CPB Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan, June 2009

The Strategic Plan Committee members are listed below:
  • Dr. Bill Van Alstine, Chair
  • Dr. Joanne Messick
  • Dr. Peg Miller
  • Dr. George Moore
  • Dr. Paul Snyder


The Department of Comparative Pathobiology (CPB), an academic department within the College of Veterinary Medicine, has a primary mission to acquire (e.g. - discovery) and disseminate (e.g. - learning) the knowledge of the cause and course of diseases. Poised between the basic sciences and the clinics, the department uses an interdisciplinary and comparative medicine approach to develop molecular, cellular, animal-based models with the long-term goal to create improved methods for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of human and animal diseases. The engagement mission of CPB is accomplished through activities such as diagnostic parasitology and clinical pathology services, shared appointments of faculty and staff between CPB and the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (ADDL), and outreach through CPB faculty leadership and participation in continuing education, the Center for Human-Animal Bond, national and international professional organizations, research boards, editorial boards, examination committees, etc. CPB outreach extends to the citizens of Indiana, commodity groups, and regulatory and public health agencies.

The previous CPB strategic plan (2002-07) was marked by investments in infrastructure, human resources, and development of new interdisciplinary programs. Infrastructure renovation and additions included renovation of several laboratories (2nd floor VPTH; VPRB B11/13). The CPB research focus was aligned with SVM-recognized areas of research focus including infectious diseases, cancer, neurosciences and biomedical engineering and this was a major influence in new faculty hires and resource allocation. In addition, extramural funding for research approximately tripled from 2001 until 2007. A new MS graduate training/residency program in laboratory animal medicine was established in cooperation with Indiana University School of Medicine and Eli Lilly and Company. Overall, graduate student numbers rose from approximately 40 prior to 2001 to approximately 50 in 2007 There was significant growth of interdisciplinary programs and several CPB faculty hold joint or courtesy appointments in Biomedical Engineering, Discovery Park (Bindley Bioscience, Birck Nanotechnology, and e-Enterprise), and the Medical Discovery Resource Unit (MDRU).

A CPB strategic planning committee was convened in the fall of 2008 to address the fundamental direction of the department for the next five years (2009-14). The CPB strategic planning document was modeled after the College of Veterinary Medicine Strategic Plan and reflects input from the planning committee, departmental section meetings, and meetings of the whole departmental faculty and selected staff.

The department will continue to provide high quality basic and clinical sciences courses for the DVM, MD, Veterinary Technology programs, and residency training in anatomic and clinical pathology and laboratory animal medicine. The department’s robust research programs, including pathology, parasitology, bacteriology, immunology, virology, and epidemiology, will continue to foster the proper environment for training biomedical researchers. Outreach to the research community and animal owning public will continue through the efforts of shared faculty, cooperative programs, faculty outreach to professional and lay societies, and departmental service laboratories. Any increase in research, education, or engagement activities will require an appropriate increase in faculty and physical facility resources.


The department embraces the values and culture outlined in Purdue Moves and the Purdue Veterinary Medicine Strategic Plan. As a department we:
  • Strive for excellence in all aspects of our work.
  • Promote a collegial work and learning environment enhanced by diversity.
  • Emphasize innovation and delivery in our learning, discovery, and engagement programs.
  • Actively support individual development of our faculty, staff, and students such that they can achieve their full potential as biomedical scientists, professionals, and individuals.
  • Encourage collaborative, multidisciplinary discovery programs providing a continuum of basic science to applied research benefiting both animal and human health (i.e., translational research).
  • Encourage participation in activities that enhance the veterinary profession and the reputation of the School.


The department’s mission is to improve animal health and well-being through an understanding and application of knowledge and advanced technologies in microbiology, epidemiology and pathology. Scientific advancements in animal health will be applied to human health (comparative medicine) and environmental health through collaborations with colleagues in multiple disciplines including, basic sciences, engineering, and human medicine. Learning, discovery and engagement shall be core pathways by which CPB expresses its diverse expertise in animal and comparative medicine.

Education of students (Learning, Teaching):

The department makes significant contributions to the education and training of members of the veterinary and comparative biomedical communities.

Generation and communication of knowledge (Discovery, Research):

The department seeks to expand knowledge of animal and human health and diseases in an integrative approach from experiments at the molecular and cellular level to whole animal and population-based studies.

Enhance animal health and welfare and human health (Engagement, Service):

The department exchanges knowledge and interacts with the animal owning public, and other members of the veterinary and comparative biomedical community through diagnostic services, continuing education, extension, and international programs.


CPB will be a leading institution for education (learning), discovery and engagement in selected areas of veterinary and comparative pathobiology. CPB will foster a collegial, diverse, and supportive environment.

Education of students

The CPB graduate program will educate and train scientists in biomedical research who are well prepared for career paths in veterinary medicine and science to serve throughout Indiana, the United States, and the world. We will strive for excellence in veterinary, medical, and graduate training in other areas as outlined in the strategic plan.

Generation and communication of knowledge

CPB will have excellence within SVM recognized areas of research focus including infectious diseases, cancer, neurosciences and biomedical engineering. These areas will use a comparative medicine approach. This research will integrate knowledge at the molecular, cellular, tissue, whole animal and population levels using naturally occurring and experimentally-induced animal models. The Department will contribute value to interdisciplinary research and training programs in medicine, multidisciplinary translational discovery programs, and biotechnology at Purdue University, and in collaboration with other researchers within and outside Purdue.

Enhance animal health and welfare and human health

Through diagnostic services, continuing education and extension programs, professional organizations, and international programs in veterinary and comparative medicine, CPB faculty will engage veterinarians, veterinary technicians/technologists, and the animal-owning public throughout Indiana, the nation, and the world.


GOAL 1 - Launching veterinary and biomedical careers:

Provide excellence in the professional (DVM, medical), graduate and veterinary technology programs through innovative didactic courses, distance learning, and experiential learning.

  • Learner-centered educational programs with core-elective curriculum.
  • Skills, values, and behaviors essential for successful independent and collaborative scientists.
  • Diverse learning opportunities.
  • Rigorous academic standards and competencies.
  • Diverse and excellent faculty and staff committed to education.

GOAL 2 – Delivering discovery that benefits animal and human heath

Prioritize departmental resources towards SVM recognized areas of research focus.

  • Basic and applied discovery in comparative medicine of the finest quality and depth and to address emerging animal and public health issues.
  • Infrastructure conducive to world class biomedical research
  • Internationally recognized pre- and post-doctoral research programs.
  • Synergize with campus-wide and inter-institutional interdisciplinary and translational research programs.
  • Delivery of discovery through publications, presentations, patents and licenses.

Meet the global challenges for improving animal and human health.

  • Synergistic partnerships that can contribute to university, state, national and international responses to emerging animal diseases, public health issues, bioterrorism, and biosecurity concerns.
  • Visibility that enhances an international reputation.
  • Global educational outreach to increase the impact of CPB learning, discovery and engagement.


The strategies to achieve the goals of the CPB strategic plan are presented as shared strategies expected to benefit all goals, and strategies specific to each goal (learning, discovery, and engagement).

A. Key Overarching Strategies (For all Three Goals)

  1. Document and recognize faculty development and productivity.

  2. Grow faculty, staff, and graduate student positions.

  3. Recruit and retain outstanding faculty and staff.

  4. Encourage internal and external communications to enhance the visibility and
    marketability of CPB and its graduates in discovery, learning and engagement.

  5. Plan for and advocate for quality new research space.

  6. Increase funding base.

  7. Identify, recruit, and engage adjunct faculty.

  8. Develop infrastructure to keep departmental website and individual faculty websites
    current, professional in appearance, easy to navigate, and relevant.
Metrics for Overarching Goals
  • Refine and utilize annual assessment documents (promotions documents, annual self assessment, etc)
  • New faculty and staff positions.
  • Graduate student numbers.
  • Number of graduate degrees granted per year.
  • Success rates on specialty boards.
  • Faculty and graduate student awards, honors, presentations and peer-reviewed publications.
  • Faculty retention and promotions
  • Numbers of adjunct faculty involved in all program areas.
  • Hits and feedback on faculty and departmental websites.
  • Extramural and internal funding levels.

B. Key Strategies Specific to Goal 1 (Learning)

    • Identify core competencies for graduate students in pathobiology and provide learning
      opportunities for students in CPB to master these core competencies through effective
      instructional methodologies.
    • Encourage and support the participation of faculty, graduate students, and staff in
      programs that improve their teaching abilities.
    • Optimize experiential learning opportunities consistent with CPB focus areas, through
      findings from discovery activities, external experts, engagement activities, and utilization
      of caseloads. Improve course opportunities for non-CPB students.
    • Participate in the SVM goals of increasing class size and enhancing class diversity.
    • Develop and use ADDL, CPB, and SVM case materials for biomedical education.
    • Provide diverse learning experiences.

Metrics for Goal 1 (Learning)

  • Number of participants in instructional improvement programs.
  • Number of graduate students successful on board certifying examinations and numbers of advanced degrees awarded.
  • Peer teaching and student evaluation scores.
  • Publications and presentations related to teaching.
  • Faculty FTE for learning.
  • Numbers of CPB courses, faculty contact hours, and student enrollment per course.
  • External faculty and resources included in courses.

C. Key Strategies Specific to Goal 2 (Discovery)

    1. Enhance the CPB contributions in SVM recognized areas of research focus including infectious diseases, cancer, neurosciences and biomedical engineering
    2. Recruit and retain faculty positions to enhance SVM recognized areas of research focus including infectious diseases, cancer, neurosciences and biomedical engineering
    3. Improve research infrastructure:
      • Modern well equipped research space
      • Technical support for research equipment
      • Update and provide oversight for shared equipment facilities with equipment that addresses the needs of faculty and staff in CPB.
    4. Create incentives and new opportunities for interdisciplinary activities in discovery:
      • Expand and encourage participation in the newly established Program of Comparative Medicine and other interdisciplinary initiatives, e.g. Purdue Cancer Center, Bindley Bioscience Center, Birck Nanotechnology Center, Biomedical engineering, and other Purdue academic units, industry, and other research institutions.
      • Support workshops within CPB discovery focus areas.
      • Encourage sabbatical leaves and continuing education to support CPB discovery focus areas. Encourage faculty with significant teaching and engagement responsibilities to participate in discovery.
    5. Increase external funding:
      • Facilitate contacts between faculty, funding agencies and industry in support of CPB discovery focus areas.
      • Provide secretarial support to serve as a resource for grant writing and be available to help in preparation of grant proposals.
      • Provide financial support for pilot research projects that have potential to attract extramural grants and establish a protocol for allocating/managing this support
      • Encourage participation of faculty in interdisciplinary research projects.

Metrics for Goal 2 (Discovery)

  • Financial research support for faculty from all external and internal funding sources.
  • Number of publications in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Number of presentations at scientific meetings.
  • Number of awards.
  • Faculty FTE.
  • Faculty-directed annual review of departmental infrastructure needs, e.g. equipment, technical support, research space utilization.

D. Key Strategies Specific to Goal 3 (Engagement)

    1. Prioritize CPB engagement services to be developed, supported, and maintained, by periodically reviewing CPB services in relation to ADDL, SVM, and University services for optimal efficiency and use.
    2. Strengthen familiarity of young people with the varying facets of veterinary medicine and pathobiology through enhanced, ongoing engagement with PK–12 schools.
    3. Encourage basic and applied biomedical research development from engagement activities.
    4. Utilize a broad caseload in CPB service areas to meet our learning and discovery needs.
    5. Encourage faculty to participate in continuing education and outreach programs to transfer knowledge and skills to veterinary practitioners, technicians, allied professional and special interest groups, as well as inform the public of current and new animal health, public health, and food safety information.
    6. Maintain, update, and expand the departmental website to include and highlight engagement activities.

Metrics for Goal 3 (Engagement)

    • Number of case accessions and tests per year (ADDL, VTH, CPB service areas).
    • Awards for engagement activities.
    • Continuing education presentations.
    • Publications. Faculty FTE.
    • Number of new diagnostic tests developed.
    • Numbers of university, national and international professional committees/organizations.
    • Elected and appointed positions held in national and international professional organizations.


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