POMONA, CALIF. — Philip Nelson, DVM, PhD, takes the reins of Western University of Health Sciences' (WesternU) fledgling veterinary medical
college, replacing Dr. Shirley Johnston, the program's founding dean.
In May, Johnston, who became the nation's first female dean at WesternU in 1998, graduated 81 students of the college's charter
class, a final step in the program's accreditation process. She recently was promoted to vice president for university advancement
and announced Nelson's succession last month.
Nelson is the veterinary college's former executive associate dean for preclinical programs. He earned a DVM from Tuskegee
Institute in 1979, and has spent the majority of his career in academia, researching feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency
virus in cats as biological models for human HIV. He served as a Mississippi State University associate dean and headed the
Department of Small Animal Medicine Surgery and Radiology at Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine.