F. William "Bill" Pierson, professor of biosecurity and infection control and clinical specialist in poultry health in the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the title of professor emeritus by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The emeritus title may be conferred on retired professors, associate professors, and administrative officers who are specially recommended to the board by Virginia Tech President Tim Sands in recognition of exemplary service to the university. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board receive a copy of the resolution and a certificate of appreciation.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1990, Pierson conducted research in the areas of poultry health i.e., pathophysiology, disease surveillance, and vaccine development, as well as general biosecurity, infection control, and prevention.

He was the principal investigator on 36 research grants totaling more than $2 million and co-investigator on an additional 40 research grants totaling more than $7 million. He was the author or co-author of more than 60 peer-reviewed journal articles, 13 book chapters, and 130 scientific presentations.

For many years, Pierson chaired the Northeastern Conference on Avian Disease, served on several national committees for the American Association of Avian Pathologists, and served on state committees for the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. He also served on the Virginia Agroterrorism Working group and assisted with the development and delivery of training programs for the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Federal Bureau of Investigation.

In 2007, Pierson was named director of the college’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital. He also served as interim head of the Department of Biomedical Science and Pathobiology.

In the classroom, Pierson taught undergraduate, professional, and graduate-level courses. He advised or was a committee member for 28 Master of Science degree students, 35 Master of Public Health students, and 35 Ph.D. students. He also provided continuing education for post-graduate professionals, law enforcement, government, and industry personnel.

He is a Diplomate of the American College of Poultry Veterinarians and a member of the American Association of Avian Pathologists, the North Eastern Conference on Avian Diseases, and Phi Zeta.

He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware, a master’s degree from Purdue University, a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine as a member of the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine’s charter class in 1984, and his Ph.D. from Virginia Tech in 1993.

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