Tata Group Chair in Veterinary Orthopedic Surgery
For immediate release
Brian Graves, College of Veterinary Medicine, 612-624-6228
Martha Douglas, University of Minnesota Foundation, 612-626-9712
$3 million gift expands capacity in small animal orthopedic surgery
MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (April 9, 2010) -- A $3 million gift from the Tata Group, a worldwide business conglomerate based in India, will be used to expand research and teaching in veterinary orthopedic surgery at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine and improve veterinary care and education in India.
The College of Veterinary Medicine’s contact with the Tata Group began in 2008 when Ratan N. Tata, chairman of the Tata Group, met Professor Michael Conzemius at the College. Tata was referred to Conzemius in connection with his search for a professional facility for surgical care for companion animals.
Impressed with the work done by Conzemius, the post-operative care, and the facilities at the Veterinary Medical Center, Tata launched a discussion with College of Veterinary Medicine Dean Trevor Ames: How might the same type of facilities, offering the same type of care, be established in India, where facilities of this caliber did not exist for companion animals?
The gift will be used to create an endowment supporting small animal orthopedic surgery and to establish the Tata Group Chair in Veterinary Orthopedic Surgery, which will be held by Conzemius. A professor of surgery at the College since 2006, Conzemius leads a research team that is internationally recognized for basic and clinical research in elbow replacement systems, gait analysis, and the genetics of ligament injury and repair. This work has also led to greater understanding of the postoperative effects of rehabilitation and improvements after canine surgery and optimizing techniques for use of canine adult stem cells. Conzemius has pioneered an animal model for understanding important human orthopedic conditions such as those affecting the hip joint. Funds from the endowment will be used to provide additional support for faculty conducting research in these areas.
The gift will also be used to advance veterinary education in India by creating the University’s first formal exchange program with the Karnataka Veterinary School in Bangalore. Under the program, veterinary students and veterinarians will come to the College to be trained in advanced techniques in veterinary medicine and surgery.
“Professor Michael Conzemius is extremely well-respected in the veterinary world and has developed several advanced techniques and implants, the applications of which have been on the leading edge of orthopedic surgery and post-surgical care,” says Tata. “I have great personal respect and regard for Professor Conzemius and the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center for its very caring approach to companion animal treatment. This grant will support advanced research by Professor Conzemius and the training of young veterinarians, including those from India, so that the level of animal care can be greatly enhanced.”
The University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center is the most comprehensive veterinary hospital in the United States, with faculty internationally recognized for teaching and research excellence. As one of the largest veterinary teaching hospitals in the United States, the center sees more than 30,000 cases each year, providing state-of-the-art equipment, facilities, and care.
“Clients bring their animals here because they know they will experience medical care unsurpassed in the world,” Dean Ames says. “Our success is driven by our commitment to research, which has positioned us as leaders in a transformation taking place today in companion animal health and care.”
“I’m honored to hold the new Tata Group Chair in Veterinary Orthopedic Surgery,” says Conzemius. “It has been a pleasure to work with Mr. Tata and his colleagues. I look forward to continued collaboration so that we can eventually bring sustained state-of-the-art veterinary care to India.”
The College of Veterinary Medicine improves the health and well-being of animals and people by providing high-quality veterinary training, conducting leading-edge research, and delivering innovative veterinary services.