Faculty - Staff
Leigh Griffiths, VetMB, RCVS Diplomate of Small Animal Surgery (Soft Tissue), Diplomate ACVIM (Cardiology), MRCVS, PhD, Assistant Professor
Dr. Griffiths graduated from Cambridge University in 1995, spent a year in small animal practice and then completed a residency in small animal soft tissue surgery at Glasgow University Veterinary School. In 2000 he earned the Royal College of Veterinary Surgery diploma of small animal soft tissue surgery. In 1999 he accepted a position as a lecturer in small animal surgery at University of Liverpool Veterinary School. Dr. Griffiths is the first veterinary surgeon in the United Kingdom to train as a microvascular surgeon at the world-renowned Canneisburn Hospital. He completed a fellowship in cardiac surgery at Colorado State University in 2003 followed by a PhD and residency in Cardiology. In 2007 he joined the faculty at the University of California â€“ Davis, where he runs the cardiovascular surgery program. He provides services for cardiac angiography and non-invasive tests such as echocardiography and electrocardiography. He is also interested in interventional cardiology, including pacemaker implementation, balloon valvuloplasty and patent ductus arteriosus occlusion. Dr. Griffiths offers surgical options unavailable elsewhere: open heart surgery, procedures to correct congenital defects and selected cardiac tumor surgeries. Dr. Griffiths' basic science research program involves looking for ways to identify and ultimately avoid, the barriers to transplantation of tissues (valve replacement) and organs (heart transplantation) in animal and human patients.
Joshua Stern, DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVIM, Assistant Professor of Cardiology, PI: Stern Cardiac Genetics Laboratory
Dr. Stern, originally from Bristolville, Ohio, obtained his BS (2003) and DVM (2008) from The Ohio State University. He stayed on at Ohio State to complete a small animal internship in 2009. Dr. Stern then began a residency in cardiology at Washington State University and completed it at North Carolina State University in 2012. Dr. Stern also completed a PhD at Washington State University focusing on the genetics of familial subvalvular aortic stenosis in dogs. Dr. Stern’s research is primarily focused on the study of inherited heart disease. Most recently, his research successfully identified a mutation responsible for the development of congenital heart disease (subaortic stenosis) in Newfoundland dogs and the discovery of a mutation responsible for sudden death and long QT syndrome in a family of English springer spaniels. His subaortic stenosis research continues in golden retrievers and Rottweilers. Additionally, Dr. Stern has participated in studies of inherited cardiomyopathies and helped develop tests for genetic heart disease that are available. Dr. Stern’s secondary interest is in pharmacogenomics (how genetics aids in medical therapy) and the interface between it and treatment of heart failure.
Joao Orvalho, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM (Cardiology), Assistant Clinical Professor based at the University of California Veterinary Medical Center - San Diego
Dr. Orvalho, a native of Portugal, is a graduate of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Lisbon. He completed a small animal internship at The Ohio State University and his residency in veterinary cardiology at the University of California - Davis. After completing his residency in 2007, Orvalho became the School's first veterinary cardiologist based at the UC Veterinary Medical Center - San Diego. Orvalho applies non-invasive techniques such as echocardiography, electrocardiography and cardiac angiography to diagnose diseases of the heart. He is also interested in interventional cardiology, including pacemaker implementation, balloon valvuloplasty and patent ductus arteriosus occlusion. Orvalho's research focuses on pulmonary hypertension as well as interventional and medical therapies for heart disease.
Sarah Silverman, DVM Resident (2011-2014)Dr. Sarah Silverman is a native of Connecticut, where she completed her undergraduate education at Quinnipiac University. Dr. Silverman achieved her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Purdue University in 2009. She went on to pursue advanced clinical training through a rotating internship at Washington State University and a cardiology specialty internship at Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners in Tampa Florida. Dr. Silverman joined the cardiology team at UC Davis to complete a three-year cardiology residency in 2011 and is set to finish her program in 2014.
Mikaela Mueller, DVM Resident (2012-2015)Dr. Mikaela Mueller is originally from Michigan. She completed her undergraduate degree at Miami University in Ohio in 2007, and achieved her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in 2011. She continued on to advanced clinical training through a rotating internship at Advanced Veterinary Care Center in Lawndale, CA. Dr. Mueller joined the cardiology team at UC Davis to complete a three-year cardiology residency in 2012, and is set to finish her program in 2015.
Catherine Gunther-Harrington, DVM Resident (2013-2016)
Catherine Gunther-Harrington was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She received a Bachelor’s of Science in Animal Physiology and Neuroscience from University of California, San Diego. Following her undergraduate training, she worked as a marine biologist in Hawaii, Alaska, and New Zealand before attending veterinary school in 2008. In 2012, she received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the UC Davis. She pursued further clinical training during a Medicine and Surgery rotating internship at the North Carolina State University. Dr. Gunther-Harrington returned to her alma mater, UC Davis and joined the Cardiology Service in 2013 for her three-year residency.
Denise Berger, RVT, Head Cardiology Technician
Denise is a native Californian, born and raised in the San Francisco area. After attending Cosumnes River College and obtaining her degree in Animal Health Technology in 1992, she worked at two Bay Area private practices as a registered veterinary technician for 6 years. She came to the VMTH in 1997, working as a technician in Small Animal Nursing and then as an emergency technician, before finding her niche in cardiology in 1998. Denise enjoys all aspects of veterinary cardiology, but has a passion for electrocardiography, Holter monitoring, and pacemaker implantation and management. In her personal time Denise enjoys spending time with her family which includes her husband, 2 wonderful children, 3 beautiful granddaughters and, of course, several pets.
Judy Schettler, Cardiology- Dermatology Technician
Judy Schettler began her career at UC Davis in June 2005 after working as a veterinary technician in the San Francisco Bay Area for seven years. Before working in veterinary medicine, Judy managed a pet store in San Ramon. Her hobbies include hiking, raising goats, and showing and hunting her Basenji hounds. She and her bloodhound Kalli have retired from many years of search-and-rescue activities. She still trains handlers and their dogs in the techniques of trailing. Judy works with both Cardiology and Dermatology services at UC Davis.