Veterinary neurology specialist to lead UF small animal clinical sciences department

Dr. Charles Vite
Dr. Charles Vite

Charles Vite, D.V.M., Ph.D., a board-certified veterinary neurology specialist, has been named chair of the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine’s department of small animal clinical sciences.

His appointment, announced by the college’s dean, Dana Zimmel, D.V.M., begins Oct. 1.

Vite is a professor of neurology in the section of neurology and neurosurgery in the department of clinical sciences and advanced medicine at University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine. He holds a D.V.M. from Purdue University and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, where he has spent most of his professional career.

Following his residency in veterinary neurology at Penn in 1994, Vite completed fellowships in introductory magnetic resonance and neuro magnetic resonance. He then worked as a lecturer in veterinary neurology, a postdoctoral fellow, a research associate and a senior research investigator before joining the University of Pennsylvania faculty as an assistant professor in 2004. He became a tenured professor in 2018.

Vite has been the director of the National Referral Center for Animal Models of Human Genetic Disease, or RCAM, since 2014. The group’s mission is to discover, characterize and develop therapies for hereditary diseases of dogs and cats that correspond to to those found in human patients, and to translate preclinical trials to treat disease in both animals and people. His emphasis is on building bridges between biomedical sciences, government, pharmaceutical industries and the FDA to bring new therapies to patients.

Vite’s research interests include improving the characterization and treatment of neurogenerative diseases by studying naturally occurring large animal models of human diseases. His lab develops and evaluates therapies such as gene therapy, cell-based therapy and pharmacotherapy in dogs and cats and develops biochemical and magnetic resonance markers of disease severity and progression.

“Dr. Vite brings a wealth of clinical experience and relationship-building skills to our administrative team, along with research interests aimed at benefiting animal and human health,” Zimmel said.