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Sarne De Vliegher graduated as a vet in 1998 from Ghent University and became a world-renowned mastitis and milk quality research expert with special expertise in the epidemiology of heifer mastitis and coagulase-negative staphylococci. He is passionate about udder health and milk quality as   well as about the veterinary profession. In everything he does, Sarne is both proactive and    passionate. When working with students of veterinary medicine, he encourages them to be proactive and creative in their work. He motivates them to have a clear mission and vision for the modern practice they hope to set up. It’s not just his students he seeks to motivate, though. His passion extends beyond the university to his veterinary colleagues who he tries to inspire to make the shift from curative to preventative medicine, from being a skilled practitioner to a respected herd health advisor.

Veterinarian, researcher, teacher, entrepreneur

After graduation, Sarne immediately started working as a veterinarian at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Reproduction, Obstetrics, and Herd Health. He defended his PhD-thesis on heifer mastitis in 2004 and worked for some months at the Atlantic Veterinary College of the University of Prince Edward Island, Canada. In that same year, he finished a MSc in Veterinary Epidemiology and Animal Health Economics at Utrecht University and obtained a degree as a judicial expert from Ghent University. In 2006, he became diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Public Health. In the meantime, he worked in the University cattle practice for nearly seven years. Since 2005, Sarne is teaching veterinary legislation and practice management at Ghent University. He is heading the M-team UGent and the Mastitis and Milk Quality Research Unit, and has continuously several PhD-students working in the area of mastitis and milk quality. Sarne was a keynote speaker at several international conferences, is an author of more than hundred publications in international peer-reviewed journals and has organized the ‘heifer mastitis conference’, aworkshop on coagulase-negative staphylococci and the first National Mastitis Council Regional Meeting outside the US and Canada. As well, he is member of the board of directors of the National Mastitis Council and is co-editor-in-chief and co-product-manager of M²-magazine.

Favorite quotes: “Be creative not reactive.” and “The way to succeed is to be courageous and patient, and to work energetically.”

Personal values: He values reliability, drive, passion and professionalism.