LSU Veterinary School Professor named LVMA Veterinarian of the Year



BATON ROUGE—David Baker, DVM, PhD, MS, MPA, DACLAM, professor and director of the Division of Laboratory Animal Medicine, received the 2016 Ralph C. Cooper Veterinarian of the Year Award from the Louisiana Veterinary Medical Association on January 21, 2017, at the LVMA Winter Meeting.


Dr. Baker joined the faculty of the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine in 1995, and so has served the LSU community for more than 20 years. In his roles as director of the Division of Laboratory Animal Medicine and Attending Veterinarian, he oversees the care of all animals used in teaching and research on LSU’s Baton Rouge campus. He has brought acclaim to the LSU SVM, not only as the veterinarian for LSU’s live tiger mascots, Mikes V and VI, but also for our highly regarded laboratory animal medicine program, which is renowned throughout the United States.


While most faculty are used to combining the duties of teaching and research, Dr. Baker has the added responsibility of representing LSU’s live mascot program. While this always presents unique challenges, 2016 saw Dr. Baker planning and implanting first-of-its-kind radiation therapy for a tiger, care that was coordinated with a human hospital.


Though caring for Mike the Tiger gets Dr. Baker a lot of attention, it is his work in the field of laboratory animal medicine; his teaching in parasitology, business management, ethics and laboratory animal medicine; and his scholarly publications, where he is most accomplished. He has developed a cost accounting and analysis system to optimize operations in biomedical research animal facilities. The system has been implemented in several universities across the country. Further, under the leadership of Dr. Baker and his colleague, Dr. Rhett Stout, the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine sees more new graduates enter residency training programs in laboratory animal medicine than any other veterinary school in the U.S.


In October 2016, Dr. Baker received the Joseph J. Garvey Management Award from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science at its national meeting. This award recognizes an individual for their outstanding accomplishments in administration, management, or the support of programs relating to the care, quality, or humane treatment of animals used in biomedical research.


The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine is one of only 30 veterinary schools in the U.S. and the only one in Louisiana. 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.


The Louisiana Veterinary Medical Association (LVMA) is a professional association for veterinarians practicing in Louisiana. The LVMA was founded in 1905 and incorporated in 1953. It is dedicated to advancing the science and art of veterinary medicine and its relationship to the public's health and biological sciences and agriculture in the state of Louisiana; promoting the health of all species and to extend to the agricultural community and the community-at-large the benefits of sound and progressive leadership in the diagnosis and treatment of animals; fostering, maintaining and enhancing public understanding of the nature of the veterinary profession; doing all things necessary and desirable to further high standards of care in the treatment of animals and continuing standards of excellence in the professional training and continuing education of doctors of veterinary medicine; promoting goodwill among its members and to seek protection of their rights and privileges; and advancing the maintenance of ethical standards which reflect the learned nature of the profession and the peculiar responsibilities of the veterinarian to the whole community of Louisiana.


Photo: Dr. David Baker was named the 2016 Ralph C. Cooper Veterinarian of the Year by the Louisiana Veterinary Medical Association. Dr. Joel Baines, dean of the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, presented Dr. Baker with the award.