After earning her undergraduate degree in 1973 and Master of Science in 1979 from The Ohio State University, Dr. Bev Byrum served as a senior microbiologist at Ross Laboratories (a division of Abbott Laboratories) from 1973 to 1980, and as a consultant from 1980 to 1983. She was awarded the President’s Award at Ross Laboratories in both 1979 and 1980, which recognizes the scientist whose efforts contributed the most to the company’s economic and scientific benefit.
After Dr. Byrum received her DVM from Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine in 1989, she remained in the college as a research assistant. During this time, she received the B.S. Pomeroy Award at the North Central Avian Disease Conference for “distinguished achievements in disease research.” She earned her PhD in Veterinary Preventive Medicine in 1994.
Dr. Byrum was hired by the Ohio Department of Agriculture as a microbiologist that same year, and within a short time was promoted to director of the Animal Disease Laboratory (ADL). She was involved in staff improvement, budgeting, and the design of a state-of-the-art necropsy facility and an enhanced, renovated laboratory, named the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (ADDL). The ADDL was dedicated in 1999, and gained accreditation as a full-species diagnostic laboratory by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, one of 36 such facilities at that time. Since 2005, Dr. Byrum has served as the director of laboratories for both the ADDL and the Consumer Protection Laboratory.
Under her leadership, the ADDL has become an asset to veterinary medicine and Ohio’s agricultural industry. She and the laboratory have been involved in the identification, diagnosis and rapid detection of equine herpesvirus 1 from a farm outbreak, in which the isolate was later patented. In 2014, the ADDL isolated a new virus: Swine Delta Corona-virus (SDCv), which produces symptoms similar to Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus. In 2007, Dr. Byrum received the E.P. Pope Award, the highest award given by the AAVLD for a laboratory director.
Dr. Byrum has served in numerous leadership and service roles in the AAVLD, in addition to a variety of capacities for the United States Animal Health Association and the Steering Committee for the National Animal Health Laboratory Network. She served as chair of both the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians Accreditation Committee (from 2010-2014) and the Cattle Health Committee for the National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA). Among other awards, she received the NIAA Service Award in 2002 and the Ohio Poultry Association Service Award in 2003. She has served as an adjunct professor in the college’s Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine since 2004.