Our Team

Our Team


VCCT Director Michelle Giuffrida


Michelle Giuffrida, VMD, MSCE, DACVS - Director

Dr. Giuffrida was named Director of the VCCT in 2020, having served as a consultant and Associate Director for center since 2016. She is a board-certified veterinary surgeon with a specialty in oncologic surgery and a master's degree from the Perelman School of Medicine in clinical epidemiology with a focus on clinical trial design. Before joining the UC Davis faculty she served as a clinical trials veterinarian at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. She is known for expertise in best methods for clinical research and research reporting in veterinary medicine and she has worked extensively with veterinary investigators and industry partners to design and execute successful clinical research studies.

VCCT Assistant Director Jennifer Willcox


Jennifer Willcox, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology) - Associate Director

Dr. Willcox joined the VCCT as Associate Director in 2020 and brings several years of experience in veterinary clinical trials to our center. She is board-certified veterinary medical oncology with specialized training in bone marrow transplantation and clinical trials. She has served as an investigator in many single- and multi-center veterinary trials and has extensive expertise in best practices for conduct of oncology trials.

VCCT Outreach and Research Manager Tracey Soeth


Tracey Soeth - Outreach and Research Manager

Ms. Soeth is the VCCT Outreach and Research Manager. She plays a central role in fielding clinical trial inquiries from multiple audiences.  Ms. Soeth serves as a liaison between central campus administration, sponsors, and veterinary investigators as they prepare their clinical trials by helping them develop trial study designs, budgets and contracts. She also manages the center’s outreach efforts, sharing VCCT information and materials on several communications platforms.  Prior to joining VCCT, Ms. Soeth worked at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management helping MBA students launch their capstone project teams.

VCCT Financial Analyst Christine Munsterman


Christine Munsterman - Financial Analyst

Ms. Munsterman is a senior financial analyst with over 20 years' experience supporting research programs at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. She works in the VCCT to manage funding programs and sponsor invoicing and provides policy guidance.

VCCT Trial Coordinator Brittany Smith


Brittany M. Smith - Clinical Trial Coordinator

Ms. Smith is one of the clinical trial coordinators at the Veterinary Center for Clinical Trials. While attending high school and college, she worked as a veterinary technician at a small animal clinic for a little over six years. She graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biological Sciences from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo in 2012. Following graduation, she moved to northern California and began work as a chemist for an environmental laboratory for three and half years. In 2016, she joined UC Davis’s Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory as a chemist for three years. In 2019, she joined the UC Davis Veterinary Center for Clinical Trials as a clinical trial coordinator.

VCCT Trial Coordinator Jully Pires


Jully Pires, RVT - Clinical Trial Coordinator

While attending junior college, she was a technician assistant at a private veterinary practice in Modesto. Ms Pires acquired her Registered Veterinary Technician license in 2011 and graduated from University of California, Davis with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology, with emphasis in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior.  After graduating, she worked as a technician in emergency care, dentistry, general practice and specialty surgery while employed at VCA Loomis Basin and then as a laboratory research assistant at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine under Dr. Chen Gilor. In 2019, Ms. Pires joined the UC Davis Veterinary Center for Clinical Trials team as a clinical trial coordinator.

VCCT Trial Coordinator Jacque Young


Jacque Young, RVT - Clinical Trial Coordinator

In 1994, Ms. Young started as a veterinary assistant in a general practice in Northern California. She then came to work at the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital as a patient care technician and then as a radiation technician in Radiation Oncology for 7 years. Ms. Young then moved to medical oncology for the next ten years until joining the Veterinary Center for Clinical Trials team as a clinical trial coordinator in 2019.

VCCT Trial Coordinator Emily Phenix


Emily Phenix - Clinical Trial Coordinator

Ms. Phenix earned her Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences from Texas A&M University in 2011, after which she began working as a veterinary research technician at the Texas A&M Institute for Preclinical Studies. In 2012, Ms. Phenix transferred to the Texas A&M Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital where she worked as a technician in their Small Animal Intensive Care Unit until moving to California in 2018. Ms. Phenix worked in the UC Davis Small Animal Emergency and Critical Care service before joining the Veterinary Center for Clinical Trials team in 2019 as a clinical trial coordinator.