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Dr. David Leighr

Dr. Leighr has wanted to be a Veterinarian since he can remember.  His grandfather, Woodrow Long, encouraged this dream and supported Dr. Leighr through every obstacle.  Woodrow Long and Lillian Long selflessly helped to raise Dr. Leighr and his brothers through a very difficult childhood.  Woodrow Long’s father, Dr. Thomas Long, was a country Veterinarian in rural Holt County, Missouri.  He graduated from Veterinary School in 1905 from Western Veterinary College in Kansas City, Missouri.  He practiced in Mound City, Forest City and Oregon, Missouri.  He also taught Veterinary School at the St. Joseph Veterinary College.  Dr. Leighr’s grandfather, Woodrow Long, encouraged Dr. Leighr to become a Veterinarian by recounting his time with his father working as a country Veterinarian during the great depression and beyond.  


Dr. Leighr is a native of Northwest, Missouri.  He has lived in Kansas and Missouri his entire life.  Dr. Leighr grew up in Rossville, Kansas with horses, goats and calves.  His fondest memories of this time include the Topeka Zoo daycare and his Morgan horse Thunder.  Later, he lived and worked on Mennonite farms in rural Harrisonville, Missouri where he truck farmed, built fence, custom hayed, milked cows, and raised hogs.  Dr. Leighr graduated from St. Joseph, Missouri and attended the University of Missouri where he studied Biochemistry.   During his undergraduate degree studies, Dr. Leighr was a Howard Hughes Fellow.  His research ranged from apoptosis of the sheep corpus luteum to trinucleotide repeats and trinucleotide repeat detection in Autism.  


Dr. Leighr attended the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine.  His intent was to continue genetic research after veterinary school, focusing on animal models for human disease.  Dr. Leighr worked at Sinclair research, the Animal Science Research Center and at the College of Veterinary Medicine during veterinary school.   Dr. Leighr worked with incredible mentors doing research with the prion disease scrapie, human melanoma, human breast cancer and autism to name a few.  


Prior to Veterinary School graduation, Dr. Leighr worked with mixed animal practitioners during his preceptorship requirements.  It was during this time that Dr. Leighr was exposed to the clinical side of Veterinary Medicine.  He witnessed the passion for the work demonstrated by the mixed animal country veterinarians.  It was clear this was not a job to them but a calling.  They worked tirelessly because they loved what they did and believed in the work and its importance.   Dr. Leighr sat down with his grandfather, Woodrow Long, and recounted his experiences.  Woodrow Long encouraged Dr. Leighr to follow his passion; to follow in the foot steps of his great grandfather, Dr. Thomas Long.    


Dr. Leighr has mentored and assisted many pursue their dreams in Veterinary medicine through mentorship and the Woodrow Long Memorial Scholarship.    

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