COLLEGE STATION, January 18, 2006 – The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center has named its new center for veterinary medicine and surgery in honor of the late John H. Jardine, a 1962 graduate of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A& M University.
The naming of the facility – The John H. Jardine Center for Veterinary Medicine and Surgery – recognizes the major contributions Jardine made during his 29-year career to develop outstanding veterinary medical services that support animal research conducted at M. D. Anderson and many other institutions. Jardine died in 1997.
Jardine became M. D. Anderson’s first veterinarian when he joined the staff in 1962, the same year he received his doctor of veterinary medicine degree from Texas A&M. His initial assignment was to design a model animal facility, which when it opened in 1968 included innovative laboratories, surgical areas and specialized radiation equipment for a wide range of research animals.
In the early years, Jardine recruited and cross-trained medical technologists and histology technicians to provide laboratory support for multiple species of research animals. He collaborated with colleagues in radiation oncology and nuclear medicine to design a specialized cobalt radiotherapy unit and gamma camera suite that would provide pioneering research involving non-human primates, swine and canines. He also coordinated planning for M. D. Anderson’s two-unit Science Park in Bastrop County.
The Jardine Center for Veterinary Medicine and Surgery contains almost 55,000 square feet of space in the basement of M. D. Anderson’s Clinical Research Building. The center includes five operating rooms, two surgical laboratories, an intensive care unit, a microsurgery suite for training reconstructive and plastic surgeons, diagnostic imaging equipment for advanced MRI and CT scanning, comprehensive pathology and laboratory medicine suites, a cobalt radiation unit and a clinic devoted to non-surgical procedures. The center also has a tumor biology laboratory, specialized housing for large animals and offices for the veterinary faculty and staff.
Kenneth N. Gray, D.V.M. and chair of the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery and a 1969 graduate of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M, said Jardine’s “vision and perseverance provided the foundation for the comprehensive facilities we have today. Renaming these facilities in his memory is a fitting tribute to a wonderful man and an outstanding veterinarian.”
Gray’s group of nine veterinarians and 80 support staff oversee the breeding, care and use of approximately 60,000 animals on M. D. Anderson’s main campus and in its Smith Research Building on the South Campus a mile away.
“About 290 scientists and physicians are using research animals in almost 700 approved protocols. At least 98 percent of the animals are mice and other rodents, but we also coordinate the care and use of rabbits, guinea pigs, dogs, pigs, monkeys, frogs, fruit flies and sea urchins,” Gray said.
Jardine was a charter member of the American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners and a frequent consultant for new research animal facilities across the country. He received the 1983 Distinguished Atonement Award from the Texas Veterinary Medical Association and the 1993 Distinguished Alumnus Award from Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. M. D. Anderson honored him with its 1992 Distinguished Service Award.
Angela G. Clendenin
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