An innovative new faculty position at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College will ensure that dogs and cats receive the best nutritional care in-hospital, and that student veterinarians have the tools they need to help future clients make healthy choices for their pets.

“The impact of nutrition on health and disease is an increasingly important area of veterinary science,” says Professor Adronie Verbrugghe, who has been named the first holder of the Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Endowed Chair in Canine and Feline Clinical Nutrition. “By paying attention to nutrition, we can delay the progression of disease and help pets live longer and improve the quality of their lives. That’s what it’s all about.”

Verbrugghe trained at Ghent University in Belgium, and graduated as a veterinarian in 2005. For her PhD, she studied feline carbohydrate metabolism and links to obesity and diabetes. She is a diplomate of the European College of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition and recently completed two years of post-doctoral research and clinical work at Ghent University.

“This exciting new position will help us discover new knowledge in clinical nutrition and transfer that knowledge to veterinarians working with pets in primary health care practice,” says Elizabeth Stone, OVC dean. “In addition, Adronie will play a key role in preparing our graduating veterinarians to develop nutritional programs for their patients and to educate their clients on the importance of nutrition.”