Texas Tech University

Medicine Expert Joins Faculty of Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine

George Watson

December 3, 2020

vet school

Emily Sundman’s research has resulted in advancements in large-animal health.

Say the words "New York" and most people will think of the large, metropolitan area that is the financial and shopping center of the U.S. Few, if any, say agriculture.

Yet if you get outside of the main city, the state of New York is an important contributor of agricultural products in the country. The state has a $3.6 billion agricultural industry with more than 35,000 farms producing products from apples and cabbage to milk and cheese, grapes, maple syrup and cauliflower.

It is here where Emily Sundman was raised and saw firsthand the critical role agriculture has on the state and the importance of those who care for farm animals. This became the foundation for a career supporting animal health.

That career now brings her to West Texas as the latest member to join the faculty of the new Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo as an assistant professor of medicine. She began her duties on Tuesday (Dec. 1).

Emily Sundman

"I am thrilled to join the Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine in time to welcome the inaugural class," Sundman said. "Working at the School of Veterinary Medicine is a career dream realized in order to further veterinary care for our large animals."

Sundman has spent much of her career involved in agricultural industry research and development, inventing ways to directly and positively impact animal health and assisting practicing veterinarians who seek to do the same.

Since December 2013, Sundman has served a role in clinical development for Kindred Biosciences, which takes strategies that are safely used for human therapeutics and applies them to the development of animal biologics, such as monoclonal antibodies and recombinant proteins.

From 2013 to 2017, she oversaw the clinical development phase, including efficacy and safety, of new animal pharmaceuticals for approval by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Committee for Medicinal Products for Veterinary Use (CVMP). She also designed and executed clinical studies and was primarily responsible for pharmaceuticals for use in horses, dogs and cats.

She was promoted to Senior Clinical Development Manager in 2017, where she was responsible for the approval of Zimeta IV for use in controlling fever in horses in the U.S. She served in this role until September, when she was promoted to Associate Director of Clinical Development, increasing the responsibilities for early phase strategy and development of products for USDA and CVMP approval.

Sundman also has been co-owner and veterinarian at Picolino Ranch since 2015. The ranch, located in Lipan, Texas, specializes in the breeding and development of Aberdeen cattle, raising them to become accustomed to the pastureland and climate associated with North Texas. Since 2013, she has served as an emergency equine ambulatory veterinarian serving in Davis, California, and later the Lipan areas.

"2020 has shown us the importance of innovation," said Guy Loneragan, dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine. "To help with and prevent COVID-19, the call went out for new therapies and for new vaccines. Innovative products are now arriving, and society has benefited from this research and discovery. Veterinary medicine is no different. Our animals – large and small – benefit from new therapies and new preventatives. Dr. Sundman will add to our school's vibrant research and discovery efforts. She also serves an important role helping our researchers design the best possible trials to test new discoveries. We are so lucky Dr. Sundman has joined our school. We will benefit so very much from what she contributes."

Sundman earned bachelor's degrees in history and biology from Syracuse University and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University in 2012. At Cornell, she was influenced greatly working by professor and veterinarian Lisa Fortier. That's where Sundman said she got a good look at what true veterinary research was like.

Sundman has been a Diplomat of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (Equine Practice) since 2019.

"Dr. Sundman brings a unique background to our program from industry and research, which will help guide our faculty in their programs," said John Dascanio, senior associate dean for academic and student affairs. "Combining that experience with her clinical background allows for application toward clinical practice, enabling her to serve as a great mentor to the school and to the faculty. We welcome her to her new role with the school."

Sundman joins a growing and vibrant team of faculty and staff at the School of Veterinary Medicine. Additional team members will continue to be added over the next few months as the school prepares to welcome its inaugural class in the fall of 2021.

About the School of Veterinary Medicine

Thanks to the generosity of Amarillo and communities across Texas, and the commitment of legislators from around the state, the Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo was established in 2018. In September 2020, the school was granted a Letter of Reasonable Assurance, from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Council on Education and has begun the admissions process in preparation for classes to begin in August of 2021.

The School of Veterinary Medicine will recruit and select students with a passion to serve rural and regional communities. Its curriculum is focused on the competencies and skills necessary for success in practice types that support these communities. Texas Tech's innovative and cost-efficient model partners with the wider community of veterinary practices across the state to provide clinical, real-world experiential learning.