The Office of the Vice President for Research recognizes Shawna Klahn, an assistant professor in the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, for her efforts in the fight against animal cancer.
Klahn is among the first faculty members in the veterinary college dedicated to medical oncology services. The oncology program provides care for four-legged patients with and without a cancer diagnosis, including biopsy, imaging, treatment, and surgery.
Among her research interests, Klahn studies and treats very aggressive tumors called histiocytic sarcomas, which damage surrounding tissues and have a high rate of spreading to other parts of the body.
In addition to the health of pets, Klahn studies advances in chemotherapy safety, the current issues, and the impact on cancer management in veterinary medicine.
Exposure to chemotherapy is a health hazard for all personnel in facilities that store, prepare, or administer tumor-fighting agents.
But in the veterinary medicine sector, contamination levels have been measured as much as 15 times higher. Recent publications in human and veterinary medicine indicate that exposure extends beyond the clinic walls to affect the patient's home and family. Oral, at-home cancer therapies carry additional management and safety concerns.
Klahn works to make sure cancer treatment for our animal friends is effective and safe—for everyone involved.
Prior to joining Virginia Tech, Klahn was a veterinary medical oncology clinician at Upstate Veterinary Specialists in Greenville, S.C. She was previously a medical oncology resident at Michigan State University and a small animal medicine and surgery intern at Colorado State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Fort Collins, Colo.
She is board-certified in oncology from the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Veterinary Cancer Society, the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, the American Association of Cancer Research, and the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association.
Klahn earned a bachelor’s degree in zoology and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine.