Department of Biomedical Sciences

Michael I. Kotlikoff, VMD, PhD
Austin O. Hooey Dean of Veterinary Medicine

Michael I. Kotlikoff became Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University on July 1, 2007. He is the 10th Dean of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University since 1868 when Cornell granted the first doctoral degree in veterinary medicine in the U.S.

The Kotlikoff laboratory uses mouse genetics, molecular biology, and molecular imaging to advance the understanding of cardiovascular disease. His lab works primarily on heart repair and vasculogenesis, using gene and cell based therapies and investigating the role and capacity of endogenous cardiac precursors.  The laboratory has pioneered the use of optogenetic molecular sensors to examine cell signaling and cell integration in vivo and has established CHROMus, the Cornell Heart Lung Blood Resource for Optogenetic Mice (, and NIH Center for the development and distribution of combinatorial mouse and induced pluripotent stem cell lines expressing optogenetic sensors and effectors. CHROMus lines will accelerate the use of optogenetic technology in NHLBI research by developing lines that can be directly crossed to interrogate a number of normal and pathological systems, using spectrally compatible optogenetic tools.

Dr. Kotlikoff received his V.M.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1981 and Ph.D. in Physiology from the University of California, Davis in 1984. Before becoming dean, he served as chair of the Department of Biomedical Sciences from 2000 to 2007. Prior to Cornell, he was a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania for 15 years, chairing the Department of Animal Biology from 1995 to 2000.