September 2, 2005

Wallace named to lead animal care efforts

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Jeanne Wallace, D.V.M., and Mark Wallace, Ph.D.

Wallace named to lead animal care efforts

Jeanne M. Wallace, D.V.M., director of Animal Resources at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, has been appointed university veterinarian, director of Animal Care and assistant vice chancellor for Research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Margaret S. McTighe, D.V.M., a veterinarian with broad experience in laboratory animal care who joined Vanderbilt in 2003, will continue to serve as interim director until Wallace's arrival on Jan. 1.

Wallace “was our first choice from a large group of outstanding candidates,” said Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., associate vice chancellor for Research. “Jeanne is that rare person with the engaging personality, sharp intellect and leadership skills needed to make Vanderbilt a national leader in laboratory animal medicine.”

Her husband, Mark T. Wallace, Ph.D., a neuroscientist at Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, N.C., has been appointed associate professor in the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

He will have a secondary appointment in the Department of Psychology in the College of Arts & Science. Noted for his studies of the role of multisensory processing deficits in dyslexia, Wallace will continue his research at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development.

Jeanne Wallace said they were attracted to Vanderbilt because of its “exciting and nurturing environment.”

“We were both very impressed with Vanderbilt's collaborative and collegial atmosphere,” added Mark Wallace. “It is clear that there are a large and growing number of endeavors that link individuals from different departments, programs, centers and schools. Such a structure fits my ideal for a research program very well.”

“Vanderbilt University Medical School is undergoing tremendous growth in its research enterprise,” Jeanne Wallace said. “One of my responsibilities will be to work with the administration to ensure the animal research infrastructure is in place to support that growth.

“The plan down the road is to enhance the academic nature of the Division of Animal Care by providing opportunities for faculty veterinarians to contribute in ways that go beyond the traditional service role.

“Involvement in collaborative research and postgraduate veterinary residency training will improve the services of the Division, and that is in keeping with the tripartite mission of an academic institution such as Vanderbilt,” she added.

A native of Phoenix, Wallace earned her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine in 1986 from Kansas State University, and completed her clinical residency and postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Comparative Medicine at Bowman Gray School of Medicine.

She has directed the Animal Resources Program at Wake Forest since 1991, and she was appointed associate professor of Comparative Medicine at Wake Forest in 2000.

At Vanderbilt she will hold an associate professorship in the Department of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics, and will have the opportunity to conduct collaborative research in the laboratory of the department's chairman, Alan Cherrington, Ph.D.

Mark Wallace is a Pennsylvania native who earned a Ph.D. in neurobiology at Temple University in 1990. In 2003, he was appointed associate professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy at Wake Forest, where he directed the department's Graduate Program.

He is the principal investigator or co-principal investigator of five federal grants to study how information from the eyes, ears and other senses is combined and processed in the brain, and how deficits in such multisensory processing can contribute to dyslexia, impairment of the ability to recognize and comprehend written words, as well as autism.

Wallace said he hopes the research may lead to more sensitive diagnostic tools and better strategies to help children compensate for these deficits.

The Wallaces have a daughter, Alicia, who is a freshman at the University of Virginia.