Dr. Zimmel

Dr. Dana Zimmel


As we collectively gear up for a new academic year and the corresponding rhythms of campus life in the fall, I am reminded of how quickly time passes. How quickly the reprieves of summer vacations, easier parking and traffic patterns on campus and in our community overall are gone and replaced by the different energy of new student orientation, sports activities and soon-to-be cooler temperatures!

Despite the ebb and flow of seasonal changes, however, the UFCVM’s missions of excellence in teaching, research, patient care and community service remain a bedrock, anchoring our focus and providing a firm foundation to build upon, draw strength from and return to.

As we embrace the fall semester, reenacting and sharing our traditions with new members of our college family, I want to give a warm welcome to the Class of 2026! Our newest class consists of 150 students from across the United States, and includes individuals with a variety of undergraduate schools and majors, varying ages and lived experiences. We are so happy to have them here and look forward to watching their continued success.

In July, the University of Florida reported surpassing $1 billion in research spending for the first time in 2022, a milestone achievement for the university. Almost half of the research occurred in the six colleges of UF Health, with our college noting $32.1 million in research expenditures — a record for us as well. Read the story in this issue here.

We recently announced the appointment of Dr. Ashley Allen-Durrance as our new assistant dean for admissions and student success, effective Jan. 3, 2023. A clinical associate professor in the department of small animal clinical sciences, an emergency and critical care specialist and co-service chief of the UF Small Animal Hospital’s ECC service, Dr. Allen-Durrance has been a member of our faculty since 2014. She will be a wonderful addition to the Office of Academic and Student Affairs led by Dr. Amanda House, and replaces Dr. Pam Ginn, who retired this summer, in the position. Please join me in congratulating Dr. Allen-Durrance on her new appointment.

Sadly, this past month has been cruel in some respects. Dr. Dunbar Gram, a clinical professor and dermatology specialist in our department of small animal clinical sciences, passed away unexpectedly in early August. He had been a member of our faculty since 2013 and brought years of experience and skill to the dermatology service, along with his larger-than-life personality and wonderful sense of humor.  Only weeks later, we lost longtime staffer Michael Sapper, an education and training specialist in our department of physiological sciences. “Big Mike,” as he was known to many, helped operate the anatomy lab, which all first-year veterinary students spend considerable time in as part of the two-year anatomy course. All of us who knew Dr. Gram and Michael will be remembering them, and their contributions to the college, for a long time to come. Please keep their families in your thoughts at this difficult time.

I believe we honor those who leave us best by living our own lives more fully and mindfully. By absorbing the light others leave through their meaningful legacies, we can reflect that light back to the world through renewed commitment to family, colleagues, friends and causes we care about. The human connectedness we feel in collective grief is also there in the smiles and joy we feel when we share memories that will be with us always.

As a college, we continue to grow and thrive. For those who may not be aware, the UFCVM was recently featured in a “spotlight” article that appeared in the American Journal of Veterinary Research. We do so much at the college that many aren’t even aware of, and this article provides a great overview of the research programs and approaches that make our college unique. It’s also an inspiring read, particularly as we enter the fall semester with all of the energy it conveys. Just as we prepared to publish this issue, another “spotlight” feature focusing on our clinical accomplishments went live in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. You can read it here.

Take care of yourselves, take time for yourselves, and remember that the college is here to provide support to anyone who needs it. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me, or to any of our administrators from your respective areas if you need assistance. We are here for you.



Share this article with others:
  • E-mail this story to a friend!
  • Facebook
  • Digg
  • Twitter

July-August 2022

Dr. Zimmel

A message from our dean

A message from the college’s dean, Dr. Dana Zimmel.

Dr. Ashley Allen-Durrance

Faculty member named to administrative post

Dr. Allen-Durrance, a clinical associate professor and emergency and critical care specialist, has been a member of the UFCVM faculty since 2014.

Corey Fisher with dog

Alumnus honored for papers in national journals

Dr. Corey Fisher was honored by JAVMA and The Veterinary Journals for papers he wrote while a student at UFCVM.

Dr. Vilaplana and Dr. Curtiss

Zoetis 2022 Distinguished Teaching and Research Excellence Winners Named

Dr. Federico Vilaplana Grosso and Dr. Roy Curtiss were honored for their achievements in teaching and research, respectively.

Dr. Santoro

Researcher’s article among Top 10 downloaded in key journal

The article in Veterinary Dermatology found promising results in the use of a spray solution for treating canine atopic dermatitis.

...also in this issue



Around the College