Sr. Associate Dean - Research & Graduate Studies
Professor - Virology
Dr. Avery is Senior Associate Dean for Research & Graduate Studies in the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, and is responsible for overseeing, fostering and growing the college's research and graduate programs.
Before taking on an administrative role at Virginia Tech, Dr. Avery researched multiple areas of molecular virology. At Montana State University, he studied the use of recombinant DNA techniques to investigate a number of viruses which infect livestock. At the Institute for Animal Health, he initiated projects designed to provide diagnostic reagents for infectious laryngotracheitis virus and (ultimately) novel vaccines against infectious bursal disease and Newcastle disease viruses.
His laboratory at Cornell University concentrated on investigating retroviruses, especially the lentiviruses feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and ovine progressive pheumonia virus (OPPV). Besides causing diseases of veterinary importance in the cat and sheep respectively, these viruses also represent potential models for human immunodeficiency virus, the causative agent of AIDS. He investigated the interaction of these viruses with cells and the molecular basis of the consequent pathogenesis.
Dr. Avery first came to Virginia Tech in 1999, to serve as Senior Associate Dean in the Graduate School. In 2005, he came Senior Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies in the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. In this role, he has helped to secure funding and develop programs of benefit to graduate students, including the Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences Graduate Student Association and the Research Symposium. He has remodeled the college's DVM/PhD program to improve drop-out rates. Furthermore, he has lobbied and fundraised for better facilities for multiple departments within the college, such as the Infectious Disease Unit. He participated in the design and planning of the Integrated Life Sciences Building in the Corporate Research Center, which is utilized by multiple virologists, and the $10.2 million dollar Infectious Disease Research Facility. In response to the needs of a new faculty member, he create a gnotobiotic swine research facility.
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