Tom & Joan Read Chair in Veterinary Surgery

Dr. H. Richard Adams, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University, is pleased to announce that Dr. Theresa W. Fossum has been appointed the first Tom and Joan Read Chair in Veterinary Surgery.

Described as “driven” by her colleagues, and “compassionate” by the clients who entrust their animals to her care, Fossum’s passion is rivaled only by her determination to help build a world-class cardiothoracic program at the College of Veterinary Medicine. “When anyone thinks about cardiac surgery, I want them to think of Texas A&M University,” she said. “We have the faculty expertise and the commitment to make it happen.”

Fossum has been on faculty at the College of Veterinary Medicine since 1987. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture at the University of Idaho, a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University, a Master of Science in Veterinary Anatomy at the Ohio State University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Veterinary Microbiology at Texas A&M University. She completed a surgery residency at the Ohio State University in 1986 and is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. She held the Wiley Distinguished Professor of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University from 1994 to 1997.

Fossum’s research areas include cardiothoracic surgery, angiogenesis, lymphatic system, and chylothorax. She was instrumental in establishing the Michael E. DeBakey Institute at the College of Veterinary Medicine. Her research in biomedical devices using a calf model led to clinical trials of The MicroMed DeBakey VAD (ventricular assist device) in human patients with heart failure. The device, weighing less than four ounces, can be implanted in children or small adults and will assist the heart in pumping blood. In the near future, Fossum hopes to apply this same technology to veterinary medicine by implanting the device in animals with heart disease to prolong their lives.

Fossum has authored more than 70 scientific publications in refereed journals, 18 abstracts, 33 book chapters, served as editor for three books, and made over 130 scientific presentations. Her honors include the Carl J. Norden Distinguished Teacher Award, Texas A&M University, the American Veterinary Medical Foundation and American Kennel Club Excellence in Canine Research Award, and she was an intern for the Center to Leadership in Higher Education Administration program at Texas A&M University. She is a member of the AVMA, TVMA, and numerous other scientific organizations. Fossum has served on the editorial and review boards of Veterinary Surgery, J American Animal Hospital Association, J Am Vet Med Assoc, and others.

“The College is truly fortunate to have someone as accomplished as Dr. Fossum, with her dedication and expertise, to serve as the first Tom and Joan Read Chair in Veterinary Surgery,” said Dean H. Richard Adams.

The purpose of the Chair is to provide educational leadership for the faculty and students of the College of Veterinary Medicine with an initial emphasis in cardiothoracic surgery.

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