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Dr. John L. VandeBerg and his Team visit AFRIMS on September 7, 2009

John L. VandeBerg, Ph.D. is Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) of the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research (SFBR), Director of the Southwest National Primate Research Center (SNPRC), Scientist in the Department of Genetics at SFBR, and Professor of Pathology and of Cellular and Structural Biology at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSC-SA). He received a B.S. degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and then traveled as a Fulbright scholar to Australia where he received a B.Sc.Hons. degree from La Trobe University in Melbourne, and a Ph.D. degree from Macquarie University in Sydney. All of his degrees were in genetics. Dr. VandeBerg did his postdoctoral training in genetics with Prof. William
H. Stone at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and then spent a year at Wisconsin as an Assistant Scientist jointly appointed in the Laboratory of Genetics and at the Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center. Dr. VandeBerg moved to the Southwest Foundation in 1980, founded its Department of Genetics in 1982, and served as Chairman of that department until 1994. At that time he became Scientific Director of the Southwest Foundation, an appointment that he held until 1999, when he became Director of the SNPRC.

In 2006, he was appointed to the position of CSO.

Dr. VandeBergs research interests are focused on genetic and environmental factors that influence risk for common chronic diseases and parasitic diseases. He works with nonhuman primate and marsupial models, as well as cell cultures and human subjects. He is currently investigating the genetics of susceptibility to coronary heart disease, the genetic basis of susceptibility to disease progression in Chagas disease (caused by infection with Trypanosoma cruzi), and aspects of UV-radiation induced cancers in opossums as well as human cancers transplanted into opossums. Recently, he established a program to develop and test a DNA vaccine for tuberculosis. Dr. VandeBerg has authored or co-authored more than 300 scientific articles and book chapters.

Dr. VandeBerg is recognized for his pioneering work in developing a small marsupial, the gray short-tailed opossum from South America, as a standard laboratory animal now used extensively as a model for research on human diseases, developmental biology, and evolutionary biology. He and his colleagues also have developed a unique pedigreed colony of baboons which are genotyped at 300 microsatellite marker loci and used extensively for whole genome scans of physiological characters related to human diseases.

In addition to his research accomplishments, Dr. VandeBerg has a distinguished record of professional service. Current appointments include member of the National Chimpanzee Resource Consortium, Trustee of the Scientists Center for Animal Welfare, and Chairman of the Organizing and Executive Committees of the International Congress on the Future of Animal Research series. Significant past appointments include member (1993-1999) of the Commission of Life Sciences, National Academy of Sciences; member (1989-1999) and Chairman (1993-1999) of the Council of the Institute for Laboratory Animal Research, National Academy of Sciences; member (1985-1990) of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on the Preservation of Laboratory Animal Resources; Trustee of the Mind Science Foundation (1990-2001), Trustee of the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center (1992-1995), and President of the Texas Genetics Society (1993-1994).

Dr. VandeBergs recent honorary appointments include Honorary Diplomate of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and National Associate of the National Academies.

Recent Activities at AFRIMS
AFRIMS recent activities HIV Vaccine Study First to show effectiveness AFRIMS on Dengue at Voice of America AFRIMS on Malaria in New York Times AFRIMS researchers instructed 104 medical cadets from Phramongkutklao College of Medicine AFRIMS hosts infectious diseae surveillance workshop for laos PDR lab technicians AFRIMS concludes Pilat Malaria Prophylaxis clinical trial in Cambodia Dr. Rampa Rattanarathiul received the Belkin Award, The highest honor given by the AMCA Dedication and opening of joint AFPMC AFRIMS molecular laboratory in the Phillippines NBC shows story on drug resistant malaria on the Thai-Cambodia border in Cambodia Malaria Vaccine: Inside look at first human trial from BBC news HVRC opening ceremony Change of Command 2015 AFRIMS leaders join "Bike For Mom 2015" event US Embassy Employee of the Month Public Release of Joint Concept of Health Services Public Release of Joint Concept of Health Services more AFRIMS activities