Our Staff

Our Ownership

Alison Bendele, DVM, PhD, DACVP
President & Founder

  • Board Certified Veterinary Pathologist
  • Over 35 years Industry Experience
  • 22+ Years as CRO Owner
  • Experienced in pharmacologic and toxicologic pathology
  • Expertise in animal models of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, IBD, general inflammation, pain, pharmacokinetics and toxicity
  • 175+ peer-reviewed articles

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Phillip Bendele, BA, MBA

  • 18+ years of CRO experience
  • Highly experienced in animal models of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, general inflammation, pain, lupus, pharmacokinetics and toxicity
  • 22+ years management experience

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Our Investigators

Jed Pheneger, BS, MT/HTL (ASCP)
Vice President of Research
Inflammation & Pharmacokinetics

  • Board Certified Medical Technologist
  • Board Certified Histotechnologist
  • Over 18 years Industry Experience (6+ via CRO)
  • Expertise in animal models of arthritis, IBD, general inflammation, lupus, pharmacokinetics and toxicity

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Robert O’Connell, BS, MBA
Vice President of Research
Inflammatory Bowel Disease

  • 10+ years of CRO experience
  • 3+ years experience with histology, immunohistochemistry and ex vivo analysis
  • Highly experienced in animal models of inflammatory bowel disease
  • Validation of new models for the company including MDR1a Spontaneous colitis, Rat DSS induced colitis, Rat TNBS induced colitis & IL10rb KO DSS induced colitis

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Randy Howard, BS, PhD
Principal Investigator
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)

  • BS in Biochemistry, PhD in Pharmacology
  • 20+ years in drug discovery, development and management
  • Therapeutic areas include inflammation, cancer, cardiovascular,
    pulmonary, CNS, reproductive, and infectious disease
  • Over 40 peer-reviewed publications

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Christopher M. Butt, PhD
Vice President of Research

  • BSc in Biology, PhD in Neurobiology, Postdoc in Neuropharmacology & Pharmacogenetics
  • 25+ years in drug R&D, management and nutrition
  • Therapeutic areas include CNS/neuroscience, addiction biology, early life development of the brain & immune system, neuroinflammation and traumatic brain injury
  • 2 granted patents, 5 patent applications, 2 book chapters and 26 peer-reviewed publications

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Leyla Haygood, BS, MS
Principal Investigator
Pain & General Inflammation

  • 5+ years of CRO experience
  • 8+ years experience as veterinary and research assistant
  • Ex vivo analysis specialist
  • Highly experienced in animal models of Pain and General Inflammation
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Julie White  DVM, Dipl. ACVP
  • 15+ years of veterinary pathology experience
  • 25+ years as a Doctor of Veterinary medicine
  • Highly experienced in mouse  models of Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Oncology

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Melissa Walker, PhD
Associate Principal Investigator
Inflammatory Bowel Disease

  • BA in Biology, minor in Chemistry, Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology
  • 10+ years (2+ years via CRO) of experience in mouse models of infectious disease, vaccinology, autoimmunity, and inflammation.
  • Highly experienced in cell culture and in vitro assay development.
  • Published in Immunological peer review journals.

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Jacob Favret  BS
Associate Principal Investigator
Inflammation & Pain

  • BA in Psychology
  • Trained in the Maier/Watkins Lab at the University of Colorado
  • 5+ years of CRO experience
  • Focus on RA, OA and models of Acute Pain

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Josien Levenga, PhD
Principal Investigator

  • MSc in Medical Biology, PhD in Neuroscience
  • 15+ years of experience in neuroscience research (2+ years in industry)
  • Highly experienced in animal models of fragile X syndrome, Down syndrome, autism and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Expertise in animal behavior, cell culture, molecular biology, confocal imaging and in vitro assays
  • Over 15 peer-reviewed publications

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