Clinical Nutrition Service Faculty and Residents

What makes a board-certified nutritionist special?

Many people marketing nutrition services for pets may claim to be a "pet nutritionist" or a "certified nutritionist", but their actual credentials can vary widely. To become a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition (ACVN), a veterinarian must complete a rigorous residency training program after veterinary school that includes performing nutrition-related research. They must also pass the ACVN's intensive 2-day certifying examination. Although it is not a requirement for board certification, many board-certified veterinary nutritionists have also completed Master's or PhD degrees in nutrition.

When you bring your pet to see a board-certified nutritionist, you can be confident that you are partnering with a professional who has extensive nutrition knowledge and will be able to help you develop the optimal nutrition plan for your pet.

Faculty Nutritionists

Lisa Freeman - PhD, DVM, DACVN
Lisa Freeman
Dr. Lisa Freeman earned a bachelor's from Tufts University, a DVM from the Cummings School, and a PhD in nutrition from the Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. She is board certified by the American College of Veterinary Nutrition and currently is a Professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences. She is very active in teaching and her research focus is on nutritional modulation of heart disease and critical care nutrition. Dr. Freeman currently heads the Cummings School's Accelerated Clinical Excellence (ACE) Program, the Residents' Enhanced Veterinary Education and Academic Learning (REVEAL) Program, and serves as the faculty advisor for its Paws for People effort.
Cailin Heinze - VMD, MS, DACVN
Cailin Heinze
Dr. Cailin Heinze is a 2004 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. After veterinary school, she worked in private practice for three years before pursuing a residency in clinical nutrition at the University of California, Davis from 2007–2009. Dr. Heinze earned a Master's degree in Nutritional Biology at UC Davis in December 2010. She is board-certified in nutrition by the American College of Veterinary Nutrition and is currently an Assistant Professor of Nutrition at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. Her professional and research interests include canine and feline obesity, nutritional management of renal disease, and long chain fatty acids. She enjoys gardening, cooking, exploring nature, spending time with her two cockatiels, and horseback riding.
Deborah Linder - DVM, DACVN
Deborah Linder
Dr. Deborah Linder is a 2009 graduate of the Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. After veterinary school, she completed a one year internship before returning to the Cummings School to complete a residency in clinical nutrition. She is board-certified in nutrition by the American College of Veterinary Nutrition. Dr.Linder's interests include obesity management and effective client education. Dr.Linder has focused her research on safe and effective weight loss strategies for pets as well as how human-animal interaction affects health and wellness. As the head of the Tufts Obesity Clinic for Animals, she works to help overweight animals live longer and healthier lives. In her leisure time, Dr. Linder volunteers with the Tufts Paws for People Animal Visitation Group and enjoys hiking and running with her rescue dog, MD, and attending local sporting events.

Nutrition Residents

Lily Johnson - DVM
Lily Johnson
Dr. Lily Johnson is a 2012 graduate of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. After veterinary school, she completed a rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery at VCA South Shore Animal Hospital in South Weymouth, MA. She is currently pursuing a residency in clinical nutrition. In addition to clinical work, Dr. Johnson is interested in nutritional research and education programs for pet owners and veterinary professionals. Her family cat, Leo, is enjoying the sun back home in California.
Lori Prantil - DVM, MPS
Lori Prantil
Dr. Lori Prantil is a 2013 graduate of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. After veterinary school, she completed a rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery at VCA Veterinary Referral Associates in Gaithersburg, MD and has returned to the Cummings School to pursue a residency in clinical nutrition. She enjoys both clinical application of veterinary nutrition as well as nutritional research. In her spare time, Dr. Prantil enjoys cooking and participating in storytelling events. Her pets include four quirky cats.