BLACKSBURG, Va., June 18, 2008 – Dr. Palanimuthu Thangaraju, vice-chancellor of Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University in Chennai, India, recently visited the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine as part of a rapidly developing exchange program between the Indian university and Virginia Tech.
During his visit to Blacksburg, Thangaraju met with Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger; Provost Mark McNamee; Dr. Gerhardt Schurig, dean of the veterinary college; and other leaders from around the college and university to discuss a variety of opportunities, including the upcoming joint faculty/student exchange programs between the Indian university and the veterinary college and the proposed Virginia Tech Center in Chennai.
He also met with Roop Mahajan, director of the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science, to discuss possible collaborative projects between both institutions in nanotechnology and food processing and he held discussions with Tom Wilkinson, head of the Institute of Distance and Distributed Learning, to develop e-learning modules for continuing education of veterinarians in India.
In addition, Thangaraju presented a lecture entitled “Molecular Characterization of Indigenous Germplasm of Livestock by Microsatellite Markers” for the Virginia Tech community and visited with faculty members from around the university.
“This visit is very important to foster the existing relationship between [Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University] and [Virginia Tech] and it will pave way for many new avenues of collaboration in teaching, research, and extension,” said Dr. Elankumaran Subbiah, an assistant professor in Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, who helped coordinate the visit along with Dr. Nammalwar Sriranganathan, a professor in the same department.
Prior to his arrival in Blacksburg, Thangaraju visited the Maryland campus of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine where he toured their BSL-3 laboratory facilities and presented the seminar given at Virginia Tech. He also visited the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center to discuss the possibility of future collaborative projects in equine medicine and surgery.
Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University and the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine are jointly organizing a second annual international conference on emerging infectious diseases and animal biotechnology in India this summer, according to Sriranganathan. A delegation from the college and others from around the university, including Schurig, will be attending the event in July.