About the Department

Penn State's hub for animal and human health and biomedical knowledge.

Welcome from the Department Head

It is my pleasure to reach out to you as both the head and a longtime member of this great department. I began my career at Penn State in the late 1990s, when the department was still called "Veterinary Sciences," and have had a front-row seat to the transformative changes this department has experienced since.

Should you choose Penn State, your time here with us will immerse you in the realm of animal health, pre-vet, cancer research, gut health, infectious diseases, molecular nutrition, biomedical informatics, and molecular toxicology. Our current 500+ undergraduate students are focused in three majors--Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Immunology and Infectious Disease, and Pharmacology and Toxicology--and their studies have a renewed emphasis on veterinary extension and medicine, infectious diseases, molecular pathogenesis, developmental biology, carcinogenesis, nutritional immunology, and molecular pharmacology in the classroom, in the lab, and on the farm. I encourage you to explore these options or consider our brand-new minor in One Health! We also have a long history of training graduate students as part of our departmental Pathobiology graduate program. Our faculty lead training grants in addition to actively participating in other graduate programs in Molecular and Cellular Integrative Biosciences, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Physiology, and Nutritional Sciences. 

The department has a lot of exciting and new things happening! The Animal, Veterinary, and Biomedical Science (AVBS) Building is replacing the 52-year-old Henning Building, opening up 105,000 square feet of premium space to foster collaboration and innovation, which will be a new and stimulating learning environment for our students and faculty, bringing everyone together on Ag Hill.

Our faculty are highly trained researchers who specialize in zoonotic diseases and therefore have put COVID-19 research on the front burner, and their research will be part of what shapes our collective future and health. We also work closely with several institutes at Penn State, most notably the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, Penn State Cancer Institute, Institutes of Energy and the Environment, Social Science Research Institute, and the Clinical and Translational Science Institute, on many interdisciplinary projects that examine real-world problems and provide innovative solutions. These connections also provide us easy access to the state-of-the-art instrumentation that assists our students in collecting high-quality data.

Our alumni have landed in professional schools, graduate schools, federal government, and pharmaceutical/biotechnology companies with their Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences degrees. Our current students are part of clubs and national organizations that allow them to connect with alumni and explore diverse areas of interest, helping to guide them toward successful careers. Our award-winning advisers are also happy to connect with you, and I highly encourage you to reach out to us during orientations or college fairs wherever possible. I welcome you to visit Penn State and our department within the College of Agricultural Sciences to learn more about us. You can also find some of the latest news and day-to-day activities on our social media pages. Together, #WeAre Penn State!

K. Sandeep Prabhu, Ph.D.
  • Department Head

Department Strategic Plan

The department has recently completed the 2020-2025 strategic plan. Within this plan lists the department's goals, objectives, and plan for current and future student engagements and success which also aligns with the College of Agricultural Sciences.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of VBS is to create and disseminate new knowledge related to the impact of environmental factors on animal and human health and well-being. We will apply such knowledge to improve health, food safety, and security, and environmental stewardship and resilience.

Vision Statement

The department will lead in the development and application of science-based new knowledge pertaining to the effects of the environment on animal and human health through excellence in basic and applied interdisciplinary research, state-of-the-art diagnostics, and extension outreach and research activities.  VBS will be universally recognized for excellence in teaching and training the next generation of scientists, and animal and human healthcare professionals. We will continue to proactively respond to emerging challenges locally and globally in areas of integrated health with an emphasis on immunology and infectious disease, molecular toxicology and carcinogenesis, molecular diagnostics, agriculture and food systems, pre-harvest food safety, antimicrobial resistance, and animal welfare. VBS will act with integrity in accordance with the highest academic, professional, and ethical standards to evolve our learning to stimulate sustainability, innovation, and entrepreneurship, while fostering diversity and inclusivity.

Latest News

June 16, 2021

Animal Diagnostics Lab at PSU hosts 2021 Practitioners’ Meeting

On June 8, 2021, ADL hosted the annual Practitioners’ Meeting, a one-day continuing education event primarily for veterinarians who utilized the diagnostics services offered by ADL.

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June 8, 2021

Metzger Family Names Space In New "Animal, Veterinary, and Biomedical Sciences" Building

The motivation to make a philanthropic gift to an organization is different for every donor, but in many cases, it boils down to the desire to make a positive impact. This rings true for Dr. Fred Metzger Jr. and his wife, Megan, who have made the first major gift to support the new Animal, Veterinary, and Biomedical Sciences Building. The seven-figure gift to name the general purpose classroom in the facility will provide funding for the departments of animal science and veterinary and biomedical sciences to support the state-of-the-art facility expected to open in the fall of 2021.

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June 4, 2021

Acar receives Excellence in Academic Advising Award from College of Ag Sciences

Nüket Acar, coordinator of undergraduate advising for veterinary and biomedical sciences, has received the 2021 Excellence in Academic Advising Award from Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

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June 3, 2021

Dr. Sougat Misra Receives the College of Ag Sciences RAIN Grant

Researcher from VBS receives the College of Ag Sciences RAIN grant for the second consecutive year! Congrats to Dr. Sougat Misra, Asst. Research Professor, for his successful application for the Research Applications for Innovation (RAIN) grant from the College of Agricultural Sciences. The grant is awarded to one innovative research project annually with the intent to commercialize technologies developed by the researchers in the College. It is one of the most prestigious College-level funding opportunities for pursuing innovative and translational research. Dr. Misra will use the funding to pursue his studies to assess the efficacies of two novel combinatorial therapeutic regimens for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia. His work involves pharmacological targeting of an amino acid transporter, essential for the proliferation and survival of leukemic cells, to enhance the delivery of small molecule candidate therapeutics. Preclinical studies involving highly relevant murine models of leukemia will ascertain the effectiveness of the proposed therapeutic interventions in this aggressive form of blood cancer. Congrats to him! Dr. Anthony Schmitt won the award last year in the Department.

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