Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine

The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine was founded in 1968 and accepted its first class of 36 students (all Louisiana residents) in 1973. Since 1977, the LSU SVM has graduated 2,736 veterinarians and 393 students with MS or PhD degrees. The Veterinary Medicine Building, located on the west side of the campus near the Mississippi River, was dedicated in October 1978. It houses three academic departments, the Veterinary Medicine Library, the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, and the Louisiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory. The facilities at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital are used as laboratories providing students with introductions to clinical cases and animal disease problems, as well as to methods and techniques used in their solution. The clinical case load at the hospital, in-field services, and herd health programs offer ample opportunities for education of the complete veterinarian. The LSU program has met all essential requirements for an acceptable college or school as established by the AVMA Council on Education. Full accreditation was granted in 1977 and reaffirmed in 1984, 1991, 1998, 2005 and 2010 and 2013.

  • 1989 – Betty Torbert, research associate, is honored for having a horse parasite, Cylicostephanus torbertae, named after her. She discovered it while doing a survey of parasites that exist in the Gulf Coast area.
  • 1991 – LSU SVM researchers patent vaccine to combat bovine anaplasmosis.
  • 2001 – Dr. Johannes Storz, professor, led research team that detected a previously unknown virus (respiratory bovine coronavirus) that causes respiratory tract infections in cattle.
  • 2002 – LSU SVM developed a national training program for first responders to bioterrorism incidents.
  • 2005 – In collaboration with the Louisiana State Animal Response Team and the Louisiana Veterinary Medical Association, the LSU SVM establishes a temporary animal shelter on LSU’s campus for animals affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Approximately 2,000 animals passed through this shelter during the 45 days it was operational. LSU SVM faculty, staff and students also volunteered at an animal shelter established in Gonzales, La., to help rescued animals following the storms. Faculty, staff and students also assisted in the rescues of both small and large animals, and the equine faculty and staff set up a 24-hour hotline for horse owners. The LSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital caseload tripled following the storms, and those animals were treated at no charge to the owners; private donations were used to pay for their care.
  • 2008 – Dr. Javier Nevarez, assistant professor in zoological medicine and LSU SVM alumnus (2001), discoversed that West Nile Virus was causing holes to develop I the skins of alligators (the $50 million alligator industry suffered massive losses prior to this discovery).
  • 2012 – LSU SVM researchers file patents for vaccines for Bovine Herpes Virus, Francisella sp. and herpes simplex.

Significant events in the history of the LSU SVM:

  • 1981 – Dr. Martin Hugh-Jones implements internationally-funded surveillance program concerning zoonotic diseases in the Caribbean Epidemiology Research Center areas (CAREC), part of the World Health Organization.
    1987 – LSU SVM establishes annual international exhibition on Animals in Art.
  • 1987 – LSU SVM establishes the Analytical Systems Laboratory to develop techniques to evaluate the quality of the environment by detecting herbicides and pesticides in animal tissues and to detect drugs in the food supply.
  • 1988 – LSU SVM establishes Aquatic Toxicology Laboratory to enhance aquaculture research.
    1991 – LSU SVM establishes “Best Friend Gone” project, a grief support service open to the public.
  • 1992 – LSU SVM designated as World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Research and Training.
  • 1992 – Dr. David Husxoll, associate dean for research and advanced studies, selected as a member of the United Nations Special Commission Inspection Team sent to Iraq. Dr. Huxsoll is a former commander of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and a recipient of the U.S. Army’s Distinguished Service Medal.
  • 1993 – Dr. Martin Hugh-Jones, professor, was part of an American and Russian team of scientists that solved the mystery of a deadly outbreak of anthrax in 1979 in Sverdlovsk, Siberia.
  • 1998 – Dr. Alexander Dunlap (LSU SVM 1989) was alternate payload specialist and ground veterinarian for the STS-90 Neurolab space shuttle mission flown. In 2001, Dr. Dunlap was named chief veterinarian for NASA.
  • 2001 – LSU SVM establishes Inhalation Research Facility (one of only 12 in the U.S. at that time).
  • 2003 – LSU SVM opens Cancer Treatment Unit, only the second veterinary school in the U.S. to offer the most advanced radiation therapy for cancer patients.
  • 2003 – LSU SVM establishes the Division of Biotechnology and Molecular Medicine (BIOMMED) to assist.