The BluePearl Science Institutional Review Board (IRB) evaluates all clinical studies prior to patient participation. This thorough evaluation includes review of the study protocol and contract, owner consent form, and operational requirements. To ensure research integrity, the study protocol review includes ethics, scientific relevance, animal welfare, and logistics. As part of the Mars Veterinary Health family of brands, BluePearl Science strictly adheres to the Mars Policy on Clinical Studies.
The BluePearl Science IRB is made up of field leaders, scientists, and preeminent veterinarians. Through their collaborative efforts and member’s independent, strategic counsel, BluePearl Associates contribute to the ever-growing body of veterinary medical knowledge and are helping to advance the One Health initiative–a multisectoral and transdisciplinary global approach to achieving optimal health outcomes through recognizing the interconnection between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment.
The BluePearl Science IRB consists of:
Teresa Lightfoot, DVM, DABVP-Avian, Director, BluePearl Science
Teresa Lightfoot is the co-founder and Director of BluePearl Science. After graduating veterinary school in 1980, Dr. Lightfoot went on to obtain board certification in ABVP-Avian. In 2017, she pursued graduate studies for Certification in Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Law and Compliance at Seton Hall Law School. Dr. Lightfoot has spent more than 35 years working in clinical practice, teaching, lecturing, and researching. Her work has been published in the Journal of Avian and Exotic Medicine, Clinical Avian Medicine, Vet Clinics of North America–Exotic Practice, the Exotic DVM Journal, among others. As the Director of BluePearl Science, she ensures that BluePearl Pet Hospitals meet and exceed all guidelines for clinical studies, increase the body of veterinary medical knowledge, and contribute to the advancement of the world-wide One Health initiative.
Andrea Monnig, DVM, DACVECC, Director, Clinical Programs
Andrea Monnig is the Director of Clinical Development at BluePearl. Prior to veterinary school, Dr. Monnig was a research assistant for Pfizer Animal Health, working on biologic and pharmaceutical products for dogs, cats, and dairy cattle. Following veterinary school, Dr. Monnig participated in clinical research as part of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care residency program at the Animal Medical Center and in support of veterinary house officers at The Ohio State University and BluePearl. In 2011, she obtained board certification in Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care. Before becoming Director of Clinical Development at BluePearl she worked as a staff criticalist at BluePearl in Tennessee. As a member of the BluePearl Science IRB, Dr. Monnig provides research support and medical expertise in Emergency and Critical Care to house officer projects. She hopes to make the clinical research process a more enjoyable and rewarding aspect of BluePearl’s house officer’s training programs.
Brenda Fulcher, CVT, Clinical Studies Manager
Brenda Fulcher is the Clinical Studies Manager at BluePearl. As a member of the BluePearl family for nearly 23 years, she brings a breadth of clinical knowledge to the BluePearl Science IRB. Fulcher worked as an emergency and then intensive care veterinary nurse for 16 years. She is the founder of the now national BluePearl Pet Blood Donation Program, and subsequent Pet Blood Bank. As a member of the BluePearl Science IRB, she reviews study protocols and budget for both in-house clinician studies and commercially sponsored studies, along with all accounting matters and data collection, retention, and manipulation.
Lenore Bacek, DVM, MS, DACVECC
Lenore Bacek is the Clinical Programs Manager at BluePearl. After graduating Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2007, she went on to obtain board certification in Emergency and Critical Care. Before joining BluePearl, Dr. Bacek was a faculty member at Auburn University where she trained residents, interns, and students. A significant portion of her time was dedicated to mentoring house officers in various areas of research, including prospective and retrospective projects. She has directly participated in multiple advanced degree committees and has been published widely in journals and books. As part of the BluePearl Science IRB, Dr. Bacek works to make research more exciting and more accessible to clinicians, as well as educate house officers early in their career about the benefits of research.
Melavie Taylor has been with BluePearl since 2015 and works as a Medical Program Coordinator for the Clinical Programs Team. As a part of the Clinical Programs Team, she supports the hospital locations participating in training programs such as Student Externships and the House Officer Program. As a member of the BluePearl Science IRB, she assists with the storing and tracking of study proposals.
Yolanda Jameson, General Counsel
Yolanda Jameson has worked as General Counsel at BluePearl since 2015. She focuses on legal issues affecting veterinary medicine and veterinarians, including research, owner consent, and scientific studies. As a member of the BluePearl Science IRB, she ensures studies are operationally legal, compliant, and ethical.
Dondrae Coble, DVM, DACLAM, CertAqV
Dondrea Coble is an experienced veterinarian with a demonstrated history of providing leadership in academic, clinical and research settings. He is currently the Attending Veterinarian and Director of an AAALAC-accredited institute and is an Adjunct Professor at The Ohio State University. Previously, Dr. Coble served as the Assistant Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. As a member of the BluePearl Science IRB, he collaborates with veterinary colleagues to review scientific proposals and advance the mission of BluePearl Science.
Kristen Levine is president and founder of Pet Living with Kristen Levine, an educational website for pet owners focused on pet health, wellness and lifestyle. She is also president of FWV Fetching, a pet and animal health marketing agency which provides services for primary and specialty/emergency veterinary practices, veterinary colleges, suppliers, and pharmaceutical companies. As a BluePearl Science IRB member for more than three years, she has helped to ensure client consent forms are comprehensive and in the best interests of pets and their owners. She has served the pet and animal health community for more than 30 years.
Linda Chase is a former attorney from Texas. She also holds a master’s degree in biology. As a member of the BluePearl Science IRB, she reviews client consent forms and external research materials for client coherency and ethical standard compliance.
Gabriel McKeon, DVM, DACLAM
Gabriel McKeon is a University Attending Veterinarian at North Carolina State University. He has more than nine years of experience as a laboratory animal veterinarian and 20 years of experience in clinical research. Dr. McKeon spent seven years as an American Association for Laboratory Animal Science voting member which involved overseeing of biomedical, agricultural, and clinical research. As a BluePearl Science IRB member, he ensures the ethical, safe, and judicious use of animals in research to further advancements in animal and human health.