Pamela Zaabel, DVM, and Steve Larsen have joined the National Pork Board. Zaabel will be the director of swine health information and research; Larsen will be the director of pork safety.

Zaabel graduated as a doctor of veterinary medicine from Iowa State University in 1997. She has worked as a practicing veterinarian with experience in swine medicine and production at a mixed-animal veterinary clinic in Newton, Iowa until 2004. Zaabel and her husband raise sheep and cattle near Newton.

Zaabel's academic interests included research in sheep and swine embryo cryopreservation. She has coauthored several articles on this topic. While obtaining her veterinary degree, Zaabel worked at Iowa State University's Department of Veterinary Pathology and Veterinary Medical Research Institute's laboratories and taught in the Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology.

Zaabel's responsibilities for NPB will be to coordinate the Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Initiative, coordinate research and research programs in other endemic and emerging swine diseases, and develop educational material for producers.

Zaabel joined the National Pork Board on Jan. 3 and will work out of the Des Moines, Iowa office.

Larsen recently worked as senior food technologist for Tyson Foods where he was part of the company's food safety and Salmonella task forces. Larsen also participated in research and projects studying product shelf life and food safety.

Larsen is a graduate of Iowa State University where he completed his bachelor's degree in animal science, a master's degree in meat science and a doctorate of philosophy in veterinary microbiology.

Larsen's research interests include the effect of dietary supplements on meat quality, and the effect of pre-harvest processing, including lairage, on the prevalence of salmonella and other bacterial contaminants on the meat from market sows.

As director of pork safety, Larsen will develop and implement pre-harvest pork safety programs including those related to preventing microbiological, physical and chemical hazards in pork. He also will oversee pre-harvest and post-harvest pork safety research projects.

Source: National Pork Board