Dr. Roger Estep

March 2, 1930 – December 16, 2021

Dr. Roger Estep was born in Clarksville, Maryland, and graduated from Cooksville High. He entered veterinary school after receiving his undergraduate degree followed by his service in the U.S. Air Force. During his fourth and final year of veterinary school, at Tuskegee University, Roger was a research associate in a physiology study involving Cardiovascular-Hemodynamics. This study was performed using horses and was novel innovative research during this time, by using a horse as a model, and resulted in a greater understanding of the cardiovascular physiologic dynamics.

Graduating from Tuskegee University, Dr. Estep was recruited to Howard University and served as the first veterinarian director of the animal research facility at Howard University Medical College. Thus, Dr. Estep began his professional career in the field of laboratory animal care and medicine.

Dr. Estep was a participant in the first veterinary medical symposium at Tuskegee Institute School of Veterinary Medicine initiated in the spring of 1965. The symposium focused on the care of laboratory animals used in research at medical schools and the CDC in Atlanta. He served as director of the Howard University Animal Research facility for many years and was later appointed Executive Assistant to the President of Howard University. He served in this position until December 1971 when he was selected as the Director of Division of Research Resources for the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Estep administered and managed the activities of several hundred personnel responsible for providing a wide variety of services including, but not limited to, library, glassware, biomedical engineering and instrumentation, and veterinary resources to the intramural research program. The veterinary services included animal production, veterinarian and other professional support, specialized animal breeding programs, and veterinary consultation to intramural investigators. Dr. Estep returned to Howard University in 1972 as the Vice President of University Development and Relations – a position he held until his retirement.

Dr. Estep continued providing his expertise and support to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (formerly Maryland State University), Tuskegee University (formerly Tuskegee Institute), and Howard University, until his death in December 2021.

Dr. Estep was an African American veterinarian pioneer in the field of laboratory animal medicine and was elected President of National AALAS in 1971 - the first African American elected to that position. He was an excellent president, a trailblazer for black veterinarians in AALAS leadership, and his contributions continue to be seen and felt within the AALAS community.

Give in memory of Dr. Roger Estep and keep his passion alive through the AALAS Foundation.

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