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OVC professor appointed Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies

Dr. Shayan Sharif, Ontario Veterinary College, University of GuelphDr. Shayan Sharif has been appointed as the incoming Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College (OVC). Dr. Sharif begins a five-year term on September 1, 2019.
 
A professor of poultry immunology, Sharif has been Acting-Chair and then Chair of the OVC’s Department of Pathobiology since September 2017 and a professor in the department since 2001. He holds a DVM from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran, as well as a PhD in Immunology and Immunogenetics in Pathobiology at OVC. He received a fellowship to conduct his post-doctoral research in Immunology at The John Robarts Institute in London, Ontario.
 
Dr. Gordon Kirby, Associate Dean, Research and Innovation, will complete his term at the end of June 2019.
 
“I’m extremely grateful to Gord for his contributions in this vital role at OVC. Graduate programs and student numbers have grown tremendously under his leadership,” says OVC Dean Jeff Wichtel. “OVC research excellence is recognized and celebrated nationally and internationally. I look forward to working with Shayan to further enhance the college’s research initiatives and successes.”
 
Sharif, who served as Acting Associate Dean, Research and Innovation, at OVC in 2014, has an established research program. His main areas of study focus on how the chicken immune system interacts with and responds to microbes, including immunity and vaccine development against Marek’s disease virus and avian influenza virus. Sharif’s group is also interested in poultry gut health and development of novel probiotics for control of enteric pathogens in poultry.
 
“OVC is globally recognized for excellence in research and graduate education. I am very excited and feel privileged to have the opportunity to work with OVC faculty, staff and students to grow our research and graduate program enterprise, while maintaining our college's exceptional and impactful work in generating new knowledge,” says Sharif.
 
Sharif was among the inaugural recipients of new University of Guelph internal awards in 2017 recognizing research excellence and innovation, receiving a Research Leadership Chair.
 
He leads the U of G’s Poultry Health Research Network, a network of over 60 poultry experts who study basic biology, environmental concerns, food safety, and poultry disease, nutrition and welfare. The network is a focus for research, as well as industry collaboration and outreach.
 
Sharif has also served as Research Program Director, Emergency Management, for the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance along with involvement in numerous research initiatives across the U of G campus, including the Food From Thought initiative funded by the Canada First Research Excellence Fund.
 
The Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies is a key member of the OVC senior leadership team and will work closely with the dean, other associate deans, and department chairs to advance the research and graduate training priorities of OVC and the University of Guelph, as well as providing strategic leadership to support OVC's capacity to conduct excellent research.
 
Dr. Kerry Lissemore will serve as interim Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies, until September 1, 2019. An interim chair for the Department of Pathobiology will be announced.