Lennon Laboratory

Lennon Lab Team 760Welcome to the Lennon Laboratory where we study Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).

We believe that by studying naturally occurring IBD in dogs and cats we can improve treatment for people and pets with this debilitating condition. 

Interested in Working With Us?

We are always seeking highly motivated students, post-doctoral fellows, or veterinarians who are interested in becoming involved in research.

Contact Information

Dr. Elizabeth Lennon, Penn Vet

Elizabeth M. Lennon, DVM, PhD, DACVIM

  • Assistant Professor of Medicine
  • University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine 
  • 3900 Delancey Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
  • 215-573-6552
  • mlennon@vet.upenn.edu

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.

 
The Lennon Lab
Dr. Elizabeth Lennon, Penn Vet

Elizabeth Lennon, DVM, PhD, DACVIM

  • 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.
Dr. Jane Woodrow, Lennon Lab, Penn Vet

Jane Woodrow, DVM, DACVIM, PhD candidate

  • Dr. Woodrow is a large animal internal medicine specialist who joined the laboratory in August 2016. She is studying the role of mast cells in equine asthma. Jane is a native Floridian who has a Masters of Science from the University of South Floriday. She attended veterinary school at the University of Florida, completed a large animal rotating internship at the University of Georgia, and then performed her large animal internal medicine residency at the University of Tennessee. She plans to enter a career in academia as a veterinary clinician-scientist.
Jillian Smith, Lennon Lab, Penn Vet

Jillian Smith, DVM, veterinary internal medicine resident

  • Dr. Smith is a resident in veterinary internal medicine at the University of Tennessee. She is investigating the roles of fat-soluble vitamins in naturally-occurring canine inflammatory bowel disease and investigating the role of vitamin supplementation as an adjunctive therapy.  Jillian is originally from Pennsylvania, completed her veterinary training at Ross University, and worked in clinical general practice for several years before returning to university practice for a small animal internal medicine specialty internship. She is currently an internal medicine resident at the University of Tennessee.
Kristen Maxwell-Lennon Lab

Kristen Maxwell, veterinary student

  • Kristen Maxwell is a second-year veterinary student who is studying the role of fat-soluble vitamin deficiency in inflammatory bowel disease and chronic enteropathy. Kristen is a native of Tennessee and is a former college ice hockey player. 
Emily Spica, Penn Vet

Emily Spica, veterinary student

Emily is a 3rd year veterinary student who is studying the effects of bone morphogenetic proteins on mast cell degranulation. Emily is originally from Michigan but earned her bachelor's degree from Bryn Mawr College, where she worked in a developmental biology lab studying the role of juvenile hormone in the reproductive polyphenism of pea aphids. 

Henry Hoffman, Lennon Lab

Henry Hoffman, undergraduate biology student

  • Henry Hoffman is a rising senior undergraduate student majoring in Biology at the University of Pennsylvania. A Philadelphia native with plans to attend Medical School after graduating, Henry is researching the mechanism behind the protective role of mast cells in inflammatory bowel disease. In his free time, Henry sings in the Penn Glee Club, plays piano, works as a Physics tutor, and volunteers with a host of clinical and educational organizations around Philadelphia.
 
Lennon Lab Alumni
Nicole Corder, MS, Lennon Lab Alumna

Nicole Corder, MS

  • Nicole spent three months in the laboratory as a summer veterinary student at the University of Tennessee, and presented the results of her work at the National Veterinary Student Scholars symposium. Nicole has obtained her Masters of Science degree from the University of California studying the role of oxidative stress in hepatitis C infection prior to enrolling in veterinary school.

Heather Carlin, DVM

  • Dr. Carlin spent three months in the laboratory as a veterinary student. She is currently a small animal veterinarian in clinical practice.

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.

Education

  • 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

Lennon EM, Borst LB, Edwards LE, Moeser AJ. Mast cells exert anti-inflammatory effects in an IL10-/- model of spontaneous colitis. Mediators of Inflammation. 2018; Article ID: 7817360.

Pohl C, Lennon EM, Li Y, DeWilde M, Moeser AJ. S. Typhimurium challenge in juvenile pigs modulates the expression and localization of enteric cholinergic proteins and correlates with mucosal injury and inflammation. Autonomic Neuroscience. 2018;213:51-59.

Lennon EM, Hummel JB, Vaden SL. Urine sodium concentrations are predictive of hypoadrenocorticism in hyponatremic dogs: a retrospective pilot study. Journal of Small Animal Practice. 2018;59:228-231.

Cooper RL, Drobatz KJ, Lennon EM, Hess RS. Retrospective evaluation of risk factors and outcome predictors in cats with diabetic ketoacidosis (1997-2007): 93 cases. J Vet Emerg Crit Care. 2015;25:263-72.

Lennon EM, Maharshak N, Elloumi H, Borst L, Plevy SE, Moeser AJ. Early Life Stress Triggers Persistent Colonic Barrier Dysfunction and Exacerbates Colitis in Adult IL-10-/- Mice. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. 2013;19:712-719.

Lennon EM, Hanel RM, Vaden SL. Hypercoagulability in Dogs with Protein-Losing Nephropathy as Assessed by Thromboelastography. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine. 2013;27:462-468.

Lennon EM, Boyle TE, Hutchins RG, Friedenthal A, Bissett SA, Moses LS, Correa MT, Papich MG, Birkenheuer AJ.  Use of basal serum or plasma cortisol concentrations to rule out a diagnosis of hypoadrenocorticism in dogs: 123 cases (2000-2005).  Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 2007; 231:413-416.

Olivry T, LaVoy A, Dunston SM, Brown RS, Lennon EM, Warren SJ, Prisayanh P, Muller EJ, Suter MM, Dean GA.  Desmoglein-1 is a minor autoantigen in dogs with pemphigus foliaceus.  Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology. 2006;110:245-255.

Reid ED, Erickson PS, Hodgdon S, Lennon EM, Tsang PCW.  Chlortetracycline supplementation of yearling dairy heifers.  Journal of Animal Science. 2006;84:2406-2409.