Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine Opens Research and Pathology Building
Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine (RUSVM) announced today the opening of its Research and Pathology Building to further enhance its research capabilities on St. Kitts, in the Caribbean, and globally. The 19,000 square-foot structure will facilitate multidisciplinary research collaborations and provide an academic platform for students and faculty to address pressing One Health issues — the interconnectivity of animal, human and environmental health. A grand opening ceremony took place on the campus and was attended by dignitaries from the St. Kitts government, leaders and Trustees of RUSVM, and executives from RUSVM parent company Adtalem Global Education, including president and CEO Lisa Wardell.
The research building represents a USD $10.5 million investment in the educational programs at RUSVM. The building features 13,000 square feet of research space that includes eight laboratories, 2,000 square feet dedicated to pathology that includes necropsy and histology suites along with a viewing gallery to enhance student learning, and 4,000 square feet for small group meetings and student needs. The research and pathology sections of the building are designed to BSL-2 biosafety standards.
“Our commitment to research is essential to the future of veterinary medicine, which will involve collaborations across multiple disciplines to address zoonotic diseases that pose devastating threats in the Caribbean region and beyond,” said Dr. Sean Callanan, dean at RUSVM. “The Center also represents our commitment to provide our students with an innovative and advanced educational program that prepares them to become leaders within the One Health realm.”
Research in the new facility will allow for an improved understanding of zoonotic and vector-borne diseases, such as leptospirosis, dengue and chikungunya, reducing the development of antimicrobial resistance, and protection of threatened and endangered species and ecosystems in the Caribbean. Research within this new facility will specifically address sea turtle conservation, feral animal immune contraception strategies as well as NIH-funded research on arboviruses.
“For the last 35 years, the island of St. Kitts has benefited from the presence of Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, its contributions to the community and the health of our animals and ecosystems. We are pleased to see the continued investment in the island with this new research facility, and look forward to a continued mutually beneficial relationship,” said Timothy Harris, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis.
Also during the opening ceremony, an additional portion of the new building, the Dr. Donald F. Smith Learning Center, was dedicated to RUSVM Trustee, Dr. Donald F. Smith, who passed away in 2016. An accomplished large animal surgeon, veterinary historian, writer and speaker, and former Dean of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Smith’s book on the fiftieth anniversary of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, Pathways to Progress, was released to acclaim in 2016. Leaders of the Pack: Women and the Future of Veterinary Medicine co-authored with Julie Kumble, M.Ed. and released in 2017, explores key themes in leadership and highlights women in veterinary medicine whose stories embody those themes. His blog, “Veterinary Legacy,” chronicling the history of veterinary medicine is still widely read and maintained by Cornell University. Dr. Smith was a member of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and a member of the National Academies of Practice.
Dr. Smith’s wife and children were present as the building’s Learning Center was dedicated in his honor. His memory and commitment to leadership will live on with a plaque in his honor including his portrait and biography, displayed inside the learning center.
“Ross University School of Veterinary School Medicine is proud to carry on Don Smith’s advocacy for female leadership in our profession,” said Callanan. “RUSVM is pleased to create a pathway to veterinary leadership for the members of our diverse student population.”
To learn more about the building please visit the website: http://veterinary.rossu.edu/researchbuilding
 Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R21AI128407
 Institutionally reported enrollment data from Fall 2017.