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Jessica McArt, D.V.M. ’07, Ph.D. ’13, appointed next chair of the Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences

Jessica McArt

Jessica McCart, D.V.M. ’07, Ph.D. ’13. Photo: CVM

Jessica McArt, D.V.M. ’07, Ph.D. ’13, associate professor of ambulatory and production medicine, has been named as the next chair of the Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, after serving as interim chair since August 2022. She will assume the chair position on July 1, 2024 following a previously-planned sabbatical leave.

“Dr. McArt has done an exemplary job in leading the department as interim chair,” says Lorin D. Warnick, D.V.M., Ph.D. ’94, Austin O. Hooey Dean of Veterinary Medicine. “I look forward to her continued excellence as a leader and colleague and thank her for taking on this responsibility.” 

McArt received her bachelors in biochemistry and molecular biology with a minor in engineering at Dartmouth College, going on to Cornell where she earned her D.V.M. in 2007. She worked as an intern and resident in the Ambulatory and Production Medicine Clinic before receiving her Ph.D. in 2013. She served as an assistant professor of livestock medicine and population health at the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Colorado State University, and then returned to Cornell where she joined as faculty, and eventually section chief, of the Ambulatory and Production Medicine Clinic. She became a diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (Dairy Practice) in 2020.

In addition to her work as a livestock clinician, McArt also researches the identification, epidemiology and economics of periparturient diseases in dairy cows, and identifies accurate and quantitative measures of energy-related metabolites, macrominerals and important biological markers to improve detection of maladaptation to early lactation. She uses modeling methods to investigate the economic impact of transition cow diseases and promote evidence-based management and treatment practices that optimize cow health and farm profits.

Dr. Diego Diel, associate professor of virology, will serve as interim department chair effective July 1, 2023, and continuing until Dr. McArt’s return. “I am very appreciative of Dr. Diel taking on this critical role of the department. In addition to his capable

Dr. Diego Diel. Photo: CVM

leadership of the Virology Section in the Animal Health Diagnostic Center (AHDC), he took on very significant responsibilities as Director of the Cornell COVID-19 Testing Laboratory from 2020-2023.”  He will work closely with Dr. Francois Elvinger, executive director of the AHDC and associate dean for diagnostic operations and government relations, and will remain in communication with Dr. McArt to ensure continuity and progress in department activities.

Diel’s expertise lies in the molecular mechanisms underlying virus-host interactions, focusing on the mechanisms underlying viral immune evasion that contribute to virus virulence and disease pathogenesis. Prior to joining the AHDC, Diel was faculty at South Dakota State University, a postdoctoral associate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the USDA’s Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory, and obtained his Ph.D., M.S., and D.V.M. at Federal University of Santa Maria in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

Warnick adds “We were fortunate to have two terrific candidates interview for the permanent chair position. I want to thank Dr. Renata Ivanek Miojevic for her willingness to serve. I know she will continue to contribute to the department, college, and university in very significant ways through her research, teaching and many leadership roles.” 

 “I thank the search committee and department community for their engagement and support during the search process and express our gratitude to Dr. Diel and Dr. McArt for taking on these leadership responsibilities. The Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences has a bright future ahead.”

Written by Lauren Cahoon Roberts