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Our Research

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a debilitating and sometimes life-threatening condition. Our laboratory studies veterinary samples, human samples, and experimental models to with the goal of finding better ways to prevent and treat IBD to improve the lives of pets and people. 

Dogs and cats are our family – they share our environment, living in our houses and often sleeping in our beds. They share our food and water, mimic our exposure to pollutants and chemicals, and share our microbiomes. They also get the same diseases as we do. 
We believe that by studying naturally occurring IBD in dogs and cats we can improve treatment for people and pets with this debilitating condition. 

Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, Lennon Lab

Our current projects include:

Anti-inflammatory roles of mast cells in IBD

We have demonstrated that mast cells, which are usually considered harmful for their roles in allergy and anaphylaxis, have anti-inflammatory effects in IBD. The goal of our laboratory is to determine how these effects can be amplified to serve as better treatments for IBD. 

Fat-soluble vitamin concentrations in IBD

Dogs and cats with IBD often have nutrient malabsorption. In people with IBD, deficiencies in fat-soluble vitamins including vitamins A, D, E, and K, can occur. Vitamin D deficiency has been documented in dogs and cats, but there is currently no evidence that supplementation may improve disease. We do not know if deficiencies in vitamins A, E, and K occur in dogs and cats. We are currently studying these vitamins to determine if supplementation is necessary and helpful in dogs and cats.

Our Clinical Interests

Dr. Elizabeth Lennon, Penn Vet

Clinical Interests

Dr. Lennon is board certified in small animal internal medicine by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. She has a special interest in gastroenterology with an emphasis on inflammatory bowel disease, chronic enteropathy, and intestinal lymphangiectasia.


  • PhD (Comparative Biomedical Sciences), North Carolina State University, 2015
  • DVM (Veterinary Medicine), North Carolina State University, 2007
  • BS (Animal Sciences) University of New Hampshire, 2002
  • Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine