Center of Excellence. This is truly an accurate description of the Institute for Infectious Animal Diseases (IIAD). Established just over a decade ago as the National Center for Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Disease Defense (FAZD Center), it was conceived and led by Dr. Neville Clarke, its founding director. Through his insightful guidance, the FAZD Center provided support to The Texas A&M University System faculty and to partners across the country on projects involving animal diseases that pose health risks to humans.
Since assuming the role of FAZD director four years ago, Dr. Tammy Beckham has globalized the center: IIAD has partnered with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations as well as with the World Organization for Animal Health as a collaborating center. In addition, Dr. Beckham has greatly strengthened ties to the U.S. livestock industry by enhancing disease surveillance and by helping strengthen business continuity plans in the event of a major disease outbreak.
The talent that Drs. Clarke and Beckham have successfully mobilized during the past 10 years is a tribute to their leadership and the importance of this area to national security. I am confident that the IIAD tradition of excellence will continue through the next decade of research, education, and outreach.