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MSU: New Director of Animal and Public Health Center

Dr. Rachel Reams
Dr. Rachel Reams – MSU

On August 1st, Dr. Rachel Reams will assume the role of director of the Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health (DCPAH). She will be joining MSU from Covance Research Laboratories where she currently serves as director of translational biomarker solutions.

Reams’ professional experience is extensive to say the least.  She serves as a diplomat of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists, works actively in the Society of Toxicologic Pathologists, and is a member of the Governmental Policy Committee for the American College of Veterinary Pathologists. Among many other positions over the years, she also led the Large Animal Pathology and Toxicology laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center. Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, John Baker, spoke highly of the expected impact of her hiring; “Dr. Reams brings strong credentials for leading and developing DCPAH and its service to industry, the university, and the citizens of Michigan. Her significant experience in each of these arenas will be pivotal in moving DCPAH forward.”

What exactly is DCPAH?

It is one of the country’s premier full-service diagnostic veterinarian labs. The facility is responsible for monitoring potential pathogenic threats by working to identify, track, and respond to emerging public health issues.

Science Translation: A pathogen is anything that can cause disease — be it a virus or bacteria.

The laboratory was initially built to address the magnitude of cattle deaths that plagued the state of Michigan in the 1970s. Since then, they have been instrumental in countering a variety of severe threats to both animal and people, including chronic wasting disease, bovine tuberculosis and West Nile Virus. They are currently helping state and public health officials track the recently identified avian influenza — an extremely potent threat to both commercial animals and native wildlife.

Their stated mission is to “protect the public by ensuring the health of animals in the state of Michigan and around the nation. In the more than 30 years since its inception, the Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health has become one of the country’s premier veterinary diagnostic laboratories. The laboratory handles more than 220,000 cases involving approximately 1.5 million tests annually. The ever-increasing demand underscores the importance of having trusted, quality diagnostic information to meet the nation’s myriad animal and human health needs.”

In a statement to MSU Today, Reams opened up about her thoughts on moving into the academic sector. “DCPAH is unique in its complex mission and its interconnected relationships with industry, academia and the government. I am looking forward to building on the excellent service we provide to veterinary practitioners and the animals they serve, and to advancing our educational and research missions. The pathological services and the academic work strengthen each other, and then you bring them together with our mission to safeguard animal and human health by closely collaborating with state and national agencies—the possibilities are amazing.”

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