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Markel to lead UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine

August 2, 2012 By Terry Devitt

Mark D. Markel, a University of Wisconsin–Madison professor of medical sciences and associate dean for advancement in the university’s School of Veterinary Medicine, has been chosen to lead the school. He will be the third dean in the school’s 29-year history.

Photo: Mark Markel


Markel assumes his new role Sept. 1. He replaces Daryl Buss, who led the school for 18 years and helped solidify the school’s position as one of the top professional schools of veterinary medicine in the country. Buss retired in June.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have Professor Markel take on this vital role,” says UW–Madison Provost Paul M. DeLuca Jr. “We had an excellent pool of candidates, signaling the nationally recognized strengths of the School of Veterinary Medicine. Assuredly, Mark will more than rise to the challenge of leading these research and educational endeavors to even greater prominence. Mark’s leadership style is strongly collaborative, building consensus and enthusiasm for scholarship and discovery. We are delighted with this outcome.”

In its brief history, the UW–Madison School of Veterinary Medicine has established itself as a leading center of veterinary medical education and research. It was founded, in part, to provide critical service to Wisconsin’s animal agriculture industry and today ranks among the top schools in service, research and outreach.

The school provides professional education and training leading to a doctor of veterinary medicine degree, enrolling a new class of 80 students each year. In addition, the school provides undergraduate and graduate courses as well as research and training opportunities for UW–Madison masters and doctoral students. Its basic and clinical research portfolio ranks among the nation’s best, drawing top researchers and students from around the world. In addition, the school is home to the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, which provides routine, specialized and emergency services for 20,000 animals a year.

“I’m both humbled and thrilled to be asked to lead one of North America’s preeminent schools of veterinary medicine,” says Markel. “My objective will be to build on the foundation both (Daryl Buss) and our founding Dean (Bernard) Easterday created here at the school.”

Markel joined the UW–Madison faculty in 1990 as an assistant professor of large animal surgery. He currently chairs the school’s Department of Medical Sciences and is the UW–Madison Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor, in addition to his role as associate dean for advancement.

A native of Long Beach, Calif., Markel studied wildlife biology as an undergraduate at the University of California at Davis, the same school at which he received his veterinary medical training. He received his doctorate in physiology and biophysics in 1990 from the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine.

Since joining the UW–Madison faculty, Markel has taken on a number of roles on campus. In addition to his faculty appointment and administrative roles at the School of Veterinary Medicine, he holds faculty appointments in the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, is an affiliate in the Institute on Aging and a member of the Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center.

Markel notes that as global trade and issues of animal and human health with issues such as emerging disease become more prominent, veterinarians will play an increasingly important role internationally. These challenges and others, he argues, will continue to create demands for veterinary medical services, research and outreach, which embody the core mission of the School of Veterinary Medicine.