Animal Cancer Centre Support Team
Melanie received her RVT diploma from Centralia College in 1990. After graduating, she began working at the Ontario Veterinary College. Melanie started in the Small Animal Intensive care unit, and during her time there she
saw an increase in the number of patients being treated with chemotherapy . In 1998, Melanie helped develop a specialty service that would be dedicated exclusively to cancer patients: the Oncology Service. She has been an integral part in the development of the service, and contributed to the planning of the new Animal Cancer Centre.
Geri Higginson BSc, MSc, RVT received her 4 year BSc (Zoology) degree from Victoria College, University of Toronto
in 1993 and RVT diploma from Seneca College in 1998. In 2007, she completed a MSc degree from the Ontario
Veterinary College, University of Guelph investigating the effect of diet on avian coagulation. She has worked at the
Ontario Veterinary College since 1998, initially with the Avian & Exotics department and now in the Oncology Service. Geri loves to travel, having spent time in Asia, SE Asia, and the Middle East, including volunteering stint at an animal nursing clinic in the Gulf of Thailand. She is also actively involved with running and triathlon groups in the Guelph area.
Vicky graduated from St. Lawrence College in 1994. After graduation, she worked in private practice in Vancouver for
two years. In 1997, Vicky moved to Ontario and began working at the Ontario Veterinary College in the Small
Animal Wards/Canine Blood Donor Program. In 2002, Vicky joined the oncology service. She enjoys being part of the
oncology team and finds the position very rewarding. When not at work, she is busy being a Mom to two
Animal Care Attendant
Jeannette completed the Animal Care Program at Sheridan College in 1986. In 1989, she began working at the
University of Guelph in the Psychology department as a teaching and research assistant, where she contributed to
animal behaviour studies and co-authored in published journal articles. In 1991, Jeannette began working at the
Ontario Veterinary College with both small and large animals. In 2010, she joined the oncology team as the primary animal care attendant. Outside of the OVC, Jeannette enjoys farming, equine trail riding, and grooming dogs.
Laura received her BSc from the University of Guelph with a major in Biological Science. She then attended Seneca College to obtain her RVT diploma. Laura then went on to specialize in radiation therapy and obtained a joint degree: BSc in Medical Radiation Science from University of Toronto and Medical Radiation Therapy diploma from The Michener Institute. Laura works in both radiation and medical oncology at the OVC.
Bojena is a graduate of the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier Univeristy . She is a qualified therapist and a registered social worker with a specialized training in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Mindfulness and working with
people experiencing challenges in life tied to grief and loss, anxiety, panic, depression and stress. In her private practice she supports individuals, couples, children and families struggling with making difficult decisions and facing life adversities. She is focused on helping individuals develop self-awareness and a fresh insight into their life situations and challenges. Bojena has worked with clientele from different and diverse backgrounds and has supported clients experiencing concerns over their pet's health status and managing grief over the loss of a pet.
Research and Tumour Bank Coordinator
Kaya is a two-time graduate from the
University of Guelph, who completed her PhD in 2012 in the department of
Biomedical Sciences in the OVC. Her
graduate work focused on epigenetic modifications in human colorectal
cancer. She joined the Oncology team in
2012 as the Research and Tumour Bank Coordinator, and is excited to be part of
such a dedicated team, supporting companion animals that have been diagnosed
with cancer. Kaya has witnessed the
tumour bank evolve and grow, with the exponential accrual of samples in the
bank and patients in clinical trials. The
contribution of samples from cancer patients is providing fundamental
information that will allow researchers and clinicians to improve the diagnostic
and treatment options for cancer patients.