New SDSU Department Head of Veterinary & Biomedical Sciences |

New SDSU Department Head of Veterinary & Biomedical Sciences

Dr. Jane Christopher-Hennings. Photo courtesy SDSU

South Dakota State University announces that Jane Christopher-Hennings will serve as the new Department Head of the Veterinary & Biomedical Sciences Department and Director of the Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory, pending approval by the Board of Regents.

“Dr. Christopher-Hennings will provide a strong and effective vision, as well as leadership for the department and laboratory. In her 17-year career at SDSU, she has demonstrated herself to be an exceptional researcher and a creative leader in diagnostics of emerging diseases,” said Barry Dunn, Dean of the College of Agriculture & Biological Sciences and Director of SDSU Extension.

As Department Head of Veterinary & Biomedical Sciences Department (VBSD) and Director of the Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory (ADRDL), Christopher-Hennings will lead a large team of faculty and researchers. Her role is multifaceted; she will provide leadership for strong and relevant programming in research, teaching, extension and animal health diagnostic services.

The VBSD and ADRDL complement one another in mission and staffing. The VBSD employs a faculty team of 18 and ADRDL employs a team of about 45 staff and researchers who annually conduct more than 500,000 diagnostic test procedures.

“I look forward to meeting and talking with our stakeholders – veterinarians, students, researchers, livestock producers and industry leaders – to see how we can meet their needs in the area of veterinary and biomedical sciences,” Christopher-Hennings said.

More about Jane Christopher-Hennings

Christopher-Hennings has served as a member of faculty at SDSU since 1996; most recently serving as a professor of Veterinary Science. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a DVM from the University of Minnesota.

Her research at SDSU began in 1990 where she worked on the initial characterization of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) Virus and developed one of the first molecular tests, which was a polymerase chain reaction-based test that was used in describing PRRSV in boars and semen. As a result of her research in molecular diagnostics, she helped to launch the Molecular Diagnostics section of the ADRDL.

Even in her new position, Christopher-Hennings will continue to remain involved in research responsibilities primarily involving infectious diseases of animals and those of importance to public health.

“Research work excites me. I really enjoy learning new things and discovering new things that can help the industry and livestock producers who need tools to fight infectious disease,” Christopher-Hennings said. “I feel privileged to continue to work with people who raise livestock to help feed the world.”

A leader within the industry, Christopher-Hennings has on several USDA panels including; Small Business Innovation Research Grants, National Competitive Research Initiative Grants Program and National Competitive Research Initiative Grants Program. Over the years she has been actively involved in several professional organizations serving as an officer and chairing several committees.



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