Iowa State University

Richard F. Ross, Veterinary Medicine, (515) 294-1250
Steve Jones, News Service, (515) 294-4778


AMES, Iowa -- Richard Ross, dean of Iowa State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, will receive the Secretary of Agriculture's Award for Personal and Professional Achievement in a Washington, D.C., ceremony June 5.

The award, to be presented by Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman, recognizes Ross' 30-year research on swine diseases.

Ross has made many research contributions on swine respiratory diseases caused by mycoplasmas, a group of microorganisms smaller than ordinary bacteria, but larger than viruses. Mycoplasmas also cause diseases in humans and plants.

"The award caught me by surprise," said Ross, who was unaware of his nomination until notified by a U.S. Department of Agriculture employee. "I'm thrilled, but there are a lot of other people who have worked with me who also deserve recognition."

"Dr. Ross has had a major impact on our current understanding of mycoplasmal infections in animals and humans," said Prem Paul, College of Veterinary Medicine associate dean for research. "He has been instrumental in developing methods for detecting, controlling and preventing mycoplasmal pneumonia in swine."

It has been estimated that Ross' research on mycoplasmal diseases and vaccines have reduced U.S. swine producer losses by between $25 million and $50 million annually, Paul added.

"Dick Ross has excelled as a teacher, researcher and administrator at the College of Veterinary Medicine for more than 30 years," said ISU Provost John Kozak. "This award is a wonderful recognition of his research achievements and his commitment to agriculture and the veterinary medicine field.

"Research at the College of Veterinary Medicine has contributed a great deal to the animal health industry with new knowledge and new and improved products," Kozak added. "Dick Ross' work has been a very integral part of the college's research achievements."

A member of the ISU veterinary medicine faculty since 1962, Ross became interim dean in 1992 and was named dean a year later. Ross served as associate director of the Veterinary Medical Research Institute (VMRI) and associate dean of the college from 1990 to 1992. He was professor-in-charge of the VMRI from 1985 to 1990. In 1982, Ross was named the Clarence Hartley Covault Distinguished Professor in Veterinary Medicine.

Ross earned a D.V.M. at Iowa State in 1959. He also earned an M.S. in 1960 and a Ph.D. in 1965 in veterinary bacteriology at ISU.

Among Ross' awards and honors are the Howard Dunne Memorial Award from the American Association of Swine Practitioners, the President's Award from the Iowa Veterinary Medical Association and the Research Excellence Award, one of the highest honors bestowed by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Ross was chair of the International Organization of Mycoplasmology from 1990 to 1992.

Ross is a native of West Chester, Iowa.


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