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Dr. Kessler earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Cornell University in 1972 and is board-certified by the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine. From 1972-1977 he served as a Captain in the USAF Veterinary Corps first as the Base Veterinarian for Kincheloe AFB, MI and then supporting DOD animal research involving monkeys and other laboratory animals at the Naval Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory in Pensacola, FL. In 1977, he left the military and joined the staff of the Caribbean Primate Research Center (CPRC), University of Puerto Rico (UPR) Medical Sciences Campus as its head veterinarian later serving as its Director from 1986-1999. During this time, he co-owned/co-operated a small animal clinic in San Juan from 1979-1996. From 1990-1991 he also served as the Acting Director of the UPR Animal Resources Center and supervised the operation of the NIAID-contracted ABSL-3 (now BLN-3) SIV facility therein. In 1991 he co-founded Environmental Plastics of Puerto Rico to recycle plastic waste from the island into “plastic lumber.” During his tenure at the CPRC from 1977-2001, Dr. Kessler collaborated on numerous studies and authored or co-authored nearly 120 scientific publications, edited two volumes on rhesus monkeys, and was the Principal Investigator on several NIH grants and contracts. From 2001-2002, he served as a consulting laboratory animal veterinarian for NIH/FDA-contractee Priority One Services, Inc. and Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical College of Virginia. During this period he also practiced small animal medicine and surgery at a clinic in Charlottesville. In 2003, he became the Associate Director at the Center for Comparative Medicine, University of Virginia where he worked four eight years with a large variety of laboratory animal species. During 2011, Dr. Kessler was the Chair of the Division of Veterinary Resources, New England Primate Research Center, Harvard Medical School. In addition to clinical, research, administrative and management experience, Dr. Kessler has served on the animal care and use committees of almost every institution at which he has worked, has taught laboratory animal classes at the UPR Veterinary Technician Program (AVMA-accredited), and has trained and mentored numerous veterinarians and technicians during his career. Dr. Kessler is currently the Associate Director of the Office of Laboratory Resources at West Virginia University and has served as an advisor to the CPRC and Barbados PRC & Wildlife Reserve. Dr. Kessler is currently co-editing a special issue of the American Journal of Primatology with Dr. Janis Gonzalez-Martinez of the CPRC and Dr. Richard Rawlins of Rush Medical School to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Cayo Santiago rhesus monkey colony. He is married to Ava Gaa Ojeda, a herpetologist, human reproductive biologist and part-time substitute teacher. She obtained her BS and MS from the UPR Department of Biology, Rio Piedras Campus. They have two sons attending WVU.
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