UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine

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The University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine is the largest veterinary school in the United States. Established in 1948, the school is the primary health resource for California's various animal populations. In 2020, the school was again ranked No. 1 in the United States by U.S. News & World Report[1] and in 2021, ranked No. 2 in the world by QS World University Rankings.[2] The school is located in the southwest corner of the main campus of the University of California, Davis. The current Dean of Veterinary Medicine is Dr. Mark Stetter.

The School focuses on students of the professional Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program, the Master of Preventive Veterinary Medicine program, graduate clinical residency programs, and graduate academic MS and PhD programs. The School of Veterinary Medicine provides educational, research, clinical service, and public service programs to advance the health and care of animals, the health of the environment, and public health.

The School addresses the health of all animals, including livestock, poultry, companion animals, captive and free-ranging wildlife, exotic animals, birds, aquatic mammals and fish, and animals used in biological and medical research. The School's expertise also encompasses related human health concerns, such as public health and the concept of One Health.

The School runs 28 research and clinical programs, including clinical referral services; diagnostic testing services; continuing education; extension; and community outreach.


The School consists of six different academic departments:

The School switched to a new DVM curriculum starting with the class of 2015. This curriculum has been in development for 5 years. In the new curriculum, 75% of the material is didactic curriculum core material and 25% is elective material. In the first year, students gain a solid understanding of the normal structure, function and homeostasis of animals. Year two is focused on pathophysiology and mechanisms of disease of animals. The third year is aimed at teaching the manifestations of animal diseases including history, diagnosis, therapeutic and prevention strategies. The fourth year is clinical work, which is broken up into nine different tracks from which a student may choose. The tracks are Equine Track, Equine/Small Animal Track, Food Animal Track, Food/Small Animal Track, Large Animal Track, Mixed Animal Track, Small Animal Track, Zoological Track and Individual Track.[3]

Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital[edit]

The William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH) at the University of California, Davis — a unit of the School of Veterinary Medicine — is open to the public. Faculty and resident clinicians along with supervised students treat more than 50,000 animals a year, ranging from cats and dogs to horses, cows, and exotic species. The current hospital, along with five support buildings, opened in 1970. The VMTH provides training opportunities and clinical experiences for DVM students and post graduate veterinarian residents. These residents are trained under the faculty's tutelage to be board-certified specialists in one of 34 specialty areas.

Notable Programs[edit]

The School of Veterinary Medicine was on the forefront of research into the 2007 pet food recalls.[1]. Other areas of research include chronic progressive lymphedema in horses and H1N1 influenza.

Under the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding with the California Department of Fish and Game, the school's Wildlife Health Center administers the Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN) on behalf of the government of California. OWCN directly operates facilities for the cleaning and rehabilitation of oiled wildlife at Cordelia and San Pedro, and in emergencies can also draw upon the resources of 23 participating organizations.

The SeaDoc Society is an affiliated nonprofit with the veterinary school and the schools Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center.[4]

Discoveries and Distinctions[edit]

  • Leads the nation's 30 accredited veterinary schools and colleges with more than $70 million in annual research funding.[5]
  • Faculty members that have been honored as members of the National Academy of Sciences or National Academy of Medicine include: Roy Doi, Bruce Hammock, Harris Lewin, Jonna Mazet, Stephen Barthold, Patricia Conrad, Tilahun Yilma, Michael Lairmore and Christine Kreuder Johnson.[6][7]
  • The PREDICT initiative, led by the school's One Health Institute, was awarded $175 million by USAID to help detect and respond to emerging infectious diseases in more than 30 countries worldwide.[8][9] Infectious disease scientists developed SpillOver open-source web application developed, launched in 2021 during the Covid-19 pandemic as a virus and host risk assessment tool[10][11]
  • Pioneered animal DNA Testing, including the discovery of a mutation in gene NKX2-8, that causes spinal dysraphism in dogs and could show clues about neural tube defects in humans, including spina bifida and anencephaly.[12]
  • Pioneered a new mandibular reconstruction procedure. Whiskey, a Munsterlander dog, received mandibular reconstruction after losing his jaw due to a cancerous growth. This new procedure uses a titanium plate in the form of a jawbone which contains a bone growth protein. Over time, the cells proliferate and give rise to an artificial jaw made of material that resembles natural bone.[13]
  • Identified mutations in the genes DLX5, DLX6 and ADAMTS20 that are associated with cleft palate and cleft lips in dogs and humans.[14]
  • Researchers first described simian immunodeficiency viruses (SIV) in monkeys and feline immunodeficiency viruses (FIV) in cats, which became the earliest animal models for AIDS research.[15][16]
  • In 1989, the International Laboratory of Molecular Biology for Tropical Disease and virologist Tilahun Yilma developed a genetically engineered vaccine for rinderpest and an inexpensive diagnostic kit designed to be stable under field conditions. In areas of Africa that depend on cattle for meat, milk products, and work, the rinderpest virus has caused famine and economic damage -$500 million in one outbreak of the 1980s.[17][18][19]
  • Much of the School's research focuses on identifying, treating, and preventing various diseases in animals. The J-5 vaccine against the E. coli infections that lead to bovine mastitis was formulated as a result of research conducted at UC Davis.[20]
  • Notable discoveries by faculty of the School include feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV),[21] taurine deficiency as the cause of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in domestic cats,[22] and the first genetic cause of a heart disease in domestic cats (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM)).[23]


  1. ^ "Best Veterinary Schools". U.S. News & World Report. 2019. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  2. ^ "QS World University Rankings for Veterinary Science 2021". Top Universities. QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2020. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  3. ^ "UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine." UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Web. 02 May 2012. <http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/.>.
  4. ^ Kerlin, Kat (2016-03-30). "Wild killer whales to get personal health records". University of California. Retrieved 2022-10-14.
  5. ^ "UC Davis Vet School Ranked No. 1". www.veterinarypracticenews.com. 2015-03-10. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  6. ^ "Membership Overview". www.nasonline.org. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  7. ^ "Home | The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine | National-Academies.org | Where the Nation Turns for Independent, Expert Advice". www8.nationalacademies.org. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  8. ^ "UC Davis awarded $100 million to lead program to predict and prevent pandemic threats". 2014-11-21.
  9. ^ "UC Davis institute gets $100 million to fight pandemics". sacbee. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  10. ^ Gajewski, Misha (2021-04-05). "There's A New App That Might Help Predict Which Viruses Could Cause The Next Pandemic". Forbes. Retrieved 14 May 2021.
  11. ^ Lasky, Natasha. "Can An App Predict The Next Pandemic?". Our Daily Planet. Retrieved 14 May 2021.
  12. ^ "Gene Mutation in Dogs Could Show Clues About Neural Tube Defects in Humans". Science World Report. 2013-07-19. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  13. ^ "New procedure repairs dog jawbones". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  14. ^ "Scientists Identify Mutation Associated with Cleft Palate in Humans and Dogs | ASHG". www.ashg.org. 2014-10-19. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  15. ^ Gardner, M. B. (1991-05-01). "Simian and feline immunodeficiency viruses: animal lentivirus models for evaluation of AIDS vaccines and antiviral agents". Antiviral Research. 15 (4): 267–286. doi:10.1016/0166-3542(91)90009-g. ISSN 0166-3542. PMID 1659310.
  16. ^ S Dandekar; A M Beebe; J Barlough; T Phillips; J Elder; M Torten; N Pedersen (July 1992). "Detection of Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) Nucleic Acids in FIV-Seronegative Cats". Journal of Virology. 66 (7): 4040–9. doi:10.1128/JVI.66.7.4040-4049.1992. PMC 241206. PMID 1318395.
  17. ^ Verardi, Paulo H.; Aziz, Fatema H.; Ahmad, Shabbir; Jones, Leslie A.; Beyene, Berhanu; Ngotho, Rosemary N.; Wamwayi, Henry M.; Yesus, Mebratu G.; Egziabher, Berhe G. (2002-01-01). "Long-term sterilizing immunity to rinderpest in cattle vaccinated with a recombinant vaccinia virus expressing high levels of the fusion and hemagglutinin glycoproteins". Journal of Virology. 76 (2): 484–491. doi:10.1128/jvi.76.2.484-491.2002. ISSN 0022-538X. PMC 136817. PMID 11752138.
  18. ^ Advances in Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering: Implications for the Development of New Biological Warfare Agents. DIANE Publishing. 1996. ISBN 9781428983397.
  19. ^ "Twelfth Word Conference - Digital Revolution: what is changing for human kind? - Tilahun Yilma". www.thefutureofscience.org. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  20. ^ "ENVIRACOR™ J-5 aids in the control of clinical signs associated with Escherichia coli (E. coli) mastitis" (PDF). Pfizer Animal Health Technical Bulletin. Pfizer Animal Health. February 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  21. ^ Pedersen, N.; Ho, E.; Brown, M.; Yamamoto, J. (1987-02-13). "Isolation of a T-lymphotropic virus from domestic cats with an immunodeficiency-like syndrome". Science. 235 (4790): 790–793. Bibcode:1987Sci...235..790P. doi:10.1126/science.3643650. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 3643650.
  22. ^ Pion, P.; Kittleson, M.; Rogers, Q.; Morris, J. (1987-08-14). "Myocardial failure in cats associated with low plasma taurine: a reversible cardiomyopathy". Science. 237 (4816): 764–768. Bibcode:1987Sci...237..764P. doi:10.1126/science.3616607. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 3616607.
  23. ^ Meurs, Kathryn M.; Sanchez, Ximena; David, Ryan M.; Bowles, Neil E.; Towbin, Jeffrey A.; Reiser, Peter J.; Kittleson, Judith A.; Munro, Marcia J.; Dryburgh, Keith; MacDonald, Kristin A.; Kittleson, Mark D. (2005-10-19). "A cardiac myosin binding protein C mutation in the Maine Coon cat with familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy". Human Molecular Genetics. 14 (23): 3587–3593. doi:10.1093/hmg/ddi386. ISSN 1460-2083. PMID 16236761.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°32′19″N 121°45′42″W / 38.538703°N 121.761713°W / 38.538703; -121.761713