- laboratory design and construction
- quality assurance programs
- laboratory management and operations
- veterinary informatics
- laboratory information management systems
- infectious disease outbreaks
- working with the Incident Command System
- veterinary diagnostic topics:
- Chronic Wasting Disease
- Avian Influenza
- test validation
- disease surveillance processes
As director, Dr. Akey is responsible for the executive operations of the agency, focusing on day-to-day management of the four laboratory locations. Dr. Akey also oversees the agency’s quality assurance program and provides leadership to TVMDL’s three resident directors, located at the agency’s other laboratory locations in Amarillo, Center and Gonzales.
A graduate of the College of William and Mary with a bachelor’s degree in biology, Dr. Akey also holds a master of science in parasitology from the University of Florida and a doctorate of veterinary medicine from the University of Minnesota.
Dr. Akey is a nationally recognized leader in veterinary diagnostics. From 2006 through May of 2014, Dr. Akey was the assistant dean for diagnostic operations and the executive director of the Animal Health Diagnostic Center in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University. He served three and a half years as assistant state veterinarian for the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, was the chief of the Office of Laboratory Services at the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for 13 years, and was in private clinical practice for 4 years prior to that.
A former co-chair of two committees of the United States Animal Health Association, Dr. Akey also served as president of the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD) and was recognized by the organization with the E.P. Pope award for distinguished service in 2004 and lifetime membership in 2007. He has received several leadership and service awards from the AAVLD, the United States Department of Agriculture, Richmond Academy of Veterinary Medicine and the American Association of Food Hygiene Veterinarians.
Dr. Akey currently serves as co-chair of the AAVLD Government Relations Committee, is a member of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) Coordinating Council, co-chair of the NAHLN Methods Technical Working Group and a member of the NAHLN Information Technology Committee. In 2014, he was appointed as an adjunct clinical professor in the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology at Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.