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Dr. Baljit Singh has made significant contributions during his time at the University of Saskatchewan. Photo by Myrna MacDonald.

Singh to lead Calgary vet school

Dr. Baljit Singh has been appointed as dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Calgary (UCVM).

Singh has served as associate dean of research at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) since 2011. He first joined the WCVM faculty in 1999, and he has had many substantial achievements in the areas of research, teaching and administration.

"The college will certainly miss his leadership, expertise and collegiality. He has made many significant contributions to the college and had a positive impact on so many individuals. UCVM is fortunate to have attracted such a talented veterinary leader," says Dr. Douglas Freeman, dean of the WCVM.

Singh teaches veterinary anatomy to students in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program and co-teaches ultrastructural cytology to graduate students. He has received numerous teaching awards including the 3M National Teaching Fellowship, the Provost's Prize for Innovative Practice of Teaching and Learning at the University of Saskatchewan, a Master Teacher Award from the U of S, the Carl J. Norden Distinguished Teacher Award and the Pre-Clinical Teacher of the Year Award.

In addition to his regular teaching duties, Singh has supervised more than 80 students including PhD and master's students as well as undergraduate summer research students.

Singh has also held other positions at the U of S including special advisor (teaching and learning) to the U of S Provost and director for the WCVM's Merial Veterinary Scholar Program. He is past president of the American Association of Veterinary Anatomists, a member of the National Examining Board for Veterinary Medicine in Canada and a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association's (AVMA) Education Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates. In 2013 he was named a fellow of the American Association of Anatomists.

Singh's research program at the WCVM focuses on cell and molecular biology of lung inflammation. He has received funding from a number of federal and provincial agencies including the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Alberta Agriculture Funding Consortium, Saskatchewan Agriculture Development Fund and the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation.

He has authored or co-authored more than 90 peer-reviewed journal articles and books. He is an associate editor of the Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology and a section editor (immunology) for Cell and Tissue Research.

Singh earned his Bachelor of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry (BVSc and AH) and Master of Veterinary Science (MVSc) degrees from Punjab Agricultural University in Punjab, followed by a PhD degree from the University of Guelph. After his postdoctoral training at Texas A&M University and Columbia University in New York, he completed licensing requirements set by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) and the AVMA for foreign veterinary graduates.

"On behalf of the college, I wish Baljit great success in his new role. I will personally miss his friendship and contributions to our leadership team. However, I look forward to many future collaborations as our colleges work together to enhance veterinary medicine and education in Western Canada," says Freeman.

Dr. Singh will begin his new role at UCVM on Sept. 1, 2016.
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