Scientific Program Presenters
Darcy Adin, DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology)
Dr. Darcy Adin is a Clinical Professor of Cardiology at the University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine. She received her DVM from Cornell University in 1996. She completed a rotating internship at VCA South Shore Animal Hospital in 1997 and a cardiology residency at the University of California, Davis in 1999, with board certification in Cardiology from the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in 2000. Dr. Adin has held positions in both academic and private specialty practice. Her clinical research focuses on the investigation of diuretic treatments and neurohormonal modulation of congestive heart failure.
Chris Adolph, DVM, MS, DACVM (Parasitology)
Dr. Adolph is a Veterinary Specialist (Parasitology) at Zoetis in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He received his DVM degree in 1996 from Oklahoma State University. After 1½ years as an associate veterinarian, Dr Adolph moved to Southpark Veterinary Hospital as a partner for 4 years and full owner for 13 years, where he developed a special interest in parasitology and practice management. In 2011, Dr. Adolph began a master’s degree program under the guidance of Dr. Susan Little at Oklahoma State University. For the next 2½ years, Dr. Adolph simultaneously worked toward his graduate degree while practicing and managing his veterinary hospital full time. Dr. Adolph was named to the 25 veterinarians to watch in 2013 by Veterinary Practice News. He serves on the boards of the National Center for Veterinary Parasitology, the American Heartworm Society, and the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists Board of Governors. He has authored numerous, peer-reviewed scientific papers, textbook chapters, and conducted research in canine and feline parasitic diseases. Dr. Adolph is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists.
Marisa Ames, DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology)
Dr. Ames is Associate Professor of Medicine & Epidemiology at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. A 2007 graduate of the Ohio State University, she completed internships in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery at Michigan State University and in Emergency and Critical Care at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. She completed her cardiology residency in 2012 and the Jane Lewis-Seaks postdoctoral fellowship at North Carolina State University in 2013. She was previously an Assistant Professor at Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Her research interests include neurohormonal activation in heart failure (specifically the pharmacologic blockade of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system [RAAS], the effects various drugs on RAAS, and aldosterone breakthrough) and heartworm disease. Dr. Ames has served on the American Heartworm Society Executive Board since 2016, and is Scientific Program Co-Chair of the 2022 AHS Triennial Symposium.
Angele Bice, DVM
Dr. Bice was a full-time shelter veterinarian for more than 4 years until she became owner of the Summerville Pet Clinic in Summerville, South Carolina in 2107. She continues to practice shelter medicine, as a part-time shelter veterinarian at Dorchester Paws, a smaller rural county shelter, and at the Charleston Animal Society, as much larger five-doctor shelter. Dr. Bice earned her DVM from the University of Florida in 2013 and Maddie’s Certificate in Shelter Medicine, also in 2013. A Maddie’s Fund Apprenticeship Instructor since 2017, she teaches groups of shelter managers about a variety of topics pertaining to managing shelter health including heartworms. She is extremely passionate about heartworm and has led the Charleston Animal Society to treat over 400 dogs annually for heartworm disease utilizing the AHS three-injection protocol. Dr. Bice has served on the AHS Executive Board since 2019.
Elyssa Campbell, BA
Ms. Campbell received her BA in Journalism from Georgia State University and is currently pursuing her PhD in Comparative Biomedical Sciences within the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia. Elyssa is also the laboratory manager for the Filariasis Research Reagent Resource Center and has a particular interest in canine heartworms, specifically the mechanisms of the host that determine establishment of the parasite.
Doug Carithers, DVM, EVP
Dr. Carithers is Director of Applied Research and Publications at Boehringer Ingelheim in Duluth, Georgia. He graduated from the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1984, and in 2000 received a certificate degree in the Executive Veterinary Program at the University of Illinois. After practicing veterinary medicine and surgery in Iowa for about 10 years, he was recruited for a position in industry. At BI for over 28 years, Dr. Carithers has performed post-approval studies for the past 18 years. He has developed, conducted, and been directly involved in over 125 clinical and field studies, including large-scale field trials involving nearly 20,000 companion animals. In addition, as a committee and board member for the AHS, he conducted the 2001, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016 and 2019 AHS heartworm incidence surveys. He has authored or co-authored over 40 scientific papers, edited chapters in the 9th and 10th Merck Veterinary manual, the Merck Pet Manual, and co-authored a parasitology atlas. He has lectured nationally and internationally at veterinary and parasitology meetings and conferences and participated in national and international round table discussions on parasitology, pain and gastric ulcers. He is currently the Immediate Past-President of the American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists (AAVP) and is in his 2nd three-year term as Vice President of the American Heartworm Society. Historically, Dr. Carithers served on the boards of the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues (NCVEI), the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC), and the North American Veterinary Medical Education Consortium (NAVMEC) for the American Association of Veterinary Medic
Elena Carretón, DVM, MSc, PhD
Dr. Carretón is Associate Professor of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in Spain. She has co-authored approximately 65 articles in peer-reviewed journals, and several books and book chapters on heartworm, as well as more than 200 communications and conferences in national and international congresses. Her scientific career is focused on the study of the pathology and epidemiology of Dirofilaria immitis in animals, as well as its zoonotic aspects and implications on human health. She has received several national awards for her work in scientific outreach. She is the current president of the European Society of Dirofilariosis and Angiostrongylosis (ESDA).
Jeba Jesudoss Chelladurai, PhD, DACVM (Veterinary Parasitology & Veterinary Immunology)
Dr. Chelladurai is an assistant professor and ACVM board-certified veterinary parasitologist at Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She teaches DVM students, performs diagnostic work and handles phone consultations through the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. She also runs a research lab focused on anthelmintic resistance in nematodes including heartworm. Dr. Chelladurai earned her PhD at Iowa State University. Her research has focused on the molecular characterization of the ATP binding cassette gene family in zoonotic nematodes. Future research will focus on understanding mechanisms of susceptibility and resistance in helminths of veterinary importance. Other research interests include novel and repurposed anti-parasitic drugs, drug mechanisms of action and resistance, molecular and immunological diagnostic techniques, vaccine development and parasite–host interactions.
Yi Chu, MS
Ms. Chu is a PhD student and a research professional at the University of Georgia, College of Veterinary Medicine. She obtained her Master of Science degree in biotechnology from Georgetown University in 2016 and started to pursue her PhD in 2019. A tiny yet magnificent creature named Dirofilaria immitis is her major field of interest, especially the interaction between the filarial worm and its symbiotic bacteria, Wolbachia.
Ms. Dagley is based at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in Liverpool, United Kingdom as a research assistant within the Turner lab group. She has been involved in the development and validation of a novel rodent model for Dirofilaria immitis. Alongside this, she has been investigating short course macrofilaricidal drugs available for the treatment of dirofilariasis and lymphatic filariasis
Felipe Dantes-Torres, MS, DSc, PhD, DECVP
Dr. Dantas-Torres is a Researcher at the Aggeu Magalhães Institute (Oswaldo Cruz Foundation) in Brazil. He holds a Master of Science and Doctor of Science degree in Public Health and a PhD in Animal Health and Zoonosis. He is a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society and a Diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Parasitology. He is the author or co-author of over 480 publications, including 273 articles in refereed journals and 26 book chapters. Dr. Dantas-Torres is an Editor-in-Chief of Medical and Veterinary Entomology. His main research interests are vector-borne diseases, including dirofilarioses, leishmaniases, and tick-borne diseases.
Brian DiGangi, DVM, MS, DABVP (Canine & Feline Practice, Shelter Medicine Practice)
Dr. DiGangi is Senior Director of Shelter Medicine at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. After earning his DVM at the University of Florida in 2006, Dr. DiGangi completed a rotating internship in small animal medicine, surgery, and critical care; a residency in Shelter Animal Medicine; and received his MS in Veterinary Medical Sciences in 2010. Dr. DiGangi has published research on canine heartworm disease, veterinary field clinics, feline adoption, pregnancy detection, and immunology. He is board certified in both Canine and Feline Practice and Shelter Medicine Practice by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. Dr. DiGangi is a member of the Executive Board of the American Heartworm Society and has served as Editor of the AHS Bulletin for the past three years. He and served two terms as President of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians from 2015 to 2016. Prior to joining the ASPCA, Dr. DiGangi was a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Florida.
Uri Donnett, DVM, MS, DABVP (Shelter Medicine Practice)
Dr. Donnett has been the Chief Veterinarian at the Dane County Humane Society in Madison, Wisconsin, since March 2021. He earned a Master of Science in Veterinary Preventive Medicine and his DVM degree from the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, both in 2014. While at ISU he was a research assistant and graduate student researcher. Dr. Donnett completed an internship in Shelter and Small Animal Medicine at Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 2015 and was an ABVP approved Resident in Shelter Animal Medicine there from 2015-2018. From 2018-2021 Dr. Donnett served as Maddie’s Clinical Instructor in Shelter Animal Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in the specialty of Shelter Medicine Practice.
Michael Dzimianski, MS, DVM
Dr. Dzimianski is an Associate Research Scientist in the Department of Infectious Diseases and member of the Graduate Program Faculty at the University of Georgia. He earned a Master of Science in Animal Nutrition at the University of Georgia and then his DVM from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Dzimianski has over 40 years of research experience studying the prevention, treatment and diagnosis of canine heartworm infection and disease.
Timothy Geary, PhD
Dr. Geary obtained a BSc in Biology from the University of Notre Dame in 1975 and a PhD in Pharmacology (pharmacogenetics) in 1980 from the University of Michigan. After working on tropical parasitology at Michigan State University, he joined The Upjohn Company (Pharmacia – Pfizer–now Zoetis) in 1985. He remained at Pfizer until 2005, then joined the Institute of Parasitology at McGill University as Professor and Tier I Canada Research Chair. He served as Director of the Institute from 2007-2019, when he became Emeritus Professor. He is also a professor (20% appointment) in the School of Biological Sciences at Queen’s University, Belfast. His work over the past 40+ years has focused on the discovery and development of antiparasitic drugs, on the pharmacology of these drugs, and on the molecular language of the host-parasite interface. Dr. Geary earned national and international funding to support his research and received many awards. He has published >240 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, is on the editorial boards of 8 scientific journals, and is a consultant for many pharmaceutical, government and non-government organizations. He is a Past-President of the American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists and is a member of the Executive Committee of the World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology.
Thomas Geurden, DVM, PhD, DECVP
Dr. Geurden is a veterinarian by training and graduated at the Ghent University in Belgium. After obtaining his veterinary degree, he took up a research position at the Laboratory for Parasitology from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. He obtained his PhD in Veterinary Medicine with focus on zoonotic protozoal infections, and successfully passed the examination of the European Veterinary Parasitology College in 2007. At Zoetis, Dr. Geurden leads the EU Clinical Development, Statistics and Data Management group, and is therapeutic area head for companion animal parasiticides. Dr. Geurden’s main focus is on research and development programs for pharmaceutical products, including anti-parasiticides.
Jeff Gruntmeir, MS, PhD
Dr. Gruntmeir, currently in Gainesville, FL, completed his BS in Biochemistry in 2006 at Oklahoma State University. He received a MS in Veterinary Biomedical Science in 2016 at Oklahoma State University under Dr. Susan Little focusing on heat treatment and diagnosis of heartworm infection in cats, while managing her research lab from 2011-2017. His doctoral training, from 2017-2021, with Dr. Heather Walden, MS, PhD at the University of Florida, focused on the mechanism of heat treatment and causes of false antigen results for D. immitis in dogs. He currently is a post-doctoral associate for the CDC Southeastern Center of Excellence for Vector Borne Diseases in the UF Emerging Pathogens Institute focusing on ticks and tick-borne diseases. His research interests include medical entomology, veterinary parasitology, and emerging non-viral vector-borne diseases in a One Health context particularly filarial nematodes of domestic and wild animals.
Susan Dunney Holzmer, MS, MPS
Ms. Holzmer received her BS in Animal Science from the University of Connecticut, MS in Biology from University of Saint Joseph, and MPS in Veterinary Parasitology from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. Ms. Holzmer joined the antiparasitics discovery team at Zoetis (then Pfizer) in 2010 after 18 years at Fort Dodge Pharma R&D in Princeton, NJ, and has since taken the role of Clinical Research Manager. Her work has focused on discovery and development programs for several commercial antiparasitics including ProHeart 6, ProHeart 12, Simparica, Simparica Trio, and Revolution Plus.
Ms. Izenour is an epidemiologist and public health professional with over 10 years’ experience performing data analysis and program evaluation for government agencies and organizations including The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Air Force, US Navy, and The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. She works for the analytics company SAS while finishing her PhD in bloodborne pathogens of domestic animals in Cairo, Egypt at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Auburn University. She completed a Fulbright Fellowship at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Cairo University (2019-2020) and she has plans to continue working to improve capacity, education and opportunities for the veterinary and animal communities in the Middle East and North Africa.
Linda Jacobson, BVSc, MMedVet, PhD
Dr. Jacobson received her veterinary degree in Pretoria, South Africa, in 1986 and subsequently completed a residency in small animal internal medicine and a PhD on the pathophysiology of virulent canine babesiosis. She completed the University of Florida Online Graduate Certificate in Shelter Medicine in 2015. She is Senior Manager: Shelter Medicine Advancement, at Toronto Humane Society. Professional interests include infectious diseases, animal hoarding and accessible veterinary care.
Steve Jones, DVM
Dr. Jones received his DVM from the University of Georgia in 1985. He is co-owner of Lakeside Animal Hospital, located in Moncks Corner, South Carolina, where he has practiced since 1985. Dr. Jones has participated in numerous clinical studies and has served in an advisory capacity for Pfizer, Elanco, Novartis, Merck, Virbac, Boehringer Ingelheim, Intervet-SP, and Merial. Dr. Jones has served the veterinary profession holding many board positions at the local, state, and national levels. He was named Veterinarian of the Year for the state of South Carolina in 2008 and is a Past President of the American Heartworm Society. Dr. Jones has developed a strong interest in parasitology and a passion for veterinary medical photography.
Kristina Kryda, DVM
Dr. Kryda completed a BS in Microbiology in 2004 and earned her DVM degree in 2007, both from Michigan State University. After qualifying in 2007, she worked as a small animal practitioner for several years in Michigan and Arizona. Dr. Kryda joined Zoetis in 2014 to work in clinical veterinary research. She has worked on development programs for several commercial antiparasitics including ProHeart 12 (moxidectin extended-release injectable), Simparica (sarolaner), Simparica Trio (sarolaner/moxidectin/pyrantel pamoate) and Revolution Plus (selamectin/sarolaner)
Sohini Kumar, MSc
Sohini Kumar is currently a third year PhD candidate under the supervision of Dr. Thavy Long and Dr. Roger K. Prichard in the Institute of Parasitology at McGill University. Her doctoral thesis work focuses on understanding mechanisms that underlie drug resistance in Dirofilaria immitis. She completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in microbiology in India. Currently she is a graduate teaching assistant and student representative at the Institute of Parasitology.
Erin Larsen, BA, MS
Ms. Larsen is from Waconia, Minnesota, and obtained her BA in Biology with a minor in Environmental Studies from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. Following her bachelor's, she obtained her MS in Veterinary Biomedical Science from Lincoln Memorial University. She is currently a member of Lincoln Memorial University’s College of Veterinary Medicine class of 2026 pursuing her DVM and MBA degrees. She continues to conduct research on the prevalence and prevention of canine heartworm in the Cumberland Gap region of Kentucky/Tennessee and has plans to work in rural mixed animal medicine following her education.
Imke Maerz, Dr.med.vet., MVetMed
Dr. Maerz received her veterinary degree from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Leipzig, Germany. She stayed in Leipzig at the Clinic for Small Animal Medicine at the same university where she performed a doctoral thesis about feline cardiomyopathy. She also obtained the German specialty in small animal medicine (Fachtierärztin für Klein- und Heimtiere). This was followed by a Senior Scholarship in Cardiology at the Queen Mother Hospital for Animals, University of London where she obtained a Master in Veterinary Medicine with the focus on feline cardiomyopathy. She has been working at Tierklinik Hofheim since 2012, where her main interest is small animal cardiology. Her interest in heartworm disease started in 2017 after the caseload of infected dogs increased markedly despite Germany not being an endemic area for this disease. Since then, she has been trying to educate owners and veterinarians about dirofilariosis and fighting to ensure that treatment recommendations by AHS and ESDA are followed.
John W. McCall, MS, PhD
Dr. McCall joined the faculty in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia (UGA) in 1970 and retired in 2006 as Professor Emeritus of Veterinary Parasitology. He has been President/Chief Operations Officer of TRS Labs, Inc., a contract research laboratory since 1980. He is a lifetime member of the American Heartworm Society and has served as Vice President and Editor and currently serves an ex officio member of its executive board. He received the Distinguished Veterinary Parasitologist Award from the American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists in 2006 and the Seal of the University of Parma, Italy in 2012. Dr. McCall was UGA Director of the NIH-funded Filariasis Research Reagent Resource Center (FR3) from 1973 to 2006 and UGA Director of a Filariasis Drug Screening Laboratory funded by the World Health Organization from 1976 to 1999. He has published over 250 original, peer-reviewed research articles, 50 non-refereed research articles and 11 book chapters, presented over 300 invited lectures, and co-authored over 250 scientific papers and abstracts for scientific meetings.
Alison Meindl, DVM, DABVP (Canine and Feline Practice)
Dr. Meindl graduated from Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in 2005. Following graduation, she completed a one-year internship in small animal medicine and surgery at VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital. Dr. Meindl was a general practitioner in the Phoenix, Arizona area for ten years before joining the University of Georgia as a Clinical Assistant Professor at the Community Practice Clinic. While at UGA, Dr. Meindl obtained her board certification with the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (Canine and Feline Practice) in 2020. In 2021, she returned to her alma mater, Colorado State University, where she is an Assistant Professor on the Community Practice Service. She enjoys the opportunity to teach students while practicing clinical medicine.
Andrew Moorhead, DVM, MS, PhD, DACVM (Parasitology)
Dr. Moorhead is an Associate Professor at the University of Georgia and is Director and Primary Investigator of the Filariasis Research Reagent Resource Center in Athens, Georgia, an NIH-funded resource providing filarial reagents to researchers across North America. A 1997 graduate of the North Carolina State University (NCSU) College of Veterinary Medicine, he completed a 2-year residency program in Laboratory Animal Medicine, also at NCSU. Dr. Moorhead earned a master’s degree in Veterinary Parasitology at Purdue University in 2002 and a PhD in Comparative Biomedical Sciences from Cornell University in 2008. His research interests include the potential development of macrocyclic lactone resistance to Dirofilaria immitis, as well as the initial events in the establishment of the parasite/host niche by filarial worms, specifically Brugia malayi, one of the causative agents of lymphatic filariasis. Dr. Moorhead has served on the AHS Executive Board since 2016.
Rodrigo Morchon Garcia, PhD
Dr. Morchón García holds a PhD in Biology and is currently full professor at the Animal and director of the Zoonotic Diseases and One Health research group at University of Salamanca, Spain. His main research interests are parasite/hosts relationships like Dirofilaria immitis and D. repens, immunology, immunopathology (including the Wolbachia endosymbiont bacteria), cellular and molecular mechanisms of pathology of these diseases, immune diagnosis, epidemiology in humans and animals and insect vectors of parasite disease like culicid. He has authored/co-authored over 140 scientific publications and reviews, 10 refereed books and 240 conference proceedings papers (oral communications, poster and guest speakers, etc). He is a secretary of European Society of Dirofilariosis and Angiostrongylosis (SEDA) and board of Spanish Society of Parasitology (SOCEPA). He functions as member of editorial board of journals and referee of several international scientific journals. He has taught several courses and is co-author of different book chapters on teacher innovation.
Charles Thomas (Tom) Nelson, DVM
Dr. Nelson is the Hospital Director of the VCA Animal Medical Center of NE Alabama in Anniston, AL and has been in private practice for more than 40 years. He attended Texas A&M for undergraduate studies and veterinary school. He was first elected to the board of American Heartworm Society in 2001 and has served as the Society President (2004- 2007), Symposium Co-chair (2010- 2013), and currently is chair of the AHS Research Committee. In 1997-1998, after doubting the validity of the incidence of heartworm in cats, he conducted his own study by performing necropsies on 259 cats to determine true incidence. This study determined there was a higher prevalence of heartworm than feline leukemia or AIDS on the upper Texas Gulf Coast and that there was no correlation between heartworm and AIDS. Dr. Nelson continues to be involved in heartworm research and is the lead author of the Heartworm Society Guidelines. He has authored or coauthored numerous papers and contributed to several textbooks on the subject of heartworm disease.
Michael Povelones, PhD
Dr. Povelones is an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. He earned his PhD in Developmental Biology from Stanford University working on fruit flies, and then joined the lab of Dr. George Christophides and Dr. Fotis Kafatos at Imperial College in London, where he studied the mosquito immune response to malaria parasites. At PennVet, Michael’s lab studies mosquito immune responses to malaria parasites, filarial nematodes, and kinetoplastid parasites. His lab is applying state-of-the-art technologies to dissect the molecular interactions between the mosquito host and its parasites. The basic knowledge generate will be used to devise new strategies to block parasites in their vector with the aim to reduce the spread of mosquito-borne human and animal diseases.
Jane Quandt DVM, MS, DACVAA, DACVECC
Dr. Quandt graduated from Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1987. After doing small animal practice for one year she decided to do an anesthesia residency. She completed an anesthesia residency and master’s degree in anesthesia at the University of Minnesota and became boarded in anesthesia in 1993. To improve her ability to manage critical cases she did a second residency in small animal emergency and critical care and became boarded in small animal emergency and critical care in 2007. She was on faculty at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota for 10 years. She joined the faculty at The University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in 2011 and is currently a tenured full professor in comparative anesthesia. She has published several journal articles and book chapters and has presented at national and international conferences on topics related to anesthesia and analgesia in both small and large animal species. Dr. Quandt has had the privilege of be awarding the Carl Norden-Pfizer Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award and the Zoetis Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award.
Christopher J. Rehm, DVM
Dr. Chris Rehm received his DVM from Auburn University in 1982 and is currently the president of Rehm Animal Clinics in Mobile & Baldwin Counties in south Alabama. Before starting his practice in Mobile, Dr. Rehm worked at the West Side Animal Hospital in Pensacola, FL. After six months in practice, Dr. Rehm opened his own practice March 17, 1983, only nine months after graduation. Rehm Animal Clinic has grown to three corporations with five AAHA certified clinics in two counties in South Alabama. It employs 11 DVM’s and over 70 support staff. His clinic offers 24-hour continuous care, endoscopy, ultrasound, tonometry, cryosurgery, oximetry, laser therapy and surgery, advanced orthopedic and dental care. For eleven years in a row, 2001–2012, the Rehm Animal Clinic was voted Reader’s Choice Veterinary Clinic of the year in Mobile and Baldwin counties in south Alabama (the award was discontinued after 2012). Dr. Rehm has been a member of the Veterinary Advisory Councils of Rhone Merieux, Novartis, Virbac, and Elanco Animal Health. He is a member of the Alabama Veterinary Association, Mobile-Baldwin VMA, AAHA, AVMA, and is on the Board of Directors and currently the Immediate Past President of the American Heartworm Society. Dr. Rehm hosted a live hour-long talk show on cable television for 17 years. He also hosted a live public service spot on CBS affiliate called “Your Pets’ Health” for 7 years and still co-hosts a weekly Pet Minute segment on local TV. He wrote a Q&A column for Newhouse Publishers that appeared in approximately forty papers in the USA.
Jessica Rodriguez, DVM, PhD, DACVM (Parasitology)
Dr. Rodriguez is a Senior Principal Scientist in the Global Companion Animal Therapeutics division of Zoetis and a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists (Parasitology). She earned her BS and DVM degrees at Texas A&M University which was followed by an internship in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery at the University of Tennessee and private practice in emergency medicine. She then returned to Texas A&M University to complete a dual PhD program in Veterinary Pathobiology and residency in Parasitology under the National Center of Veterinary Parasitology (Merial resident). Following graduate training, she joined Zoetis Petcare as a Field Specialist in Parasitology. After 3 years she then joined the Veterinary Medicine Research and Development division of Zoetis as a Senior Principal Scientist where she is involved in the research and development of veterinary parasiticides. She is currently an elected member of the Nominating Committee and is also the chair of the Electronic Media Committee for the American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists.
Meriam N. Saleh, PhD
Dr. Saleh is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology at the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences. She earned her PhD in Biomedical & Veterinary Sciences (parasitology) from Virginia Tech, with a dissertation on “Detecting Giardia: Clinical and Molecular Identification.” She was a postdoctoral research associate and then lecturer in the department of Pathobiology at Oklahoma State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Saleh joined the faculty at Texas A&M in September 2021. She teaches clinical veterinary parasitology to 4th year veterinary students as well as in the 1st and 2nd year preclinical curriculum. Her research interests are focused on zoonotic parasites and include helminths, protozoa, and ticks. Dr. Saleh is also particularly interested in research to improve parasitology diagnostics related to Giardia and heartworm infections in companion animals.
Dr. Savadelis received a BS degree in Biology from the University of Georgia in 2009 and then her PhD in Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in 2018. During her time at UGA, she worked at the Filariasis Research Reagent Resource (FR3) Center maintaining human lymphatic filariasis and heartworm lifecycles while also conducting her dissertation research. Dr. Savadelis’ dissertation focused on refining the current heartworm adulticidal treatment regimens through the evaluation of combination macrocyclic lactone and doxycycline treatments as well as the efficacy of various dosages of doxycycline and minocycline during melarsomine treatment. Upon completing her PhD, Dr. Savadelis moved to Michigan accepting a position at Zoetis in parasitology veterinary medicine research and development. Dr. Savadelis has worked for Zoetis for 3.5 years, over which time, she has led and contributed to many different lead-seeking programs and pre-clinical project teams spanning both endo- and ectoparasite species for companion animal and large animal products.
Ms. Smith is a PhD student in the veterinary biomedical sciences graduate program at the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. She joined the program in January 2021 following completion of her bachelor’s degree in animal science at Auburn in December 2020. Her research interest is primarily zoonotic vector-borne diseases with an emphasis on application of molecular techniques.
Caroline Sobotyk, DVM, MSc, PhD
Dr. Sobotyk is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Parasitology at the University of Philadelphia (UPenn). Dr. Sobotyk is originally from Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil. She completed her DVM in 2013 at Universidade Federal de Santa Maria (UFSM) in Santa Maria, RS, Brazil and earned a MSc (2015) and PhD (2019) degree in Veterinary Parasitology from the same institution. In 2019, Dr. Sobotyk accepted a postdoctoral position at Texas A&M University (TAMU), while also undertaking veterinary clinical parasitology training as a Merk resident at the National Center for Veterinary Parasitology under supervision of Dr. Guilherme Gomes Verocai.
Joseph Turner, PhD
Dr. Turner is a Principal Investigator and Reader in Infection Biology at The Centre for Drugs and Diagnostics, Department of Tropical Disease Biology, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. Dr Turner’s laboratory supports drug discovery and development programs for filariasis, including early preclinical studies, clinical translation and implementation of antibiotic therapies targeting the endosymbiont, Wolbachia, for the treatment of medically and veterinary important filarial parasites. Two new anti-Wolbachia candidate cures for filariasis in clinical progression are the oral tylosin derivative, flubentylosin, and the novel azaquinazoline, AWZ1066S. Dr Turner also researches host immuno-pathological consequences of helminth parasitism and treatment responses, utilizing novel preclinical models of filarial infection and patient immuno-epidemiological surveys, with the goal of developing anti-morbidity adjunct therapies.
Kaitlyn Upton, DVM
Kaitlyn Upton is originally from Corpus Christi, Texas. She attended Texas Christian University and received a bachelor’s degree in biology before attending Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine. She is currently a large animal rotating intern at the University of Tennessee and plans to pursue residency training in zoological medicine.
Guilherme G. Verocai, DVM, MS, PhD, DACVM (Parasitology)]
Dr. Verocai is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University, where he is also the Director of the Parasitology Diagnostic Laboratory. His research focuses on advancing diagnostic tools for detecting parasitic infections of companion animals and wildlife, aiming to improve their general health and wellbeing, and better inform treatment and prevention strategies. His current project focuses on the characterization of biomarkers (microRNAs) for improved diagnosis of canine heartworm disease caused by Dirofilaria immitis, canine ocular onchocercosis caused by Onchocerca lupi, and the Guinea Worm, Dracunculus medinensis. ;
Jorge Vilá, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Cardiology)
Dr. Vilá is a board-certified Veterinary Cardiologist at MedVet New Orleans and MedVet Mandeville where he has been part of the medical team since 2015. Dr. Vilá attended Iowa State University where he completed his pre-veterinary course work and Louisiana State University College of Veterinary Medicine where he earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. Following his graduation from veterinary school, Dr. Vilá completed a yearlong internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine, followed by a three-year residency in small animal cardiology and Master of Science degree at Louisiana State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
Stacie Williams, BS, MS
Stacie Williams was born and raised in Sherman, Texas. She graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in 2020. She then went to Lincoln Memorial University, graduating with her Master of Veterinary Biomedical Science degree in 2022. She is a member of the Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine class of 2026.
Mostafa Zamanian, PhD
Dr. Zamanian is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathobiological Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The goal of his research is to identify new targets and strategies for helminth control and to connect this effort to a better understanding of basic parasite biology and the complex molecular interactions that occur between helminths and their vertebrate hosts and vectors. Prior to his faculty appointment, Dr. Zamanian trained as a postdoctoral fellow at McGill University (Molecular Parasitology) and Northwestern University (Quantitative Genetics) and received his PhD in Neuroscience from Iowa State University.