Last month, on the 23rd and 24th of September, we had the BSVP 2023 Autumn Meeting! This was an in-person meeting focused on liver pathology, and took place at the Royal Veterinary College. The event was attended by students and veterinary pathologists from the UK, as well as by some pathologists from overseas!

The highlight of the conference was the keynote speaker, Dr. John Cullen (VMD, PhD, DipACVP), Professor Emeritus from the NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine. His talks covered a broad spectrum of liver pathology topics. These included (but were not limited to) recommendations for a good liver biopsy, discussion of congenital disorders, chronic hepatitis, viral hepatitis and hepatic neoplasia.

Delegates also had the opportunity to have an internal medicine perspective on liver disease with talks presented on Saturday by Dr. Will Bayton (BVMedSci (hons) BVMBVS (hons) MRCVS Dip.ECVIM-CA), from Dick White Referrals, who discussed clinical aspects of canine chronic hepatitis, as well as prevalence and management of feline liver disease in the UK.

On Sunday, we also had talks on the clinical pathology aspects of liver disease, delivered by Dr. Michal Neta (DVM, PHD, Diplomate ACVP Clinical pathology). Interpretation of biochemistry in the context of liver disease, as well as applications and limitations of liver cytology were covered.

Dr. John Cullen

Dr. Will Bayton

Dr. Michal Neta

BSVP is pleased to have offered 3 bursaries for trainees to attend this year’s Autumn Meeting!

As part of our effort to support training and professional development, three trainees in veterinary pathology were awarded bursaries to attend the Autumn Meeting on Liver Pathology. The successful applicants were Fabian Lean, Jordan Mitchell and Shauna Hilton, and they presented scientific communications and case reports in the format of scientific posters during the meeting.

Fabian Lean is a first year resident in Veterinary Anatomic Pathology at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), and is currently preparing for the ACVP Board examination. At the meeting, he presented a series of cases of subclinical hepatitis E virus infection in laboratory ferrets

  Abstract 1 (572.6 KiB, 323 hits)

> (the full published paper can be found on the following link –

Fabian also had an engaging discussion with Dr. Cullen, delving into the captivating realm of viral hepatitis! “The meeting provided an excellent platform for connecting with fellow pathology residents and pathologists from diverse backgrounds. This was particularly valuable for me, as I explore different career paths in pathology!” said Fabian. “I highly recommend that pathology trainees and students consider applying for the BSVP bursary in upcoming events!”

Fabian Lean

Shauna Hilton is currently a second year resident and Masters of Veterinary Medicine student in Veterinary Anatomic Pathology at the University of Nottingham. “I was very grateful for the bursary as it gave me the opportunity to present my first academic poster!” Her contribution was that of a case of hepatic B-cell lymphoma in a wild European Badger (Meles meles) , an unexpected finding, as neoplastic lesions are only rarely described in this species.

  Abstract 2 (730.7 KiB, 84 hits)

Shauna Hilton

Our final lucky bursary recipient was Jordan Mitchell, who is currently enrolled on an Anatomic Pathology residency and MVetMed programme at the RVC. He presented a case of a possible multisystemic histiocytic sarcoma in a domestic rat (Rattus norvegicus domestica).

We are proud to support the next generation of pathologists by offering opportunities for engaged individuals to enhance their training and learning. In addition to the trainee bursaries, the BSVP also offers Widening Access Bursaries for individuals from backgrounds traditionally under-represented in veterinary science. We encourage all eligible applicants to apply.

Trainee poster wall

BSVP Green Labs Sustainability Competition

The winners of the inaugural BSVP Green Lab Competition had the opportunity to briefly present their projects at the meeting. Sandra Dawson presented the winning project on behalf of NationWide Laboratories. Rachel Garty presented the runner up project on behalf of RVC.

The Projects

‘NationWide Laboratories Water Awareness Initiative’ (Sandra Dawson, Alison Lee, Alina Zheleznyakova and Alan Garnett.)

The NationWide Laboratories project led by Sandra Dawson, Alison Lee, Alina Zheleznyakova and Alan Garnett, targeted the theme of “saving water and raising awareness of the importance of water and water saving”. The team researched and implemented small changes regarding water use in the lab and measured their impact. Water use throughout the laboratory was evaluated, infrastructure was checked for leaks and potential targets for water saving measures identified.
The obstacle of old infrastructure precluded implementation of some measures (e.g. tap aerators) but water displacement bags were fitted to cisterns in two lavatories with the subsequent water saving measured.

As part of raising awareness on the importance of water and of saving water articles were published in the monthly internal newsletter. An entire newsletter dedicated to this issue was produced for World Water Day on the 22nd March 2023. In addition, the team held a fundraising event for the water and sanitation charity Toilet Twinning (

Kate Hughes (president of the BSVP – on the left) and Sandra Dawson (on the right) from NationWide Laboratories

‘Replacing plastic cassette lids with metal alternatives for histology processing’ (Dr. Rachel Garty and Catharine Hincks for the RVC)

The RVC project led by Rachel Garty and Catherine Hincks investigated the replacement of single use, disposable plastic histology cassette lids with a metal alternative, aiming to minimise plastic waste in the lab. This project involved research into alternatives, and good teamwork to manage budgetary responsibility and laboratory team engagement. The team leaders comment ‘So far the project has been a success, the plastic waste has been reduced, cleaning of the lids has been implemented into the daily routine of the histology lab, and staff have been excited to try to reduce our environmental impact’.

Judges’ Comments

The project from NationWide was the winning piece, as this project showed team involvement, understanding of the possible limitations and consideration for changing team behaviour. We appreciated that they had challenged not only their own water usage but worked to deliver better sanitation and clean water in developing countries. This showed an appreciation of the bigger picture and fed into the UN sustainable development goal: clean water and sanitation.

Sandra Dawson from NationWide Laboratories (left) and Rachel Garty from RVC (right)

Council also extends our warmest thanks to the Green Team for initiating and organising the competition. If you are not already involved in the Green Team and would like to be, please get in touch!

Thank you to the Scientific Organisers!

The BSVP would like to thank the scientific organisers (Stephanie Plog and Annika Herrmann) for their contribution to the organisation of the event! The meeting was highly informative and engaging, and the BSVP truly recognises and appreciate their hard work and dedication in making it a success! We have received highly positive feedback from delegates, and we are convinced that this is a reflection of the passion they have put into the organisation of the event!

From left to right: Stephanie Plog, Annika Herrmann and Prof. John Cullen

If you have ideas for future events and would like to get involved as Scientific Organiser, please do not hesitate in contacting us! All ideas and suggestions are welcome!

Thank you to the Sponsor!

This year’s meeting was sponsored by Finn pathologists. The BSVP would like to express gratitude to Finn Pathologists for generously sponsoring the event! Their dedication to fostering continued learning of the veterinary pathology community is commendable, and we are sincerely thankful for their support!