Established by an act of the state legislature in 1894, today the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell is one of 28 veterinary colleges and schools in the United States and one of only three in the Northeast. The nation’s first veterinary degree was granted at Cornell in 1876 to Daniel Salmon, best known as the discoverer of Salmonella. The College also granted the first veterinary degree to an American woman, Florence Kimball.
With 5,011 graduates, the College is recognized internationally as a leader in public health, biomedical research, animal medicine, and veterinary medical education. Ranked the number one veterinary college in the nation by US News & World Report consistently since 2000, the College's strength is due to its strategic breadth of focus areas and its depth of expertise in each of those areas.
To advance the health and well-being of animals and people through education, research, and public service.
Values and Vision
The College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University values its leadership position in academic veterinary medicine. Advancing veterinary medicine at the interface of discovery and application is the college's unifying conceptual framework. Discoveries identified at the molecular, cellular, organismal, and population levels ultimately inform the practice of medicine. In a parallel fashion, the organization and conduct of medicine influence the type and behavior of research. The college values scholarship across the full spectrum from molecule to medical application and demonstrates this commitment through research, educational programs and professional service. The college will continue to excel in providing education and advanced training that prepare veterinarians and scientists to serve society in critical roles in clinical and diagnostic veterinary medicine, public health, scientific inquiry, and public policy. The college strives to advance animal health through discovery-based research, the delivery of excellent clinical care, and continued vigilance against the spread of disease. The College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University endorses the concept of one biology in advancing the understanding of both animal and human health, encourages and fosters open collaboration across disciplines and institutional boundaries, and seeks to integrate discovery and application in order to deliver the greatest possible benefits to society.
Approximately 211 faculty and 732 nonacademic staff members are employed by the College. There are 382 students enrolled in the four-year, post baccalaureate doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM) program, and 129 graduate students working toward either a master of science (MS) or doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree at the College in graduate fields overseen by the Cornell University Graduate School. Internship and residency programs also are offered to DVMs seeking advanced work in clinical veterinary specialties.
- 1876 – Cornell awards the first DVM degree in the US to Dr. Daniel Elmer Salmon, best known for establishing the Bureau of Animal Industry and assembling the team that discovered Salmonella organisms in 1913.
- 1891 – Cornell graduates Theobald Smith, Fred Kilborne, and Cooper Curtice at the Bureau of Animal Industry discovery the basis of Texas Fever in cattle and the first report of transmission of a disease through arthropod vectors to mammals.
- 1908 – First Ambulatory Clinic in the country established with help from Cornell professor Dr. James Nathan Frost. The difficulties involved in establishing this clinic, such as the use of horse-drawn vehicles and trains and developing farmers’ confidence, made this experiment in clinical teaching an important achievement in veterinary education.
- 1910 – Cornell's DVM Class of 1910 includes Dr. Florence Kimball, the first American woman to receive the DVM degree. Seven of the first 11 women to become licensed veterinarians in this country were Cornell graduates.
- 1912 – Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory established at Cornell, one of the first of its kind in the nation.
- 1946 – Clinicians and scientists at Cornell University report an outbreak of an apparently new, transmissible disease in cattle, marking the discovery of bovine viral diarrhea virus.
- 1950 – The Veterinary Virus Research Institute established by Dr. James Baker at Cornell. Scientists at the Baker Institute made major contributions in its first two decades to the control of numerous diseases of livestock, including pleuropneumonia, hog cholera, infectious bovine rhinotracheitis, and bovine virus diarrhea.
- 1955 – The vaccine for infectious canine hepatitis developed at the Baker Institute was combined with the Snyder Hill strain of canine distemper virus (which was isolated at the Institute), thus becoming the first dual-virus vaccine for animals. Another combined vaccine was developed at Baker in 1965 that contained BVD virus, IBR virus, parainfluenza virus, and Brucella and Leptospira bacterins.
- 1972 – Drs. Leroy Coggins, Neil Norcross, and Sidney Nusbaum working at Cornell report the development of a test to identify animals carrying the Equine Infectious Anemia antigen enabling its rapid control through detection of carriers. The "Coggins test" was the first to identify a lentivirus infection in any species and was the first to contain a viral disease transmitted by insects.
- 1974 – First practical test for diagnosis of canine brucellosis, an important cause of reproductive failure in dogs. The causative bacterium, Brucella canis, was first isolated and characterized at Cornell in 1966.
- 1974 – Feline Health Center established at Cornell. The Center would support discoveries in feline viral diseases including FIP, FIV, feline viral rhinotracheitis, and Q fever and establish the Dr. Louis J. Camuti consultation service, the first expert feline consultation service.
- 1978 – Discovery of SB-1 strain of Marek's disease and development of SB-1 vaccine.
- 1979 – First vaccines for canine parvovirus-type 2. “Parvo” emerged in the United States, Europe, and Australia in 1978, causing a near-global outbreak among dogs. Baker Institute scientists first isolated the virus later that year, and by 1979 had developed the first vaccine.
- 1984 – Cornell leads the first successful transplantation of horse embryos into mules, work that opened new doors for horse breeding programs.
- 1988 – Genetic basis of Canine muscular dystrophy discovered and established as equivalent to human Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
- 1991 – New retrovirus discovered as cause of dermal sarcomas in fish by Cornell scientists.
- 1997 – First publication of a linkage map of the canine genome. The map was the initial resource for mapping canine traits of interest and served as a foundation for development of a comprehensive canine genetic map.
- 1997 – "Consultant" veterinary diagnostic database established and provided as a free, on-line diagnostic resource to veterinarians worldwide by Dr. Pete White. Remains most accessed diagnostic program for animal diseases.
- 2004 – Ed Dubovi at the Animal Health Diagnostic Center identifies influenza virus associated with highly contagious respiratory disease in dogs, the first indication of canine influenza infection.
- 2005 – Loci linked to canine hip dysplasia identified establishing a genetic screening capability to reduce incidence.
- 2006 – Canine DNA/Biobank established at Cornell, the largest and only NIH funded resource of its kind.
- 2007 – Vitamin E deficiency demonstrated to be the cause of equine motor neuron disease by a group of Cornell scientists led by Dr. Husni Mohammed.
- 2009 – Cornell partners with City University of Hong Kong to establish first US calibre college of veterinary medicine in Asia.
- 2011 – First multiplexed Lyme disease test developed by Dr. Bettina Wagner distinguishes between acute and chronic infection.
- 2012 – Cornell’s Animal Health Diagnostic Center offers the country’s first antibody test for Salmonella Dublin for milk and cattle.
- 2013 – The first puppy born from a frozen embryo. Klondike was born from the fertilized frozen embryo of a beagle mother and lab father. The puppy’s birth is a breakthrough for developing improved assisted reproductive technologies for threatened species, including certain wolf species.
- 2013 – After gathering the world’s largest sample collection for feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), Cornell scientists the mutation that turns it fatal.
- 2014 – Cornell scientists create the first vaccines proven to prevent metritis and reduce its symptoms, a prospect that could save the United States billions of dollars a year and help curb the growing epidemic of antibiotic resistance.