Center for Companion Animal Studies

About us

Our mission is to foster interactions between clinical specialists, translational researchers, and basic researchers in the area of companion animal studies that will directly result in improved quality of life for animals and indirectly improve human health through interactions with their companion animals.

By coordinating clinical research strengths with expertise in companion animal medicine and surgery, our center aims to advance the teaching of veterinary students, clinical interns, clinical residents, and graduate students in the Department of Clinical Sciences by involving these professionals in the design and conduct of clinically relevant research projects.

As many of our projects are associated with new diagnostic tests, treatments, and vaccines for common diseases seen in veterinary clinics, the use of research animals is minimized. Many of the center’s studies have involved animals in need and housed in shelters, who benefit from positive control studies (all animals get treated).

One Health Certificate

Center Director Dr. Michael R. Lappin is also the chairperson of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) One Health Committee, and collaborates with WSAVA to sponsor a One Health certificate to foster the practice of One Health concepts in our veterinary clinics.

Access One Health certificate courses

Young Investigator Awards

The center also coordinates the Young Investigator Awards program,  which is designed to generate funds to help young investigators achieve their clinical research goals. Each of these seed money grants includes a D.V.M. student as a scientific investigator.

View Young Investigator Awards


Dr. Michael Lappin

Section Head, Professor, Infectious Disease

Office: (970) 297-0313

[email protected]

Dr. Catriona MacPhail

Professor, Small Animal Surgery

Dr. Valeria Scorza


Office: (970) 297-4132

[email protected]

Dr. Kristin Zersen

Assistant Professor, Critical Care

Dr. Alison Manchester

Postdoctoral Fellow, Small Animal Internal Medicine

Dr. Kyle German

Nutrition Resident, M.S. Student

Dr. Charlie Talbot

Critical Care Resident, Ph.D. Student