Helen Diggs, a nationally recognized leader in veterinary medicine and animal welfare, has accepted the appointment as Attending Veterinarian for Oregon State University, and Director of the Laboratory Animal Resources Center.
The Attending Veterinarian has ultimate responsibility for care of all animals involved in research or teaching projects at OSU. The Laboratory Animal Resources Center oversees the care of a wide variety of species, from tadpoles to llamas.
“Dr. Diggs’ experience, knowledge and national reputation make her an excellent choice for this critical leadership position,” said Rick Spinrad, Vice President for Research. “She brings extraordinary leadership to the University’s community of research, education and service.”
Diggs will provide veterinary guidance on the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, which provides approval for the ethical use of animals. Retaining her academic appointment as clinical professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine, she will continue development of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (ACLAM)-recognized Laboratory Animal Medicine Residency program, in collaboration with Oregon Health Sciences University, to train Doctors of Veterinary Medicine in the specialty of laboratory animal medicine.
Since 2008, she has been OSU’s director of the Lois Bates Acheson Veterinary Teaching Hospital, as well as Associate Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine.
Her contributions to OSU include consolidation of the small animal, large animal and core services of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, and initiation of a comprehensive strategy to assess the quality of clinical services for animal owners and referring veterinarians.
Her own research interests include zoonotic diseases, which can be transmitted between animals to humans.
Dr. Diggs serves on the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care, International (AAALAC) Council and recently completed a term as president of ACLAM.
She earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from OSU. The OSU Alumni Association selected her as an Alumni Fellow in 2007, and she delivered the 2008 commencement address.
In Diggs’ new roles, effective September 14, 2011, one of her first tasks will be overseeing the University’s evaluation by AAALAC, which acknowledges adherence to Federal regulations to ensure the humane treatment of animals for research, teaching, and testing. She will also oversee activation of the Linus Pauling Science Center’s animal facility.
Rick Nelson has served as interim director of LARC; Raymond Baggs, previous director and Attending Veterinarian, retired last year.