New leadership in articulating and implementing strategic plan for research
For Immediate Release
Contact: Jan Williams, College of Veterinary Medicine, 612-624-6228
Dr. Srirama Rao Joins U of M College of Veterinary Medicine
Named Associate Dean for Research
MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (September 17, 2007) – After a comprehensive national search, Dr. Trevor Ames, interim dean of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, has appointed Dr. Srirama Rao as associate dean for research and professor in the Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Rao will provide visionary leadership in articulating and implementing the College’s strategic plan for research, cultivating relationships with commodity groups, industry, and government to aggressively seek new sources of funding for research programs.
Dr. Rao comes from San Diego, California, where he was vice president and head of research in the division of vascular biology at the La Jolla Institute for Molecular Medicine, a nonprofit academic research institute focused on cancer and vascular biology. At the Institute, Dr. Rao established research focuses and priorities that fostered a collaborative and multidisciplinary research environment by integrating cancer biology, wound healing, lung biology, and immunology programs into an emerging center of excellence in vascular research.
Dr. Rao received his Ph.D. in immunology and allergy from the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, India, in 1989, after which he conducted post-doctoral studies in cell and molecular biology at Pharmacia-Experimental Medicine in La Jolla, Calif. He received his master of science degree in biochemistry from the Postgraduate Institute for Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh, India, in 1985.
Over the course of his career, Dr. Rao has received many awards, including the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America Investigator Award, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) FIRST Award, and multiple NIH and California state research grants. His research interests include understanding the mechanisms of leukocyte and eosinophil trafficking in the context of inflammation, allergy, and asthma, in addition to cancer research. Dr. Rao has pioneered the use of intravital imaging to understand the role of adhesion molecules, cytokines, and chemokines in promoting cell trafficking in inflammatory diseases.
"I am excited about joining the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine,” said Dr. Rao. “I believe that the veterinary program -- with its strong interdisciplinary focus and commitment to cutting-edge research, teaching, and training -- is uniquely poised to make significant contributions to improve veterinary and human health locally, nationally, and globally. I look forward to working with my scientific and administrative colleagues across the University to build on these strengths through the strategic addition of new faculty, the promotion of exciting new collaborative research initiatives, and increased external funding through grants and gifts. I am excited to help lead the College’s research programs working with the faculty who have expertise in key areas.”
“The College’s focus on basic, applied, and translational research on emerging and zoonotic infectious agents and comparative medicine, including spontaneous animal models of human disease, benefits Minnesota’s agricultural economy and contributes to the health and well-being of animals and people,” said Dr. Ames. “Research and graduate programs are key to our success in discovering new knowledge, and Dr. Rao’s experience and leadership will help assure that success.”
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