How did you become a veterinarian?
I started my career as a researcher in reproductive physiology of endangered species. I decided to go to veterinary school as well, and was a research-oriented zoo and wildlife veterinarian for more than 20 years.
What pets have touched your life?
Like most veterinarians, I was born loving animals. I’ve almost never been without a pet, and they have all touched my life in their own ways, including my current family of four: mixed-breeds Tink and Hayes, and collies Dino and Valiant.
What is your role at Morris Animal Foundation?
As chief scientific officer, I’m responsible for protecting the integrity of the scientific mission of Morris Animal Foundation. With regard to the research we fund, this means I ensure our review process is objective and not affected by outside influence, and research adheres to the highest standards of practice. With regard to the Canine Lifetime Health Project and Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, the buck stops with me for
the successful execution of these projects and their evaluation.
What is your role in the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study?
I’m fortunate to come into the foundation at a point when the study is going strong with terrific staff, volunteers, participants and heroes. My job is to look to the future and help our scientists decide where to focus our attention to maximize the benefits of this one-of-a-kind study.
What are your scientific goals pertaining to the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study?
My goal is to use all of the knowledge available to us to ask the right questions, using the best science, to discover lifetime influences on cancer and other health outcomes in our precious golden retrievers.
What is one fun fact about you?
Although I’ve been fortunate enough to get to work on hundreds of species, I’m especially geeky about freshwater mussels. They’re way more interesting than you’d think!