primate Research Center and the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus Laboratory until she joined the faculty of the Department of Clinical Pathology in 1992.

George is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP) and has served on both the ACVP Education Committee and Examination Committee. She has been an executive committee member and president of the American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology.

George has played a major role in training and developing instructional materials for residents and fourth-year students in clinical pathology, anatomic pathology, informatics and data interpretation. She has worked to improve the laboratory diagnosis of diseases by making laboratory tests more accurate and training veterinary students to interpret them. A special focus of her teaching has been acid-base and electrolyte physiology. She has served as chair of the school’s Graduate Education Committee, Teaching Microscopes Evaluation Committee and Curriculum Steering Committee.


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Timothy R. O’Brien

O’Brien earned a D.V.M. degree from the University of Illinois in 1965 and a Ph.D. in radiation biology and radiology from Colorado State University in 1969. He joined the UC Davis faculty in the Department of Radiological Sciences in 1969. O’Brien served as chair of the department for several years and based his practice in the teaching hospital's imaging service.

O’Brien was a United States Public Health Service fellow and National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellow. His research has focused on diagnostic imaging of large animal disorders, and he is an internationally known authority on radiologic characterization of bone and joint problems of horses. He published the monograph “O’Brien’s Radiology for the Ambulatory Equine Practitioner,” the only resource of its type in the world.

O’Brien has received the Outstanding Teacher Award from the school’s professional students. He also teaches graduate academic and graduate clinical students, and teaches continuing professional education classes. He has served as chair of the Scientific Committee of the Grayson-Jocky Club Research Foundation, and he founded the Millman and Story Memorial Fellowships and the annual Charles A. Heumphreus Memorial Lectureship.

Drs. Clare Gregory, Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, and Mark Thurmond, Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, also retire this year.

The School of Veterinary Medicine has nearly 300 employees in various faculty positions, each emphasizing some aspect of clinical or research practice. About one-third that number are considered full-time research and/or clinical faculty. Professors teach in the classroom, student laboratories and  clinics of the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.

Besides teaching in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Master of Preventive Veterinary Medicine, or Master of Public Health professional degree programs, faculty with research programs help  train graduate academic students in the professors' laboratories based in their departments or at specialized centers of the school.