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Jim Desmond, V08

About him

Desmond graduated in 2008 with a DVM and a master's degree in comparative biomedical sciences, he hopes to develop methods to monitor zoonotic and emerging diseases to prevent them from decimating wild-animal populations. His passion for veterinary medicine was triggered by the late Annelisa Kilbourn, V96, a renowned wildlife researcher, whom he met at an orangutan rehabilitation center in Borneo while traveling the world with his wife soon after their wedding.

About his scholarship

For his academic credentials and leadership qualities, Desmond was awarded the Henry L. Foster Scholarship in 2007. At a luncheon for scholarship recipients, Desmond had the opportunity to meet Dr. Foster, V83, H92, a Cummings School overseer and Tufts University trustee emeritus whose past generosity helped establish the Henry and Lois Foster Hospital for Small Animals on the Grafton campus. "It was great to meet him and have the chance to thank him, not only for the scholarship, but also for all he has done for the school." Desmond said the Foster Scholarship made it possible for him to pursue his career path unburdened by a high level of debt.

His career path

He traveled to Zimbabwe after his first year of veterinary school to study diseases in cattle that might be passed to wildlife and humans, and he'll be returning to Africa next summer to test chimpanzees for malaria. "There are not enough people fighting for and helping animals, especially wildlife overseas," said Desmond. "It's rewarding to work with those individuals who really need help."