LSU Vet Med announces two significant promotions

January 03, 2024

The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine is pleased to announce that Bunnie Cannon has been promoted to the role of assistant dean for outreach and strategic initiatives, and Levent Dirikolu, DVM, MVSc, PhD, is the inaugural director of clinical research for the new LSU Vet Med Center for Clinical Innovation.

Bunnie CannonBunnie Cannon

Joining the LSU Vet Med family in May 2022 as the Senior Director of Outreach and Strategic Initiatives, Cannon brought with her over 30 years of invaluable experience in fundraising and public relations. Her remarkable journey includes a decade of service with the LSU President's office, where she served as Assistant Vice Chancellor and Executive Director of Institutional Advancement, overseeing fundraising priorities through the LSU Foundation, LSU Alumni Association, and the Tiger Athletic Foundation. Prior roles include Executive Director of Planned Giving and Development Support Services for the Tiger Athletic Foundation, and fundraising roles at the LSU Law Center and the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center. In her time at LSU Vet Med to date, Bunnie has been an impressive force for good, playing a pivotal role in securing significant capital funding from the Louisiana Legislature.

A proud LSU alumna, Bunnie holds a BA in English (1992) and an MS in Sports Management/Business (1997). She is also a Certified Professional Fundraising Executive, achieving her CFRE in 2009. “Bunnie's limitless enthusiasm for LSU and LSU Vet Med will continue to propel us forward,” said Oliver Garden, BVetMed, PhD, DACVIM, DECVIM-CA, dean of LSU Vet Med. “She is the embodiment of Tiger spirit and pride, and we are very fortunate to have her on our team at LSU Vet Med.”

Levent DirikoluLevent Dirikolu

In this new role, Dr. Dirikolu will participate in and oversee cutting-edge clinical studies that will significantly advance the health and well-being of animals. He will also facilitate academic and industry partnerships with LSU Vet Med. Dr. Dirikolu joined the LSU Vet Med faculty in January 2016 as a professor of pharmacology and director of the Equine Medication Surveillance Laboratory. He received his DVM from Ankara University in Turkey (1992) and his MVSc (1997) and PhD (2001), both from the University of Kentucky. Dr. Dirikolu's research interests are in pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, pharmacology, and drug metabolism.

“I am very excited about this new Center for Clinical Innovation program, and I plan to build a strong multi-disciplinary team to make sure that this program will be successful,” said Dr. Dirikolu. “The long-term goal is to establish a nationally and internationally recognized clinical research program investigating the pharmacokinetics (PK), safety, and efficacy of investigational new drugs including off-label usage in various animal species. Additionally, the goal of this program includes developing collaborative studies with academic and non-academic organizations to engage in research and graduate training in the areas of drug discovery and design, drug delivery and formulation, clinical pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, and drug metabolism. This program will also provide opportunities for diverse students and interns to interact with our research program.” 

Added Dr. Garden, “I could not be more excited to work with Dr. Dirikolu on building our new Center for Clinical Innovation, thereby advancing our vision to better lives and lead the nation in animal health and comparative medicine.”

About LSU Vet Med: Bettering lives through education, public service, and discovery

The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine is one of only 33 veterinary schools in the U.S. and the only one in Louisiana. LSU Vet Med is dedicated to improving and protecting the lives of animals and people through superior education, transformational research, and compassionate care. We teach. We heal. We discover. We protect.