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Epidemiology expert named associate vet med dean

By Jeffrey S. Douglas

Spectrum Volume 18 Issue 38 - August 22, 1996

Following a nation-wide search, William D. Hueston has been appointed professor and chair of the Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Maryland at College Park and associate dean of the Maryland campus of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. Hueston will assume his duties on October 1. He replaces Sashi Mohanty, who retired July 1, 1996.

"We are extremely pleased that Dr. Hueston has agreed to take on the challenges of this position," said Thomas Fretz, dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Maryland at College Park, the administrative home of the veterinary college's Maryland campus. "His education and professional experience in academia, industry, and the federal government make him eminently qualified for the job, and we will look to Dr. Hueston to provide the leadership that will take the department to pre-eminence within the veterinary community."

Hueston's leadership is also expected to add impetus to the regional veterinary college's nationally regarded strengths in the public practice areas of the veterinary profession.

"Dr. Hueston's appointment constitutes an extraordinary addition to the college's leadership team," said Peter Eyre, dean of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. "His credentials are exceptional and he has proven himself a superior scientist and administrator. Dr. Hueston's experience in federal government and regulatory veterinary medicine will be of tremendous benefit to us as we continue to develop our nationally regarded academic programs in government and corporate veterinary medicine."

Hueston holds a B.A. in biology from the University of Virginia as well as a D.V.M., M.S. in veterinary preventive medicine, and a Ph.D. in epidemiology from the Ohio State University. He has served on the faculty at Ohio State and worked in a private veterinary practice in Chestertown, Md., and as a staff veterinarian for Select Sires Inc.

Hueston has held several positions with the Veterinary Services section of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), including chief staff veterinarian and program leader for the national animal-health monitoring system and director of the Center for Animal Health Monitoring in Fort Collins, Colorado. He returned east to USDA-APHIS-Veterinary Services in Riverdale, Md., in 1995 to become acting director and then director of operational support.

Hueston's research interests have focused on population medicine, specifically epidemiology. Over the years, his specialization has shifted from bovine and ovine mastitis to the applications of epidemiology in surveillance and monitoring.

For the past six years, Hueston has been involved in the study of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as "mad cow disease." He was stationed in England for six months during 1991 as part of the British government's epidemiology unit investigating BSE. He was the only non-Briton appointed to the British Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee, and served as the official USDA spokesman on BSE during the period of intense media attention earlier this year.

"We in veterinary medicine's academic community are delighted to see Virginia-Maryland's good fortune in attracting a leader like Dr. Will Hueston to this important post at College Park," said Lester Crawford, executive director of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges in Washington. "His experience in federal government will be an invaluable asset at a school with such strategic strengths in government and corporate practice. And we at AAVMC are especially pleased to see him remain in the greater Washington, D.C., area."