Department: Pathobiology & Population Sciences
Ken is Professor of Companion Animal Pathology and Head of the Graduate School at the Royal Veterinary College.
Ken qualified as a veterinary surgeon from the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in 1988 and undertook a residency in equine pathology at the Animal Health Trust in Newmarket. He then undertook PhD studies on the pathogenesis of equine herpesviral infections in a Wellcome Trust-funded project run jointly between the Animal Health Trust and Royal Veterinary College. Ken returned to the Animal Health Trust as staff pathologist in 1994 and became Head of Pathology there in 2001. He moved to the Royal Veterinary College as Professor of Companion Animal Pathology in 2006. Ken served as Head of the Department of Pathobiology and Population Sciences from 1st June 2017 to 30th June 2023 and was appointed as Head of the Graduate School with effect from 1st June 2023. He is a past President of the British Society of Veterinary Pathology, has served on the Specialty Advisory Committee on Veterinary Pathology of the Royal College of Pathologists and chairs the Editorial Board of the Journal of Comparative Pathology.
Ken's abiding research interest is the pathogenesis of infectious diseases and pregnancy failure in horses, as well as having a long-standing interest in developing better diagnostic and prognostic markers for neoplasia in dogs and cats. In recent years he has also undertaken collaborative research in a number of other areas, including canine portocaval shunt regeneration, feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease and contagious bovine pleuropneumonia.
Papers published in the last five years:
Ho, N.T., Smith, K.C. and Dobromylskyj, M.J. (2018). A retrospective study of more than 9,000 feline cutaneous tumours in the United Kingdom: 2006-2013. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery 20 128-134.
Blackett, T.A., Simpson, V.R., Haugland, S., Everest, D. J., Muir, C., Smith, K.C. and Mill, A.C. (2018). Mortalities, amyloidosis and other diseases in free-living red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) on Jersey, Channel Islands. Veterinary Record 183 503. doi: 10.1136/vr.104779.
Hedley, J., Stapleton, N., Priestnall, S.L., Smith, K.C. and Muir, C. (2019). Cutaneous botryomycosis in two rabbits. Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine 28 143-147.
Ferguson, S, Smith, K.C., Welsh, C.E. and Dobromylskyj, M. (2020). A retrospective study of more than 400 nasal biopsy samples in the UK. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery 22 736-743. https://doi: 10.1177/1098612X19881847.
Desai, R., East, D.E., Hardy, L., Faccenda, D., Rigon, M., Crosby, J., Soledad Alvarez, M., Singh, A., Mainenti, M., Hussey, L.K., Bentham, R., Szabadkai, G., Zappulli, V., Dhoot, G., Romano, L.E., Dong, X., Coppens, I., Hamacher-Brady, A., Chapple, J.P., Abeti, R., Fleck, R.A., Vizcay-Barrena, G., Smith, K.C. and Campanella, M. (2020). Mitochondria form contact sites with the nucleus to couple pro-survival retrograde response. Science Advances 18: doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abc9955.
Kahler, A., McGonnell, I.M., Smart, H., Kowalski, A.A., Smith, K.C., Wathes, D.C. and de Mestre, A.M. (2021). Fetal morphological feature and abnormalities associated with equine early pregnancy loss. Equine Veterinary Journal 53 530-541. doi.org/10.1111/evj.13340.
McKenna, M., Suarez-Bonnet, A., Smith, K.C. and Stewart, S. (2021). Diagnosis and treatment of a caecal mucocoele in a dog. Journal of Small Animal Practice 62 305-309. doi: 10.1111/jsap.13175.
Roach, J., Foote, A.K., Smith, K.C., Verheyen, K. and de Mestre, A. (2021). Incidence and causes of pregnancy loss after day 70 of gestation in Thoroughbreds. Equine Veterinary Journal 53 996-1003. doi: 10.1111/evj.13386.
Dobromylskyj, M.J., Richards, V. and Smith, K.C. (2021). Prognostic factors and proposed grading system for cutaneous and subcutaneous soft tissue sarcomas in cats, based on a retrospective study. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery 23 168-174. doi: 10.1177/1098612X20942393.
Kim, D., Dobromylskyj, M.J., O’Neill, D. and Smith, K.C. (2021). Skin masses in dogs under one year of age. Journal of Small Animal Practice 63 10-15. doi: 10.1111/jsap.13418.
Mitchell, J.L., Macdougall, L., Dobromylskyj, M.J., Smith, K.C., Stavinohova, R., Gunn-Moore, D.A., Hope, J.C. and Scurrell, E. (2022). Ocular mycobacterial lesions in cats. Veterinary Pathology 59 792-805. doi: 10.1177/03009858221098431.
Roach, J., Arango-Sabogal, J.C., Smith, K.C Foote, A.K., de Mestre, A. and Verheyen, K. (2022). 'Multivariable analysis to determine risk factors associated with abortion in mares. Reproduction and Fertility 3 301-312.
Ken teaches on multiple courses at the College, including the BVetMed, BSc in Bioveterinary Science and intercalated BSc in Comparative Pathology. He chairs the BVetMed Finals Examination Board and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Ken is an RCVS Recognised Specialist in Veterinary Pathology and is involved in training and mentoring clinical residents and interns through his role as Head of the Graduate School. He has a wide range of publications that are based on his diagnostic work undertaken in collaboration with clinical colleagues within and outwith the RVC.
Ken is a past President of the British Society of Veterinary Pathology. He chaired the Speciality Advisory Committee (SAC) on Veterinary Pathology of the Royal College of Pathologists from 2008-2010 and rejoined the SAC from 2015-2017 to oversee the implementation of the new FRCPath veterinary curriculum in anatomic pathology. He has served on the Council of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons as well as having been a member of the RCVS Education Committee and Professional Qualifications Subcommittee. Ken is a regular reviewer for multiple scientific journals and sits on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Comparative Pathology and the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery.
People: Ken Smith
New research on cardiac disease in cats.
Researchers at the RVC are leading a collaboration with colleagues at Cornell University, Rossdales Laboratories and Hagyard Equine Medical Institute to unravel the reason the umbilical cord twists excessively in mid-pregnancy and new ways to be able to detect the twisting prior to the pregnancy being aborted. Epidemiological modelling is being utilised to carry out evidence-based refinement of the current diagnostic criteria for UCT, allowing for more reliable comparison of distinct populations within the UK and overseas.
Research to develop new prognostic markers for mammary tumours.