Centre for Evidence-based Veterinary Medicine

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Rachel Dean

Clinical Associate Professor in Feline Medicine/ Director of the Centre for Evidence-based Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences


  • workRoom A11 School of Veterinary medicine and Science, Gateway building
    Sutton Bonington Campus
    Sutton Bonington
    LE12 5RD
  • work0115 951 6575


Rachel qualified from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Glasgow in 1996. She spent 5 years in general practice in the United Kingdom, in mixed, dairy and small animal practice. She also spent some time in 2000 working in small animal practice in South and North East Australia. Rachel spent 3 years at the feline centre at the University of Bristol from 2002-2005 as the Fort Dodge feline fellow. This post incorporated feline clinical referral work with some primary research on feline infectious diseases (Chlamydophila felis, Haemoplasmas, Mycobacteria spp). Rachel gained the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Diploma in Feline Medicine in 2006 and is a recognised RCVS specialist in this field. She completed a PhD at the Royal Veterinary College/Animal Health Trust on the 'Epidemiology of feline injection site sarcoma' 'in the United Kingdom. Rachel joined the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science at The University of Nottingham as Clinical Associate Professor in feline medicine 2009 where she directs the Centre of Evidence-based Veterinary Medicine. She is currently studying for a MSc in Evidence-based Health Care at the University of Oxford.

Expertise Summary

Research Expertise

Rachel has expertise in the field of evidence-based veterinary medicine and veterinary epidemiology. Her skills include:

  • literature searching and critical appraisal,
  • epidemiology and statistics,
  • designing and analysing clinical studies,
  • questionnaire design and analysis
  • qualitative methods including interviews and focus groups
  • development of public and 'patient' involvement methods for veterinary medicine

Rachel is also interested in the psychological wellbeing of veterinary professionals and is currently involved in a number of cross-disciplinary studies in this area.

Clinical Expertise

Rachel is a feline medicine specialist and an RCVS specialist in this field. Her particular interests include:

  • geriatric medicine and co-morbidity
  • chronic renal disease
  • endocrinology
  • preventive medicine
  • feline injection site sarcomas

Rachel also leads the shelter medicine team at the University of Nottingham and has an active interest in the management of physical and psychological health of cats and dogs in a multi-animal environment. She is currently the chairperson of the Association of Charity Vets (ACV).

Research Summary

· Rachel has founded and developed the Centre for Evidence-based Veterinary Medicine with Dr Marnie Brennan. Currently Rachel is developing a network of 'sentinel' practices with whom the Centre will… read more

Current Research

· Rachel has founded and developed the Centre for Evidence-based Veterinary Medicine with Dr Marnie Brennan. Currently Rachel is developing a network of 'sentinel' practices with whom the Centre will work to gather data about the animals and diseases most commonly encountered in first opinion practice. She is also developing a programme of shelter medicine research about the unowned pet population in the United Kingdom, and hopes to work with some the major charities to understand more about the dynamics of this population of animals. Rachel is also pursuing her research interests in feline vaccination and the mental health and wellbeing of the members of the UK veterinary profession

Past Research

· Rachel's PhD was about the epidemiology of feline injection sites sarcomas (FISS) in the United Kingdom. The first part of her PhD involved establishing a consensus on the histopathological features of this aggressive neoplasm of cats. This 'histopathological definition' of FISS was used as the case definition for a case-control study to identify risk factors for tumour development in cats in the UK. The case control study involved over 400 first opinion practices across the country. As part of her thesis Rachel surveyed the practices enrolled in her study about feline vaccination protocols and practices, to establish how practitioners are currently vaccinating cats. Rachel also estimated the incidence of FISS in the UK and looked at how veterinarians report suspected adverse events to vaccination.

Future Research

· Rachel's future research will predominantly revolve around the activities of the CEVM. She is particularly interested in extracting data from practices and using these data to develop future studies that are directly relevant to everyday practice and animal health and welfare. Part of the CEVM's work is to develop ways of reviewing and critically appraising the current veterinary literature. Rachel will be working on methods of introducing these concepts to practitioners and delivering the results in ways that are easily accessible to busy clinicians. Rachel would also like to continue her research on feline vaccination and feline injection sites sarcomas. She hopes to further study the histopathological features of FISS and the treatment strategies used by vets in practices to treat FISS and examine how these factors effect the survival of the affected cats. Her PhD highlighted that we need to know more about the prevalence of the disease against which we vaccinate cats and more information is required about the risks and benefits of feline vaccination. Rachel will also continue her work regarding the mental health and wellbeing of the veterinary profession in the UK. This is a with an independent group of veterinary researchers from many institutions (www.vetlife.org.uk). She is particularly interested in the work/profession related factors that predispose vets to poor mental health and strategies that can be implemented to promote wellbeing in the workplace. Rachel also plans to work with veterinary undergraduates to increase awareness of potential mental health problems and ensure that new graduates are aware of the support mechanisms available to them on graduation.

Centre for Evidence-based Veterinary Medicine

School of Veterinary Medicine and Science
University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington Campus
Leicestershire, LE12 5RD

Tel: +44 (0) 115 951 6576
Fax: +44 (0) 115 951 6415
Email: CEVM@nottingham.ac.uk