Associate Professor Dr Denis Verwilghen
DVM, MSc, PhD, DES, Dipl ECVS
European Veterinary Specialist in Equine Surgery
Head of the Camden Equine Centre
Denis’ interests and expertise lay in general soft tissue and orthopedic surgery. He has a special clinical interest in surgical head disorders including advanced dentistry procedures. Denis performs complicated extractions, infundibular caries treatment and endodontics on a regular basis.
As a scientist and teacher he is particularly focused on basic fundamental aspects of clinical practice and biosecurity in veterinary medicine with an emphasis on surgical principles and hand hygiene.
Denis has a broad range of publications on various aspects of equine surgery with a particular focus on asepsis research, orthopedic biomarkers and dentistry. Denis is author or co-author of over 50 international peer reviewed scientific publications, author of 5 book chapters in surgery related books and has presented over 100 presentations at national and international congresses.
Denis started his career as an equine veterinarian in private practice in Ireland and the Netherlands immediately after graduation from the University of Ghent, Belgium in 2003. With the desire to improve his skills, Denis went back to academia at the end of 2004 to become a resident in equine surgery at the University of Liege, Belgium. In 2006 he defended a master in veterinary science degree on the subject of “Osteochondrosis and its relationship with IGF-I in the Horse”. In 2009 he obtained a specialist diploma (DES) in Large Animal Surgery from the University of Liege and in 2010 Denis successfully passed the exam of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons. Denis then defended his PhD in Liege about the clinical impact of developmental orthopedic diseases in horses. After spending some time in Sweden as Head of the Equine Surgery Department in Uppsala University, Denis and his wife Gaby, an ECEIM and ECVECC diplomate, moved back to Belgium and started a consultancy based equine medicine and surgery service. In 2013, both took up a position of Associate Professor at the Equine Hospital of the Copenhagen University. In 2017 Denis ran his own private consultancy business, Equine-Specialists, performing peripatetic surgical and dentistry services around the globe. In February 2018, Denis joined the Camden Equine Centre veterinary team as the services Head and a Senior Specialist Surgeon.
Associate Professor Gaby van Galen
DVM, MSc, PhD, Dipl ECEIM, Dipl ECVECC
Associate Professor in Equine Medicine
Gaby’s interests and expertise lay in equine internal medicine and emergency and critical care. She has a special clinical interest in critically ill patients such as horses with acute colic or diarrhea, acute neuromuscular disorders and sick neonatal foals, and the use of thoracic and abdominal ultrasonography in those patients.
Gaby has publications on various aspects of equine internal medicine with a particular focus on neuromuscular disorders and monitoring tools of the sick horse. She is author or co-author of over 45 international peer reviewed scientific publications, and has presented multiple presentations at national and international congresses. She enjoys teaching undergraduate and postgraduate students.
Gaby started her career as an equine intern in private practice in the Netherlands immediately after graduation from the University of Ghent, Belgium in 2003. Following this internship she got a residency position in equine internal medicine at the University of Liege, Belgium and passed the exam of the European College of Equine Internal Medicine in 2009. She also obtained a master in veterinary science degree and a PhD on the subject of atypical myopathy. In 2011, Gaby moved with her family to Sweden to work as a senior clinician at Uppsala University. She returned to Belgium for a temporary research position in Liege and assisted her husband with an equine veterinary consultancy service. In 2013, she took up a position as Assistant Professor and later Associate Professor in Equine Medicine at the Equine Hospital of the Copenhagen University. In 2017, she was awarded the title of Diplomate of the European College of Emergency and Critical care. Gaby joined the Camden Equine Centre veterinary team in March 2018.
Professor Andrew Dart
BVSc, PhD, Dip ACVS, Dip ECVS
Director Research and Clinical Trials Unit and Registered Equine Surgical Specialist
Prof Dart graduated from Queensland University in 1984 and completed a one year internship and Diploma of Veterinary Clinical Studies at the University of Sydney. Following 3 years in private practice with Professor Reg Pascoe, Dr Dart spent 5 years at the University of California, Davis where he completed an Equine Surgery Residency and remained on staff while completing his American Equine Surgery Specialist Qualifications. Prof Dart returned to Australia to a private practice in Tamworth for 2 years before joining the University of Sydney in 1994. Prof Dart completed a PhD part time in 2009
At the University of Sydney Prof Dart has held positions as Head of Equine Medicine and Surgery, Hospital Director, Member of the Faculty Executive Committee and Deputy and Chair and Acting Chair of the Animal Ethics Committee, amongst many others within the School of Veterinary Science and the University of Sydney. He holds positions on a number of external professional boards and committees including the Australian Veterinary Boards Council’s National Veterinary Examination Committee and the committee responsible for the Registration of Veterinary Specialists, Chair of the NSW Animal Research Review Panel and non-judicial member of the Administrative Decisions Tribunal. He is currently Director of the Research and Clinical Training Unit. He holds qualifications as a Registered Equine Surgical Specialist in Australia, the USA and Europe.
Prof Dart has published over 130 manuscripts in refereed journals, in excess of 130 abstracts and 12 book chapters. He has interests in both clinical and translational research in a variety of areas including equine performance, orthopedics and wound healing.
Dr Alex Young
BVSc (Hons I) DACVR
Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging Consultant
Alex graduated from the University of Sydney in 2004. She completed a one year equine internship at Agnes Banks Equine Clinic, NSW Australia, before staying on as an ambulatory veterinarian. Alex subsequently worked in equine practice in the Northern Hemisphere at practices in the UK, France and the US. She then undertook six years of imaging training at the University of California, Davis; two years training in large animal ultrasound with some of the world’s top equine ultrasonographers, followed by four years training to be a specialist veterinary radiologist. Alex became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Radiology in 2013 and returned to the University of Sydney as a Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging in 2014.
Although trained as a veterinary radiologist for all species, Alex’s primary interest remains in equine imaging and large animal musculoskeletal imaging in particular. She thoroughly enjoys training practitioners in various ultrasound techniques, and has regularly worked as an ultrasound workshop demonstrator at the largest veterinary conferences in North America and Australia. Alex is also enthusiastic about the increasing availability of the more advanced imaging modalities in Australia and is enjoying working with referring veterinarians looking to utilize advanced modalities such as MRI and Nuclear Scintigraphy for their more challenging clinical cases.
Animal Attendant – Equine
Bruce has been an equine animal attendant at the University of Sydney for nearly 10 years.
Bruce works closely with the veterinary team to transfer and position horses for surgeries and other procedures, as well as look after the housing and general health and wellbeing of the hospital’s patients.
Bruce studied at the Longreach Pastrol College before starting his career as a jackaroo on a Queensland station.
Bruce also worked at the JR Stud at Tahmoor for 22 years including 12 years working as the thoroughbred stud’s manager.
Catriona joined our team in April 2017 after completing her Cert IV in a small animal clinic.
Catriona arrived in Australia from Ireland 21 years ago and has spent 19 years of that time working with horses. This time has been divided between thoroughbred yearling preps, spelling farm management, track work riding and now finally her dream job, equine nursing.
In her spare time Catriona competes in eventing on her young horse and spends time with her two dogs, Sarge and Frankie.
Dr Christa Bodaan
Senior Registrar Equine Surgery
After graduating from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, Christa began working in one of the largest and busiest equine practices in Johannesburg, South Africa, an area that has the largest equine population in the southern hemisphere, a booming racing industry and high performing jumping, dressage and event horses.
Apart from having an amazing time and learning a lot during her time in South Africa, this experience also sparked Christa’s desire to become a surgeon.
Her first step in becoming a surgeon was an internship at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom, during which she passed the time as a vet in a primate centre. Christa then completed her surgical residency at Massey University in New Zealand.
In 2017, Christa relocated to Sydney to work at the Camden Equine Centre, with her kiwi fiancé, well-travelled Rhodesian Ridgeback Ed and a furry cat that decided all on her own that she was part of Christa’s family.
Not able to get enough of horses, Christa rides dressage in her spare time and jumps out of planes on occasion. Christa loves laughing, eating, cooking and going on adventures!
Riding since the age of 12, Elise’s love of horses led her to studies in equine management where she was awarded excellence in equine studies. From here, she gained invaluable experience in the thoroughbred racing and breeding industry working with some of the leading international trainers and breeders. Elise then became an Equine Vet Nurse with the Randwick Equine Centre. After some time teaching English in France, Elise returned to Sydney where she completed her Cert IV in vet nursing and joined the diagnostic imaging team at UVTHC.
Dr Elizabeth (Liz) Tee
DVM DipVetClinstud FACVSc
Equine Medicine Specialist
Following graduation in 2000, Liz has devoted the last 17 years of her career as an equine veterinarian. She worked as an official veterinarian for the Selangor Turf Club in Kuala Lumpur where she was born. Liz later pursued her career further by completing a graduate diploma in equine medicine and surgery, followed by a residency in equine internal medicine under the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists. Liz completed her residency at the Camden Equine Centre and successfully passed her specialist boards examination in 2013 as a Fellow in Equine Internal Medicine. She is currently employed by the CEC as an equine internal medicine specialist and runs the equine medicine service. Liz’s special interests include neonatal/adult critical care and geriatric medicine. Her true love lies in equine ophthalmology and backed up by the facilities at the CEC, has attained a wide experience in treating complicated equine eye diseases.
Liz can be seen coming to work everyday with her Siberian Husky Vader (pictured with Liz). She is also married to a veterinarian and they have a pre-schooler son.
Emma graduated from The University of Sydney in 2017, following a lifelong dream to become an equine veterinarian. Her special interests include lameness, diagnostic imaging and laminitis.
Horses have always held a special place in Emma’s heart, owning three horses of her own, as well as a number of other creatures, both great and small. She is a keen dressage rider and enjoys hanging out with her rescue cat, Alfie.
Erin has worked as a nurse at the Camden Equine Centre for four years. She also runs her own boutique agistment and veterinary rehabilitation business. In her spare time she is passionate about competing her team of seven show jumpers. She is also the owner of five beautiful chihuahuas.
Animal Attendant – Equine
Kev has been with the University of Sydney’s equine centre at Camden for over 17 years as an animal care attendant. Kev’s broad duties range from assisting vets set up and position horses for surgeries and MRIs, to ensuring the stabling facilities are kept in tip top condition.
Kev has over 40 year’s experience working in the equine industry including 12 years working at the Roseneath Stud at Cobbitty and 10 years breaking in horses at Silver Sharp Lodge at Cobbitty.
For 23 years Kev has been preparing yearlings for the Inglis Sales and now takes time off his usual day job to work as a Ringside Attendant at the annual sales where he is a familiar face to many people in the industry.
Louise joined the team at the Camden Equine Centre in January 2008 as an equine nurse. She has a Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing (with distinction) and a Certificate III in Equine Nursing.
Prior to this Louise trained horses in the Middle East, and pre-trained thoroughbreds.
Louise is an avid event rider and currently owns three horses and four dogs.
Dr Marta Wereszka
BVMS MS DACVS
Equine Specialist Surgeon
Marta graduated from Murdoch University in 2002. Since graduating she has worked at the Singapore Turf Club, Morphetville Racehorse Hospital in Adelaide, Ballarat Equine Hospital in Victoria as well as the Marion DuPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Virginia in the USA where she undertook her surgical residency training.
Marta endevours to always seek, learn and utilize the most innovative surgical technique possible. Some of Marta’s special interests include managing dystocias, lameness and surgical treatment of problems pertaining to the stifle, minimally invasive laser surgery, treatment of infected joints and tendon sheaths, wound management, arthroscopy and treatment of tumors in horses. She loves to treat horses with uncommon types of surgical problems.
In her spare time she enjoys riding her jumper Stock horse X called ‘Diego’, spending time with her one year old chatterbox daughter and trying to tame her unruly garden.
Dr Nicolle Symonds
Resident in Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation
Nicolle graduated from the University of Adelaide in 2014. She then completed a 12 month rotating internship at Goulburn Valley Equine Hospital before locuming in equine general practice at Manly Road Veterinary Hospital, Brisbane. Nicolle joined the team Camden Equine Centre in early 2017.
She enjoys all aspects of sports medicine but in particular musculoskeletal injuries, diagnostic imaging and learning new rehabilitation modalities. She loves having the opportunity to vet at different sporting events such as the world polo championships and FEI show jumping and eventing as a permitted treating veterinarian.
Outside of work she enjoys running, hanging with her greyhound Jax and finding the best brunch cafes.
Rebecca Lo Conte
Equine Imaging Nurse
Rebecca is our dedicated imaging nurse. She obtained her diploma of veterinary nursing from Massey University, New Zealand. After graduating, she worked in a busy small animal practice in Sydney for four years and joined us as an equine nurse in 2004. A keen show jumper, Rebecca is familiar with the sport and it’s athletes and has many years experience as an equine nurse. In her role as the diagnostic imaging nurse Rebecca is highly involved with image acquisition and quality control of all the imaging studies undertaken, especially the MRI and Nuclear Scintigraphy studies.
Dr Robin Bell
BVSc MVSc DipVetClinStud DipECVS
Equine Specialist Surgeon and Sports Medicine
Robin obtained his veterinary degree at the University of Sydney where he also completed an internship at the University Veterinary Teaching Hospital Camden. Following this Robin completed his residency training in Equine Surgery and Masters Degree at Massey University in New Zealand, and then worked in a large referral lameness clinic in the United Kingdom.
From 2007-2010 he ran the lameness and imaging service at the University of California, Davis in the United States before returning to the University of Sydney.
He is a registered European specialist in equine surgery and Board Certified with the American College of Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation.
Robin is an official International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI) veterinarian in jumping, dressage and eventing. He is currently the veterinarian for the Australian Jumping Team and Dressage Teams, attending the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
His research interests include the treatment of tendon injuries with stem cells, clinical applications of MR and CT in equine practice, and the early diagnosis of musculoskeletal injuries in equine athletes.
Robin is also a keen competitor in showjumping.
Dr Sara Biasutti
BVSc (hons I) MVetStud (Equine Surgery) MANZCVS (Equine Medicine)
Sara graduated from Sydney University in 2007 and worked in regional mixed practice in NSW Central West until 2012, when she returned to the University to complete an internship in equine medicine and surgery. Following her internship she then accepted a residency in equine surgery and completed a Master’s degree in equine surgery in 2015. She is currently completing her doctoral thesis by research, investigating the healing of tendon and cartilage and possible cartilage resurfacing techniques in large animals.
Her particular clinical interests include surgical management of horses with colic and minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery, as well as management of osteoarthritis and tendon injuries in performance horses.
Outside of work Sara enjoys non-competitive dressage, AFL football, and tracking down the perfect cocktail.
Dr Victoria McIver
BVetBio/BVSc (Hons 1)
Resident in equine surgery
Victoria graduated from Charles Sturt University in 2014. Since graduation she has worked in 100 per cent equine practice including a stint on a private sheikh owned stable in the Middle East.
She loves the challenge of equine surgery but has a particular love for emergency surgery. Outside of work she gets a kick out of travelling or hanging out baking some homemade goodies.