PULLMAN, Wash. – Dr. Dori Borjesson, chair of the Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology at the University of California Davis’ School of Veterinary Medicine, has been selected as the new dean of the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine.
Borjesson was chosen following a nationwide search to replace Dr. Bryan Slinker, who had announced plans to retire before being tapped to serve as interim provost. She will assume her new responsibilities leading WSU’s cutting-edge veterinary, biosciences and global health departments on July 20.
“The strength of Washington State University’s research and its potential to impact communities locally and across the globe impressed me during the interview process, as did its dynamic clinical programs and the Washington-Idaho-Montana-Utah Regional Program in Veterinary Medicine,” Borjesson said.
“I’m looking forward to building on Dr. Slinker’s tremendous tenure of leadership,” she continued. “The enthusiasm for WSU among the community is impressive, and I look forward to building on that momentum.”
In addition to her role as a department chair and full professor at UC Davis, Borjesson works as a clinical pathologist and is actively engaged in clinical service and laboratory test development. She served as the inaugural director of the Veterinary Institute for Regenerative Cures from 2015 to 2019 and continues to direct the Clinical Regenerative Medicine Laboratory.
“Dr. Borjesson brings an important combination of strengths and experience to make her the right leader for the college,” Slinker said. “She’s a long-serving, highly regarded, and very effective academic leader, and an excellent clinician/scientist, at an aspirational peer institution. This background, combined with her intellectual rigor, openness, and compassion make her a great fit to lead the college in its next phase of growth and development as one of the nation’s top veterinary colleges.”
Borjesson said she’s thrilled to meet with WSU students, staff and faculty, as well as meeting with college and university stakeholders in the near future.
“Being from the Pacific Northwest, this feels like a homecoming,” said Borjesson, who was raised in Portland, Ore. “Increasing engagement and outreach across the state is a top priority for me upon taking up this new role. In addition to engagement and strategic planning, I’m also eager to face some of the critical issues facing members of the veterinary profession, including student debt and enhancing the well-being of our faculty, students and staff.”
Among her more notable research contributions is using large animal models of disease to study cell therapy for inflammatory diseases.
Borjesson holds two patents in the area of mesenchymal stem cells and immunomodulation and has contributed to more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, and in 2014 received the Zoetis Research Excellence Award. Alongside her own work, she has mentored more than three dozen veterinary residents and graduate students.
She and her colleague Dr. Aijun Wang’s work with stem cells was highlighted in an extensive piece in the Los Angeles Times in 2018 about UC Davis’ Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.
Borjesson received her undergraduate education from the Colorado College in 1988, her Master in Preventive Veterinary Medicine and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees from UC Davis in 1995. She completed a residency at UC Davis in clinical pathology in 1999, followed by her PhD in comparative pathology at the Center for Comparative Medicine at UC Davis in 2002.
After completing her PhD, Borjesson accepted an assistant professorship at the University of Minnesota, where she worked for four years before returning to UC Davis as an associate professor in 2006. She became a full professor in 2012. She has led the Integrative Pathobiology Graduate Group at UC Davis and is actively engaged in veterinary and graduate student curriculum development, teaching and mentoring.
Established in 1899, the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine is proud of its distinguished past as one of the oldest veterinary colleges in the United States. It is equally proud of its contemporary leadership nationally in offering programs for student wellness, its Teaching Academy, which leads its commitment to advancing the state of the art in both health professions and STEM education, and its research and graduate education programs. The breadth of research to discover foundational knowledge and to conduct research targeted to improve animal and human health both domestically and around the world places it in the top 10% of veterinary colleges in receipt of competitive federal research funding.
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