HomeSt. Matthew's University

School of Veterinary Medicine Faculty

Veterinary Faculty

Karen Rosenthal,This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. D.V.M., M.S.

Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, School of Veterinary Medicine
D.V.M., North Carolina State University
M.S., Duke University
Date of appointment: January 2012


Dr. Rosenthal served as Associate Professor and was founding Director and Section Chief of Special Species Medicine at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. She has also served as the Medical Director of the Veterinary Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Rosenthal is a member of the AVMA Council on Veterinary Services and a recent past president of the Association of Avian Veterinarians. Previously she was the Founding and National Director of Avian and Exotic Animal Services for Antech Diagnostics and a staff member for five years on the Avian and Exotic Service at The Animal Medical Center in New York City. Dr. Rosenthal has received numerous awards for her work, including the Daniels Award for Excellence in Small Mammal Endocrinology, The NC State Alumni of the Year Award in 2003, the Exotic DVM of the Year (2010), and the University of Pennsylvania Excellence in Teaching Award. She has authored over 80 publications on a range of scientific topics. Dr. Rosenthal is an invited speaker both nationally and internationally and can currently be seen on National Geographic Channel's "Jurassic CSI" discussing birds, reptiles, and dinosaurs. Some of her most recent research includes her participation in the research group based at the University of Manchester and Stanford University that utilizes the National Linear Accelerator at Stanford University to study the anatomy of extinct dinosaurs in an attempt to compare it to the anatomy of birds. Dr. Rosenthal did her internship and residency training at The Animal Medical Center.

Veterinary Biosciences

Brendan Lee, D.V.M., M.Sc., M.P.H., D.A.C.V.P.M.

Head, Department of Veterinary Biosciences
Associate Professor of Veterinary Public Health and Epidemiology
D.V.M., The University of The West Indies,M.Sc., Royal Veterinary College, University of London, M.P.H., University of Minnesota
Date of appointment: January 2013


Dr. Lee is cross trained in Human and Veterinary Public Health and joined Saint Matthew’s after serving as senior fellow with the Institute of Science for Global Policy. Previously he worked as a research fellow with the National Center for Food Protection and Defense, a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence. Dr. Lee’s interest revolve around foodborne and zoonotic diseases.

Elaine Blythe, B.S., Pharm.D.

Associate Professor of Veterinary Pharmacology
B.S., pharmacy, Southwest Oklahoma State University
Pharm.D., Creighton University


Instructor at West Texas A& M University and Creighton University Assistant to Associate Professor, School of Pharmacy, Creighton University Certified Online Instructor (Creighton University). Dr. Blythe has a strong background in the pharmaceutical industry and regulatory affairs. She has had extensive training and experience in disaster relief work, including a three week deployment during Hurricane Katrina.

Levi Ohale, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Professor of Veterinary Anatomy
D.V.M., University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Ph.D., Iowa State University


Dr. Ohale taught anatomy at the University of Nigeria at Nsukka from 1980-1993, serving as Head of the Dept. of Anatomy from 1987-1993. He then move to South Africa where he was involved in teaching of gross anatomy in the Medical University of South Africa from 1993-1999. He then joined the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Onderstepoort from 1993-2003, teaching gross anatomy of both large and small animals. He was named Emeritus Professor of Anatomy on his retirement in 2003, after which he moved to Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine where he taught anatomy until the end of 2009. He moved to St. Matthew’s University in January 2010, where he is professor of anatomy with an interest in developing research projects in cardiovascular anatomy and the effects of parasites on animals.

Aftab Awan, D.V.M., Ph.D., M.Sc.

Professor of Virology and Immunology
Ph.D., University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
D.V.M., College of Veterinary Medicine, Lahore, Pakistan
M.Sc., College of Veterinary Medicine Lahore, Pakistan


Dr. Awan has more than 25 years of teaching and research experience in infectious disease and immunology. Dr. Awan was a Professor of Microbiology and Pathology at St. James School of Medicine where he also taught anatomy, histology, embryology and genetics. Dr Awan was Associate Lecturer and Senior Scientist at Cambridge University (UK) and taught virology to veterinary students at Queens Veterinary School, University of Cambridge for 22 years, where he still lectures. He also taught anatomy and microbiology to DVM students in Lahore, Pakistan where he also worked on rabies and developed the first diagnostic laboratory. Dr. Awan has extensive experience in research in academia and industry and has 39 refereed publications, with many more in development. His areas of interest in research are in viral pathogenesis, viral immunology, immunopathology, neurovirology, immunosuppression and immunomodulation, autoimmunity, toxicology, antivirals and vaccine efficacy.

Veronica Boling, B.S., D.V.M.

Assistant Professor of Pathology
B.S., California Polytechnic University, Pomona, California, D.V.M., Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, California, Post Doc Scholar, Residency in Anatomic Pathology, University of Kentucky, Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (2012)
Date of appointment: January 2013


Veronica’s interest in pathology developed while in undergraduate school, where she worked as a necropsy technician at the California Animal Health and Food Safety Diagnostic Laboratory in San Bernardino. During the Exotic Newcastle Disease outbreak in the early 2000’s, she was on the state task force performing necropsies on poultry. While in veterinary school, she necropsied marine birds at the International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC) in San Pedro, and seal and sea lions at the neighboring Marine Mammal Care Center. She was the first student from her veterinary school to be accepted into an anatomic pathology residency program. She completed her residency training at the University of Kentucky, Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, and now is board eligible. She has extensive training in small and large animal pathology, particularly equine. Her interests include diagnostic pathology, anatomical model preparation for teaching and parasitology. She also has an extensive parasite collection, which she loves to show students!

James Adekeye, Ph.D., D.V.M, M.S.

Professor of Microbiology
Ph.D., Ahmadu Bello University, M.S., Kansas State University, D.V.M., Ahmadu Bello University


Dr. Adekeye has been associated with educational organizations worldwide, including: The University of Guelph Biomedical Sciences, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (Canada) Department of Pathobiology, Ontario Veterinary College, the Center for Tropical Veterinary Medicine in Edinburgh, the Norwegian Veterinary College, the Central Public Health Laboratory in London, the Veterinary Public Health Laboratory at Kansas State University and the Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta (CDC), where he trained in epidemiology and health administration.


Dr. Adekeye has taught as a Professor of Microbiology and Epidemiology at the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in St. Kitts and his alma mater, Ahmadu Bello University, where he served as Professor and Head of Pathology and Microbiology and Deputy Dean of the faculty. He has also served as Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Medicine & Health Sciences (UMHS) in St. Kitts. He has over fifty peer reviewed scientific journal publications to his credit and has served as major supervisor for several students at the Master and Ph.D. levels.

Liesl Schmidt, D.V.M.


Assistant Professor of Basic and Clinical Sciences
D.V.M., Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine


Dr. Schmidt is an assistant professor who instructs students in Anatomy, Principles of Surgery, and Advanced Clinical Skills. She performed a small animal rotating internship at NYC Veterinary Specialists before joining SMU. Her primary fields of research and strong interests are cardiology and emergency medicine.

Veterinary Clinical Sciences

Brian Roberts, D.V.M., Diplomate American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care


Head, Department of Clinical Sciences
Professor of Small Animal Internal Medicine
D.V.M., University of Florida


Dr. Roberts had an internship in medicine at the Animal Medical Center in NYC, did his residency at the Veterinary Specialists of South Florida and has served as Head of Emergency and Critical Care at the same practice since 2003. He has been the director of the internship program at Veterinary Specialists since 2003 and served as a mentor to several residents as well since 2005. He has published several papers related to respiratory and cardiovascular medicine in companion animals and has a strong interest in toxicology.

Brandy Darby, D.V.M., M.P.H.


Associate Professor of Veterinary Clinical Sciences
D.V.M., Louisiana State University


Dr. Darby had three years experience in surgery and medicine in a practice on Grand Cayman, including emergency medicine duties. Her clinical interest is in equine medicine and surgery, including equine dentistry. Dr. Darby serves as the coordinator of the school’s Clinical Teaching Facility, where students have their anatomy laboratories as well as the clinical skills, surgery and medicine course laboratories. She is currently serving as President of the Cayman Islands Veterinary Medical Association.

Marco Demaria, D.V.M.


Assistant Professor of Veterinary Surgery
D.V.M., University of Torino, Torino, Italy
Residency in Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University


Dr. Demaria had several years of experience in surgical practice in Italy and in Cambridge, England prior to entering the residency program at Michigan State University in 2007. Following his residency, he has been serving as the Chief Surgeon at New York City Veterinary Specialties, Brooklyn, NY. His research interests have focused on bone grafts in skeletal repair, use of negative pressure therapy for repair of large tissue wounds and various treatment approaches to correct skeletal problems including hip dysplasia.

Charles Dickinson, D.V.M., M.S.


Professor of Equine Medicine
D.V.M. Colorado State University
M.S. Colorado State University
Diplomate ACVIM


Dr. Dickinson received the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Colorado State University in 1988. After two years as an instructor with the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at Colorado State University, Dr. Dickinson became an associate veterinarian with Tri-State Large Animal Hospital in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He joined the staff at the Oregon State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital as a Clinical Fellow in large animal medicine and surgery in 1992. In 1996, Dr. Dickinson completed a residency in Equine Internal Medicine at Colorado State University, received the Master of Science degree in Clinical Sciences, and successfully completed the certifying examination of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. From 1996 to 2005, Dr. Dickinson was a faculty member with the Department of Clinical Sciences at Colorado State University, practicing and teaching equine internal medicine, critical care, neonatology and neurology at the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Dr. Dickinson's research interests and experience include zootoxicology, equine enteric clostridiosis, and equine endocrine-metabolic disease, among others.

Eric Dunayer, V.M.D., M.S., D.A.B.T., D.A.B.V.T.


Associate Professor of Clinical Sciences
V.M.D., School of Veterinary Medicine University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
M.S., Environmental Health and Sciences Drexel University, Philadelphia


Dr. Dunayer has served as a Senior Toxicologist at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center in Urbana, IL since 2002 and has been a visiting lecturer at St. Matthews during the past three years. He has served as an expert on toxicoses for various groups and is considered to be the primary expert on xylitol poisoning of animals. He teaches both toxicology and clinical pathology.

Samantha Shields, D.V.M.


Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Assistant Professor of Clinical Sciences
D.V.M., St. George's University, Grenada
Date of appointment: May 2007


Dr. Shields graduated from St. George’s University and completed her clinical year at University of Florida in 2004. Prior to joining the faculty in May 2007, she worked for Hill’s Pet Nutrition. Previously, she had worked within the terrestrial and education department at Boatswains Beach, in Grand Cayman and for a small animal practice in Canada. She has a strong interest and experience in small animal nutrition and marine mammal medicine. She co-coordinates the MARVET (marine veterinary medicine) Cayman program and the SMOLE (St. Matthew’s Orientation and Leadership Experience) program at SMU.

Francisco Rodriguez, D.V.M.


Associate Professor, Large Animal Medicine and Surgery
D.V.M., Colorado State University


Dr. Francisco Rodriguez completed veterinary school at Colorado State University in 1994. After graduation, he completed an internship in equine medicine and surgery at the Illinois Equine Hospital and Clinic. From 1997-2001, Dr. Rodriguez completed two residencies (AVBP and Large Animal Surgery) at the University of Missouri. Upon completion of his residencies, Dr. Rodriguez was a lecturer in large animal surgery at Texas A & M University, College of Veterinary Medicine. Most recently, Dr. Rodriguez was a large animal practice owner in Wisconsin for the past 5 years. Principal fields of research publication and interest include: developmental orthopedic disease (particularly, articular pathophysiology), incisional complications and emergency surgery (including ophthalmologic).

Elanor Withnall, B.V.Sc., M.A.C.V.S.


Associate Professor, Anesthesiology and Clinical Pathology
B.V.Sc, University of Queensland


Dr. Withnall received her veterinary degree from The University of Queensland in Australia before working and traveling around the world. She practiced in general, mixed and emergency practice in both the United Kingdom and Australia before returning to academia. A Critical Care Small Animal Internship at Michigan State University was followed by a Transfusion Medicine Fellowship and then a Residency in Veterinary Anesthesia at the University of Pennsylvania. Although she loves the clinical practice of anesthesia, teaching students is her true passion so she was very pleased to take up a position at SMU teaching both anesthesia and pharmacology to veterinary students.

Veterinary Adjunct Faculty

J. Alex Thomasson, D.V.M.

D.V.M. – Auburn University
U of FL Small Animal Medicine - Primary Care Relief Veterinarian
Veterinarian Leadership Institute – Facilitator

Teaches Veterinary Parasitology

Alan Emsley, Ph.D.

Ph.D., University of Nebraska
Date of appointment: January 2007

Brian Poteet, D.V.M., DACVR

D.V.M., Texas A and M University
Date of appointment: January 2007

Teaches Diagnostic Imaging.

Mohamed Satti, Ph.D.

Professor of Veterinary Immunology and Parasitology
Ph.D., Institute of Medical Microbiol/Immunol, Copenhagen University
Date of appointment: January 2006

Lori Gaskins, D.V.M., D.A.B.V.B., D.A.C.A.W.

Behavior Residency at UC Davis
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Behavior
Diplomate, American College of Animal Welfare
Date of Appointment: November 2007
Dr. Gaskins currently teaches animal welfare and behavior, and clinical behavioral medicine.

Kelvin Kow, D.V.M., M.S., D.A.C.V.I.M.(Oncology)

Teaches Small Animal Oncology.

Kanyuira G Gikonyo, D.V.M., M.P.H.

D.V.M., Tuskegee University, Alabama
MPH, Emory University, Georgia USA
Date of appointment: September 2009

Kevin David Pelzer, D.V.M., M.P.V.M.

D.V.M; Tuskegee Institute Tuskegee, Alabama
MPVM; University of California, Davis.
Date of appointment: August 2010

Gary Butcher, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Biosciences staff at University of Florida
Date of appointment: November 2011

Dr. Butcher is a poultry specialist that teaches around the world to veterinary students and industry. He teaches poultry medicine, surgery and production and has authored over 100 scientific papers.

Douglas Mader, D.V.M., D.A.C.V.B.

Owner of Marathon Veterinary Hospital in the Florida Keys
Consultant for the Turtle Hospital of the Florida Keys
Date of appointment: November 2011

Dr. Mader is a world-known expert in reptile and amphibian medicine who also authored the text: "Reptile Medicine and Surgery". He teaches reptile & amphibian medicine and surgery.

Rowan Milner, B.V.Sc., M.S., E.C.V.I.M., A.C.V.I.M.

B.V.Sc., University of Pretoria, Pretoria, Republic of South Africa
Master of Vet Med, Medicine, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, Republic of South Africa
Diplomate, Internal Medicine, European College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Diplomate, Medical Oncology, European College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Medical Oncology Diplomat Status, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 2009

Teaches Small Animal Oncology

Tom Schubert, D.V.M., D.A.B.V.P., D.A.C.V.I.M.

D.V.M., Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis
Internship, Small Animal Medicine, Auburn University
Residency, Neurology, University of Florida
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine – Specialty of Neurology
Diplomate, American Board of Veterinary Practitioners – Canine/Feline

Teaches Small Animal Neurology

James Morrissey, D.V.M.

D.V.M., Cornell University
Kansas State University, Internship in Exotic Pet, Wildlife and Zoological Medicine
1995-1997: Animal Medical Center, New York, NY, Residency in Exotic Pet Medicine and Surgery
Board Certification: American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (Avian Practice)

Beverly J. Purswell, D.V.M., M.S., Ph.D., Diplomate, A.C.V.T.

D.V.M, University of Georgia
M.S. Immunology, University of Georgia
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Theriogenology
Ph.D., Immunology, University of Georgia

Teaches Small Animal Theriogenology

Bobby Werner, D.V.M., D.A.C.V.R.

D.V.M, Texas A&M University
Board Certification: Veterinary Radiology

Cynthia Bauer-Darby, D.V.M., D.A.C.V.D.

D.V.M, Auburn University
Rotating Internship, Veterinary Specialists of South Florida
M.S. in dermopathology, residency in dermatology
Board Certification in Veterinary Dermatology

Teaches Small Animal Dermatology