In his annual State of the School address, Dean Michael Lairmore congratulated the school’s community in achieving the top spot among veterinary schools in the world by QS World University Rankings for the third year running. He credits that recognition to the school’s ability to attract the best and brightest students, and faculty and staff dedicated to compassionate care, clinical innovation, and ground-breaking research.
We will welcome the Class of 2021 in August—a total of 147 new students from an applicant pool of 1030. Those DVM students come into a community that not only cares about their training and eventual job placement (thanks to an expanded mentoring and career network), but also focuses on their mental health and wellness. The veterinary profession is documented as a potentially very stressful vocation. The dean praised student groups for participating in the AAVMC Veterinary Wellness Summit and the faculty and staff for initiating programs on campus to assist students as they journey through their four years of education and beyond.
The school continues to lead the nation in high-impact transdisciplinary research, which is reflected in the caliber of students who have co-authored research papers in Nature, Science, and Nature Scientific Reports over the past year.
As a community, we have many strengths, but there are also challenges on the horizon, Lairmore said. One in particular is the future Veterinary Medical Center—a 10-year master plan that will take place in phases. It is the largest capital campaign in the school’s history, but is needed at a time when the veterinary hospital is practically bursting at the seams. Thanks to the generous dedication of donors who believe in the school’s mission, we are seeing these dreams become reality as we move forward.
Throughout his presentation, Dean Lairmore highlighted other activities and accomplishments of the school community during this past academic year including:
• Increased faculty involvement in the Biomedical and Engineering Entrepreneurship Academy with 19 invention disclosures and 16 patents filed (four have been granted so far)
• Five-year grant renewal from the NIH for the UC Davis CounterACT Center of Excellence to identify improved medical countermeasures for chemical threat agents in humans and animals
• Development of the first PET equine program in the world (used for research on equine bone stress modeling, osteoarthritis, laminitis and tendon disease
• Launch of the Veterinary Institute of Regenerative Cures
• Establishment of the Bioanalytical Research Core, specializing in pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic studies at preclinical and clinical stages of development
• Outstanding customer service from the hospital staff for approximately 55,000 veterinary patients each year
• Increased availability of clinical trials through the Veterinary Center for Clinical Trials (77 currently active)
• High board certification rates among the hospital’s residents
• Broader diversity of the school’s community beginning with outreach and intensive training programs for K-12 and community college students
• Advancing the well-being of animals and people, starting close to home with the Knights Landing One Health Clinic and disaster response training thanks to efforts of a combined CEH and IAWTI team
• Continued support from philanthropic partners (more than $50M to date this year) that help keep student debt in check and support cutting-edge research