Nguyen becomes TTU School of Veterinary Medicine’s new associate dean for research


When the Texas Tech University (TTU) School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) in Amarillo undertook a national search to find the absolute best person to lead the School’s research and innovation enterprise, it turned out that the ideal candidate was no stranger to the school. In fact, the successful candidate was indeed close to home so to speak. Thu ‘Annelise’ Nguyen, a founding faculty member of the School and a professor of toxicology, was that candidate.

Without hesitation, Nguyen launched into her new role as associate dean of research (ADR) for the School of Veterinary Medicine.

“I am excited and honored to serve our school as the associate dean for research,” Nguyen said. “In this capacity, my goal is to support and promote research, scholarship and creative activities of our faculty and students while still maintain and contribute to our school’s research portfolio in cancer research.”

Research and innovation are critical aspects of all world-class veterinary medical schools.  Discovery drives new knowledge into curricula, it improves the art and science of veterinary practice, and it benefits society through the translation of discoveries. Nguyen’s experience as a scholar, as an innovator, and as an entrepreneur, is perfectly aligned to lead the school as it pursues excellence in research and discovery. 

“We are so very fortunate that Annelise is part of our school,” said Guy Loneragan, dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine. “And now with her leading our research and innovation efforts, we will go from strength to strength. Importantly for us, Annelise has a deep understanding of how research can benefit human, animal and ecosystem health through the scholarship of One Health. In addition to her role as ADR, she is the perfect person to begin the implementation of our innovative doctorate in One Health Sciences program.”

Many know that attracting research grants in academics can be very competitive. Proposals have to be solid, and they have to be very compelling and clearly written. Nguyen has extensive experience in successful proposal writing and will coordinate with Texas Tech offices to implement targeted and ongoing professional development for the school’s faculty, staff and students. In addition, she will foster opportunities with the Texas Tech Innovation Hub at Research Park for all at the school to engage in innovation and entrepreneurship.

Nguyen has an extensive background in research, innovation and teaching. A little more than a year ago, her pioneering spirit led her to join the SVM to help build an extraordinary program from the ground up. She started as a professor of toxicology and was tasked to help establish the Texas Center for Comparative Cancer Research (TC3R) that has already brought together scholars from Texas Tech, the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC), and beyond.

As a toxicologist, Nguyen explores and discovers effective treatments potentials through models she helped innovate. In fact, she is pursuing research in drug discovery for breast cancer by targeting a defect in cell-to-cell communication observed in cancer cells, both in humans and animals. Furthermore, she successfully developed an ex vivo model of 3D tumors from patient’s cancer tissues and subsequently screening potential anticancer drugs for its efficacy.

Nguyen’s new role has many responsibilities, one of which includes overseeing the SVM graduate studies. She has been engaged with graduate training for 25 years and is dedicated to graduate education. She is also excited to welcome the inaugural class of doctoral students in One Health Sciences for the Fall of 2022.

“Be ready,” Loneragan said. “I know of no one with more energy, drive, and enthusiasm than Annelise. She is fantastic to work with but she will not let us sit on our laurels. Annelise pushes us to be the best that we can be. She makes a difference in our world and in our lives every day.”

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