Dean's Welcome

Dean Joel Baines

Welcome to Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine (LSU SVM), located in the vibrant city of Baton Rouge!. In addition to our dedication to excellence in training practice-ready veterinarians, we emphasize basic, clinical and translational research and provide world class clinical services to our patients.

A Veterinary Professional degree prepares our students for a variety of exciting careers that share a focus on animal health and welfare.  Since accepting our first class of students in 1973, we have trained more than 2,700 veterinarians who have gone on to excellence in private primary and specialty veterinary practices, biotechnology and pharmacology industries, public health, and academic research and teaching.

We also have a rigorous and active graduate program that trains towards the PhD degree. PhD training  is open to both DVMs and those with undergraduate degrees interested in biomedical research. Although there are excellent opportunities in many research areas within the school, our graduate programs excel in research on equine health, vector-borne infectious diseases, respiratory diseases, and molecular medicine and imaging. As evidence of this excellence, we rank in the top third of veterinary schools in the United States in  funding from the National Institutes of Health. Our faculty also obtain multiple grants from foundations including the Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute (FAMRI) which funds research on mechanisms underlying lower respiratory diseases, the Morris Animal Foundation (MAF) which funds projects concerning companion animal health and welfare, and industrial partnerships in which we help evaluate new treatments.

We collaborate extensively in our research, education and service missions with other institutions in Louisiana, including the Tulane National Primate Center, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, the National Hansen’s Disease Center and the LSU Health Sciences Centers. We work with these institutions to relentlessly pursue new understanding to foster new discoveries leading to the treatment and prevention of animal and human diseases.

We also train veterinarians working towards Board certification in Veterinary Specialties with interns and residents pursing advanced training in a variety of specialties. Many of our trainees go on to become leaders in academic veterinary medicine at institutions around the world.

It is an exciting time for new veterinarians as they are universally recognized for their deep and broad understanding of health and disease in diverse animal species. This makes the veterinarian uniquely qualified to contribute in ever expanding ways to foster both human and animal health and to contribute to discovery as part of the biomedical workforce. Whether it is work in private practice healing one animal or one herd at a time, work at the Centers for Disease Control managing emerging threats from infectious agents, producing a vaccine that can protect literally millions of animals world-wide, assessing environmental pollutants and their effects on animals and ecosystems, working internationally to sustain local agriculture, or ensuring food safety here at home, all these and many more opportunities are available to the recent graduate.

I welcome you to become part of this profession and the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine in particular. Our faculty are ready to help you in your quest to make a difference.

Geaux Tigers!

With Best Wishes,

Joel D. Baines, VMD, PhD


Dr. Kenneth F. Burns Chair in Veterinary Medicine