Faculty member included in UF’s McKnight Brain Institute’s “Women of Neuro” campaign

Dr. Carrera-Justiz, in "Women In Neuro"

In July 2021, UF’s McKnight Brain Institute began a series to highlight some of the women leading research initiatives in the neurosciences. Among those featured on the MBI’s website and its social media channels is Dr. Sheila Carrera-Justiz, a professor at the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Carrera-Justiz serves as chief of the neurology service at UF’s Small Animal Hospital and has been actively involved in a study that evaluates a novel treatment for glioma, a malignant brain tumor, in dogs. Her research efforts also include other diseases in dogs and documenting normal neurological markers in exotic species. Her clinical efforts span medical and surgical management of brain tumors, advanced MRI techniques and seizure disorder diagnosis and management.

Below are additional responses from the MBI team’s interview with Carrera-Justiz for her UF Women of Neuro graphic.

What does being a female leader in your field mean to you?

Being a leader in veterinary neurology means that I get to be an inspiration to younger and up-and-coming doctors. Veterinary medicine is 80% women, and leadership is still male dominated. I get to be a role model of a minority female for students, veterinarians and veterinary neurologists.

What are some of the challenges you face, and how have you overcome them? 

I started my career in private practice and realized that I missed training students and residents, so I jumped at the opportunity to apply for a position at the most progressive and collaborative veterinary college in the country.

I was trained to be a clinical veterinary neurologist and research was not my focus. My days are spent treating seizures and making paralyzed dogs walk! I was lucky to have been approached by some wonderful brain tumor researchers at UFMBI that had ideas for using dogs with glioma as a model for people. We were able to offer treatment to dogs with an otherwise untreatable brain tumor, with the goal of developing a new treatment for people with the same tumors.




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September-October 2023

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