The faculty and administration at St. Matthew's University bring in-depth experience and knowledge to the challenge of veterinary medical education.

All St. Matthew's University faculty have an advanced veterinary and/or doctoral degree (DVM, PhD) with postgraduate training in a veterinary or academic specialty, as well as demonstrated experience in teaching and/or research. Our dedicated full-time faculty are assisted by adjunct faculty who are world-leading specialists and travel to Cayman each semester to teach our students

Chancellor: John Marvin, M.B.A.

Associate Dean of Academic Affairs: Brenden Lee, D.V.M., M.Sc., M.P.H., D.A.C.V.P.M.

Assistant Dean of Clinical Affairs: Gregg BeVier, D.V.M., M.B.A.

Assistant Dean of Student Affairs: Samantha Shields, DVM

Chief Financial Officer: Terry Moya

Director of Admissions: Adriana Marin-Negron

Director of Information Technology: Ripley Eldridge

Registrar: Gloria Miranda-Avila


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Brendan Lee, D.V.M., M.Sc., M.P.H., D.A.C.V.P.M.

Veterinary - Associate Dean of Academic Affairs

Associate Professor of Veterinary Public Health and Epidemiology
D.V.M., The University of The West Indies,M.Sc., Royal Veterinary College, University of London, M.P.H., University of Minnesota
Date of appointment: January 2013

Dr. Lee is cross trained in Human and Veterinary Public Health and joined Saint Matthew’s after serving as senior fellow with the Institute of Science for Global Policy. Previously he worked as a research fellow with the National Center for Food Protection and Defense, a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence. Dr. Lee’s interest revolve around foodborne and zoonotic diseases.

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Elaine Blythe, B.S., Pharm.D.

Veterinary Biosciences

Associate Professor of Veterinary Pharmacology
B.S., Pharmacy, Southwest Oklahoma State University
Pharm.D., Creighton University

Instructor at West Texas A& M University and Creighton University Assistant to Associate Professor, School of Pharmacy, Creighton University Certified Online Instructor (Creighton University). Dr. Blythe has a strong background in the pharmaceutical industry and regulatory affairs. She has had extensive training and experience in disaster relief work, including a three week deployment during Hurricane Katrina.

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Lawrence Aka, D.V.M., M.Sc., Ph.D.

Veterinary Biosciences

Associate Professor of Veterinary Physiology
D.V..M, M.Sc., Ph.D., University of Nigeria
Date of Appointment: January 2017

Dr. Aka obtained his DVM degree in 1996 from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. In 2004 and 2010, he obtained his Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees respectively from the same University. Dr Aka taught Veterinary Physiology at the University of Nigeria, from 1998-2016. He served as Head of the Department of Veterinary Physiology of same University until his appointment in St. Matthew’s University. He also taught Veterinary Physiology, as visiting Professor, in various Universities including Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto, Nigeria, from 2009-2016, University of Maiduguri, Nigeria, 2012- 2014, University of Agriculture Markurdi, 2011-2013 e.t.c. He has supervised and examined several postgraduate projects in veterinary physiology. As an erudite scholar, he has published over seventy (70) articles in reputable peer review journals. His areas of interest are: 1. Hormonal regulation of digestive functions in ruminants and organic manipulation of rumen methane emission. 2. Impacts of environmental residues on animal reproduction. He has developed models for the use of organic compounds for the modulation of rumen methane production particularly in West African dwarf sheep. He is a recipient of several academic awards including the University of Nigeria faculty best student award at undergraduate and Doctoral levels. He has authored several books including “Foundation of Veterinary Physiology” (1 st edition, 2004, and 2 nd edition, 2014), and others of general interest. He belongs to reputable professional organizations.

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Laura R. Pageon, D.V.M., Diplomate ACVP

Veterinary Biosciences

Assistant Professor of Pathology
B.A., Biology, University of Virginia D.V.M., Michigan State University Residency, Anatomic Pathology, Michigan State University Diplomate American College of Veterinary Pathologists

Dr. Pageon received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Michigan State University in 1996. She then served as an associate veterinarian at a small animal specialty practice located just outside of Chicago. Dr. Pageon completed her residency training in anatomic pathology at Michigan State and in 2007, became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists. In 2012, Dr. Pageon began serving as an assistant professor of Comparative Pathology at the University of Texas's MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, where she taught veterinary students and residents as well as PhD graduate students. While serving on faculty, Dr. Pageon collaborated with investigators on a variety of basic science research and investigative projects. Dr. Pageon also has extensive experience as a toxicologic pathologist, having been responsible for safety evaluations in studies involving non-human primates, dogs, pigs, rats, and mice. Following in the footsteps of a family of entrepreneurs, Dr. Pageon founded her own pathology consulting enterprise in 2015.

Dr. Pageon's research interests include tumor suppressor genes, biomarkers of leukemia, p53 activity in tumors, and spontaneous tumor phenotyping.

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James Adekeye, Ph.D., D.V.M, M.S.

Veterinary Biosciences

Veterinary Biosciences Department Chair
Professor of Microbiology
Ph.D., Ahmadu Bello University, M.S., Kansas State University, D.V.M., Ahmadu Bello University

Dr. Adekeye has been associated with educational organizations worldwide, including: The University of Guelph Biomedical Sciences, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (Canada) Department of Pathobiology, Ontario Veterinary College, the Center for Tropical Veterinary Medicine in Edinburgh, the Norwegian Veterinary College, the Central Public Health Laboratory in London, the Veterinary Public Health Laboratory at Kansas State University and the Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta (CDC), where he trained in epidemiology and health administration.

Dr. Adekeye has taught as a Professor of Microbiology and Epidemiology at the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in St. Kitts and his alma mater, Ahmadu Bello University, where he served as Professor and Head of Pathology and Microbiology and Deputy Dean of the faculty. He has also served as Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Medicine & Health Sciences (UMHS) in St. Kitts. He has over fifty peer reviewed scientific journal publications to his credit and has served as major supervisor for several students at the Master and Ph.D. levels.

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Balaji Ramanathan, B.V.Sc., M.S., Ph.D.

Veterinary Biosciences

Associate Professor of Veterinary Anatomy
PhD., Kansas State University
MS., Kansas State University
BVSc., Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University

For over two decades, Dr. Ramanathan has taught in various veterinary schools in the USA, Canada and Caribbean. His main area of teaching is veterinary and biomedical anatomy. He has been a faculty member at Kansas State University, Texas A&M University, University of Prince Edward Island and Ross University. He has taught various other subjects such as immunology, biomedical research & ethics and advanced post-graduate level courses. He is currently co-authoring several anatomy books and is passionate about the latest technology, having developed significant eLearning tools.

A fervent researcher, he is an immunologist trained at Yale University School of Medicine and Kansas State University. Subsequent to a significant and pioneering work in antiviral immunity (published in Science) that involves a novel innate immune mechanism in processing the virus by immune cells, he has led research team as a principal investigator in the area of innate immunity. He has pioneered cloning and characterization of several innate immune genes in animals. His other areas of research interest include novel drug discovery utilizing bio compounds obtained from various sources including but not limited to, coral and herbal plants, with subsequent tools that deliver the drug with higher efficacy through nanotechnology (smart delivery systems).


Gaby Verburgh Hoffmann, D.V.M., Dr., Ph.D., Diplomate ACVIM, Diplomate ECVIM-CA

Veterinary Clinical Sciences

  • Professor of Small Animal Medicine
  • D.V.M. University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Germany
  • Dr. med. vet. University of Zurich, now Vetsuisse, Switzerland
  • Ph.D. University of Utrecht, Netherlands
  • Diplomate ACVIM
  • Diplomate ECVIM-CA
  • Registed Royal Dutch Veterinary Specialist

Dr. Verburgh Hoffmann received the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Germany in 1996. After internships in Japan, and South Africa Dr. Verburgh joined the Department of Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology at University of Zurich in Switzerland for her 2-year Dr. med. vet. thesis. During this time Dr Verburgh Hoffmann also did practical work at a private Small Animal hospital in Zurich. In 1998 she started a 4-year residency training in Small Animal Internal Medicine. After Dr. Verburgh had successfully completed this joined residency at the University of Berne in Switzerland (now Vetsuisse), as well as Louisiana State University she became faculty member with the Department of Clinical Sciences at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. She became tenured faculty and head of the Small Animal Gastroenterology service. Dr Verburgh Hoffmann worked on a PhD thesis on copper associated chronic hepatitis in Labrador retrievers during her time in Utrecht, which allowed her to describe a new disease in Labradors and defend her thesis successfully. At the end of 2009 Dr Verburgh left Utrecht, to become the owner of a small animal hospital in Bavaria, Germany. After 6 exciting and successful years of practical referral work, as well as economic and human resource management, she became faculty member at St Georges University in Grenada. Dr. Verburgh Hoffmann joined the faculty at St. Matthews University in April 2017.

Dr. Verburgh Hoffmann's research interests and experience include small animal hepatology, trace elements, veterinary public health and one health - one medicine, genomics and gene expression profiling, among others.

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Dr. Zuhair Bani Ismail, B.V.Sc., Diplomate A.B.V.P. (Food Animals)

Veterinary Clinical Sciences

Professor of Food Animal Medicine and Surgery
Residency, Large Animal Medicine and Surgery, Purdue University
Internship, Large Animal Hospital, Purdue University
B.V.Sc., Veterinary Medicine, Jordan University of Science and Technology

Dr. Ismail graduated from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST) in June 1995. He completed a one year internship and 3 year residency program in Food Animal Practice at Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine’s Large Animal Teaching Hospital in 1997-2001. He was certified by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in Food Animal Practice in 2001. Dr. Ismail has worked at JUST as a food animal clinician from 2002 to 2009, St. Matthews University from 2009 to 2011, King Faisal University 2011 to 2013, and again at JUST from 2013 to 2019.

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Brandy Darby, D.V.M., M.P.H.

Veterinary Clinical Sciences

Associate Professor of Veterinary Clinical Sciences
D.V.M., Louisiana State University
M.P.H., Michigan State University

Brandy Darby graduated as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Louisiana State University in 2007. She spent three years in a busy mixed animal practice before transitioning to academia in 2010. At St. Matthew’s University, she has taught in a variety of subject areas, including: the large animal clinical skills program, production medicine, biomedical ethics, communication, comparative anatomy, and surgery. While working full-time, she obtained a Master’s in Public Health from Michigan State University in 2016, with a focus on communicable diseases.

In addition to teaching, Dr. Darby contributes to the local veterinary community through her leadership of the Cayman Islands Veterinary Medical Association. Regionally, she maintains positive affiliations with both the Caribbean Veterinary Medical Association and the EpiCore disease surveillance network. She also an active member of the Protection Starts Here working group: a multi-agency child abuse prevention project aimed at eradicating child abuse via community partnership, education, awareness, and advocacy.

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Charles Dickinson, D.V.M., M.S. Diplomate ACVIM

Veterinary Clinical Sciences

Veterinary Clinical Sciences Department Chair
Professor of Equine Medicine
D.V.M. Colorado State University
M.S. Colorado State University
Diplomate ACVIM

Dr. Dickinson received the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Colorado State University in 1988. After two years as an instructor with the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at Colorado State University, Dr. Dickinson became an associate veterinarian with Tri-State Large Animal Hospital in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He joined the staff at the Oregon State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital as a Clinical Fellow in large animal medicine and surgery in 1992. In 1996, Dr. Dickinson completed a residency in Equine Internal Medicine at Colorado State University, received the Master of Science degree in Clinical Sciences, and successfully completed the certifying examination of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. From 1996 to 2005, Dr. Dickinson was a faculty member with the Department of Clinical Sciences at Colorado State University, practicing and teaching equine internal medicine, critical care, neonatology and neurology at the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Dr. Dickinson's research interests and experience include zootoxicology, equine enteric clostridiosis, and equine endocrine-metabolic disease, among others.

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Eric Dunayer, M.S, V.M.D., D.A.B.T., D.A.B.V.T.

Veterinary Clinical Sciences

Associate Professor of Clinical Sciences

M.S., Environmental Health and Sciences Drexel University, Philadelphia
V.M.D., School of Veterinary Medicine University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Dr. Eric Dunayer is a 1988 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. After 14 years in clinical practice (including 8 at an after-hours emergency clinic), he joined the staff of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center as a Consulting Veterinary in Clinical Toxicology in 2002. While there, he became board-certified in both general (ABT) and veterinary toxicology (ABVT) and was promoted to Senior Toxicologist. He is the author of numerous book chapters and scientific papers, including several original reports on xylitol toxicosis in dogs. He became a full-time faculty member at St. Matthew’s University (SMU) School of Veterinary Medicine in January 2011 where he teaches Toxicology and Clinical Pathology. Prior to that, he was adjunct faculty and taught Toxicology at University of Illinois and SMU and an instructor at Atlantic Veterinary College on Prince Edward Island, Canada. Dr. Dunayer also is a consulting toxicologist at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.

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Samantha Shields, D.V.M.

Veterinary Clinical Sciences

Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Assistant Professor of Clinical Sciences
D.V.M., St. George's University, Grenada
Date of appointment: May 2007

Dr. Shields graduated from St. George’s University and completed her clinical year at University of Florida in 2004. Prior to joining the faculty in May 2007, she worked for Hill’s Pet Nutrition. Previously, she had worked within the terrestrial and education department at Boatswains Beach, in Grand Cayman and for a small animal practice in Canada. She has a strong interest and experience in small animal nutrition and marine mammal medicine. She co-coordinates the MARVET (marine veterinary medicine) Cayman program and the SMOLE (St. Matthew’s Orientation and Leadership Experience) program at SMU.

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Elanor Withnall, B.V.Sc., M.A.C.V.S.

Veterinary Clinical Sciences

Associate Professor, Anesthesiology and Clinical Pathology
B.V.Sc, University of Queensland

Dr. Withnall received her veterinary degree from The University of Queensland in Australia before working and traveling around the world. She practiced in general, mixed and emergency practice in both the United Kingdom and Australia before returning to academia. A Critical Care Small Animal Internship at Michigan State University was followed by a Transfusion Medicine Fellowship and then a Residency in Veterinary Anesthesia at the University of Pennsylvania. Although she loves the clinical practice of anesthesia, teaching students is her true passion so she was very pleased to take up a position at SMU teaching both anesthesia and pharmacology to veterinary students.

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Stephan Mahler, D.V.M., M.A., M.Sc., Ph.D., Cert LAS, C.V.P.P.

Veterinary Clinical Sciences

Assistant Professor of Small Animal Surgery
D.V.M., Veterinary School of Nantes, France
M.A., University of Nantes, France
M.Sc., University of Paris V, France
Ph.D., University of Rennes, France
Cert LAS, Veterinary School of Toulouse, France
C.V.P.P., International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management

Stephan graduated in 1990 and after working in private practices for 3 years, he completed a M.A. in the field of anatomy, MSc and PhD in the field of experimental surgery and bioartifical organs. He obtained post-graduate diplomas in microscopic surgery, laparoscopic surgery and pain management from the faculty of medicine of Rennes, France. He held the position of senior lecturer in clinical sciences at the University of West Indies’ School of veterinary medicine, Trinidad and Tobago for two years. In 2004, he left the university to work freelance as a small animal surgeon and became partner of four private practices (two small animal clinics, an emergency and critical care hospital and a CT Scan). He moved to St. Matthew’s University in July 2018.

Stephan has a keen interest in pain management. He has greatly contributed to the development of advanced loco regional techniques, including nerve stimulation and ultrasound guiding.

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Gary Butcher, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Veterinary Adjunct Faculty

Biosciences staff at University of Florida
Date of appointment: November 2011

Dr. Butcher is a poultry specialist that teaches around the world to veterinary students and industry. He teaches poultry medicine, surgery and production and has authored over 100 scientific papers.

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Alan Emsley, Ph.D.

Veterinary Adjunct Faculty

Ph.D., University of Nebraska
Date of appointment: January 2007
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Lori Gaskins, D.V.M., D.A.B.V.B., D.A.C.A.W.

Veterinary Adjunct Faculty

Behavior Residency at UC Davis
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Behavior
Diplomate, American College of Animal Welfare
Date of Appointment: November 2007
Dr. Gaskins currently teaches animal welfare and behavior, and clinical behavioral medicine.
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James Morrissey, D.V.M.

Veterinary Adjunct Faculty

D.V.M., Cornell University
Kansas State University, Internship in Exotic Pet, Wildlife and Zoological Medicine
1995-1997: Animal Medical Center, New York, NY, Residency in Exotic Pet Medicine and Surgery
Board Certification: American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (Avian Practice)
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Kevin David Pelzer, D.V.M., M.P.V.M.

Veterinary Adjunct Faculty

D.V.M; Tuskegee Institute Tuskegee, Alabama
MPVM; University of California, Davis.
Date of appointment: August 2010
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Brian Poteet, D.V.M., DACVR

Veterinary Adjunct Faculty

D.V.M., Texas A and M University
Date of appointment: January 2007

Teaches Diagnostic Imaging.

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Beverly J. Purswell, D.V.M., M.S., Ph.D., Diplomate, A.C.V.T.

Veterinary Adjunct Faculty

D.V.M, University of Georgia
M.S. Immunology, University of Georgia
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Theriogenology
Ph.D., Immunology, University of Georgia

Teaches Small Animal Theriogenology

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Mohamed Satti, Ph.D.

Veterinary Adjunct Faculty

Professor of Veterinary Immunology and Parasitology
Ph.D., Institute of Medical Microbiol/Immunol, Copenhagen University
Date of appointment: January 2006
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J. Alex Thomasson, D.V.M.

Veterinary Adjunct Faculty

D.V.M. – Auburn University
U of FL Small Animal Medicine - Primary Care Relief Veterinarian
Veterinarian Leadership Institute – Facilitator

Teaches Veterinary Parasitology

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Bobby Werner, D.V.M., D.A.C.V.R.

Veterinary Adjunct Faculty

D.V.M, Texas A&M University
Board Certification: Veterinary Radiology
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Ben Stading, DVM, MPH, PhD

Veterinary Biosciences

  • Associate Professor of Virology
  • DVM/MPH, University of Wisconsin - Madison
  • PhD, Comparative Biomedical Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Madison
  • Date of Appointment: January 2020

Dr. Stading obtained his bachelor's degree in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior from the University of Minnesota in 2003. He went on to obtain his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Wisconsin in 2008, and the following year completed his Master’s in Public Health through a dual degree program in Wisconsin.  He then went into small animal practice in the Tampa area of Florida for two years, before returning to the University of Wisconsin to start a PhD program focused on virology and immunology.  His research involved the development of oral vaccines for topical use in free-ranging bats, developing novel rabies vaccine biologics, and assessing protective immunity against white-nose syndrome in bats.  After completing his PhD in 2017, Dr. Stading spent two more years in small animal practice before joining the SMU team.

Dr. Stading’s professional interests include infectious diseases, wildlife health, veterinary public health and one-health medicine, and small animal clinical practice.