Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine has appointed Mark W. Jackwood, a molecular virologist known for his work in avian diseases, to head its department of population health. The department includes the college’s food animal management program, laboratory animal veterinarians, as well as two significant areas of public service and outreach: the Poultry Diagnostic and Research Center and the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study.
Jackwood joined the college in 1989 and is based in the PDRC. His primary research focus is the field of respiratory viruses, particularly avian coronaviruses, infectious bronchitis virus, and avian influenza. He co-developed and co-owns patents on a rapid diagnostic technique for infectious bronchitis and an avian therapeutic compound; he has a third patent pending on an infectious bronchitis virus vaccine.
“We conducted an international search for this important leadership position in the college,” said Sheila W. Allen, dean. “We had an outstanding field of candidates, including Dr. Jackwood. We are fortunate to have someone with Dr. Jackwood’s breadth of experience and outstanding reputation lead this important department in the college.”
Jackwood’s research has earned him numerous honors and awards, including the Creative Research Medal from UGA’s Research Foundation; the Pfizer Animal Health Award for Research Excellence, the highest research honor awarded by the college and one that he has received twice; the Upjohn Achievement Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Avian Medicine Research, awarded by the American Association of Avian Pathologists; and the Bruce W. Calnek Applied Poultry Research Achievement Award.
During his time at UGA, Jackwood has served both the college and the university in various capacities. Currently, he serves as chair of the Veterinary Medical Agricultural Research Committee, a member of the Applied Life Sciences Faculty Research Grants Review Committee, as member of the CDC/UGA Infectious Disease Review Panel, a member of the Faculty of Infectious Disease Executive Council, a member of the University Council, a member of the University Council Committee on Facilities, and a member of the College of Veterinary Medicine Ethics Committee.
“It is truly an honor to be selected to lead an outstanding group of faculty and staff in this important position in the college,” said Jackwood, who assumed his position Dec. 15.
“I look forward to working with my friends and colleagues here at the university, in the poultry industry, and in livestock and wildlife health management programs across the state.”
Since 2001, Jackwood has served as secretary/treasurer of Southern Conference on Avian Diseases. In 2011, he co-organized the first International Avian Respiratory Disease Conference, held in Athens and attended by 179 scientists. He also is an active member of the American Association of Avian Pathologists and serves on the organization’s advisory board for avian diseases. He is a member of multiple professional organizations, and has served as a member, reviewer or editor of more than 25 professional publications worldwide.
He earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees at the University of Delaware and his Ph.D. degree in the department of poultry science at Ohio State University.
PDRC was established in 1958 to serve Georgia’s rapidly growing poultry industry and to help protect the nation’s poultry food supply; the organization now works with poultry producers worldwide. SCWDS was founded in 1957 and works in cooperation with wildlife officials in 19 states to monitor the health of wildlife populations to protect the health of wild and domestic animals, as well as humans.
The UGA College of Veterinary Medicine, founded in 1946, is dedicated to training future veterinarians, to conducting research related to animal and human diseases, and to providing veterinary services for animals and their owners. Research efforts are aimed at enhancing the quality of life for animals and people, improving the productivity of poultry and livestock, and preserving a healthy interface between wildlife and people in the environment they share. The college enrolls 102 students each fall out of more than 560 who apply. For more information, see www.vet.uga.edu.