Roger John Avery, senior associate dean of Virginia Tech’s Graduate School, has been named associate dean for research and graduate studies for the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine (VMRCVM).

As associate dean for research and graduate studies, Avery will work closely with Dean Gerhardt Schurig and the college's leadership team in seeking enterprise-wide growth in the college's basic and applied research programs. He also will direct the activities of a graduate education program that enrolls nearly 100 students seeking master's and Ph.D. degrees in biomedical and veterinary sciences.

"We are very pleased by this appointment after a national search, which attracted top-quality applicants," said Dean Gerhardt Schurig. "Dr. Avery's background with the Institute for Animal Health, his administrative experience as chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University, as well as his experience as senior associate dean in Virginia Tech's Graduate School make him ideally suited to lead our research and graduate studies program in the years ahead. Since he began working at Virginia Tech, his faculty appointment has been in our Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, and he is very familiar with our people, our programs, and our potential."

Avery also has served as director of the Virology Section in the Department of Veterinary Molecular Biology and adjunct professor of microbiology in the Department of Microbiology at Montana State University. He has been a senior lecturer, or associate professor, in biological sciences at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom and head of the Department of Microbiology at the Institute for Animal Health, Houghton Laboratory, in the UK.

At the Institute for Animal Health, Avery was involved in investigating various infectious diseases in animals. His laboratory at Cornell investigated retroviruses, especially the lentiviruses feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and ovine progressive pneumonia virus. These viruses also represent potential models for human immunodeficiency virus, the causative agent of AIDS. Avery has a patent related to this research.

Avery was a visiting fellow at the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Foundation Inc. at the Torrey Pines Research Center in San Diego and a visiting Medical Research Council Fellow in Cancer Studies at the University of California Medical Center in San Francisco. He also has worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow of the Carnegie Institution in Washington, D.C. He has been the major professor for 13 Ph.D. and three master's students and a committee member for 11 other graduate students.

Avery has received many honors. They include the Visiting Medical Research Council Fellowship Award for cancer research from the University of California Medical Center; the William Waldorf-Astor Foundation Award to visit such research centers as the National Institutes of Health, the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and the Frederick Cancer Research Center; and the Royal Society Travel Award to visit the universities of Bristol, Liverpool, and Glasgow.

He has received research grants from many organizations, including eight research grants in the UK plus two grants from Commission of the European Community’s Division of Genetics and Biotechnology, five from the United States Department of Agriculture, two from the National Science Foundation, four from the Cornell Biotechnology Program, three from the National Institutes of Health, and five from commercial interests.

Avery received a First Class Honors Degree in Biochemistry from the University of Leeds, UK, and his Ph.D. in biochemistry and microbiology from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK.