Director | 2008 – 2014
Dr. Tammy Beckham served as the Director of the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory from 2008 – 2014. Under her leadership, TVMDL completed the addition of a BSL-3 laboratory at its Amarillo location, constructed a new poultry laboratory at Gonzales, Texas, and received funding to design and construct a new laboratory and agency headquarters at College Station. Beckham was a champion of collaboration and outreach, and during her tenure TVMDL became involved in numerous national and international training programs to strengthen veterinary diagnostic capacity in the US and abroad. TVMDL also increased its hands-on educational outreach to veterinary students in the form of elective courses and residency programs in diagnostic disciplines. Technology upgrades were introduced to TVMDL’s client reporting system and the agency quality assurance programs.
During a portion of her tenure at TVMDL, Dr. Beckham also served as director of the Institute for Infectious Animal Diseases (IIAD), a part of Texas A&M AgriLife Research. Prior to being selected as Director of TVMDL, Dr. Beckham served as Director of the Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, a part of USDA’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.
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. Dr. Beckham 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.
She also served on many committees during her tenure at TVMDL, 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 was also co-chair of the Foreign and Emerging Disease Committee of the United States Animal Health Association (USAHA). 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.