View From Our Chair: Daniel R. Brown, PhD

A photograph portrait of Dr. Daniel R. BrownIt is an honor to have been chosen by my colleagues and Dean Lloyd to serve as Interim Chair of the Department of Infectious Diseases & Immunology during an important transition in the history of our college. This successor to the previous Department of Infectious Diseases & Pathology results from the creation of the new Department of Comparative, Diagnostic & Population Medicine, providing an occasion to reassess and redefine our mission, goals, and plans for the future.

My qualifications for this role include a 30-year record of academic biomedical research and scholarship mainly in the areas of cellular microbiology and bacterial systematics. The variety of projects has allowed me to engage diverse trainees from undergraduate through postdoctoral levels in basic veterinary medical research funded by multiple federal agencies and private foundations. I have also been the coordinator for VEM5141 Veterinary Microbiology since 2006, and have chaired our college’s Curriculum and Student-Faculty Communications committees, so I am well-attuned to the interests and concerns particularly of our pre-clinical phase DVM students. I consider the collective successes of my current and former students to be one of my most significant professional strengths, and a source of great personal satisfaction.

In my view, academic departments in land-grant institutions such as UF are structural mechanisms to support people with closely-related interests who are striving to accomplish a common mission through teaching, research, and service. The primary aims of our department should be clearly aligned with the principal mission of our college: to advance animal health. The consequent benefits also to human and environmental well-being are manifest in the One Health concept, although the primary emphasis on animal health is what distinguishes our college and its units from all others in Florida’s university system. When the department members work together – on behalf of our students to facilitate their education; on behalf of the faculty and staff to facilitate their teaching/research/scholarship/service and professional advancement; and on behalf of the deans to facilitate their governance of the college – with our animal health mission foremost in mind, then faculty and staff collegiality and synergy will be high; scientific and medical progress, student training, and professional development will flourish; and the department will be valued by everyone for its contribution to fulfilling the principal mission of our college. That is what I want for the department, and I accept the challenge of guiding our faculty, staff, and students as they pursue this mission.

Daniel R. Brown, PhD

July 1, 2017