Dr. Ted Tesprateep
A tribute to a Great Visionary Academic Leader and Friend
I first met Dr. Ted Tesprateep in 1997 when he visited Michigan State University (MSU). He presented a seminar about the new Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Chiang Mai University (CMU) and held several meetings with different Departments. I was requested by our then Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) to attend all the meetings and be the point person to facilitate collaboration between MSU and CMU. I was very impressed by his knowledge and the path he was planning to make the new Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at CMU a world class.
In 1998, I received a five-year grant from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) to conduct comparative studies on selected zoonotic diseases and associated antimicrobial resistance in farmers and their livestock in Thailand. Under this grant, 4-6 US veterinary and medical students from MSU spent three months in Thailand participating in research. In addition, Thai veterinary students and post graduate students participated in the research in Thailand and in the US. With Dr. Tesprateep’s vision, other collaborations were initiated. These included bringing Faculty members from MSU in different disciplines (Pathology, Epidemiology, Food safety Equine Medicine, and Equine Theriogenology) to the new Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Chiang Mai for short periods of three months to teach, assist in setting up the research laboratory infrastructure, and setting up a new diagnostic laboratory. A Veterinary Students Exchange between CMU and MSU program was initiated in 2002 and continues to date. Under this program two Thai veterinary students will come to MSU for 6-9 weeks to spend time in our Veterinary hospital participating in clinical rotations of their choices. The students exchange program has been one of the most successful and rewarding programs for both CMU and MSU. The MSU CVM has very much enjoyed having the Thai veterinary students and it is my hope that this program continues for a long time. All the programs were possible due to the seeds that Dr. Ted Tesprateep planted and the infrastructure he left for them to grow and blossom.
In all my interaction with Dr. Tesprateep over the last 23 years, I found him to be visionary, very hard working, and forward looking. He strongly believed that a Faculty of Veterinary Medicine must have strong programs in teaching, research, and service to the community. As such, he encouraged young academic staff members to seek postgraduate training in different countries outside Thailand. He believed that such a diversity in training would result in a strong academic staff open to new changes and innovation. He was determined to provide a very strong foundation for the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at CMU to become a world first class College.
Dr. Ted Tesprateep and I kept in touch in the last 23 years through letters and email messaging and I am humbled to call him my friend. I was very fortunate to spend an afternoon with Dr. Ted in 2019. We have lost a great visionary academic leader. Dr. Tesprateep, you will forever be missed.
May you rest in peace.
University Distinguished Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health Director, Center for Comparative Epidemiology Michigan State University