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Our Team

Dr Adi Frisch

BSc (Animal Science), BVSc, MANZCVS (ECC)

Emergency and Critical Care Veterinarian 

Adi moved to Australia from Israel with her partner to pursue her childhood dream of becoming a vet. She graduated from Melbourne University in 2005 and started working as a small animal veterinarian in Melbourne’s inner suburbs. After 6 years as a general practitioner Adi transitioned into Emergency Medicine, and had been practicing as an emergency and critical care veterinarian for the past 10 years. She obtained her membership with the ANZCVS in Emergency and Critical Care in 2018.

Adi always found toxicological emergencies fascinating and very rewarding to manage, and as such is very excited to be a part of the Animal Poisons Centre, where she can share her knowledge and passion for treating poisoned pets.

Dr Eleanor Ryan

BAScM BVCs (Hons)

Emergency and Critical Care Veterinarian

Eleanor is one of the veterinary members of the Animal Poisons Centre team. She completed two degrees at the University of Melbourne: a Bachelor of Animal Science and Management and a Bachelor of Veterinary Science, graduating with honours in 2013. Since then she has worked in an emergency and critical care hospital as well as maintaining her GP skills through additional casual and locum work in multiple clinics across Melbourne.

Eleanor has completed additional training in ECC and has a strong interest in toxicology as it plays a vital role in ECC work. Eleanor is passionate about providing gold standard advice to pet owners and veterinary colleagues regarding toxicological emergencies.

Dr Eleanor Ryan

BAScM BVCs (Hons)

Emergency and Critical Care Veterinarian

Eleanor is one of the veterinary members of the Animal Poisons Centre team. She completed two degrees at the University of Melbourne: a Bachelor of Animal Science and Management and a Bachelor of Veterinary Science, graduating with honours in 2013. Since then she has worked in an emergency and critical care hospital as well as maintaining her GP skills through additional casual and locum work in multiple clinics across Melbourne.

Eleanor has completed additional training in ECC and has a strong interest in toxicology as it plays a vital role in ECC work. Eleanor is passionate about providing gold standard advice to pet owners and veterinary colleagues regarding toxicological emergencies.

Kasra Ahmadi

BPharm

Poisons Specialist Pharmacist, Director

Kasra is a registered pharmacist who has undergone training in the area of toxicology and poisons information at the very start of his professional career. What attracted Kasra most into his chosen field, was the need to combine both specialised knowledge with critical decision making. Kasra is also a current Therapeutic Guidelines expert group member in the area of toxicology and toxinology.

With over 12 years’ experience working in Poisons Centres, Kasra has provided risk assessment and poisoning management advice for over 50,000 cases relating to pharmaceuticals, drugs of abuse, agricultural products, industrial and domestic chemicals, venomous bites and stings, chemicals and other hazardous substances. Kasra is passionate about the role that poison centres play in improving patient outcomes through provision of up-to date and evidence-based practices.

Kasra’s other interests have been in the areas of operations and management, having had over 10 years’ experience in pharmaceutical and healthcare management and ownership.

After his own dog was accidently poisoned whilst he was away on holidays, he felt compelled to assist and play a pivotal role in the management of poisoned animals in Australia.

Dr Kathleen Graham

BVSc(Hons1) MVS MANZCVS PhD V8366

Emergency and Critical Care Veterinarian

Kathleen is one of the veterinary members of our team and has worked in primary care and referral veterinary hospitals in Australia and the UK. With several years experience as an emergency and critical care veterinarian, Kathleen became a member of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists (ANZCVS) Emergency and Critical Care chapter in 2012. Kathleen has conducted clinical research into glaucoma in dogs, and in 2019 completed her PhD through Sydney Medical School at the University of Sydney and has numerous publications in the field of veterinary ophthalmology in both national and international peer reviewed journals.

Kathleen continues to work in clinical veterinary practice in Sydney and with her ongoing interest in clinical research, is keen to work with veterinarians using the Animal Poisons Centre to develop evidence-based knowledge and resources to help with our management and understanding of toxicities in our veterinary patients.

Dr Kathleen Graham

BVSc(Hons1) MVS MANZCVS PhD V8366

Emergency and Critical Care Veterinarian

Kathleen is one of the veterinary members of our team and has worked in primary care and referral veterinary hospitals in Australia and the UK. With several years experience as an emergency and critical care veterinarian, Kathleen became a member of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists (ANZCVS) Emergency and Critical Care chapter in 2012. Kathleen has conducted clinical research into glaucoma in dogs, and in 2019 completed her PhD through Sydney Medical School at the University of Sydney and has numerous publications in the field of veterinary ophthalmology in both national and international peer reviewed journals.

Kathleen continues to work in clinical veterinary practice in Sydney and with her ongoing interest in clinical research, is keen to work with veterinarians using the Animal Poisons Centre to develop evidence-based knowledge and resources to help with our management and understanding of toxicities in our veterinary patients.

Kelvin Cao

BPharm MPH

Poisons Specialist Pharmacist

Kelvin graduated with a Bachelor of Pharmacy in 2011 and has spent the last decade working in hospitals and health services throughout New South Wales and the Northern Territory. In 2016, Kelvin spent 12 months volunteering in the Solomon Islands helping to train pharmacists in clinical pharmacy and collaborating with local colleagues to improve medication processes and health promotion campaigns.

Kelvin has a wide range of clinical interests which led to him undergoing further training as a Specialist in Poisons Information, working in one of the busiest Poisons Information Centres in Australia.

Kelvin is passionate about improving clinical practice standards and outcomes for poisoned animals through the provision of high quality, evidence-based advice to pet owners and veterinarians in Australia and New Zealand.

Dr Mindy Freiband

BSc in Biology, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

Emergency and Critical Care Veterinarian

Mindy is an emergency and critical care veterinarian with more than 14 years of clinical experience in management of veterinary emergencies. Throughout her veterinary career she has treated countless toxicologic emergencies and has developed an interest in the pathophysiology of poisoning and novel approaches to treatment.

Mindy worked in the emergency and critical care departments at several tertiary referral clinics in the United States before relocating to Australia where she managed the emergency and critical care department at one of the largest veterinary specialty hospitals in the country.

Prior to her veterinary career Mindy worked for many years as a teacher in the natural sciences and has a special interest in botanical science and plant-related poisoning. Mindy is excited to be a part of the team at Animal Poisons Centre and to contribute to best care practice in management of veterinary toxicologic emergencies.

Dr Mindy Freiband

BSc in Biology, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

Emergency and Critical Care Veterinarian

Mindy is an emergency and critical care veterinarian with more than 14 years of clinical experience in management of veterinary emergencies. Throughout her veterinary career she has treated countless toxicologic emergencies and has developed an interest in the pathophysiology of poisoning and novel approaches to treatment.

Mindy worked in the emergency and critical care departments at several tertiary referral clinics in the United States before relocating to Australia where she managed the emergency and critical care department at one of the largest veterinary specialty hospitals in the country.

Prior to her veterinary career Mindy worked for many years as a teacher in the natural sciences and has a special interest in botanical science and plant-related poisoning. Mindy is excited to be a part of the team at Animal Poisons Centre and to contribute to best care practice in management of veterinary toxicologic emergencies.

Nick Merwood

BSc MPharm

Poisons Specialist Pharmacist, Director

Graduating with a Master of Pharmacy, Nick’s interest in clinical toxicology led him to a role as a Specialist in Poisons Information in 2009. Nick has experienced poisons centre training and managerial roles, including being appointed as the current acting Head of Department of his home-state poisons centre.

Over the last decade Nick has continually grown more fascinated with toxicology and has experienced poison centre clinical roles in both Australia and overseas. In 2017, Nick was contracted as a consultant to assist in establishing a new poison centre in a state-of-the-art facility in Doha, Qatar. During his time in Doha, Nick worked alongside internationally recognised clinical staff in developing operational and clinical management guidelines and was instrumental in establishing the countries first poisons register.

Nick has a thirst for knowledge and is driven by the need to improve morbidity and mortality outcomes through evidence-based practices. As an experienced Poisons Specialist at the Australian Animal Poisons Centre, Nick has a passion for animal welfare and strives to continually improve the management of poisoned animals in Australasia.

Our Contributors

Dr Rhian Cope

BVSC, BSc (Hons), PhD, DABT, DABVT, FACTRA

Principal Toxicologist, APVMA

While Dr Cope is a veterinarian by training (1989, University of Queensland) she has spent most of her professional career as a toxicologist. Following obtaining her veterinary qualification Dr Cope pursued further training as a radiation toxicologist/photobiologist (PhD, University of Sydney 1996).

She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology, a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Toxicology, a Fellow of the Australasian College of Toxicology and Risk Assessment and a registered specialist in Veterinary Toxicology in NSW. Dr Cope has held academic positions at the University of Illinois and at Oregon State University. Currently Dr Cope is the Principal Toxicologist for the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines authority and an Associate Professor at the University of New England.

Dr Andrew Padula

Dr Andrew Padula is a veterinarian with over 25 years of experience in veterinary research, industry, and clinical practice. Andrew has had a long fascination with venomous creatures and the application of the life sciences to treat their potentially lethal effects. Andrew holds a PhD from the University of Melbourne and is currently an honorary senior research fellow within the Australian Venom Research Unit at the University of Melbourne. He holds a European veterinary specialist qualification in production animal reproduction and medicine. Andrew has published numerous papers on snakebite in domestic animals and tick paralysis.

Dr Tom May

Dr Tom May is a mycologist at Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria with more than three decades experience in fungal taxonomy. He is an Honorary Consultant to the Victorian Poisons Information Centre and serves on a number of international committees, including the International Commission on the Taxonomy of Fungi. He has published widely on fungal taxonomy, ecology and conservation, including checklists of Australian fungi and the book Wild Mushrooming.