Could you summarize your career?
I graduated from the Hebrew University Koret School of Veterinary Medicine in Israel in 1990 then took a Small Animal internship and residency at the Hebrew University. I then moved to the US to undertake a fellowship in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases Research at the College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University.
Back in Israel, I then studied for a PhD in veterinary parasitology at the Hebrew University. I continued to work at the Hebrew University Veterinary School and served as head of the Small Animal Internal Medicine Department at the Hebrew University Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
I am a diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Clinical Pathology (ECVCP), an associate member of the European Veterinary Parasitology College (EVPC) and an editorial advisory board member for the Journal Veterinary Parasitology. Together with veterinary colleagues from Europe, I formed the LeishVet group for standardization of the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of canine leishmaniosis. The LeishVet group has published guidelines for canine and feline leishmaniosis aimed at helping practitioners understand and manage zoonotic leishmaniosis. I am also an active member of the Tropical Council for Companion Animal Parasites (TroCCAP), which aims to guide veterinarians in the management of pet parasitic diseases in tropical regions.
My research interests focus on the pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment of veterinary and zoonotic vector-borne infectious diseases including leishmaniosis, relapsing fever borreliosis, canine ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, hepatozoonosis, trypanosomiasis and dirofilariasis. I have been involved in research projects on the study of zoonotic and veterinary diseases in the Mediterranean Basin, Uzbekistan, Ethiopia, Southern Europe and North Africa.
What is your ‘day job’
I am Veterinary Medicine Director at the Koret School of Veterinary Medicine where I teach parasitology and infectious diseases to veterinary and undergraduate students. I am also involved in the diagnosis of diseases, perform research mainly on leishmaniosis and tick-borne diseases and have an active research laboratory with MSc and PhD students.
You are chair of the SAC. What does this role involve?
As SAC Chair, I have responsibility for giving scientific advice to the WSAVA, responding to the respective needs for information from different veterinary disciplines and parts of the world. With my committee colleagues, I also oversee the scientific plan for our annual congress and support the selection of the state-of-the-art lecturers (SOTAL). The SAC also evaluates research proposals and initiatives for the WSAVA and WSAVA Foundation and recommends recipients for the WSAVA Award for Scientific Achievement.
Why is the SAC’s work so important and what do you enjoy about it?
The SAC is a small group of experts in different veterinary disciplines. We communicate primarily through email as we are based around the world. We help to direct the WSAVA’s scientific work and ensure that the association maintains high scientific standards. I enjoy interacting with my global colleagues. Wherever we are and whatever our situation, we generally agree on the fundamental issues.
What do you like to do when you are not working?
I like to travel and see vets and their work all over the world. I enjoy seeing new cultures, countries and traditions. I also like to spend time with my family, including our four-legged members and make sure I keep fit and active!