About Centaur


CENTAUR’s mission is to provide:

  • Educational opportunities for Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine veterinary medical students and Virginia Tech students
  • Service and outreach to the community
  • A basis for collaborative research programs for the study of the animal-human interface to discover new knowledge about the benefits people and animals derive from one another
  • Education and awareness of the health and safety of human-animal interactions


CENTAUR was originally founded in 2004 through a philanthropic gift from the Metcalfe Foundation n of the Eastern Shore of Maryland and organized under the direction of Dr. Marie Suthers-McCabe until she departed the faculty of VA-MD Vet Med in 2006. The Center continued without formal governance and a renewed interest led to the creation of a training program in human-animal bond studies in 2009.

In November 2011, CENTAUR came under the direction of Dr. Bess Pierce, associate professor in the Department of Population Health Sciences. The center has a growing team of core faculty members and research partners supporting its mission, and an advisory committee representing a collaborative team of experts in various fields.