For the last six years, Tammy R. Beckham, DVM, PhD, has served as the director of the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL). Since 2010, she has served in dual roles, also working as the director of the Institute for Infectious Animal Diseases (IIAD). On September 4, 2014, Dr. Beckham will leave the diagnostic lab to become the full-time director of IIAD. The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents is scheduled to consider appointment of an interim director of TVMDL at their September meeting.
“As director of an agency like TVMDL, the goal has always been to find new, innovative ways for our diagnostic work to assist veterinarians and animal owners in protecting livestock and companion animals,” said Dr. Beckham. “It was a hard decision, but I leave TVMDL knowing I’ve been able to help our diagnosticians and professional staff meet the challenges of ensuring animal health in the coming years.”
In the six years Dr. Beckham led TVMDL, she had numerous successes, most notably securing funding for a new, $50 million, state-of-the-art facility to be built in College Station. Additional major accomplishments include significant advancements in biosafety and biosecurity, fulfillment of international training programs, implementation of new testing services, accreditation initiatives for all laboratory locations, and the development of a training program with the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
“Tammy Beckham’s expert leadership at TVMDL has not only improved the laboratory system as a whole, but also set it up as a first line defender in the event of an animal disease outbreak,” said William A. “Bill” Dugas, PhD, acting vice chancellor and dean for Agriculture and Life Sciences. “We were fortunate to have Tammy as director, and the agency is in a better position than ever to serve the citizens of Texas and beyond ensuring the health of our livestock population and animal food supply. We look forward to her continued outstanding contributions at IIAD.”
TVMDL serves as the State diagnostic laboratory, and coordinates one of the highest volumes of animal diagnostic specimens in the country. More than 160,000 submissions are received and approximately 800,000 tests are performed each year at the lab’s four locations. TVMDL protects the health of livestock, poultry, companion animals, exotic animals, racing animals, livestock show animals and wildlife. For more information on the agency, visit tvmdl.tamu.edu.