College of Veterinary Medicine hires Jamie Henningson as director for Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory
Henningson has led the diagnostic laboratory as its interim director since August 2017, with the responsibility of reestablishing full accreditation with the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians. In addition, the lab has attained Tier 1 status with the National Animal Health Laboratory Network for the first time in its history.
Henningson's previous experience at the Nebraska Veterinary Diagnostic Center, the University of Wisconsin's pathobiological sciences department and the National Animal Disease Center have prepared her to lead the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and domestic and foreign-animal disease interests of the state and region.
"Dr. Henningson has demonstrated her commitment to customer service, efficiency and quality assurance during her time as interim director," said Bonnie Rush, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. "Her focus on innovation and discovery will strengthen the KSVDL's capability to serve the future needs of our broad constituent base."
"I feel it is important to advocate for and foster an exceptional client service, culture of quality, continuous improvement and teamwork," Henningson said. "Adapting to the future and ever-changing world of diagnostics is vital. A few of my goals for the KSVDL would be to uphold our standing as a top tier diagnostic laboratory and to oversee its continued growth, competitive offerings and maintaining National Animal Health Laboratory Network Tier 1 status in the future."
A longtime resident of Kansas, Henningson was born in Hays and then moved to Topeka where most of her family still lives. She spent most of her time growing up on 120 acres of land owned by her grandparents and parents north of Topeka. The family owned other areas of land that early on had cattle and corn but eventually became Conservation Reserve Program land. She grew up with horses and spent her days running and riding and breaking horses for her dad. Her parents have never had cable television and they didn't get air conditioning until she went off to college, so most of her days were spent outside. She was actively involved in 4-H, serving as president of her local club, and was involved in the horse and leatherworking projects. In high school, she competed in running sports and was actively involved in FFA, competing in livestock, horse and poultry judging. Henningson earned a bachelor's degree in agriculture and then her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, both from Kansas State University.
She completed graduate training at the Nebraska Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory under David Steffen and Clayton Kelling in pathology and virology. Her graduate degree program focused on a vaccine candidate trial for bovine viral diarrhea virus. After finishing her doctorate in 2008, she became a junior faculty member at the University of Wisconsin, Madison where she worked as a diagnostic pathologist and taught reproductive pathology. In 2009, she passed the American College of Veterinary Pathologists board exam to become a diplomate. In 2010, she joined the swine virology group at the National Animal Disease Center in Ames, Iowa, with a primary focus on pandemic influenza and the highly pathogenic porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus.
Late in 2011, Henningson returned to her alma mater as a diagnostic pathologist at the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. She is heavily involved with unraveling interesting diagnostic cases that present to the lab and has been the primary pathologist in a number of research projects. Her primary interest is bovine pathology. She is currently the liaison between the Academy of Veterinary Consultants and American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, and she has participated in the Executive Veterinary Program for beef.
Outside of work, Henningson enjoys spending time with her two children. Henningson is a Girl Scout troop leader, an accomplished cycler and runs a summer youth cycling program in Manhattan to encourage city kids to spend time outdoors.