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March Madness: University of Idaho loses equine cloning veterinarian to the University of Pennsylvania

March 21, 2009     E-mail this page to a friend!

Veterinarian Dirk Vanderwall, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACT, is leaving the University of Idaho College of Agricultural and Life Sciences to join the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine at the New Bolton Center. Vanderwall will lead a team of veterinarians at Penn Vet's Georgia and Philip Hofmann Research Center for Animal Reproduction.

During his 10 years on the University of Idaho faculty, Vanderwall was a member of the team that produced the world's first equine clone, the mule Idaho Gem in 2003. Vanderwall earned his veterinary degree at Cornell University and his doctorate at the University of Idaho.

"We valued Dirk's teaching and research contributions as a member of our faculty and congratulate him on his selection to lead one of the nation's outstanding large animal reproduction programs," said John Hammel, dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

Vanderwall notified Hammel of his resignation from the University of Idaho faculty last week.

"I am leaving the college and the university with an appreciation for the opportunities to learn and to develop my professional abilities," Vanderwall said. "I think it is safe to say that my opportunity to go to Penn Vet is a direct reflection of the things that we have collectively accomplished here at the University of Idaho.

"I enjoyed working with many excellent colleagues and supporters during my time on the college faculty, including veterinarians throughout Idaho and the Northwest, and members of the Idaho Horse Council, as part of my activities in the Northwest Equine Reproduction Laboratory at Moscow," Vanderwall said.

Vanderwall was recognized in 2005 as the world's top veterinarian specializing in animal reproduction by the American College of Theriogenologists. The honor followed the success in producing three mule clones in 2003 by a University of Idaho--Utah State University team led by veterinary researcher Gordon Woods, DVM, MS, PhD, Dipl. ACT, who is now a Colorado State University researcher, animal scientist Ken White, PhD, of Utah State University and Vanderwall.

Vanderwall was honored with the Northern Idaho Veterinary Medical Association's George Oakshott award in 2004.