ISU Vet Med Professors Selected to Receive University Awards

Contacts: Tracy Ann Raef, College of Veterinary Medicine, (515) 294-4602

May 3, 2012

Iowa State University recently announced the recipients of several university awards. Drs. Pat Halbur and Hank Harris of the College of Veterinary Medicine were among those selected. They will be honored at the University Awards Ceremony on Friday, Sept. 21, along with the other faculty and staff award recipients.

Dr. Halbur will receive the ISU Award for Departmental Leadership that recognizes a department chair who has demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities in advancing the faculty, staff, students, and programs in his/her department. As chair of the Department of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine, Dr. Halbur has led the department on an incredible journey toward realizing the goal of building the pre-eminent, comprehensive program in food supply veterinary medical education, clinical and diagnostic services, and outreach and extension. It was noted in the nomination letter that today that goal has been realized with the expansion of its faculty to 54 people with a broad range of expertise including emerging areas of emphasis such as animal welfare and molecular diagnostic medicine, the addition of 33 new courses in food animal medicine, resurrection of its field services unit to serve area farms and provide consultation to practitioners across the state, and expansion of surgical medical services offered through the Food Animal and Camelid Hospital. As cited in a nomination letter for the award, Dr. Halbur best understands the importance of the college and university's relationship with its stakeholders and the importance of our industry connections.

Dr. Halbur is a professor and chair of the Department of Veterinary Diagnostics and Production Animal Medicine and Executive Director of the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at ISU. He received his DVM (1986), MS (1992) and PhD (1995) from Iowa State University.

Dr. Hank Harris will receive the ISU Award for Achievement in Economic Development in Iowa that recognizes faculty and staff members for outstanding ISU-based achievements in advancing the economic development of the state of Iowa. Dr. Harris has spent the past five years translating his research on emerging livestock diseases into products that are meeting the needs of Iowa's $10 billion animal agriculture industry. His Iowa-based company, Harrisvaccines, focuses on improving animal health in the cattle, swine and farmed shrimp industries using advanced molecular science techniques. The company developed and marketed a much-needed swine influenza vaccine shortly after the discovery that the pandemic influenza in people had spread into the pig population. Another example is the innovative vaccine for Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus. "Dr. Harris is uniquely positioned with his appointment at ISU and his entrepreneurial accomplishments in the private sector to quickly translate discoveries into products with substantial economic impact," noted one of his veterinary colleagues.

Dr. Harris holds a joint appointment in the Animal Science department in College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and in the Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine department in the College of Veterinary Medicine. He is also the founder of Harrisvaccines based in Ames, Iowa. Dr. Harris received his DVM (1967) and PhD (1970) from Iowa State University.