Oliver Garden Named Dean of LSU School of Veterinary Medicine

Oliver Garden06/15/2021
BATON ROUGE – Following a national search, Dr. Oliver Garden has been named dean of the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, or SVM. Garden is currently the chair of the Department of Clinical Sciences and Advanced Medicine and the Henry and Corinne R. Bower Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. Garden will assume his role as dean on Aug. 31, pending approval by the LSU Board of Supervisors.  

“We are extremely excited to welcome Dr. Garden into our LSU Family,” said LSU President Tom Galligan. “With more than two decades of impressive experience at leading research universities in the United States and the United Kingdom, Dr. Garden is the ideal person to lead the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine as its next dean and help advance its position as a preeminent veterinary school for world-class academics, research, and public service.”

Garden’s background as an exemplary researcher, administrator, medical professional and professor with dual expertise as a clinician and researcher, positions him well to lead the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, which ranks 8th in NIH research funding among veterinary schools nationwide and is known for its academic rigor and scholarly achievements. In his leadership role as chair of the department at the University of Pennsylvania, Garden collaborated with centers from peripheral campuses and successfully managed an extensive group of personnel, including teaching, clinical and research faculty, nurses, residents, interns, and administrative and allied health professionals. 

“Dr. Garden’s academic achievements, innovative leadership skills, and extensive research credentials make him well-suited to advance the school’s mission to integrate cutting-edge research and exceptional clinical care,” said LSU’s Executive Vice President & Provost Stacia Haynie. “I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Garden to LSU, and I am confident that the SVM’s tradition of excellence will continue to thrive under his expert guidance.”

Garden will helm the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, a dynamic community dedicated to saving lives, finding cures, and changing lives through outstanding clinical and community service, educational excellence and groundbreaking scholarly research. The school’s research focus can be seen in its Center of Excellence for Infectious Diseases, Equine Health Studies Program, Division of Biotechnology & Molecular Medicine, Division of Laboratory Animal Medicine, and Laboratory for Equine and Comparative Orthopedic Research. SVM faculty conduct groundbreaking comparative biomedical and translational research and have successfully garnered research funding from a number of extramural granting agencies including NIH, USDA-NIFA, NSF, and Morris Animal Foundation. 

As dean, Garden will oversee three academic departments within the school: Comparative Biomedical Sciences, Pathobiological Sciences, and Veterinary Clinical Sciences. In addition, he will oversee the Veterinary Medical Library, the Veterinary Teaching Hospital & Clinic, and the Louisiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, or LADDL. He will lead a diverse learning environment for professional and graduate students, residents and interns, and post-doctoral fellows.

“It is the honor of a lifetime to be entrusted with the deanship of the School of Veterinary Medicine,” said Garden. “I could not be more excited to be joining the LSU family, and I very much look forward to working with the students, staff, faculty, and alumni of this great academic institution to build upon our world-class programs in teaching, research, and public service.”

Garden’s primary research interest focuses on mechanisms of peripheral tolerance in health and disease, spanning the mouse, rat and dog model species of both autoimmune disease and cancer. His work has interrogated the role of regulatory T cells and more recently myeloid-derived suppressor cells in this context.  

Garden received a Bachelor of Science in pharmacology with basic biomedical sciences from King’s College London, U.K. in 1990, a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine from the Royal Veterinary College, U.K. in 1993, and a Doctor of Philosophy in gastrointestinal immunology from the Royal Veterinary College in 1998.  

In addition to the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, Garden has served in positions at the Royal Veterinary College, University of South Carolina, Cornell University, and Imperial College London, U.K., and as visiting professor at Queen Mary University of London. He holds numerous specialty qualifications, including Board certification in small animal internal medicine by the American and European Colleges of Veterinary Internal Medicine, both Specialist and Fellowship status of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, and Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy. 

Garden will succeed Joel Baines, who has served as dean since 2014 and will resume his position as a full-time faculty member within the school. With a research background in pathobiological sciences, and more specifically, viruses in animals, Baines has been instrumental in guiding the university during the pandemic. Baines has overseen an accelerated program of research funding for the school and successfully landed an $11 million grant to create the Center for Pre-Clinical Cancer Research. Baines has also successfully fundraised for the new Stephenson Pet Clinic which will expand pet wellness services and provide much needed space for clinical care.

About the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine  
The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine is one of only 32 veterinary schools in the U.S. and the only one in Louisiana. The school was fully accredited by the AVMA-COE in 2020. It offers three degrees including the DVM degree and MS and Ph.D. degrees in biomedical and veterinary medical sciences. Training geared toward board certification in AVMA recognized specialty colleges is offered in the Veterinary Clinical Sciences and Pathobiological Sciences departments. The LSU SVM is dedicated to improving the lives of people and animals through education, research and service. We teach. We heal. We discover. We protect. 



Contact Erica Hawthorne 
LSU Office of Academic Affairs 


Ernie Ballard 
LSU Media Relations