Dr. X. J. Meng, of Blacksburg, Va., has recently been elected as an Honorary Diplomate in the American College of Veterinary Microbiology.

The honor is reserved for those individuals who have “achieved unquestioned eminence in veterinary microbiology,” according to Dr. Jim Roth, the president of the American College of Veterinary Microbiology and director of the Center for Food Security and Public Health at Iowa State University.

Meng, a professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology in the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech, was recognized for the many contributions he has made to the field of veterinary microbiology throughout his career. The award will be formally presented to Meng during the 2008 annual meeting of the Conference for Research Workers in Animal Disease in Chicago later this year.

“The [American College of Veterinary Microbiology] Board of Governors and the [college’s] membership have each voted by an overwhelming majority to extend Honorary Diplomate to you,” wrote Roth in a communication informing Meng of the honor. “Your many contributions to veterinary microbiology are highly valued. The [college] is honored to count you among our most valued colleagues.”

The American College of Veterinary Microbiology is the American Veterinary Medical Association recognized specialty college for veterinarians with special expertise in microbiology.

Meng operates a world-renowned laboratory in the college’s Center for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Disease that is exploring hepatitis E virus as well as several other zoonotic diseases.

His research interests include studying the molecular mechanisms of viral replication and pathogenesis, developing vaccines against viral diseases, the study of emerging and re-emerging zoonotic viral diseases, human, swine and avian hepatitis E viruses, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus and porcine circovirus.

Prior to joining the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 1999, Meng served as senior staff fellow of the Molecular Hepatitis Section of the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Meng earned an doctor of medicine from Binzhou Medical College in Binzhou, Shandong, People’s Republic of China; a master’s in microbiology and immunology from the Virus Research Institute, Wuhan University College of Medicine, Wuhan, Hubei, Peoples Republic of China; and a Ph.D. in immunobiology from the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Preventive Medicine at the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

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