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Robert Van Saun, DVM, MS, PhD

Board Certification

  • American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM), 2022
  • American College of Veterinary Nutrition (ACVN) Nutrition, 1990
  • American College of Theriogenologists (ACT) Theriogenology, 1987


  • Residency in Theriogenology
  • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, 1982
  • Master of Science, Michigan State University, 1988
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Cornell University, 1993
  • Bachelor of Science, Michigan State University, 1978


  • Professor of Veterinary Science and Extension Veterinarian, Pennsylvania State University (2000-present)
  • Rural Veterinary Practice Clinician/Assistant Professor, Oregon State University, College of Veterinary Medicine (1992-2000)
  • Associate Veterinarian, Private Veterinary Practice Friesen Veterinary Clinic, Carson City, Michigan (1991-1992)
  • Countryside Veterinary Clinic, Lowville, New York (1982-1984)
  • Graduate Research Associate, Department of Animal Science, Cornell University, 1987-1991

Honors, Awards, and Fellowships

  • Excellence in Academic Advising, 2013, College of Agricultural Sciences, Pennsylvania State University
  • Zoetis Distinguished Service Award, 2013, American Association of Bovine Practitioners
  • Outstanding Service Award and Lifetime Membership, 2013, American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition
  • Community of Teaching Excellence Award, 2009, College of Agricultural Science, Pennsylvania State University
  • Pfizer Excellence in Research Award, 1997 (Oregon State)
  • James and Mildred Oldfield and E.R. Jackman Team Award, OSU College of Agricultural Sciences, 1997 - Dairy Team Member
  • Carl J. Norden Distinguished Teacher Award, 1995 (Oregon State)


  • American Veterinary Medical Association
  • Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association
  • American College of Theriogenologists
  • American College of Veterinary Nutrition
  • American Dairy Science Association
  • American Society of Animal Science
  • American Association of Bovine Practitioners
  • Society for Theriogenology
  • Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council
  • American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition
  • American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners
  • Gamma Sigma Delta
  • American Association of Extension Veterinarians
  • National Agricultural College Teachers Association

Current Research/Clinical Interests

  • My research and extension programs focus on integration of nutrition, animal health, and productivity and emphasize the critical role of pregnancy nutrition on animal performance. My research spans across various species including dairy and beef cattle, horses, and small ruminants. My primary research focus in dairy cattle is to address issues of transition nutrition to reduce metabolic disease and promote productive and reproductive performance, though this has now expanded into sheep and goat production. Since 2001 I have consulted in Eastern Europe to provide extension programming for the restructuring of the dairy industry.


  • Happily married to my best friend, Nancy Carroll Van Saun for the past 37 years. We have two boys who both have served our country in the Army and continue in service. My oldest, William, now works on veteran affairs for the U.S. Senate and my youngest, Benjamin, is married with two children and serves as an Army recruiter.


  • I greatly enjoy travel, especially when my wife can accompany me on my international speaking engagements.
  • Love to fish and enjoy cruising around the lake on our pontoon boat to enjoy sunsets.

Favorite Book, Movie, and/or Song

  • My musical tastes have changed over time starting with classic rock; however, now trending more toward Van Morrison, Jimmy Buffett and Nora Jones.

What you like most about VIN/VSPN

  • I have not used VIN much in the past, but in revisiting the site and speaking to others this is a wonderful platform for advancing one’s education and extending your interests into other fields. This is what makes veterinary medicine so wonderful.