Image of a slide being examined with a microscope. The slide is being held with white gloves.

Our Team

Charly McKenna | Research Manager


Charly McKenna graduated from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Science Honors in Biological Science and has further pursued both a Masters of Science and a Doctor of Philosophy in part-time studies. In her varied career, she has experience at every level of research working in laboratories, veterinary clinics and research animal facilities.

After graduating with her BSc, she worked as a technician in a molecular biology research and development lab coordinating her own research program as well as student projects. She had a major role in obtaining grants and budget management of the lab. Following this, Charly worked in the Scientific Sales industry. This provided the opportunity to navigate interactions with various stakeholders and forward-thinking individuals in a fast-paced environment.

With a strong passion for clinical medicine, Charly returned to the University of Guelph and the Ontario Veterinary College working in various departments of the OVC Health Sciences Centre.

MSc, RLAT, BSc, PhD Student


Office Location: ANCC Rm2155

Phone: +1-519-824-4120 x53935

This provided an opportunity to understand the importance of clinical trials in veterinary medicine and reinforced how special the bond we share with our companion animals. Charly loved being part of a team of doctors, technicians, students and staff working towards the goal of providing excellence in patient care and client experience.

As the research manager for the AHP research chair, Charly plays an integral role in both the Veterinary Innovation Platform and OVC Clinical Trials program. As part of this role, she works closely with the projects selected for the Clinical Translation Platform.

Charly is well-suited to this position having had experience at every level from the laboratory to clinics. She is coming from the role of Research Animal Coordinator at the University of Guelph Campus Animal Facilities.

As the Research Animal coordinator, she worked closely with preclinical researchers on various projects and managed the biosecurity of two high-traffic animal facilities. She had the complete responsibility for the acquisition of live animals for the purposes of teaching and research including coordinating with both commercial suppliers and academic institutions to acquire the best model for their research goals. In this role, she was a key pillar of support when initiating any project and worked closely with the facility team (technicians and managers) as well as students, research associates and faculty.

Charly is a Registered Laboratory Animal Technician (RLAT) and has taken on many volunteer opportunities to participate in various projects involving mice, rats, pigs and dogs gaining technical skills and a better understanding of the importance of clinical research. She also works part-time at the Level 2 Isolation Animal Facility as a research animal technician. This involves performance of veterinary technical duties and procedures related to animal husbandry and welfare of poultry, rodents, pigs and calves.

Charly’s Masters Thesis research was focused on a translational project evaluating the novel delivery of gold nanoparticles in dogs with prostate tumours. The team is evaluating the feasibility and safety not only of a new delivery method but also the gold nanoparticles as a treatment modality. This study was completed in both normal, healthy dogs and a clinical case of a dog with prostate tumor. This treatment has the potential for application both in veterinary and human medicine.

Charly’s PhD research is again centered on translational and comparative medicine using Electroencephalography (EEG), which is the same technique used in human medicine, to diagnosis seizures in dogs. This work expands to include how well anti-seizure drugs work in our pets through EEG analysis before and after treatment(s).


Pre-Clinical Research and Animal Models, Research Administration, Clinical Data and Management, Veterinary Clinical Trials, Social Media Content Curation


  • BSc (CBS, University of Guelph)
  • MSc (OVC, University of Guelph)


  • Research Manager – Veterinary Medical Innovation Program and Clinical Trials (University of Guelph) 2020 – Present
  • Research Animal Technician – Level 2 Isolation Facility (University of Guelph) 2019 – 2021
  • Research Animal Coordinator (University of Guelph) 2016 – 2020 *on secondment*
  • Client Services – OVC Small Animal/Large Animal Clinic/Cancer Care Centre/Smith Lane Animal Hospital 2014-2019


  • Wan J., Oblak M., Ram A., McKenna C., Singh A. and Nykamp S. (2021) Evaluating the feasibility and efficacy of a dual-modality nanoparticle contrast agent (Nanotrast-CF800) for image-guided sentinel lymph node mapping in the oral cavity of healthy dogs. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, Veterinary Imaging.
  • Oblak M. and McKenna C. (2021) Rostral Mandibulectomy Reconstruction with Transmandibular Bone Tunnels and Polypropylene Buttons. Abstract submitted and accepted for American College of Veterinary Surgeons Surgery Summit, Chicago, Illinois, USA (October 2021)
  • Active member with good standing in CALAS. Submitted and presented abstracts at each of the annual conferences (2019-2021):
    • Wan J., Oblak M., Ram A., Mckenna C. and Nykamp S. Evaluating the feasibility and efficacy of a dual-modality nanoparticle contrast agent (Nanotrast-CF800) for image-guided sentinel lymph node mapping in the oral cavity of healthy dogs.
    • McKenna C., Oblak M., Nykamp S., Aborig M., Wettig S., Fleck A., Osei E. and Mutsaers A. All About the Gold: A Novel Approach to the Treatment of Localized Prostate Tumors in Dogs.
    • McKenna C. Interdepartmental Collaboration  in  Terminal Dog Study – Extending the Value of Cadavers.
    • McKenna C. (2019) A Truly Open Door Policy.
    • Pharmacal “Best in Show” Award – recognized as the conference “favorite” for A Truly Open Door Policy presentation at 58th Annual Symposium CALAS, Vancouver, Canada (May 2019)
  • Hajibabaei M. and McKenna C. (2011) DNA Mini-Barcodes. In DNA Barcodes: Methods and Protocols. Berlin: Humana Press, Springer Science+Publishing Media, LLC.
  • Movember has meaning for canines, too | Office of Research (

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