Volume V11-12 | November / December 2020
Laboratory Diagnosticians' News Matters
2020-2021 President's Message
Dear AAVLD Members and Supporters:

I would like to thank everyone for a successful 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting, the first of its kind in the AAVLD’s history.

Each year, the AAVLD leadership changes at the annual meeting. As the new President, I must acknowledge the incredible contributions of Drs. Deep Tewari and Keith Bailey who served as the AAVLD’s President and Immediate Past President, respectively, in 2020. Both of them worked tirelessly to lead our organization through an immensely challenging year. It would be remiss of me not to recognize the AAVLD’s Executive Director, Dr. David Zeman, who is an absolute treasure to our organization. In addition, I look forward to working with Dr. Jerry Saliki, our President-Elect, and Dr. Eric Burrough, the newly elected Vice President.

The AAVLD is a strong organization that promotes one health with a special focus on animal health, fosters a culture of continuous improvement, and supports the professional development of its members. The sustained strength of AAVLD comes from our members’ strong beliefs in one health, food security, and a strong economy. Throughout the organization’s history, we have always turned challenges into new opportunities to lead and serve. In 2020, many of our members and their laboratories stepped up to the new responsibility of protecting fellow Americans from SARS-Cov-2 (Covid-19). I salute you for overcoming the countless obstacles to make a positive impact on our society and our profession.

As the President, I will continue our tradition of dedication, collaboration and inclusion. To successfully address future challenges, we must broaden our partnership with our sister organizations and relevant government agencies, increase our influence on policies affecting animal health and public health, and promote diversity and inclusion within our organization. 

Finally, AAVLD has been my professional home for nearly 20 years, and has provided me with meaningful collaborations, guidance, pertinent knowledge, and peer support. I believe that all our members, regardless of their status, background, expertise, disciplines, or any other attributes, are important to the success of AAVLD. To the well-established members, I encourage you to find a couple of mentees to pass on your knowledge. To the relatively new members, I urge you to both seek out collaborators and mentors and actively look for opportunities to volunteer.

Have a safe, productive, and successful 2021! 

Shuping Zhang, AAVLD President
Past President's Message
Deepanker Tewari BVSc PhD DACVM
Immediate Past President


What a year 2020 has been fraught with challenges but it did offer us some new opportunities and showed us some new ways to connect and work together. At the end of AAVLD/USAHA virtual meeting, I passed the baton to the new AAVLD President.
I have really appreciated support throughout this year and I wanted to take this opportunity to express my gratitude and thank the membership, committee chairs, executive staff, conference planners, USAHA leadership team, USDA leadership, NAHLN and NVSL team and leadership, SARS Cov-2 task force, Diversity and Inclusion task force, APHL, AVMA, NASHO and last but not the least, my home team in Pennsylvania, who all offered unflinching and tremendous support to me for carrying out the role as your President for the year 2020.

This year although we couldn’t  meet in person but despite all the challenges, we all still ended up making this year’s meeting as most attended meeting in the history of our organization. Thanks also for joining in and celebrating the 2020 AAVLD award winners, who have shown excellence and helped enrich the AAVLD diagnostic community. Based on your experiences from this year, the executive team will be looking for feedback that will help us in improving the meeting experience in future!

As we look towards the coming year, our efforts on advocacy for our membership and member labs and strengthening the organization will continue. I encourage each member to get engaged reach out to us to find you a role in case you haven’t yet joined a committee or a work group. This is your organization -Grow the organization and Grow with it!!!

A Big Thank you- Stay safe and connected,

Immediate Past President
Deepanker Tewari BVSc PhD DACVM
Annual Virtual Conference Highlights
2020 AAVLD / USAHA Joint Conference
2020 AAVLD Award Winners
Sponsored by the AAVLD Foundation
Pathology Slide Presentation Awards
Sponsored by the AAVLD Pathology Committee
First Place
Kathryn McCullough, DVM  
University of Georgia, College of Veterinary Medicine

Second Place
Marta Mainenti, DVM
Utah Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory
Third Place
Omar Gonzales Viera, PhD 
California Animal Health and Food Safety

People's Choice Winner for the AAVLD / USAHA Photo Contest  
Laboratory Science
Porphyria Fox Squirrel
Awardee, Randi Gold
Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory
Animal Agriculture
Challenge Study 
Awardee, Guarav Rawal 
Iowa State University
Virtual Conference Gallery
AAVLD Labs in the News
Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) 
In September, the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) opened their new facility on the West Texas A&M University campus in Canyon, Texas. The 11,000 square-foot facility features an open-flow laboratory environment for enhanced collaboration, including one of only two high-containment, biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) laboratories in Texas specifically designed to test for high-consequence animal diseases that pose a significant threat to the agriculture economy and public health. This new facility signals a relocation from TVMDL’s previous laboratory in Amarillo, Texas. 
For more information related to COVID-19 https://aavld.memberclicks.net/covid-19-info
Vet Labs like ADRDL Assist with COVID Testing  
Originally printed in the Brookings Register, Editorial Opinion Page
October 19, 2020

The South Dakota Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory (ADRDL) on the campus of SDSU has been providing diagnostic services for animal owners since 1887.  Only one year ago, agricultural leaders, administrators, faculty, and staff gathered to celebrate and cut the ribbon for the beautiful new high containment laboratory where this work would continue in state-of-the-art facilities. After years of planning and construction it appeared things might get back to normal at the lab… but then the COVID Pandemic appeared.        
Suddenly, human public health laboratories were overwhelmed with testing demands. Public Health officials in each state had to quickly find options to expand testing capacity amid a pandemic that also impacted labor availability. Infectious disease labs are complex facilities that must ensure safety of their lab’s workers as well as the surrounding environment. Diagnostic personnel have advanced degrees and specialized experiences that take years to develop. In other words, fixing the problem of overwhelming test demand in the public health labs did not have simple solutions. It would take consideration of unique solutions from outside of normal testing schemes. 

Could animal health diagnostic labs assist public health labs? Scientifically, the answer is definitely yes. The science of germ identification is identical whether the animal is human or bovine or canine. The equipment and biosafety principles, and the facility requirements are universal. The educational training in basic sciences is the same. The only things different were the traditional lines of authority and licensure issues between human medicine and veterinary medicine. Adjustments were quickly made to solve these issues during a national testing capacity crisis.

Veterinary diagnostic labs across the nation, like the SDSU ADRDL have been asked to step in and assist with human COVID virus testing. Currently, 20 AAVLD accredited animal health labs in the USA are testing for COVID in human specimens. At the ADRDL, the focus is on keeping the campus safe and operational. They add this work, while still completing their primary mission of ensuring food animals, pets and wildlife remain healthy; ensuring the food supply is secure.

The potential for the need of such a response was anticipated years ago by epidemiologists and infectious disease lab workers. In 2006, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) established the One Health Initiative Task Force. The One Health concept states simply that the health of the planet is determined by the combined and interactive health statuses of humans, animals, and the environment.  The concept was quickly endorsed by the American Medical Association (AMA), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Animal Health Association (OIE in Paris). Federal agency coordination is now under the CDC One Health Office, directed by Dr. Casey Barton, a veterinarian. 

The coordination that allowed animal health labs to rapidly step in to assist with COVID testing was largely due to the previous establishment of the National Animal Health Lab Network (NAHLN). The NAHLN is an example of a successful working partnership between a Federal agency (USDA) and the state laboratories represented by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD).  The SD ADRDL is a key member of the NAHLN.

One year ago following the new ADRDL’s dedication ceremony, I closed a congratulatory and thank you letter by saying I was confident that this new laboratory would serve the State and Nation well as an essential public infrastructure… a point that this past year has now proven absolutely true. Keep up the great work ADRDL and thank you to all veterinary laboratory diagnosticians for your dedicated public service!

To learn more about veterinary diagnostic labs in the USA go to AAVLD.org
To learn more about One Health go to CDC.gov/onehealth

David H. Zeman, DVM, PhD, DACVP
Executive Director
American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians
Sept. 24, 2020
MSU Vet Lab begins testing human samples for COVID-19
Michigan State University diagnosticians are now processing COVID-19 tests collected daily at campus building sites. The College of Veterinary Medicine's Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory has the capacity to analyze 1,000 human tests for positivity daily with results available to MSU Health Care in 24 hours.
“The laboratory has proven invaluable to the state of Michigan when we have faced threats to animal health. Now, we can provide support as we face perhaps the greatest human health threat of our lifetimes,” said VDL’s Interim Director James Averill. “We’re here and we’re ready.”

MSU veterinary medicine experts began monitoring SARS-CoV-2 in late January and soon developed a test for animals. At the same time, they used protocols from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to set up and validate a diagnostic test for human samples. In late July, the MSU reopening task force reviewed the lab’s capabilities and asked for expanded capacity to help protect the campus community.

“Veterinary medicine might not be the first line of defense against COVID-19, but these health care professionals have the skills, knowledge and competency to make an impact. Personnel at the VDL have deep expertise and experience with many methods to rapidly identify diseases, as well as proven capabilities to provide high-volume testing in outbreak situations,” said Rachel Reams, VDL’s outgoing director.

The VDL — fully accredited by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians — is uniquely positioned to step in and support COVID-19 testing during the current health crisis when laboratory capacity and rapid turnaround time is crucial for identifying and controlling community spread. The lab is not operating as a sample collection site.

Testing human samples for SARS-CoV-2 began in the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory’s Biosafety Level 3 Laboratory. Samples are handled in biosafety cabinets by personnel wearing a powered air purifying respirator (PAPR).
"Our team is well-versed in processing infectious disease samples, including those with potential to infect humans. In fact, the building was designed to facilitate testing for a zoonotic disease outbreak, with enhanced biosafety spaces for safe handling and containment of high-consequence diseases,” said Steven Bolin, professor and VDL associate director.

Bolin and a team of six laboratory technologists in the VDL’s immunodiagnostics section were responsible for setting up and conducting SARS-CoV-2 testing.

“What we did not expect when designing the building safety features was that we would be called upon by our human health colleagues to respond to a human health crisis of this magnitude. In the last four months, we spent hundreds of hours creating, obtaining and evaluating methods, reagents and equipment for diagnostic use in animals and humans for detection of infections with SARS-CoV-2,” Bolin said.

The VDL diagnosticians faced a challenge switching from animal samples to human samples. While the procedures, supplies and equipment are similar for each, human testing is regulated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services through the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments, or CLIA. Establishing standard operating procedures for human testing and securing supplies were only part of the process.

The diagnostic team partnered with John Gerlach, Olin Student Health Center laboratory director and program director of MSU’s Biomedical Laboratory Diagnostics program, to oversee testing of human samples at the VDL. Samples are collected by MSU Health Care personnel and transferred to the VDL for testing. 

“It was a very short hurdle to have the VDL CLIA ready. The accrediting body they already work under has many of the same goals and similar regulations. It was really a matter of aligning documentation of compliance with Olin’s process,” Gerlach said. “The VDL has a great group of dedicated laboratory professionals.”

Bolin and others at the laboratory worked closely with both Gerlach and officials at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, especially those at the MDHHS laboratory, to ensure that the VDL was prepared to begin testing when needed.

To help the VDL increase potential test capacity from 100 samples to 1,000 samples per day by September, MDHHS provided a test kit for the team to adapt and verify a procedure that can run three times more samples than the standard CDC format. MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D., prioritized funding to cover start-up costs for additional resources to achieve capacity goals. Despite supply chain challenges, the new instruments arrived days before the first samples were delivered for testing.

The VDL is a premier, full-service, fully accredited veterinary diagnostic laboratory for all species. On average, the lab performs one million tests per year on approximately 200,000 cases for more than 300,000 animals. The VDL is a member of key federal networks charged with protecting human and animal health. Its core diagnostics, innovative solutions and expert service has earned it clients in all 50 states, U.S. territories and more than 20 foreign countries. The lab serves about 9,000 clients per year.

By: Courtney Chapin
JVDI in Focus
JVDI in Focus

The goal of JVDI in Focus is to bring attention to an interesting article appearing in the Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation. This month’s focus is on our November issue: “Focus issue on best practices for development, validation, and use of PCR assays,” with guest editors Kathy Toohey-Kurth, Beate Crossley, Sharon Hietala.

J Vet Diagn Invest 2020;32(6). https://journals.sagepub.com/toc/vdia/current

Among the topics specifically addressed in these focus issue papers are: a comparison of different international validation guidelines, with suggested practices for assay development and validation for real-time PCR assays; performance of pre-analytical, analytical, and post- analytical steps to ensure reliable real-time PCR assays; the different types of internal assay controls that would ideally be included in PCR-based testing to detect and manage the inhibitory substances commonly associated with different specimen matrices; guidance for sample preparation, submission to sequencing applications, and quality assessment of data obtained when using Sanger-based genetic sequencing in the context of diagnostic laboratory use; a methodologic review of test validation studies for infectious diseases in wild mammals with a focus on study design, statistical analysis, and reporting of results; and the report of a new open- source real-time PCR assay for Mycoplasma cynos using principles and guidance as outlined in the associated papers from the AAVLD Laboratory Technology Committee. The complete protocol of the M. cynos tuf assay is provided to facilitate assay harmonization.

Figure. Exported image of a real-time PCR reaction showing the rise of fluorescence as a result of abundant target (Ct 16) in one sample and low abundance of target (Ct 38) in a different sample.


Tired of JVDI emails going directly to your Spam/Junk folder? Ask your IT person to greenlight the domains listed below:
amazonses.com manuscriptcentral.com
Board Member News
Eric Burrough, DVM, PhD
Vice President
2020-2021 Vice President

Dr. Eric Burrough is a diagnostic pathologist and Section Leader of Pathology at the Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine and a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists. Dr. Burrough earned DVM (1997) and PhD (2011) degrees from Iowa State University. He was a practicing mixed animal veterinarian before returning to academia for graduate training in pathology.

A majority of his position is dedicated to diagnostic service in pathology and applied research. His primary research focus is on enteric diseases of swine with an emphasis on Brachyspira-associated colitis and nutritional impacts on the microbiome. In 2013, he was awarded the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine Award for Early Achievement in Research. Dr. Burrough is currently involved in several projects working to standardize and aggregate diagnostic data within and across VDLs.

Dr. Burrough has been actively involved with the AAVLD since 2011 as a member of the Pathology Committee, chair of the Enteric Disease Committee from 2012-2015, and most recently as the North Central regional representative to the Executive Board since 2016. He has also recently served on and chaired the ACVP Diagnostic Pathology Focused Scientific Committee. His vision for the AAVLD is to continue to focus on accreditation and excellence at the laboratory level while increasing the value of individual membership by expanding member engagement opportunities throughout the year.
AAVLD Southeast Region Representative

Debbie Reed, DVM is the Director of the Murray State University Breathitt Veterinary Center in Hopkinsville, KY and is a graduate of Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine (’87), Western Kentucky University Department of Agriculture (’81,’85) and Western Kentucky University Department of Public Health (’10).
Debbie Reed, DVM, MPH
Southeast Region Representative
Dr. Reed spent 18 years as a private practitioner in Gray Hawk, located in Jackson County, Kentucky where she owned a mixed animal practice. During her time in Gray Hawk, she worked in many areas of east Kentucky and was a part of a state wide Animal Emergency Response Team.
As Director of the Breathitt Veterinary Center Dr. Reed has promoted implementation of advanced testing methods, an expansion of testing missions and recruitment of new staff. Professional staff have increased the amount of internal research with support from the laboratory under her tenure.
In 2017 Dr. Reed was honored with the Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association’s Outstanding Veterinarian of the Year, the highest award the KVMA bestows on a member. 
In 2019 Dr. Reed became a part of the NAHLN Coordinating Council.
Dr. Reed resides in Muhlenberg County, KY and is the proud momma of two grown sons. 
AAVLD Membership Drive Competition – Earn a Free Lunch for yourself or your Lab!!
Jeremiah T. Saliki, DVM, PhD, DACVM
Debra K. Royal, BA

Dear AAVLD Members:

We hope you and your loved ones are staying safe during this unprecedented crisis. We want to reach out to you on behalf of AAVLD as co-chairs of the membership committee. The strength of AAVLD as a corporate body largely depends on the commitment of its members and we want to heartily thank you for support of the organization over the years.

As you must have seen in the communications from Executive Director David Zeman, our annual meeting in October will be all virtual. Although we will all miss our usual networking through face-to-face interactions at the meeting, we appeal to you to plan to be involved in as many aspects of the meeting as possible. To make this convenient for our ever-working members, we are adjusting the time frame and enhancing viewing flexibility, allowing many sessions to be viewed at your convenience…more details to be released soon. So we hope to see most of you as virtual registrants!

Our vibrancy as an organization depends on a strong involved membership base. In this regard, we remind you of the ongoing membership drive competition which due to COVID issues, we have now extended the competition to September 30, 2021.

Competition Timeframe: January 2020 through September 30, 2021.

How to submit: The competition is open to individual members and to Laboratories. The goal is to grow our organization’s membership through the recruitment of new members and bringing back previous members whose membership has lapsed by two or more years. Each time you successfully sponsor a new member who subscribes, send your name (personal or institution) and the name of the new member to rozuna@aavld.org and jsaliki@uga.edu.

Prizes: Winners will be selected based solely on the number of new or renewing (after ≥ 2-year lapse) members recruited. The winners will be recognized at the AAVLD annual meeting during the Foundation Auction. There will be two prizes – one individual and one Lab:
·        Individual prize: $100 Visa debit card: treat yourself for being an outstanding supporter!
·        Laboratory prize: $500 Visa debit card: use these funds to celebrate with your lab mates!

We wish you continuous safety during the months ahead and look forward to meeting you online at the October annual meeting.

Debra Royal & Jerry Saliki
Co-Chairs, Membership Committee
Calendar these dates:
AAVLD/USAHA Annual Meeting
Gaylord of the Rockies, Denver Colorado
October 21 - November 5, 2021

Do you have ideas to improve the AAVLD annual meeting? Contact David Zeman dzeman@aavld.org

Would you like to sponsor an event? Contact

Would like to make a year-end donation to the AAVLD Foundation?  Make your donation today!

What ever your contribution to the AAVLD mission, we need you!
AAVLD Announcements
Worth Quoting
I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.

~ Henry David Thoreau
On Thanksgiving I will stop to give thanks that my family is safe and healthy, especially because I realize that, following the tragedies of this year, it is all too real a possibility that they might not have been.

~ Bobby Jindal

Source: BrainyQuote
AAVLD Job Board
Take advantage of the terrific AAVLD resources offered to our members
Veterinary Jobs - American Association of Veterinary...

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Veterinary Jobs - American Association of Veterinary...
The American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians offers the top jobs available in Veterinary diagnostic labs. Search and apply to open positions or post jobs on the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians now.

Contact: rozuna@aavld.org
2021 Renewals are due by November 15!
'Membership is January to December'
AAVLD membership is open to any individual interested in the disciplines and activities of veterinary diagnostic laboratories. Membership terms are by calendar year (January-December) and membership dues are payable by November 15th of the preceding year (to ensure inclusion in the annual membership directory, eligibility for committee involvement, and receipt of all six issues of the JVDI). Note: In order to receive a discounted rate for the Annual Meeting registration, you are required to be a current AAVLD Member. Renew your membership today!
Did your membership Lapse?
Please select 'Renew Now' to access the Lapsed Membership renewal form. www.aavld.org ->Quick Links->Renew Now->here you can access the Lapsed Membership Form.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding AAVLD Membership:
When are my dues fee due? 
They are due November 15 for the next calendar year. Many members pay for the next year when they register for the annual meeting. Lead time is needed to finalize committee appointments for the new year.
Does it matter who pays for my dues?
No. Your status will be the same with their resepective privileges whether you pay, your employer pays, or your Uncle Vinny.
Are Lab Accreditation dues different than Institutional/Agency membership dues?
·    Laboratory Accreditation dues are different and separate and are related to accreditation only and go to fund the accreditation program only.
·    Whether accredited or not, a Laboratory (or Institution/Agency) may additionally become an Institutional/Agency Member. By doing so they are supporting the broad mission of the AAVLD and these funds go to support CE and training and all other activities of the AAVLD. Institutional/Agency Members are highly valued members and are demonstrating leadership and belief in our organizational purpose. 
Do Institutional/Agency Member labs have to pay for their employees individual dues?
No. A laboratory, institution, agency or department can become a member under this category even without signing up their employees. They are simply supporting the AAVLD mission with their dues payment. Some states are not allowed to pay for employee dues; and some states have budgetary restrictions.
2021 Committee Appointments are Pending


In December, Committee Member lists are being finalized and will be presented to the President in January for official committee appointments. If you wish to serve on a particular committee in 2021, contact the committee chairs now and express your interest. Thank you!
AAVLD & News Worthy Events
Upcoming Events

·    AAVLD/USAHA Annual Conference, October 21-November 5, 2021,
Thank You to our Exhibitors and Sponsors of the 2020 Annual Conference!
The generous contributions and participation by our Exhibitors and Sponsors is a huge part of our conference success year after year. On behalf of the AAVLD, we would like to thank these companies for their commitment to our organization and helping us to achieve our mission.
Thank you
2020 Meeting Sponsors

Enhancing the health and well-being of pets, people, and livestock.

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Animal Health | Thermo Fisher Scientific - US

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Whole Slide Imaging - WSI

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INDICAL is a leader in molecular diagnostics for vet-specific applications. We provide solutions for diagnostic workflows, the protocols for their use, and the support that empowers our customers every day.

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Home | The Innovator in SaaS Cloud-Based Laboratory...

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Pathogens, an international, peer-reviewed Open Access journal.

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Tetracore: Providing advanced solutions for your...

Tetracore is a biotechnology R&D and product company whose mission is to create and develop highly innovative diagnostic reagents and assays for infectious diseases and bio-terrorism threat agents such as anthrax (b. anthracis), ricin, SEB. We...

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The Clark Enersen Partners SCIENCE

Yesterday The Clark Enersen Partners broke ground with our Colorado State University partners for the Johnson Family Equine Hospital. This 85,000 SF complex will open in 2021 as one of the top equine-focused facilities in the nation. The buildin...

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Virtual Booth (deactivated) - Trace First

Welcome AAVLD & USAHA Attendees! Dr. Brian McCluskey bmccluskey@tracefirst.com (253) 218-6706

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Veterinary Medical Research & Development - VMRD

VMRD Products The VMRD portfolio is the most comprehensive in veterinary diagnostics and has a wide range of products that include USDA-licensed ELISA kits, FA reagents, antibodies, and Coombs testing reagents. Our IFA reagents support...

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AAVLD Foundation Committee

Brett Webb- Cochair
Francois Elvinger- Cochair

John M. Adaska
Donal O'Toole
Tim Baszler
David Zeman
Christie Mayo
Kristy Pabilonia
Beate Crossley
François Elvinger
Pat Halbur
Brett Webb
Jamie Henningson
Kerry Sondgeroth
Foundation Donation
The AAVLD Foundation is a non-profit foundation that raises funds for the advancement of veterinary diagnostic laboratory disciplines through scholarship programs, student travel support to our scientific meeting, guest lectures, seminars, professional awards and research programs. Contributions to the Foundation are tax-deductible 501(c)(3), and can be paid when you renew your AAVLD membership. Thank you for remembering your AAVLD Foundation!