A leading biomedical teaching and research center, the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine (Va-Md Vet Med) is a professional school operated by the land-grant universities of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg and the University of Maryland at College Park. This regional partnership involving two states is unique among veterinary colleges in the U.S.
Virginia-Maryland Vet Med consists of three campuses—one in Blacksburg, Virginia at Virginia Tech, the Gudelsky Veterinary Center at the University of Maryland in College Park, and the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Virginia. A satellite referral center was opened in 2014 in Roanoke, Virginia.
The Blacksburg Veterinary Teaching Hospital and its large animal field services together treat more than 79,000 animals annually.
Approximately 740 students are studying at the college. Current enrollment includes 480 Doctor of Veterinary Medicine students, 100 Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences graduate students, 130 Master of Public Health students, and 30 interns and residents. Starting with the DVM Class of 2016, the college expanded its number of admits to 120 per class—50 Virginia residents, 30 Maryland residents, and the remainder at-large applicants, including up to six West Virginia residents.
The college offers a four-year professional program leading to the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree and a graduate program leading to the Master of Science or Doctor of Philosophy degree in Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences. The college’s Department of Population Health Sciences administers Virginia Tech’s Master of Public Health (MPH) program, which gives the college a unique opportunity to serve both animal and human health needs. Virginia-Maryland Vet Med offers students the opportunity to participate in graduate studies through the dual degree DVM/PhD and DVM/MPH programs.
College faculty and graduate students conduct a broad spectrum of basic/molecular and translational/applied research with strengths focused in core areas of infectious diseases, host defense responses (immune and inflammatory responses), and regenerative medicine, with an overall programmatic goal of advancing translational medicine. The research aims to better understand diseases that afflict both humans and animals, and to develop vaccines and innovative cures.
- 1977 – State Council of Higher Education for Virginia grants conditional approval for the establishment of a veterinary college at Virginia Tech.
- 1978 – Virginia House of Delegates votes to establish a veterinary school in Virginia; Governor John Dalton signs the bill into law. Dr. Gerhardt Schurig joins faculty and begins work leading to the development of the RB-51 brucellosis vaccine. RB-51 is the global “gold standard” in bovine brucellosis control and played a major role in the virtual eradication of the cattle disease in the United States.
- 1979 – The newly established college breaks ground for its first building on Virginia Tech’s campus.
- 1980 – The presidents of Virginia Tech and the University of Maryland sign a memorandum of understanding to establish a regional veterinary college, the only one of its kind in the U.S. The charter class begins studies in the fall.
- 1984 – First class of students graduates with Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees.
- 1984 – Established the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Virginia, one of the first university veterinary hospitals in the eastern United States to concentrate exclusively on equine medicine and research.
- 1986 – The college’s graduate programs (M.S., Ph.D. and combined DVM/Ph.D.) are approved by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.
- 1987 – The Veterinary Teaching Hospital is completed. The college breaks ground on the Gudelsky Center at the University of Maryland, College Park.
- 1992 – Established the Center for Public and Corporate Medicine at the University of Maryland.
- 2001 – Dr. X.J. Meng identifies avian hepatitis E virus from chickens in the United States. He had previously identified swine hepatitis E virus before joining the college faculty in 1999. Meng’s lab is recognized as one of the top hepatitis E virus research centers in the world.
- 2002 – Dr. S. Ansar Ahmed’s research results in national/international recognition in the area of the hormonal regulation of the immune system in healthy and autoimmune individuals.
- 2004 – The college establishes the Center for Animal-Human Relationships.
- 2005 – Dr. Marie Suthers-McCabe receives the national AVMA Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award.
- 2006 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture grants full licensure approval for a vaccine developed in Dr. X.J. Meng’s lab against porcine circovirus. The vaccine is sold in 50 countries and saves the global swine industry hundreds of millions of dollars.
- 2010 – Groundbreaking for $10.5 million, 16,000-square foot Infectious Diseases Research Facility. State approval is granted for a new Master of Public Health program, the first such program to be housed in a veterinary college. First veterinary college to implement the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) format for DVM admissions.
- 2011 – College graduates first class of Master of Public Health students. Dr. John Rossmeisl performed the first successful treatment using electroporation for a high-grade astrocytoma in a dog, representing a breakthrough in veterinary and human medicine.
- 2012 – Opened new $14.1 million, 30,000-square foot Veterinary Medicine Instruction Addition with state-of-the-art clinical techniques laboratory for third-year students, 33 new faculty offices, flexible instructional space, student seminar space, and small conference areas.
- 2013 – Master of Public Health program receives accreditation. Dr. X.J. Meng, professor of molecular virology, is named a Virginia Tech University Distinguished Professor.
- 2014 – Dr. X.J. Meng is elected to the National Academy of Inventors. Dr. Siba Samal is elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and named 2014 Distinguished Veterinary Microbiologist by the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists. Samal has contributed significantly to veterinary virology, identifying a new group of aquatic viruses, determining the first complete genomic sequence for many important animal viruses, and developing Newcastle disease virus as a vector vaccine against human and animal pathogens.
- 2015 – Dr. Bess Pierce receives the AVMA Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award, the second individual from the college to do so.