Shane C. Burgess, director of the Institute for Genomics, Biocomputing and Biotechnology at Mississippi State University, has been appointed the new dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Arizona.
Burgess succeeds Eugene G. Sander, who recently retired as dean and vice provost and will serve as UA president beginning Aug. 1, while the Arizona Board of Regents searches for a new chief executive.
A native of New Zealand, Burgess has worked around the world as a practicing veterinarian and scientist. Currently, he is the associate dean for strategic initiatives and economic development in MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine and a professor in the department of basic sciences in the vet school.
His areas of expertise include cancer biology, virology, proteomics, immunology and bioinformatics. Since 1997 he has written 110 peer-reviewed publications.
The first in his family to earn college degree, Burgess graduated from Massey University in New Zealand in 1989 with a degree in veterinary science, and in 1998 with a doctoral degree in virology and immunology from the University of Bristol in England. After graduating, he spent several years working in and managing veterinary clinical practices in Australia and the UK, including horses, farm animals, pets, wild and zoo animals, and emergency medicine and surgery.
He also managed an aquaculture facility in Scotland and did a radiology residency at Murdoch University in Perth in western Australia, where he also was a founder of Perth’s first emergency veterinary clinic.
Burgess joined the UK World Reference Laboratory for Exotic Diseases during the 2001 foot and mouth disease crisis, where he led the data compilation and reporting office. For his efforts he was awarded the Institute for Animal Health Director’s Award for Service.
In 2002, Burgess became a professor in the department of basic sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Mississippi State, teaching immunology and virology. His duties there grew to include serving as the director of the MSU Institute for Genomics, Biocomputing and Biotechnology.