Dr. Tammy Beckham serves as director of the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL), an agency of the State of Texas and a member of the Texas A&M University System. Dr. Beckham provides leadership for TVMDL’s two full‐service laboratories, in College Station and Amarillo and two poultry laboratories in Center and Gonzales. Beckham directs one of the highest volume animal diagnostic labs in the country. TVMDL receives approximately 160,000 submissions and runs approximately 800,000 tests per year.
Dr. Beckham also serves as director of the National Center for Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Disease Defense (FAZD Center), a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence. As director, Dr. Beckham leads the FAZD Center’s efforts to perform research and develop products to defend the nation from high-consequence foreign animal, emerging, and zoonotic diseases. Founded in April 2004 as a Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Center of Excellence, the FAZD Center leverages the resources of multiple major universities, Minority Serving Institutions, and private industry partners.
Previously, Dr. Beckham served as director of the Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, a part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Plum Island Animal Disease Center in New York. Her responsibilities included managing the diagnosis of animal diseases, overseeing diagnostic test development for a nationwide animal health diagnostic system, and coordinating efforts with the Department of Homeland Security, the National Animal Health Laboratory Network and other entities.
Dr. Beckham is a magna cum laude graduate of Auburn University, where she earned her doctor of veterinary medicine degree in 1998. She also holds a doctorate in biomedical science from Auburn, received in 2001, while she served as a captain in the U.S. Army. She served at the Army’s Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases in Frederick, MD., where she helped develop improved techniques for detecting deadly pathogens such as Ebola and Marburg viruses.
She is recognized as an international expert in the diagnosis of foreign animal diseases. She routinely acts as a subject matter expert at international meetings and maintains productive partnerships with international scientists and world reference laboratories.
Dr. Beckham is the co-chair of the Foreign and Emerging Disease Committee of the United States Animal Health Association (USAHA). She also serves on many committees, including the Institutional Biological Safety Committee for Texas A&M University, the Agriculture Sector Coordinating Council, the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine Executive Committee and the National Animal Health Laboratory Network Directors Committee. Beckham is an adjunct professor in the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology at Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
She is a member of the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD) and the Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA). She has authored numerous publications, including those appearing in the Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation, Journal of Clinical Microbiology, Journal of Comparative Pathology and Laboratory Investigation, among others.