Our Team

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Our Team

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Dr. Adronie Verbrugghe, DVM, PhD, Dip ECVCN

Associate Professor

adronie Dr. Adronie Verbrugghe graduated as a companion animal veterinarian (DVM) from Ghent University, Belgium in 2005. She completed her PhD focusing on nutritional modulation of carbohydrate metabolism in cats in 2009. She became a European Veterinary Specialist™ in Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition after completing a residency and board certifying exam for the European College of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition in 2010. In 2011, Dr. Verbrugghe joined the Department of Clinical Studies at the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC), University of Guelph, as Royal Canin Veterinary Diets Endowed Chair in Canine and Feline Clinical Nutrition. Dr. Verbrugghe’s academic responsibilities at OVC include the development and teaching of the small animal clinical nutrition curriculum for the DVM program. Dr. Verbrugghe is also the service chief for the OVC Health Science Centre Clinical Nutrition Service. In 2019, she was awarded a Research Excellence Award from the University of Guelph. Her research interests include companion animal nutrition, the link between nutrition, gut microbiota, health and disease, alteration of metabolic pathways through nutrition and nutritional modulation of inflammation and immunity.

Dr. Sarah Abood, DVM, PhD

Assistant Professor

saraha Following her veterinary training, Dr. Sarah Abood completed a one-year internship in large animal medicine and surgery at the University of Minnesota. Under the guidance of Dr. Tony Buffington at The Ohio State University, she completed a clinical nutrition residency and PhD. From 1994 to 1999, Dr. Abood worked as a nutrition scientist at the Ralston Purina Company, followed by a 16-year stint at Michigan State University as Assistant Dean for Student Programs and the small animal clinical nutritionist. She joined the Department of Clinical Studies at the University of Guelph in June 2018 where her focus is on providing nutrition consultations for in-hospital patients, teaching nutrition to veterinary students, and collaborating on nutrition projects with faculty and graduate students.

Dr. Jackie Parr, BScH, DVM, MSc, Dip ACVN

Adjunct Faculty

jackie Dr. Jackie Parr, an Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) ’09 graduate, is a Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionist™. Dr. Parr completed a rotating small animal internship and a residency in clinical nutrition at Angell Animal Medical Centre in Boston, MA. During her internship, Dr. Parr was awarded the Dr. Sharon Drellich Memorial Award for professionalism, collegiality, and compassion. During her four years in Boston, she also completed a Masters in biochemical and molecular nutrition at Tufts University. Dr. Parr returned to OVC in 2013 for a post-doctoral fellowship and was also a clinician for the Clinical Nutrition Service, OVC Health Sciences Centre. She completed her post-doctoral fellowship and became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition (ACVN)™. in July 2015. Dr. Parr has since remained Adjunct Faculty within the Department of Clinical Studies. She was awarded the OVC Young Alumnus Award in June 2016. Dr. Parr has given numerous continuing education lectures at conferences and veterinary schools across Canada. Her passions are teaching and social media. She is known as The Kibble Queen™, which was a nickname she was given during veterinary school by her peers due to her unrelenting passion for cat and dog nutrition. Dr. Parr also the founder of the Canadian Academy of Veterinary Nutrition (CAVN).

Shoshana Verton-Shaw, RVT, VTS (Nutrition)

Registered Veterinary Technician

shoshana Shoshana graduated from the Veterinary Technology program at University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus with honours and as the recipient of the Award for Proficiency in Canine and Feline Nutrition in 2007. She became the first Registered Veterinary Technician in Ontario to achieve her Veterinary Technician Specialty in Nutrition in 2015 and has been active with the Academy of Veterinary Nutrition Technicians since. Shoshana enjoys sharing and igniting a passion for veterinary nutrition in her peers, with a special interest in canine and feline obesity management and performance dog nutrition. Along with her dogs, Kinetic and Iron, Shoshana is an active member of the German Shepherd Schutzhund Club of Canada, T.O.P. Working Dog Club, and the Kitchener-Waterloo German Shepherd Club.

Nicole Weidner, BScH, MSc

PhD Candidate (Department of Biomedical Sciences)

nicole Nicole is a PhD candidate at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. Nicole has focused on the nutritional needs of companion animals and equines through graduate research, coursework, and mentorship by board certified veterinary and PhD nutritionists. Nicole’s MSc and PhD research focus on links between vitamin D and cancer in dogs. This research involves looking at the amounts of vitamin D and inflammatory markers in a dog’s blood before and during cancer treatment. Nicole is also interested in science communication, public outreach and knowledge translation. Her fur family consists of 1 dog, 1 cat, 2 horses and a pony.

MSc Thesis: Dietary Vitamin D Intake and Vitamin D Status in Canine Cancer Patients

Alexandra Rankovic, BScH, MSc

PhD Candidate (Department of Biomedical Sciences)

alex Alex completed her BScH in Animal Biology, with a minor in Nutritional and Nutraceutical Sciences, at the University of Guelph in 2016. She then completed a Master of Science in Clinical Studies with Dr. Verbrugghe in 2018. Upon completion, Alex started her PhD in Biomedical Sciences, with a focus on the lipotropic effects of choline in overweight cats. In her spare time, Alex enjoys spending time with her bunny Oscar, her cat Larry and her horse Jenna.

MSc Thesis: The Acute Effects of Starch Sources on Glycemic Index, Glycemic Response, Insulinemic Response and Satiety-Related Hormones in Dogs

Dr. Sarah Dodd, BVSc, MSc

PhD Candidate (Department of Population Medicine), ECVCN Resident

sarahd Dr. Sarah Dodd graduated from the veterinary program at Massey University in New Zealand in 2016. Since then, she has worked with the OVC Clinical Nutrition Team initially as an intern and now as a resident of the European College of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. In addition to practicing clinical nutrition, Dr. Dodd also engages in nutrition research, completing an MSc in 2018 and currently working towards her PhD. She is fascinated by unconventional diets for dogs and cats, and her research focuses on plant-based nutrition.

MSc Thesis: Plant-based diets for dogs and cats – an investigation of pet feeding practices, motivations and concerns

Dr. Caitlin Grant, BSc, DVM

DVSc Candidate (Department of Clinical Studies), ECVCN Resident

caitlin Dr. Caitlin Grant is a 2014 OVC graduate and worked in a rural mixed animal veterinary practice for 3 years. She joined the OVC Clinical Nutrition Team in 2017. As a DVSc Candidate, her research focuses on energy restriction-related essential nutrient deficiency and metabolic changes in obese cats. As a resident of the European College of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition, Dr. Grant also spends time in the OVC Health Sciences Centre, providing nutrition consults to pet owners, supporting other services when they have a patient in need of a nutrition consult, and teaching veterinary students. In her spare time, Dr. Grant enjoy spending time with her own cats and dogs.

Hannah Godfrey, BScH

MSc Student (Department of Clinical Studies)

hannah Hannah is currently in her second and final year of her Master’s in Clinical Studies after graduating with a BScH in Biology with a minor in Nutrition and Nutraceutical Science at the University of Guelph. Her research interests include nutraceuticals and functional foods with her thesis project focusing on the effects of choline supplementation in post-gonadectomy kittens on lipid metabolism and body composition. Outside of the lab you can find Hannah at home with her own happy healthy cat, Balthazar.