Welcome New Faculty

By Allison Carey

The following faculty members joined the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine this past year.

Dr. Brandy Cichocki
Dr. Brandy Cichocki was appointed as clinical assistant professor of small animal soft tissue surgery in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences effective February 1. A Purdue alumna, she earned her DVM degree from the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2012 followed by a master’s degree and residency at Oklahoma State University. Dr. Cichocki’s interests include minimally invasive and thoracic surgery.
Dr. Bianca Zenor

Dr. Bianca Zenor joined the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine as the new director of the Veterinary Technology Program and clinical associate professor in the Department of Veterinary Administration effective April 10.  A graduate of Purdue University, Dr. Zenor earned her master's degree in animal sciences before completing the doctor of veterinary medicine program at the College of Veterinary Medicine in 2001.  Prior to returning to Purdue, Dr. Zenor most recently served as senior manager of U.S. Veterinary Affairs for Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc. in Topeka, Kan.

Dr. Jiang Yang

Dr. Jiang Yang was appointed as research assistant professor in the Department of Comparative Pathobiology effective April 24.  Dr. Yang earned her PhD from Tufts University. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Boston Children's Hospital/Harvard Medical School.  While at Harvard, Dr. Yang's research focused on breast cancer research, specifically the role of the oncogene lipocalin 2 in disease progression.  She is currently working on studies to better define the role of cholesterol metabolism in prostate cancer. She brings a strong background in cancer biology and a wide-range of technical expertise that will enhance the cholesterol metabolism studies at Purdue.

Dr. Duncan Hockley

Dr. Duncan Hockley joined PVM as director of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital and clinical associate professor in the Department of Veterinary Administration on June 1.  A 1992 DVM graduate of the University of Saskatchewan's Western College of Veterinary Medicine, he co-owned and operated a successful mixed-animal practice. Additionally, due to his interest and expertise in bovine embryo transfer techniques, he worked in the animal health industry as a veterinary researcher and senior leader before returning to his alma mater to serve as its Veterinary Medical Center director prior to joining the Purdue Veterinary Medicine faculty.

Dr. Andrea Pires dos Santos

Dr. Andrea Pires dos Santos became a faculty member in the Department of Comparative Pathobiology upon her appointment as assistant professor of veterinary clinical pathology July 1. Dr. Santos earned her DVM degree in 2001 followed by a master's degree in 2004 from the Universidade de Santa Maria in Brazil. She originally came to Purdue in 2007, as a visiting scholar conducting research for her PhD degree from the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil, which she earned in 2008.  Dr. Santos returned to Purdue in 2008 for post-doc research before also completing a residency/master's degree program in veterinary clinical pathology this summer.

Dr. Caroline Fulkerson

Dr. Caroline Fulkerson was appointed as clinical assistant professor of diagnostic imaging in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences effective July 17.  An alumna of Purdue University, Dr. Fulkerson earned her DVM degree from the College of Veterinary Medicine in 2010. She then served as a continuing lecturer for the Purdue Veterinary Medicine Department of Veterinary Administration before completing an internship in the Purdue University Veterinary Teaching Hospital followed by a residency program in diagnostic imaging through the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, which she completed earlier this summer.

Dr. Kari Ekenstedt

Dr. Kari Ekenstedt joined the Department of Basic Medical Sciences as assistant professor of anatomy effective August 21. Dr. Ekenstedt earned her DVM degree in 2005 followed by a PhD in comparative and molecular biosciences in 2010, both from the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on investigating the genetic basis of inherited neurological diseases in dogs.  Dr. Ekenstedt previously taught undergraduate genetics at the University of Wisconsin – River Falls and veterinary gross anatomy and histology at the University of Minnesota. She now combines her dual passions of teaching and research at PVM, where she teaches gross anatomy and runs a canine genetics and genomics research laboratory.

Dr. Sanjeev Narayanan

Dr. Sanjeev Narayanan was appointed as head of the Department of Comparative Pathobiology and professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology August 1.  He earned his BVSc degree at Madras Veterinary College in India in 1994 and his MS and PhD degrees at Kansas State in 1997 and 2001, respectively. A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists (virology and immunology) and the American College of Veterinary Pathologists, Dr. Narayanan's research focuses on the virulence and antimicrobial resistance of gut bacteria.  He comes to PVM from the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine where he served as professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology.

Dr. Marije Risselada

Dr. Marije Risselada joined the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences as assistant professor of small animal soft tissue surgery on August 14.  Dr. Risselada earned her DVM degree in 1999 before completing a small animal surgery residency program in 2003 at Ghent University in Belgium. She then earned a PhD degree from Ghent in 2006 before completing a residency program in small animal surgery at the University of Florida in 2011.  Dr. Risselada comes to PVM from North Carolina State University where she served as assistant professor of small animal soft tissue/oncologic surgery.  She is a diplomate of both the European College of Veterinary Surgeons and the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.

Dr. Melissa Lewis

Dr. Melissa Lewis became a member of the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences upon her appointment as assistant professor of neurology on September 5.  Dr. Lewis earned her VMD degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010 before completing a neurology/neurosurgery residency program at North Carolina State University in 2014.  She is currently in the process of completing a PhD in comparative biomedical sciences and the comparative medicine and translational research training program at North Carolina State University.  Dr. Lewis is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (neurology).

Dr. Deepti Pillai

Dr. Deepti Pillai joined the Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory and the Purdue Veterinary Medicine Department of Comparative Pathobiology as clinical assistant professor of diagnostic microbiology effective October 2.  Dr. Pillai earned her BVSc and MVSc (microbiology) degrees from Nagpur Veterinary College in India in 2003 and 2005, respectively.  She then completed a PhD in diagnostic medicine and pathobiology in 2011 at Kansas State University, where she served as a research assistant professor.  Dr. Pillai also is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists (bacteriology).  Her research interests include antimicrobial resistance and identifying critical bacterial targets as vaccine candidates.


This story is part of the 2017 Annual PVM Report.

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