VEMD Laboratory Personnel
Dr. Jon M. Fletcher, Laboratory Director
Originally from Eunice, Louisiana, Dr. Fletcher received his DVM from Louisiana State University in 2005. From there he completed a rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Auburn University before returning to LSU to complete his small animal internal medicine residency. Following his residency, he started an internal medicine service in a private specialty hospital in the New Orleans area where he remained for four years before having the opportunity to join the faculty at Louisiana State University in 2012. Dr. Fletcher’s research focuses on the use of non-traditional and alternative treatments for obesity and diabetes mellitus in cats with potential application in people. He also has an interest in diagnostic testing for endocrine diseases and created a diagnostic endocrinology service in the Louisiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in 2013.
Dr. Hannah N. Pipe-Martin, Internal Medicine Resident
Dr. Pipe-Martin is a native of Brisbane, Australia and received her veterinary degree from the University of Queensland in 2011. After completing an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Queensland Veterinary Specialists, she came to LSU for her Residency in Small Animal Internal Medicine in 2013. Her clinical interests include all aspects of small animal endocrinology as well as systemic fungal disease.
Dr. Pipe-Martin's research focus has been on evaluating the characteristics of rapidly-acting insulin analogs in cats. She recently presented a scientific abstract entitled "Pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties of insulin aspart following subcutaneous and intramuscular injection in cats" at the 2016 ACVIM Forum in Denver, Colorado.
She has also been involved in the evaluation and description of non-diabetic cats with hypersomatotropism, and served as a co-author on a case series describing three affected cats.
Dr. Astrid Birch Kjaergaard, Internal Medicine Resident
Dr. Kjaergaard is originally from Aalborg, Denmark and received her veterinary degree from the University of Copenhagen in 2013. After completing an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon, she came to LSU for her Residency in Small Animal Internal Medicine in 2014. Her main clinical interests are in the areas of small animal endocrinology and hematology.
Dr. Kjaergaard's research focus has been on studying the effect of feeding on the urine cortisol to creatinine ratio in dogs in order to better define reference intervals for the UCCR as a tool for the diagnosis of food-dependent hypercortisolism, as well as to explore the pathophysiologic etiology of this disorder.
Dr. Roman Husnik, Post-doctoral Research Fellow
A native of Klatovy, in the Czech Republic, Dr. Husnik received his veterinary degree and his PhD from the University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences in Brno. He came to LSU in 2012 for a residency in small animal internal medicine, which he completed in 2015. Dr. Husnik's clinical interests include all aspects of veterinary gastroenterology, with a special focus on endoscopy techniques and fecal microbiota. Following completion of his residency, Dr. Husnik was awarded a Research Fellowship in Small Animal Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases sponsored by the ACVIM Foundation.
Dr. Husnik's current investigations include studying the effects of prokinetic drugs and GLP-1 analogs on gastric emptying in healthy cats, and evaluating the effects of obesity and feeding a mannoheptulose-enriched avocado extract on fecal microbiota in healthy cats.
Dr. Chin-Chi "Kitty" Liu, Research Associate and Laboratory Supervisor
Dr. Liu, a native of Taipei, Taiwan, received her Master of Science degree from the National Taiwan University in Taipei and her PhD from Texas A&M University. She is currently completing a Master's degree in Experimental Statistics at LSU.
Dr. Liu oversees the Veterinary Clinical Sciences departmental research laboratory and provides assistance, expertise, and training in benchtop techniques, research study design, data analysis, and experimental statistics for the VEMD Laboratory.