Lairmore named new veterinary dean at University of California-Davis

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Davis, Calif. -- Dr. Michael D. Lairmore, veterinarian, cancer researcher and top administrator at The Ohio State University has been named dean of the University of California-Davis (UC-Davis) School of Veterinary Medicine.

Davis, Calif.

— Dr. Michael D. Lairmore, a veterinarian, cancer researcher and top administrator at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, has been named dean of the University of California-Davis (UC-Davis) School of Veterinary Medicine. Lairmore replaces long-serving dean Dr. Bennie Osburn.

The appointment was announced Aug. 11 by UC-Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi and Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Ralph J. Hexter.

“Michael’s experience stretches from clinician to professor to administrator, and from veterinary medicine to pathology to cancer, in key roles at Ohio State and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” says Hexter, who oversaw the nationwide search. “I am confident that his strength as a candidate will translate to his strength as our new dean of veterinary medicine.”

Lairmore will join UC-Davis Oct. 24 with a base salary of $350,000, according to the university. As dean, he will also preside over the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System and the Veterinary Medicine Extension program.

“It will be an honor to serve as dean of one of the premier institutions of its kind in the world,” Lairmore says in a prepared statement.

At Ohio State, Lairmore serves as associate dean for research and graduate studies at the veterinary college and as associate director of the university’s Comprehensive Cancer Center.

As associate dean for research and graduate studies, he also administers a sponsored research and commercialization program. He holds two academic appointments at Ohio State—professor of veterinary biosciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine and an adjunct appointment in molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics in the College of Medicine. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine, which is the health arm of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, and is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.

Lairmore is board-certified in anatomic pathology and virology and immunology with a doctorate in experimental pathology from Colorado State University. He received his DVM from the University of Missouri at Columbia.

UC-Davis officials say Lairmore stood out for his ability to bridge multiple disciplines to address basic questions related to viral causes of cancer and the biology of retroviruses as a highlight of his achievements, as well as his accomplishments in the development of one of the first animal models of AIDS-associated pediatric pneumonia.

Dean Bennie Osburn announced his retirement in October 2010 after three terms—15 years—as dean. His retirement was effective in June, but Osburn agreed to remain at UC-Davis until Lairmore arrives in October.

Osburn is one of the longest-serving veterinary school deans in the nation and oversaw a $50 million fundraising campaign. He also led the planning and construction of a $345 million long-range facilities plan, which is scheduled for completion in 2012.

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