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Huxsoll to Head Plum Island Animal Disease Center as Interim Director / June 2, 2000 / USDA Agricultural Research Service

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David L. Huxsoll


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Huxsoll to Head Plum Island Animal Disease Center as Interim Director

By Jan Suszkiw
June 2, 2000


WASHINGTON, DC, June 2, 2000--The U.S. Department of Agriculture has appointed microbiologist David L. Huxsoll as interim director of the Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC) in Greenport, N.Y.

Huxsoll will begin serving as director on June 6, when he transfers to Plum Island from Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge, where he heads the Pathobiology Department. LeeAnn Thomas, who has served as acting director of PIADC since January 1999, will return to her duties as assistant center director and chief of PIADC’s Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory.

“Dr. Huxsoll's experience and expertise will be valuable assets in achieving Plum Island's overall mission of protecting domestic livestock from foreign animal diseases," said Floyd P. Horn, administrator for the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the chief research agency of USDA.

Scientists at Plum Island conduct research and diagnostics on animal diseases that are not present in the U.S., but could pose a major economic threat to agriculture here. The PIADC is home to two USDA agencies--ARS and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). ARS owns and operates the island, and conducts research on foot-and-mouth disease, African swine fever, hog cholera, and vesicular somatitis. The APHIS Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory has diagnostic and training responsibilities for these and other foreign diseases. As PIADC director, Huxsoll will coordinate the activities of both.

Huxsoll joined the LSU faculty in 1990 as associate dean of the university’s School of Veterinary Medicine. From February 1995 to April 1999, he was dean of the veterinary school. His administrative responsibilities included managing programs associated with the school's six veterinary medicine departments, as well as coordinating advanced study programs for graduate students and interns. He also oversaw research at several veterinary lab units. In April 1999, he resigned as dean to devote more time to research and training interests.

While at LSU, Huxsoll participated in several outside assignments. In July and August 1991, he was the senior scientist for a 13-member United Nations Special Commission Biological Inspection Team to Iraq following Operation Desert Storm. He was the team leader of the second UN Biological Inspection Team to Iraq in September and October of 1991, and was chief inspector for another UN inspection team to Iraq in September 1994.

Prior to his tenure at LSU, Huxsoll served in the U.S. Army for 29 years. He served in numerous positions at the Division of Veterinary Medicine at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Washington, D.C., and from 1983 to 1990 was the commander of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Frederick, Md.

Huxsoll has written or co-written more than 100 scientific publications. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Louisiana Veterinary Medical Association, the Malaysian Society of Parasitology and Tropical Medicine, and the American Society for Microbiology. He has also held positions on the Louisiana Animal Shelter Standards Advisory Committee and the Audubon Zoological Gardens Research Advisory Board.

A native of Indiana, Huxsoll attended Purdue University, where he studied pre-veterinary medicine, and earned a B.S. from the University of Illinois. He also earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Illinois and a Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Notre Dame.

Contact: Wilda Martinez, ARS North Atlantic Area Director, Director’s Office, 600 E. Mermaid Lane, Wyndmoor, PA 19038, phone (215) 233-6593, fax (215) 233-6719.

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