MSU Veterinary College Dean Named to Institute of Medicine

EAST LANSING, Mich. ” Lonnie King, the dean of the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine, has been elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), an honor that usually is reserved for physicians and researchers who study human health issues.

Lonnie King, dean of MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine. (Photo by Greg Kohuth, University Relations.)

King, a former large animal veterinarian who has led MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine since 1996, was one of two veterinarians selected for membership in the IOM this year. He also is one of perhaps a dozen veterinarians who are members of the organization.

“I believe there is a new appreciation of veterinary medicine, especially as we see the convergence of human and animal health,” said King. “There is a new openness as new disciplines are brought in to solve new health problems, many of which have emerged from animals.”

King is a nationally recognized expert on what are known as zoonotic diseases ” diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans. He also is an expert on food safety and veterinary preventive medicine. He currently is serving on his fourth National Academy of Sciences’ panel that is reviewing this country’s animal health disease preparedness.

The Institute of Medicine is a part of the National Academy of Sciences. Its members are elected through a highly selective process that recognizes people who have made major contributions in the fields of medical science, health care and public health.

King said his selection to the IOM is a reflection of the work that is done not only in his college, but also across the university, including work with international health agencies.

“I’ve been given a lot of leeway and many opportunities outside the halls of this college that other institutions may not have allowed,” King said. “I could not have earned this honor without the support of this college and MSU.”

“Dr. King is a great example of a scholar who brings credit to himself and to Michigan State University,” said Lou Anna K. Simon, MSU provost and president-designate. “His work has made a tremendous contribution to our understanding of how infectious diseases are spread, and is very much in our land-grant tradition of sharing cutting-edge knowledge and giving something back to our society and our world.

“We are privileged to have Dr. King’s leadership, intellect and passion as part of ‘Team MSU.'”

King is the third MSU faculty member to be elected to the IOM. The others are Myron Magen, professor emeritus and founding dean of the MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine, and Howard Brody, a professor of family practice and former director of MSU’s Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences.

Prior to coming to MSU, King was the administrator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), a post he held from 1992 to 1996. In that role, he provided executive leadership and direction for ensuring the health and care of animals and plants, to improve agricultural productivity and competitiveness, and to contribute to the national economy and public health.

From 1976 to 1992 he held a number of positions within APHIS, including epidemiologist for veterinary services, chief of staff veterinarians for Animal Health Information Systems, and deputy administrator.

From 1970 to 1976 he worked in private veterinary practice.

King’s undergraduate degree and DVM are from Ohio State University. He also has a master’s degree in epidemiology from the University of Minnesota and a master of public administration from American University.

He is a diplomate in the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine and president of the American Veterinary Epidemiology Society. He also is a member of the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Microbial Threats to Health, and serves as a consultant to the National Center for Infectious Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control.

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