Michigan State hires Drs. Julie Funk, Vilma Yuzbasiyan-Gurkan as associate deans

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Michigan State hires Drs. Julie Funk, Vilma Yuzbasiyan-Gurkan as associate deans

Additions enhance female leadership, raise profile of veterinary research, food safety.
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Jul 01, 2014
By dvm360.com staff

Additions enhance female leadership, raise profile of veterinary research, food safety.

The College of Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University (MSU) has announced two new associate deans with its promotion of Julie Funk, DVM, PhD, and new hire of Vilma Yuzbasiyan-Gurkan, PhD. Funk will assume the title of associate dean of professional academic programs and student affairs, Yuzbasiyan-Gurkan the title of associate dean for graduate studies and interim associate dean of research.

MSU says Funk, an alumna who joined the college in 2006 and has served as director of the online food safety master’s program and also as associate professor of pre-harvest food safety, will provide leadership to all academic and clinical veterinary programs. “Dr. Funk is an excellent addition to my leadership team,” says John Baker, dean of the college, in a university release. “She is an outstanding administrator with proven experience in curriculum development, student performance and organized veterinary medicine. I’ve known Dr. Funk since she was a veterinary student at MSU, and I am confident that her exceptional skills will enhance the growth and performance of our student body and her leadership will benefit the college in myriad areas.”

Yuzbasiyan-Gurkan will provide leadership and oversight for all college research, promote research development by working with faculty to enhance research funding and serve as college liaison with funding agencies. “I am confident she will influence stronger collaboration across the college and university, foster faculty mentorship and continue to guide our graduate students toward success in today’s challenging research climate,” Baker says.

The hires will also enhance female leadership at the college of veterinary medicine and, with the backgrounds of both veterinarians, raise the profile of veterinary scientists in research and food safety. The veterinary program was recognized as the leading food safety degree program in the country by food industry leaders, prospective and current students, alumni and a third-party market research report under the direction of Funk, who earned her doctorate in comparative biomedical sciences from the college of veterinary medicine at North Carolina State University.

MSU is encouraged byYuzbasiyan-Gurkan’s recent position as chair of the Research Committee for the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC), believing it will lead to increased opportunities for veterinary scientists to contribute to biomedical enterprise. Yuzbasiyan-Gurkan’s current research focuses on cancer research: comparative cancer genetics (canine and feline), utilizing genomic approaches to understand disease in animals, and stem cell and regenerative medicine.

Both women assume their positions July 1.