A Look Back at 2018

As 2018 comes to an end, here’s a look back at what happened last year in the College of Veterinary Medicine.

VDL research


A study by Iowa State University researchers found the ISU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory delivers a robust return on investment for taxpayers and a sense of stability for Iowa’s animal agriculture industry. The study illustrates the extent to which Iowa’s livestock producers and veterinarians rely on the VDL and models how animal agriculture production would decline without the services provided by the laboratory, which accepts samples from a range of animals and conducts advanced diagnostic techniques to lead disease identification and surveillance efforts.


The Fullgraf Foundation committed $403,000 to purchase equipment for the equine surgery section as well as supporting veterinarians in residency in the Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center.

Dr. Cathy Miller


Dr. Cathy Miller, associate professor of veterinary microbiology and preventive medicine, hopes her research will change the outlook for breast cancer patients through funding from the Margaret B. Barry Cancer Research Award. Miller examines a virus that targets and kills cancerous cells without harming healthy ones to destroy and modulate the cell growth survival pathways of HER2+ breast cancers.


The College of Veterinary Medicine received Accredited status from the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education. The college underwent an extensive review of its facilities and programs and was assessed on 11 standards including organization, finances, physical facilities and equipment, clinical resources, information resources, students, admission, faculty, curriculum, research programs, and outcomes assessment.

Two memorandums of agreement were signed with the National Chung-Hsing University (NCHU) College of Veterinary Medicine in Taiwan, Republic of China. One agreement establishes a collaborative Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree program between the two schools and the other will create a clinical Master of Science degree.  

Shelter pet exam


PetSmart Charities awarded a $100,000 grant to the College of Veterinary Medicine to support the spay/neuter program in the college. The college teams up with area shelters and rescues to provide wellness and spay/neuter care for shelter and rescue animals in the college’s hospital facilities.


A new Ph.D. in population sciences in animal health was approved by the Board of Regents. The new program in the Department of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine will promote research, disseminate knowledge and create future leaders in the area of population sciences.

Drs. Plummer and Zhang


The College of Veterinary Medicine was chosen to lead a national institute addressing a global public health concern: antimicrobial resistance. The new Institute for Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Education will look to improve health for people, animals and the environment. The program will build upon a partnership with a number of governmental and academic institutions.

Dean Dan Grooms


Dan Grooms became the 15th dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine after a national search selected the former professor and chair of the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences at Michigan State University. “I am honored and excited for this opportunity to work alongside our talented team to deliver excellence in the teaching, research and service missions of the university and address important problems for our stakeholders globally,” Grooms said.

VDL exterior rendering


Plans were approved to move forward with planning for a $75 million Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. “This is a critical facility, really not just for Iowa State, as much as it is for Iowa, the nation and the world,” Iowa State President Wendy Wintersteen told the Board of Regents. “If we don’t understand diseases that are occurring on livestock and poultry operations, then we really can’t prepare for the future.”


The Doris Day Animal Foundation established a two new scholarships in the College of Veterinary Medicine. The recipients will be active participants in the Feral Cat Alliance and/or the student chapter of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians.


Dr. Qijing Zhang, associate dean of research and graduate studies and the Dr. Frank K. Ramsey Endowed Chair in Veterinary Microbiology and Preventive Medicine, was named an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow. Zhang was honored “for distinguished contribution to the field of food safety and animal health, particularly for deciphering antibiotic resistance and pathogenic mechanisms for foodborne pathogens.”

Dr Gayle Brown


Dr. Gayle Brown, senior lecturer in the College of Veterinary Medicine and a veterinary specialist in the Center for Food Security and Public Health, was named the national recipient of the 2018 Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges Distinguished Teacher Award.