Margie Lee, associate dean for research and graduate studies at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, has been selected as the 2023 recipient of the Phibro Animal Health Excellence in Poultry Research Award. The Phibro Award is presented to a member of the American Association of Avian Pathologists who has demonstrated sustained excellence in research of poultry disease and health over a period of 20 years or more.
“I received training in medical microbiology with no intention of working on poultry,” said Dr. Lee. “I ended up not only working on a poultry pathogen for my Ph.D. but I continued research in poultry disease pathogens and poultry food safety pathogens for the majority of my career, culminating in a research program in poultry intestinal microbiomes. Who knew that chicken poop could be so interesting?”
Dr. Lee is on the editorial board of the journal Avian Diseases. She advises on animal health microbiology for the American Society for Microbiology’s Public and Scientific Affairs Committee and has served on the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity of the National Institutes of Health and the National Advisory Committee for the Microbiological Contamination of Foods of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
A native of eastern Bedford County, Virginia, Dr. Lee earned a bachelor’s degree in biology at Virginia Tech. She was among the third class of graduates from the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine in 1986 and one of its earliest Black graduates. She went on to earn a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in medical microbiology from the University of Georgia. Dr. Lee taught at the University of Georgia from 2003 to 2018. She returned to Virginia Tech in 2018 as head of the veterinary college’s department of biomedical sciences and pathobiology.