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Department of Veterinary Medicine

Cambridge Veterinary School

Studying at Cambridge


Francesca Capaldo


2016 MPhil Veterinary Science, Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, UK

2014-present  British Small Animal Veterinary Association

(BSAVA) Post Graduate Programme in Veterinary Ophthalmology

2014-2015 Assistant ophthalmologist at Dick White Referrals  Veterinary Hospital

2006-2008 Clinical Research Fellowship in Veterinary Ophthalmology at

the M. J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (USA)

2003-2004 Rotating Internship in Small Animal Medicine & Surgery at the M.J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (USA)

Subject groups/Research projects

Comparative Pathobiology:

Research Interests

My Mphil projects is to define keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) (dry eye) in the English Cocker Spaniel (ECS) dog affected xby immune-mediated chronic pancreatitis (CP) by evaluating clinical signs, cytological and specific immune-mediated changes.

CP in the ECS shows similarities to human type 1 autoimmune CP (AIP), where the immune system attacks kidney, liver, tear ducts and other organs as well as the pancreas. This form is associated with elevation in serum IgG4 levels and increased IgG4-expressing plasma cells within the lesions and increase serum antibodies against carbonic anhydrase Type II. The causes of human AIP remain poorly understood. The antigen or antigens driving the diseases are unknown.

As in affected people, ECS with CP demonstrate duct-centred infiltrates of T-lymphocytes and a predominance of IgG4+ plasma cells has been demonstrated in pancreatic and renal histology. Affected dogs may also have other immune-mediated diseases such as KCS. 

This study will:

  • show the correlation between KCS and CP in ECS and investigate if the disease in this breed is an autoimmune and multisystemic condition as in people
  • enhance our understanding of immune system influences on lacrimal glands and can offer insights into the human diseases
  • assess the clinical significance and utility of anti-carbonic anhydrase antibodies serum and tears levels in the diagnosis of immune-mediated chronic pancreatitis and immune-mediated KCS
  • investigate if it may be possible to develop tear film analysis to provide a simple non-invasive test for the diagnosis of immune-mediated diseases in dogs and for the monitoring of disease progress or treatment efficacy.



  • Pancreatic Disease
  • Eye disease
  • Tear film analysis
  • anti-carbonic anhydrase antibodies