Our People

Our People

Oliver Garden's team comprises clinical and research staff, including veterinarians, doctoral candidates, post-doctoral fellows, research assistants, interns, residents, and students.

Meet the current members of the Oliver Garden team.

Current Staff

  • Jie Luo, PhD
    • Jie Luo PhD, Oliver Garden Lab, Penn VetJie has an interest and expertise in autoimmune disease, in particular myasthenia gravis, in which he has made several ground-breaking discoveries over the past decade. Jie hails from Dr. Jon Lindstrom’s lab at the Perelman School of Medicine and has an interest in advancing this work into clinical patients (dogs) with myasthenia gravis, with the aim of developing novel antigen-specific immunotherapies for both canine and human patients.
    • In his spare time, Jie enjoys (in his words) “.. troubleshooting and fixing complex mechanical problems for a wide range of devices, such as watches, appliances, and even cars.” He says: “Unfortunately, so far organisms remain the most difficult to troubleshoot and fix!”
  • Ms. Julia Ying Wu
    • Julia Ying WuJulia graduated from the University of Hong Kong (HKU) in 2009. From 2009 to 2013, she worked in the Department of Microbiology at the HKU, having successfully finished a two-year MPhil in microbiology in 2012 and having worked as a full-time Research Assistant the year before and after.
    • Following the completion of an MSc in immunology at Imperial College London in 2014, Julia is now undertaking a three-year PhD within the Immune Regulation Laboratory at the Royal Veterinary College, studying the role of regulatory T cells in canine diffuse large B cell lymphoma as a model for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
    • In her leisure time, Julia has various interests and especially likes travelling, cycling, Chinese Calligraphy and street dance.
  • Ms. Sabina Hlavaty
    • Sabina Hlavaty, Garden Lab, Penn VetSabina Hlavaty earned her undergraduate degree from Princeton University in 2013, focusing her senior thesis research on the development of marmoset fetal orofacial movements. 
    • After graduation, Sabina joined the National Cancer Institute as a postbaccalaureate research fellow, studying the kinase activity of BRD4. She came to Penn Vet in the fall of 2016, completing her first year of veterinary school prior to taking a leave of absence from her studies in order to perform research full-time. 
    • Her project focuses on understanding the role of myeloid derived suppressor cells in cancer, with a special emphasis on using the dog as a model to study these cells. Sabina is ultimately interested in a career that combines her passion for veterinary medicine and cancer immunology research. 
    • In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, hiking, and exploring the restaurant scene in Philadelphia.


  • Dr. Michelle Goulart
    • Michelle Goulart Michelle graduated from the Universidade Federal de Uberlandia, Brazil in 2002. After four years of private practice in Brazil, she decided to advance her scientific knowledge by pursuing clinical research in the United States.
    • In 2008 she became a research assistant in the Translational Brain Tumor laboratory at the University of Minnesota and started a Master's degree. The excitement of enriching her knowledge in the field of tumor immunology stimulated her to convert the Master's to a PhD program, which she successfully defended in 2014.
    • From 2014 to 2015, Michelle completed a rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery at the Oregon State University. Following this year of clinical training, Michelle accepted a post-doctoral fellowship in cancer immunology at the Immune Regulation Laboratory, where her interest is in understanding immune regulatory mechanisms in canine B cell lymphoma and other cancers, in particular the role of myeloid-derived suppressor cells.
    • Michelle successfully concluded her project and has moved on to a prestigious postdoctoral Fellowship at the Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London, working with Professor Hemant Kocher on pancreatic cancer: https://www.bci.qmul.ac.uk/staff/item/hemant-kocher
  • Mr. Michael Denyer, MRes
    • Michael-Denyer Michael graduated from the University of Oxford in 2001, having completed a BA in Computation. He then pursued a career in IT within the financial services industry, latterly as the head of IT and a partner of the wealth manager Ruffer LLP.
    • In 2013, he made a bold change of career direction, enrolling to study for an MRes in Bioinformatics at Birkbeck, where his research focused on cytotoxic T-cell mediated influenza evolution. Having been awarded a Bloomsbury College Studentship at the Royal Veterinary College for the BBSRC LiDO PhD programme in October 2014, he is currently undertaking research on the evolution of immune regulation centered on the regulatory T cell interactome.
    • He is particularly interested in establishing the developmental and suppressive mechanisms within this interactome in avian species, as definitive evidence of FoxP3 expression in birds still remains elusive. This work is in collaboration with Dr Adrian Shepherd at Birkbeck.
More About Our People at Oliver Garden Science
Visiting Staff Alumni
  • Mr Luca Fortuna
  • Dr Joshua Relf
  • Dr Dammy Pinheiro
  • Dr James Swann
  • Natalie Gibbons
  • BVetMed (Final Year Research Project, Royal Veterinary College)
  • BSc (Pathology; Royal Veterinary College)
  • BSc (Infection and Immunity; Imperial College London)
  • MSc (Immunology; Imperial College London)
  • As PhD co-supervisor