Oscar Benitez joins Texas Tech Department of Veterinary Sciences
By: Norman Martin
Oscar Benitez, an expert in epidemiology of infectious diseases in cattle, has been named an assistant professor within Texas Tech University's Department of Veterinary Sciences, according to officials within the Davis College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources. He officially stepped into his new teaching and research post on Sep. 1.
His research program will broadly focus on cellular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of infectious diseases in cattle and their relationships with productive and reproductive performance. One of his primary goals here at Tech is to establish an independent, federally funded research program that includes field- and lab-based trials and that will contribute to improve animal health and production while contributing to the education of animal and veterinary scientists.
Benitez will have a 75 percent appointment with the Department of Veterinary Sciences, and a 25 percent appointment with Texas Tech University's School of Veterinary Medicine. Launched in 2017, the Department of Veterinary Sciences is the newest of Davis College's seven departments.
Specifically designed as a graduate degree program, Department Chair Michael Ballou notes that the program offers masters and doctorate degrees, both of which are research degrees. The primary focus of the department, Ballou said, is to train individuals in population and preventative veterinary medicine with a focus on large-production animal medicine.
Ballou noted Benitez will have access to Texas Tech's sprawling mix of laboratory animal facilities that include the Gordon W. Davis Meat Laboratory; a livestock arena; the New Deal Farm which consists of more than 900 acres, as well as the Burnett Center's Research Feedlot; an equestrian center; and a food safety laboratory in Tech's Experimental Sciences Building.
Prior to taking his new position, Benitez served as a postdoctoral researcher in Texas Tech's Department of Animal & Food Sciences, and earlier worked as a postdoctoral researcher in Wayne State University's Department of Physiology. In addition, he was as a graduate research assistant and research associate within Michigan State University's Department of Large Animal Clinical Science.
Benitez also served as a veterinary specialist with San Alberto Cesar in Colombia; laboratory/clinical assistant with Santa Clara Genetics in Cascavel, Paraná, Brazil; large animal surgery assistant in the Clinic Veterinary Science Institute at the Universidad Austral de Chile in Valdivia, Chile; and a laboratory assistant at the Madrigal Genetic Center in Bucaramanga, Colombia.
Benitez received his degree in veterinary medicine from the Universidad de La Salle in Bogota, Colombia, and his doctorate in Comparative Medicine and Integrative Biology Program (Bovine Leukemia Virus Epidemiology in Beef Cattle) from Michigan State University. He is a member of the Board of Veterinary Medicine COMVEZCOL, Colombia, and the American Association of Bovine Practitioners.
CONTACT: Michael Ballou, Chair, Department of Veterinary Sciences, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Texas Tech University at (806) 834-6513 or email@example.com
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Editor: Norman Martin
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