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About the Chair

The Animal Health Partners Research Chair in Veterinary Medical Innovation is a unique and exciting partnership between the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) at the University of Guelph and the Animal Health Partners (AHP), a veterinary emergency and specialty hospital in Toronto, Ontario. This partnership aims to facilitate a One Health approach to advancing medical diagnoses and therapies in companion animal health and translate this knowledge to accelerate human medical discoveries. In creating this collaborative approach, the AHP Research Chair in Veterinary Medical Innovation expands how the human and veterinary medical communities work together and will create a framework for discovery.

The Research Chair is an OVC faculty member who will act to facilitate and coordinate a range of research activities between companies, researchers and veterinary centres with a focus on the use of technology for improving diagnosis and intervention. The Chair will organize and catalyze the sharing of clinical case material, expertise and specialized equipment, and generate new opportunities for ground-breaking and novel approaches to comparative medical research and training. This work has been made possible by a generous contribution by Animal Health Partners.

Objectives of the Research Chair

  • To promote clinical and biomedical research​ with a focus on veterinary clinical trials to facilitate medical discovery
  • To facilitate collaborative research programs​ between veterinary and human clinicians
  • To improve patient recruitment into veterinary clinical trials ​by utilizing clinical patients from the OVC and AHP
  • To disseminate findings to the veterinary & human medical community​

About Dr. Michelle Oblak

Dr. Michelle Oblak is the first Animal Health Partners Research Chair in Veterinary Medical Innovation. Dr. Oblak is a graduate of the Ontario Veterinary College, where she also completed a rotating internship and combined Residency/ Doctor of Veterinary Science (DVSc) in Small Animal Surgery. She served as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Florida where she received designation as an ACVS Fellow, Surgical Oncology prior to returning to OVC. Dr. Oblak is currently an Associate Professor of Soft Tissue and Oncologic Surgery in the Department of Clinical Studies, Ontario Veterinary College.

Dr. Oblak is an active and noted researcher with a focus on translational research and has several collaborations considering dogs as a naturally occurring disease model for cancer in humans. Her comparative oncology program at the OVC involves the use of innovative technology for staging and treatment including sentinel lymph node mapping, image-guided therapeutics, and 3D printing and rapid prototyping for surgical planning and reconstruction. She is an assistant co-director of the University of Guelph Institute for Comparative Cancer Investigation (ICCI), and an active member of the Dog Osteosarcoma Group: Biomarkers of Neoplasia (DOG BONe) and Rapid prototyping of patient-specific implants for dogs (RaPPID) working group. She also serves as the Chair of the Veterinary Society of Surgical Oncology (VSSO) Research Committee, an international organization that works to advance the understanding and improve treatment of veterinary patients with cancer


Dr. Michelle Oblak in the News


Johns Hopkins University: “Dachshund receives 3D-printed skull replacement”

New York Times: “Learning With: ‘3-D Printed Implant Gives Patches the Dachshund a new Skull”

CNN: “A dog lost part of her skull to cancer: So researchers printed her a 3D one”

Time: “Veterinarians 3d-Printed Part of a Skull for a Dog with Cancer”


Globe and Mail: “Ontario researchers use 3-D-printing technology to replace majority of dog’s cancer-ridden skull”

CBC: “Ontario researchers 3D-print piece of new skull for dog with cancer”

National Post: “Guelph vets use 3D-printing technology to replace majority of dog’s skull”