A native of New Zealand, Dr. Burgess has worked around the world as a practicing veterinarian and scientist. His areas of research expertise include cancer biology, virology, proteomics, immunology, bioinformatics and computational biology.
Dr. Burgess is Vice President of the University of Arizona Division of Agriculture, Life and Veterinary Sciences, and Cooperative Extension and the Charles-Sander Dean of the College of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences. In FY22, this $320M/year enterprise taught 10,700 students and almost 5,000 K-12 students in all 15 counties, had more than 1,250 employees and almost 1,000 DPS background-checked volunteers. UArizona has been ranked as the top performing university in the world in water resources.
A first-generation student, Dr. Burgess graduated with distinction as a veterinarian in 1989 from Massey University. He has worked in and managed veterinary clinical practices in Australia and the United Kingdom, with services in horses, farm animals, pets, wild and zoo animals, and emergency medicine and surgery. He did a radiology residency at Murdoch University, where he co-founded Perth’s first emergency veterinary clinic concurrently, and he has managed aquaculture facilities in Scotland. He did his Ph.D. in virology, immunology and cancer biology, conferred by University of Bristol Medical School, while working full time outside of the academy between 1995 and 1998.
Dr. Burgess volunteered to work in the U.K. World Reference Laboratory for Exotic Diseases during the 2001 U.K. foot and mouth disease crisis, where he led the diagnosis reporting office for the Office of Prime Minister Tony Blair. He was awarded the Institute for Animal Health Director’s Award for Service.
In 2002, Dr. Burgess joined Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine as an assistant professor. He was recruited from Mississippi State as a professor, associate dean, and director of the Institute for Genomics, Biocomputing and Biotechnology.
Between 1997 and 2011 he was research-active and did most of his 194 refereed publications, mentored 38 graduate students and received $53M in competitive funding.
Dr. Burgess is honored to lead the University of Arizona Division of Agriculture, Life and Veterinary Sciences, and Cooperative Extension as they advance their mission as part of a land-grant university by preparing students to be leaders and job creators, researching solutions to society's biggest challenges, and bringing the science of the university to the families and communities of Arizona.