Retired OVC Faculty Elected President of the American College of Lab Animal Medicine

March 11, 2024

Dr. Patricia Turner, University Professor Emerita in the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC)’s Department of Pathobiology, will become the first Canadian to be elected President of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (ACLAM). ACLAM is a specialty board which aims to advance the humane care and responsible use of laboratory animals through certification of veterinary specialists, professional development, education and research. 

ACLAM aims to establish standards of training and experience for veterinarians involved with the care and health of laboratory animals, as well as recognize qualified persons in laboratory animal medicine through certification and examinations. 

Turner explains that ACLAM is one of the veterinary profession’s oldest specialties and it has remained dynamic – focused on high quality education and training opportunities for veterinarians, while embracing diversity amongst its members. ACLAM sets standards for laboratory animal veterinarians that are highly regarded the world over with significant impacts through the promotion and support of research into science-based guidelines for animal care and use.” 

Turner has been devoted to laboratory animal health and welfare throughout her career. She completed her bachelor of science at McMaster University and her master of science at Dalhousie University. She then attended OVC, where Turner earned a doctor of veterinary medicine in 1992 and a doctorate of veterinary science in comparative pathology under Dr. Dean Percy in 1997. Subsequently, Turner served as the Director of Animal Care Services at Queen’s University and later worked as a toxicologist at Warner-Lambert/Pfizer before beginning her professorship at OVC. She has been internationally recognized for her contributions to animal welfare, particularly her efforts to improve the health and welfare of farm and research animals. 

As a professor in the OVC’s Department of Pathobiology, Turner led the Laboratory Animal Science program from 2002 until her retirement in 2018. This program was internationally recognized and ACLAM accredited, and it was the only graduate program in Canada focusing on training veterinarians in laboratory animal science. Turner also spearheaded the U of G’s distance learning certificate program in laboratory animal medicine for veterinarians. After she retired from OVC, Turner became an adjunct faculty member and an associated graduate faculty member in OVC’s Department of Pathobiology, continuing her involvement in graduate programs. 

“Dr. Turner continues to be an exemplary leader in the veterinary profession globally, particularly in the field of laboratory animal medicine,” said Dr. Brandon Lillie, Chair, Department of Pathobiology. “She will be an excellent president for ACLAM, bringing her extensive experience in both industry and academia to the College. We are lucky to have one of our esteemed former faculty members leading this organization and the members of ACLAM will benefit greatly from her leadership and knowledge of the field."  

Turner is a diplomate of the ACLAM (2000), as well as a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology (2009), and the European College of Animal Welfare and Behavioural Medicine (2013). She has authored several books on laboratory animal medicine, applied ethics, small mammal pathology, and international regulations and legislation in primate care, and has published over 150 peer-reviewed research articles and book chapters.  

This is not the first time that Turner has led the charge for Canadian veterinarians. In 2020, she became the first Canadian and second ever woman to be appointed President of the World Veterinary Association (WVA). She still holds the position as immediate Past President for the WVA, which will be completed in April 2024. She has served on various associations and groups, including serving as Chair of the Animal Welfare, Science, Ethics, and Law subspecialty of the European College of Animal Welfare and Behavioural Medicine, and as a past president of the Association of Primate Veterinarians. 

“I am deeply honoured to be elected to this position,” Turner shares. “ I have so many wonderful mentors and colleagues within ACLAM who generously shared their time and expertise with me – as the incoming President, I have an opportunity to give back to the specialty.” 

The OVC Community extends their congratulations to Dr. Patricia Turner!

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