Tell us about your background.
I grew up in Brazil working with livestock and horses on the family farm. My family migrated from Italy and Spain to Brazil early in the 19th century, so I have had a heavy influence of those cultures in my upbringing. Growing up, I enjoyed playing sports (basketball, soccer, volleyball, and equestrian sports).
After graduating from veterinary school and being in private practice in Brazil, I completed a master’s degree in animal reproductive biotechnology, which earned my reputation as a donkey reproduction specialist. I then moved to the United Kingdom for a fellowship in equine reproduction. The time in Britain certainly has had an impact on how I practice veterinary medicine.
Thereafter, I completed a residency in theriogenology at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. My residency allowed me to become board certified by the American College of Theriogenologists and the European College of Animal Reproduction. Then, I moved to the world’s “Horse Capital” to earn a PhD in equine reproduction at the University of Kentucky, Lexington.
I have been with the University of Illinois since 2014. I have a special interest in mentoring veterinary students, graduate students, and house officers.
I travel around the world to speak and to consult on high-end mares and stallions suffering from reproductive problems. Throughout the year, I am a full-time clinician, but also perform classroom and clinical teaching in equine theriogenology. I have three areas of research interest: equine subfertility, perinatology, and reproductive biotechniques.
How did you become interested in theriogenology?
I first became interested in theriogenology in the second grade during a professions’ day at school. I fell in love the first time that I saw the picture of an equine embryo and a cow’s uterus during a C-section. My interest in theriogenology just became stronger between second grade and pre-vet school. I started veterinary school interested in becoming a theriogenologist, and here I am.
What are your special interests?
I love sports in general (NBA, NFL, PBR, and Euro Football League, and Thoroughbred racing), fishing, cooking, and baking. In the past four years, I became very interested in wellness, eating health, exercise, and yoga.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
I am addicted to challenging clinical cases. I deeply enjoy working with puzzling cases, although they may keep me awake during the night thinking about them. They always have something to teach us, which I am happy to share with everyone involved in the case: the referring veterinarian, house officers, and owners.