Yu Ueda was so determined to become a veterinarian that he moved to the United States to pursue a DVM before he learned to speak English. The native of Nara, Japan, accomplished both goals and is now a clinical assistant professor at the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine.
What is your background?
I grew up in Japan and stayed there until I was 21 years old. I decided to become a veterinarian before I graduated from high school. However, I decided to move to the United States to become a veterinarian here since I was impressed by the level of education and practice of veterinary medicine. I went to a community college in a suburb of Seattle and then got an undergraduate degree in biology at Colorado State University. Then I studied veterinary medicine at Washington State University. After completing a rotating internship at Auburn University, I moved to California to finish my residency and Ph.D. at the University of California, Davis.
How did you get into your veterinary field?
When I was a vet student at WSU, I had an opportunity to work at an emergency hospital during the summer in San Diego, and I became interested in small animal emergency and critical care medicine. I decided to pursue my career as a specialist in that field.
What will you be doing in your new job?
It will be about 60% clinical work and teaching, 10% research and 30% working in extension and outreach. I have a focus on working at the emergency triage, as well as critical care service. I will also work on restarting the hemodialysis unit in cooperation with Dr. Shelly Vaden, as well as other emergency and critical care and internal medicine clinicians and staff.
I also have a strong desire to become a clinician scientist, and I am interested in expanding upon my research in the fields of genetics, cardiology and nephrology [the physiology and diseases of the kidneys] within emergency and critical care medicine. I will work with Dr. Kate Meurs and her laboratory staff for genetic studies.
What are you most excited about in your new role?
I’m excited about the opportunities to work with and become a part of the great emergency care team here. They have a great reputation. It’s especially exciting to be a part of the new hemodialysis team here.
What’s something someone would be surprised to learn about you?
When I was younger my focus was all on sports, especially baseball. I didn’t worry about my grades. I was an outfielder on a team that reached the semifinals of the nationals. It’s still a good memory.
When you’re not on campus, where could we find you?
I have two little boys and one dog, and I spend a lot of time with them and my wife. We like to try to find the different trails for hiking and biking. We’re trying to find some places for camping and fishing with kids.
Do you have any pets?
I have one dog. His name is Brown, also known as Jiro. He’s a 10-year-old mixed breed. I rescued him when I was an intern at Auburn. He was a stray dog and was brought to the emergency room with trauma. We somehow ended up keeping him in the hospital for a month, and he was called Brown because it was his admission name. I named him Jiro when he came home with me, but we are so used to calling him Brown that we kept it that way.