Anne Zajac, professor of parasitology in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology in the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the title of professor emerita by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The emerita 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 clinical parasitologist who has been a member of the Virginia Tech community since 1986, Zajac has made significant contributions to the scholarship of parasitology. She is author of more than 120 peer-reviewed journal articles and reviews, and her book, “Veterinary Clinical Parasitology,” has sold more than 50,000 copies and has been translated into three languages.

“Dr. Zajac is far-thinking in her field of study. She has promoted alternative novel approaches to treat the growing problem of drug resistance in small ruminants due to an overuse of traditional anthelmintic drugs,” said Ansar Ahmed, professor of immunology and associate dean of research and graduate studies at the veterinary college. Her research has included investigations into genetic variation in resistance to parasites and, with the University of Massachusetts and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the use of paraprobiotics for H. contortus parasite infection, the most critical health problem in the U.S. sheep industry.

In the classroom, Zajac taught a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and veterinary courses and advised dozens of students completing master’s degrees and Ph.D. dissertations, helping them to develop successful careers in both academic and industrial settings. “Dr. Zajac has a unique ability to transfer her enthusiasm for parasites to her students — not an easy task,” said Ahmed.

“Dr. Zajac takes such pride in her work and has always given 100 percent in research, outreach, diagnostics, and teaching,” said Tanya LeRoith, clinical professor of anatomic pathology and director of ViTALS, the college’s on-site interdisciplinary diagnostic laboratory. “She was always available to help and support her fellow faculty members. I will miss her guidance, her practicality, and her friendship.”

A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists, Zajac is a member of the American Society of Parasitologists, the American Veterinary Medical Association, and the Helminthological Society of Washington. She served as president of the American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists, receiving its Distinguished Service Award in 2008, and its AAVP-Merial Distinguished Veterinary Parasitologist Award, the organization’s highest honor, in 2016.

Zajac earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, a master’s degree and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Michigan State University, and a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University.

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