University of Minnesota professor Jerry Torrison has joined the Longhorn Vaccines and Diagnostics LLC as senior vice president of animal health. Torrison brings over 30 years of experience as a veterinarian and diagnostician, and will lead the expansion of Longhorn's animal health business in the United States and global One Health arenas.
"Dr. Torrison's expertise has focused on diagnostic approaches and disease surveillance, with a specialty in viral diseases of pigs. This makes him an excellent match to lead the agriculture side of Longhorn as we expand our diagnostic, testing and vaccine capabilities," says Longhorn CEO Gerald W. Fischer. "Our One Health approach to public health issues means providing governments, reference and other laboratories, healthcare institutions and industry leaders tools they need to prevent the next outbreak, which isn't limited to human pathogens like what we've seen with COVID-19; it also includes animal pathogens. We look forward to having Dr. Torrison lead the expansion of our diagnostics tools to drive better surveillance and diagnosis of disease in animals and our expansion into animal vaccines."
In his role, Torrison will interface with government officials, academics and industry leaders to strengthen and expand the role PrimeStore Molecular Transport Medium and the company's other diagnostic tools play in providing safer, faster, and more accurate surveillance and diagnosis of high consequence animal diseases such as African swine fever and avian influenza. He will work with top reference laboratories and laboratory networks around the world to expand their capacity to respond to outbreaks such as the current high-pathogenic avian influenza outbreak.
Additionally, Torrison will support the vaccine group at Longhorn. The company's universal influenza vaccine candidate, LHNVD-105, will start Phase I human trials in early 2023 and has the potential to play an important role in preventing outbreaks in pigs, poultry and possibly other animals. In doing so, LHNVD-105 could have a significant impact on animal health and prevent the spread of the virus from animals to humans, a leading cause of pandemic strains.
Torrison is currently a professor at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine and leads the Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory where his recent research has focused primarily on diagnostic approaches, disease surveillance and control methods for viral diseases of pigs. He has served on multiple regional and national animal health and agriculture boards as well as industry advisory panels. He has also worked in private practice and industry, including extensive international veterinary consulting.