David Benfield, PhD

David Benfield, PhD
Professor Emeritus
Degree Information: 
PhD - University of Missouri-Columbia
MS - Purdue University
BS - Purdue University

Dr. Benfield joined The Ohio State University in 2002 as Associate Director of OARDC and Professor in the Food Animal Health Research Program in the College of Veterinary Medicine following more than 20 years at South Dakota State University. From 2016 to his retirement in 2019, he served as Associate Vice President of Agricultural Administration in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and Director of the CFAES Wooster Campus.

Renowned for his contributions to swine disease research, Dr. Benfield isolated the Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) virus in the early 1990s and helped develop the first vaccine and diagnostic tests for what continues to cost the swine industry nearly a billion dollars annually. His research on PRRS has resulted in nine U.S. patents and several foreign patents. 

He and his wife Melnee have been loyal and generous benefactors of CFAES, establishing endowment funds in support of Secrest Arboretum as well as funds providing research scholarships for undergraduate student researchers.

Dr. Benfield retired December 31st, 2019, after four decades of making breakthrough discoveries in animal disease prevention, overseeing major campus facilities renovations, and creating hands-on research opportunities for undergraduates.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome
  • RNA Viruses
  • Enteric Viruses
  • Reproductive Viruses
  • Respiratory Viruses