The Department of Pathobiology and Population Sciences offers residency programmes in both clinical pathology and anatomic pathology. Currently there are three specialists-in-training ('Residents') in Clinical Pathology, and ten in Anatomic Pathology (including part-time trainees).

The residency programme in clinical pathology has a structured programme of study in haematology, cytology, clinical chemistry, urinalysis and quality assurance leading to the Board Examination of ACVP and FRCPath. The residency programme in anatomic pathology provides detailed instruction in gross and histopathology as well as immunohistochemistry by participation in the necropsy and surgical biopsy diagnostic service, and Residents may sit the Board Exams of ACVP or ECVP and/or examinations leading to FRCPath.

The RVC is a recognised training centre for all three examinations. Funding for the residencies comes from the Department and from a wide variety of external sources, currently including the Horserace Betting Levy Board, the Wellcome Trust, APHA and BPEX.

Each departmentally-funded resident is funded for three years. Externally funded residents are funded for either three or four years. During their training each resident plays a full and active role in the relevant diagnostic rota(s), assuming independent reporting duties once their level of knowledge and practical skills have reached the required standards.

A research project, often leading to a publication, is also undertaken during the residency. All of the residents are enrolled for the RVC's Masters in Veterinary Medicine degree, which is designed to assist with preparations for specialist pathology examinations.

The Director of the Anatomic Pathology residency programme is Dr Simon Priestnall (spriestnall@rvc.ac.uk) and the Director of the Clinical Pathology residency programme is Dr Balazs Szladovits (bszladovits@rvc.ac.uk). Prospective residents are encouraged to visit the Department to discuss the training programme and to meet with current residents.

Our residents

Residents in clinical pathology

Christine Dubeau

Christine graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2015 and spent 2 years in small animal practice. This was followed by an internship in clinical pathology in Bristol, which she completed in 2018, before beginning her training at RVC to become a specialist in clinical pathology. Christine is enjoys all aspects of clinical pathology, with particular interest in cytology and endocrinology.

Suzanne Bussey

Suzanne graduated from The University of Liverpool in 2011. After spending time volunteering at the PDSA and working in private small animal practice for two years, she is training to be a specialist in clinical pathology. Suzanne is interested in all aspects of clinical pathology, particularly haematology and cytology.

Alex Penrose

Alex graduated with distinction from The University of Bristol in 2015 and spent 2 years working in private small animal practice before coming to the RVC to commence her specialist training in clinical pathology. In 2012 she undertook an intercalated master’s degree in Equine Science at the University of the West of England, during which she worked in the laboratories at Hartpury College as a Graduate Assistant. Alex enjoys all aspects of clinical pathology, with a particular interest in cytology.

Residents in anatomic pathology

Jen Irving

Jen graduated from The RVC in 2009 and has returned to us after 9 years is small animal practice. In 2006 Jen gained an intercalated honours degree in Biomedical and Environmental Sciences from King’s College London and spent the summer of 2008 participating in The University of Cornell Veterinary Medicine Leadership Program; which is where her interest in pathology and research developed. In 2014 Jen passed the GP certificate in feline practice and her expertise lie heavily in this field, but she is enjoying being exposed to all species again whilst training to become a specialist in anatomic pathology. 

Alexandros Chardas

Alexandros graduated in 2011 Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH), Greece, from the School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM). He worked for 3 years in small animal referral hospitals and as a state veterinarian. He enrolled in the Greek army (compulsory conscription) as an army vet performing routine food hygiene and sanitary controls and clinical work with army dogs. He completed a 3-month externship in veterinary pathology, in Australia, at the Charles Sturt University. In 2016, he joined the research team of Prof. Poutahidis in the Laboratory of Pathology, SVM, AUTH, on projects in collaboration with the DCM of MIT. He is interested in the comparative pathology of inflammation and neoplasia and the use of animal models.

Camille Longué

Camille graduated from the University of Edinburgh veterinary school in 2014, following completion of a BSc in Physiology from McGill University in 2010. After graduation, she spent time working in private small animal practice. Her particular pathology interests are emerging infectious diseases and wildlife pathology.

Alwyn Jones

Alwyn graduated from the University of Glasgow veterinary school in 2007 and spent the following five years working as a veterinary practitioner in mixed practices in Yorkshire, New Zealand and North Wales. Alwyn spent the following four years as a veterinary investigation officer at the SAC in St Boswells in the Scottish borders where he developed a keen interest in farm animal surveillance pathology. Alwyn is interested in all aspects of pathology but has a particular interest in neuropathology.

Simon Spiro

Simon graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2010 with an MA in Pathology and a VetMB. He received a Wellcome Trust scholarship to do a DPhil in Infection, Immunology and Translational Medicine at the University of Oxford, where his thesis centred on the use of antiviral drugs in the treatment of HIV and Ebola. His post-doc was with Prof Venu Nair at the Pirbright Institute and focussed on developing novel vaccines for Marek’s Disease in poultry. He is joint funded by the British Egg Marketing Board Trust and the Animal and Plant Health Agency, where he spends 25% of his time. His particular interests are infectious diseases and avian pathology.

Alejandro Suarez-Bonnet

Alejandro graduated from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in 2005 and after a short period in small and large animal practice he enrolled in a PhD programme investigating the pathogenesis of canine mammary tumours. On completion of the PhD he gained a post-doctoral scholarship to continue his research on cell cycle regulators and comparative oncology. Since 2009 he participated in the Anatomic Pathology Diagnostic Service with Professors A. Espinosa and P. Herraez in the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Alejandro joins the Anatomic Pathology Residency Programme at the RVC with a 4-year Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) Clinical Scholarship and will perform a research project investigating infectious upper airway disease in Thoroughbred horses. His particular interests are equine pathology and comparative oncology.

Hannah Wong

Hannah graduated as a vet from Cambridge in 2008 with a BA in Biological Anthropology. After a stint in Morocco working with equids for SPANA, she settled into first opinion small animal practice for 3 years. Hannah was awarded a 6-year Wellcome Trust Veterinary Integrated Training Fellowship in 2011, funding a PhD at Cambridge University followed by an anatomic pathology residency at the RVC. In November 2015, Hannah successfully defended her thesis ‘Activation of Toll-like receptors by human and horse strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae’. Hannah has a particular interest in the pathophysiology of infectious diseases, specifically the interaction between the host and pathogen and the use of molecular signalling in the control of the innate immune response.

Our previous residents

Our previous residents have used their training in pathology at The Royal Veterinary College to develop their careers in a variety of diagnostic and academic posts:

Charalampos Attipa

Charalampos graduated with first class honours from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, in 2011. During his undergraduate studies he completed a short research internship at Cambridge University on canine genetics. After graduation, he moved to Cyprus and worked for 3 years in a small animal referral hospital followed by an internship in clinical pathology in Bristol. During that time he developed an interest in all aspects of clinical pathology and especially molecular diagnostics of tick-born and zoonotic disease. Having completed his training  to become a specialist in veterinary clinical pathology, Charalampos has now commenced a PhD studentship.

Rachel Pittaway qualified from The University of Bristol in 2013, having previously completed an intercalated degree in veterinary pathology at the RVC in 2011. After graduation she completed a small animal junior clinical training scholarship (internship) at the RVC followed by some time working in small animal veterinary practice. She returned to the RVC in July 2015 as a Senior Clinical Training Scholar in Anatomic Pathology. Rachel enjoyed all aspects of pathology but her particular interest was in comparative pathology and tumour diagnosis and classification.

Becca Terry BSc BVSc MVetMed PhD DipACVP MRCVS qualified as a vet from the University of Bristol in 2007 with an intercalated BSc in Anatomy. She spent a year as a Thouron Scholar (intern) in Equine Medicine and Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania followed by a year in equine practice in Buckinghamshire. She was awarded a 6 year Wellcome Trust Veterinary Integrated Training Fellowship in 2009, funding a PhD and residency at the RVC. Her PhD entitled, “Modification of skeletal muscle phenotype to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy” was awarded in 2013 and she then completed her residency. Becca was recently successful in achieving DipACVP in anatomic pathology and has taken up the post of Veterinary Pathologist at Beaufort Laboratories in Newmarket, Suffolk.

Dr Melanie Dobromylskyj BSc Vet Path (Hons)  BVSc PhD FRCPath MRCVS qualified from Bristol University in 2004, having also intercalated a BSc in Veterinary Pathology at the RVC in 2002. Following a small animal internship at the Animal Health Trust, she completed her PhD in bovine molecular immunology at the Institute for Animal Health, Compton, and the University of Cambridge in 2009, studying the receptors expressed on natural killer cells. She then spent a year as an anatomic pathology resident at Glasgow University before joining Finn Pathologists, Norfolk in 2012, where she continued her training as an anatomic pathologist in conjunction with a part-time residency at the RVC. She passed the Fellowship examinations of the Royal College of Pathologists in 2014, and is now a full-time diagnostic histopathologist at Finn Pathologists. She has recently been given the role of developing further her particular interest in feline pathology, something she is especially excited about. 

Stephen Cahalan MVB DipACVP FRCPath MRCVS: "I was a senior clinical training fellow in anatomic pathology at the RVC from 2012 to 2014. My supervisors were inspiring teachers and great communicators and I couldn't recommend the residency program more highly. The program is actively focused on passing board examinations from day one, although at the same time, research and personal development are actively encouraged.  The necropsy and biopsy caseload at the RVC is really varied and I gained experience in animal welfare, greyhound racing, laboratory animal, farm animal and companion animal pathology. I became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists in September 2014 and I passed the Royal College Fellowship examinations in veterinary pathology in November 2014. I'm currently working as a locum veterinary pathologist and I aspire to starting a PhD program in the near future. If I had a chance to repeat my residency at the RVC, I would do so without hesitation!"

Dr Kerstin Erles Dr med vet MVetMed FRCPath DipACVP MRCVS joined the pathology residency program in 2011 having previously spent many years at the RVC as a research fellow and later as a lecturer in veterinary virology. Kerstin undertook a 4-year residency in veterinary anatomic pathology funded by the HBLB. She became a fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists in 2013 and a Diplomate of the ACVP in 2014. She has now joined a diagnostic pathology laboratory in Bristol. 

Libby Browne BVSc (Hons) MVetMed MANZCVS (Path) Dip ACVP: "I was fortunate to begin my career in pathology at the RVC, first as a Veterinary Investigation Officer in collaboration with DEFRA, and then as a resident in anatomic pathology.  For personal reasons I finished my residency at Charles Sturt University in Australia, but the experience I gained, and the support from colleagues at the RVC, were crucial to my future successes in this field.  After becoming a diplomate of the ACVP, I secured a position in a private pathology laboratory in Melbourne where I currently enjoy an integrated approach to diagnostic pathology and the daily challenges this specialty presents." 

 

 

 

 

Intercalated BSc in Comparative Pathology

The College offers an Intercalated BSc in Comparative Pathology that is designed for undergraduate veterinary students interested in pathology as a career. Further details on the course are available from Lisa Harber, Course Administrator (lharber@rvc.ac.uk) or Dr Simon Priestnall, Course Director (spriestnall@rvc.ac.uk)

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