Pathology Team

Pathology Team


Mark Wessels (Head of Histopathology)

BVetMed (Hons), FRCPath, MRCVS

Mark qualified from the Royal Veterinary College in 1986 and worked in predominantly large animal practices for 12 years.  In 1998 he joined the Veterinary Laboratories Agency at Preston performing large animal disease (predominantly ruminant) investigation and diagnostics and studied for Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists specialising in large animal pathology. He is published widely in the field of large animal and mammalian exotic pathology. Mark managed surveillance pathology within the Agency until he joined Finn Pathologists in May 2014. His main interests lie in ruminant pathology especially infectious and degenerative diseases, and farm animal diagnostics. In 2015 he was awarded RCVS Specialist status in pathology (large animals).


Annalize Ide

BVSc (Hons) MMedVet (Path) MRCVS

Annalize grew up and trained as a Veterinary Surgeon in South Africa, where she qualified from Onderstepoort in 1993. She spent 18 months in mixed practice in Carmarthenshire, before returning to Onderstepoort, where she completed a residency in Veterinary Pathology, culminating in a Master’s degree in Veterinary Diagnostic Pathology.   She joined Finn Pathologists in 1999  as a Diagnostic Histopathologist.  Her main interests are dog and cat pathology, with a special emphasis on oncology, oral pathology and Immunohistochemistry. She is a member of the British Society of Veterinary Pathologists, British Veterinary Dental Association and the British Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathologists (Human). She co-authored several papers and is currently working on 2 papers concerning oral pathology of dogs and  cats.


Ann Pocknell


Ann qualified from the Ontario Veterinary College, Canada, 1989. After three years in exotic and small animal practice, she completed an MVet Sci degree in Veterinary Anatomical Pathology at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine,Canada. She subsequently completed an advanced residency in zoological pathology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA and became a diplomate of the ACVP and the RCPath (avian specialty). She worked as a lecturer at the Royal Veterinary College, London and as the pathologist for a major UK zoo before moving to diagnostic pathology. Ann joined Finn Pathologists in 2008. Her professional interests centre on pathology of wildlife, exotic pets, rabbits, and cats.


Chris Knott


After qualifying as a veterinary surgeon from Liverpool University in 1981, Chris spent 3 years as a general practitioner in a 6-person, mixed,  mainly small animal practice in Essex. With a keen interest in wildlife and having kept various unconventional pets since childhood, Chris saw nearly all the “exotics” cases that came through the practice. A switch of career to pathology eventually saw Chris joining Finn Pathologists in 1997. Initially Chris was almost solely responsible for histopathology in all “exotic” species, until an increasing workload led to the recruitment of other pathologists with an interest in exotics. As a result, Chris has a wealth of experience in the pathology of exotic mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and even a few invertebrates.


Joyce Bass

BVSc (Pret) MMedVet (Path) MRCVS

Joyce qualified as a veterinary surgeon from Onderstepoort, South Africa in 1988. She spent 11 years as a pathology lecturer at the University of Pretoria (South Africa) teaching both under and post graduate students. She obtained her master’s degree  in  veterinary  diagnostic  pathology  in 2000. The next 11 years she spent in a commercial veterinary laboratory in Yorkshire, handling first opinion histopathology as well as post mortems. She has a keen interest in all fields of mammalian and avian pathology, with a special interest in ocular  pathology  and immunohistochemistry.


Ladislav Novotny


Ladislav graduated from the University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences in Brno, Czech Republic in 2001 followed by combined residency and PhD in anatomic pathology at the same school in 2004. Afterwards he became lecturer and in 2011 Associate Professor of Anatomic Pathology at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Brno. Between 2010 and 2012 he completed MSc program in Fishery and Hydrobiology at Mendel University in Brno. Ladislav joined Finn Pathologists in 2013 and successfully passed exams of Royal College of Pathologists and became FRCPath in 2016.


Melanie Dobromylskyj


Melanie qualified from Bristol University in 2004, having also intercalated a BSc in Veterinary Pathology at the RVC in 2002. Following a small animal internship at the Animal Health Trust, she completed her PhD in bovine molecular immunology at the Institute for Animal Health and the University of Cambridge in 2009, studying the receptors expressed on natural killer cells. She then spent a year as a pathology resident at Glasgow University before joining Finn Pathologists in 2012, where she continued her training in conjunction with a part-time residency at the RVC. She became a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists in 2014 and an honorary lecturer in anatomic pathology at the RVC in 2015. In 2016, she was awarded RCVS Specialist status in pathology (small domestic animals). She has a particular interest in feline pathology.


Nick Woodger


Nick followed up a BSc in Animal Virology from Edinburgh University with a Veterinary Degree from the Royal Veterinary College in 1994. He spent 5 years in general practice in Suffolk before taking up a residency in Veterinary Pathology at Cambridge University Veterinary School. He attained membership of the Royal College of Pathologists in 2005 following spells with Finn Pathologists & the Veterinary Laboratories Agency. His special interests include diagnostic pathology of ruminants and pigs, bone pathology and dermatopathology.


Tom Vicek


Tom qualified as a veterinary surgeon from the University of Illinois in 1992. He undertook further training in pathology at Louisiana State University, earning a PhD in 2000. He then worked for three and a half years as a pathologist at the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory where he studied and passed board examinations  becoming a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists. His professional interests include hepatic pathology and neoplasia.


Alistair Cox


After graduating from the University of Glasgow Veterinary School in 2002 Alistair worked in practice for five years, before undertaking a Horse Trust funded residency in anatomic pathology at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies. During his time there he was awarded a Masters degree for work on the pathology of equine dental disease. After completion of the residency Alistair took up the post of Veterinary pathologist / Veterinary Investigation Officer at SAC consulting vet services, working with a wide range of pathology in farmed and companion animals  including  horses.  In  2013  he  became  a fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists.


David Shearer


David qualified from the RVC in 1984. He obtained the CertSAD in 1990 and a PhD in 1995 for a research thesis titled ‘Immunological Studies of Canine Staphylococcal Pyoderma’.  He has co-authored a textbook of veterinary Ectoparasites and published papers on skin immunology and veterinary dermatology.  Apart from seeing cases for general practices in Norfolk and Suffolk David has been a lecturer for Improve International CertGP (SAP), Cert GP(SAM) and Cert GP (Dermatology) for 15 years, He is also a diagnostic histopathologist specialising in dermatohistopathology. He is currently Vice President of the International Society of Veterinary Dermatopathology.


Debra Fews


Debra graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1997 and went on to complete an internship at the RVC in Equine medicine and surgery. After a few years in first opinion and referral Equine Practice, Debra attained a Certificate in Veterinary Anaesthesia, later she had a residency in Veterinary Pathology at the University of Bristol followed by a clinical fellowship in Veterinary pathology. In 2005 she was awarded the Diploma of the Royal College of Pathologists. Followed by Membership of the Royal College of Pathologists in 2006 and a Fellowship. In 2013 she became a Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Recognised Specialist in Veterinary Pathology. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and an Honorary Senior Teaching Fellow in Veterinary Pathology at the University of Bristol.

She is a senior examiner for the Royal College of Pathologists and is a member of the Standing Advisory Committee for Veterinary Pathology.

Histopathologist & Cytologist

Maria Jose Pinilla

DVM MVetMed(Path) DipRCPath MRCVS

Maria Jose qualified as a veterinary surgeon from the  Facultad  de Veterinaria,  university  of  Zaragoza in 1994. She was awarded an Erasmus Grant from the university of Utrecht The Netherlands where she spent some time in a very busy diagnostic histology laboratory and post mortem room. She then worked as Diagnostic Pathologist for 7 years at the ministry of agriculture’s main diagnostic laboratory where she was involved in diagnostics of notifiable diseases. Between 2006 & 2008 she worked in the UK as Diagnostic cytologist and from 2008-2012 completed a residency in Anatomic Pathology at the Royal Veterinary College supported by HBLB. There she completed her Masters Degree.

Histopathologist & Cytologist

Richard Fox


Richard graduated from RVC in London and following two years in mixed practice in north Devon he undertook three years of post-graduate pathology training at the University of Liverpool. This was followed by a lectureship at the Department of Veterinary Pathology. Richard has gained an honorary lectureship at the University of Liverpool and became a diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Pathologists. He was also a member of the ECVP Examinations Board for six years. He subsequently worked for Abbey Veterinary Services for 11 years where he gained a wide range of companion animal pathology experience, particularly in dermatopathology and joined Finn Pathologists in 2016. He is also a very active landscape photographer and keen trail runner.


Johan Vorster

BVSc, MMed Vet (Pathology)

Graduated in 1986 obtaining BVSc degree at the Faculty of Veterinary science Onderstepoort, University of Pretoria, South Africa. Upon qualification spent time working as State veterinarian in Messina and Ellisras (Limpopo province) where his functions mostly included diagnostic services and control of scheduled diseases control. From 1989 to 1998 worked at Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute in the Pathology section doing applied research into new vaccines and vaccine quality control program; and providing mostly livestock diagnostic services. and obtained a masters degree and obtained a M.MedVet (Path) in 2002. From 1998 joined a privately owned veterinary diagnostic laboratory in SA being involved laboratory diagnostics including macroscopic pathology, histopathology, microbiology, serology, cytology and PCR’s (poultry, small animals and production animals). Also regularly acted as external examiner for pre-graduate students in the pathology course. In 2017 became part of the Finn pathology team.

Histopathologist & Cytologist

Jane Miller

BVSc, MMed Vet (Pathology)

Jane graduated in 1977 from the RVC and went into small animal practice. Late in 1978 she took up a post as lecturer in Veterinary Pathology at the Royal ‘Dick’ School of Veterinary Studies in Edinburgh followed by a move into industry where she gained her MRCPath. She joined Nationwide Laboratories in 1986 and became Director of Pathology working in both Veterinary Pathology and Veterinary Clinical Pathology. She is a past examiner in Veterinary Clinical Pathology and current examiner in Veterinary Pathology for the Royal College of Pathologists. Jane works in histopathology and has a particular interest in cytology. Jane semiretired in 2016. She joined Finn Pathologists in September 2018 as a consultant reporting cytology and histopathology.


Viviana Le Donne


Viviana qualified as a veterinary surgeon from University of Sassari, Italy in 2008. Between 2008 and 2012 she pursued her PhD studies at University of Sassari. During this time, she also worked at the cytology laboratory of University of Zaragoza, Spain through a post-graduate Erasmus fellowship and at North Carolina State University as a post-doctoral scholar studying the expression of fibroblast growth factor receptors in feline sarcomas. After completing her PhD in 2012, she started a clinical pathology residency at Louisiana State University which she successfully completed by passing her board examinations in March 2015, becoming Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists.


Guy Davies

BSC Vet Path (Hons) BVetMed (Hons) AMRSB MRCVS (Resident Clinical Pathologist)

Guy graduated from the Royal Veterinary College, University of London with degrees in Veterinary Medicine and Veterinary Pathology, after which he worked in small animal practice for a number of years, in both a large general practice hospital and a small village branch practice. Guy started a three-year Residency in Clinical Pathology in October 2017 as part of a mixed academic and industry programme, partnered with the University Of Nottingham. He is also studying for a Masters in Veterinary Medicine with the university, researching the use of C-reactive protein in clinical practice, and aims to sit the Royal College of Pathologists Fellowship exams on completion of the training.