Kenneth W. Simpson, BVM&S, PhD

picture of Kenneth W. Simpson

Department of Clinical Sciences

Diplomate - American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Diplomate - European College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Professor, Section of Small Animal Medicine
Professor of Veterinary Medicine in Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College

Simpson Laboratory

Fluorescent In-Situ Hybridization (FISH) Diagnostic Testing

Department of Clinical Sciences
Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
930 Campus Road, Box 33
Ithaca, NY 14853


Research/Clinical Interest

I am a clinician-scientist, with clinical specialization in Small Animal Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology, and research training in gastrointestinal and pancreatic physiology (PhD), host-pathogen response and molecular microbiology (K08-mentored clinical scientist). I teach veterinary students and train Interns and Residents in the Cornell University Hospital for Animals, and supervise undergraduate and post-graduate researchers in my laboratory.

My interest in gastrointestinal physiology and pathophysiology across species is long-standing, and has evolved from studying pancreatic function and dysfunction and cobalamin absorption in dogs and cats, to a sustained emphasis on interactions between the enteric microenvironment (microbial, dietary, and chemical) and the GI tract in health and disease (inflammation and IBD), and the application of culture-independent methods to detect bacteria in clinical samples.

Advances in science have created molecular microbiology and “-omics” methodologies that enable un-solved problems to be tackled with new approaches. This facilitated the discovery of the causal association of E. coli and granulomatous colitis in Boxer dogs and French Bulldogs with genetic susceptibility encoded by the CD48/SLAM family of genes on CFA38, linked to IBD in people. By combining comparative genomics, the ability of E. coli to utilize chemicals associated with intestinal inflammation (identified by metabolomics), and in vivo colonization of IBD susceptible murine models we are beginning to identify mucosal metabolites and metabolic pathways and virulence traits in E.coli that underpin their ability to grow in the inflamed intestine and to induce inflammation and cancer in a genetically susceptible host. Recent work has established interplay between bacterial microcompartments in AIEC that metabolize  propanediol (pdu) and ethanolamine (eut), mucosal substrates, Th17 immune responses and intestinal inflammation. These exciting results, connecting virulence and metabolic capacity of enteric bacteria, immunity and tumorigenesis, have uncovered unique opportunities to combat dysbiosis and intestinal inflammation across species e.g. the identification of small molecules with selective antimicrobial activity against E.coli and enteropathogens (Patent, PCT/US2020/054557) and E. coli LpfA antigen for prevention and treatment of infectious diseases (Patent, US9119802B2).


  • 1991     Ohio State University, Residency in Small Animal Medicine
  • 1989     University of Pennsylvania, Rotating Internship in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
  • 1988     University of Leicester, England, PhD
  • 1984     University of Edinburgh, Scotland, BVM&S, MRCVS


Kenny graduated from the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Edinburgh University, in 1984, and gained a PhD in pancreatic and intestinal function at the University of Leicester in 1988. An internship at the University of Pennsylvania and residency in small animal medicine at THE Ohio State University were followed by a lectureship at Royal Veterinary College. He joined the faculty at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY in 1995.

He is a Diplomate of the American and European Colleges of Veterinary Internal Medicine. He is a past-president of the comparative gastroenterology society recipient of the National Phi Zeta and Pfizer awards for research, AVMF/AKC Career Achievement Award in Canine Research and the Bourgelat Award for outstanding contributions to the field of small animal practice, BSAVA.

His research interests are focused on inflammatory diseases of the GI tract (including the pancreas and liver), host bacterial interactions in health and disease, and culture independent bacteriology.


PubMed    Please select the PubMed link for a listing of Dr. Simpson's publications.

Honors and Awards

  • 2013     AVMF/AKC Career Achievement Award in Canine Research
  • 2013     Bourgelat Award for outstanding contributions to the field of small animal practice, BSAVA
  • 2009     European Emesis Council Award for Research Manuscript
  • 2008-2011     Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America Senior Research Award
  • 2005     Coughlin Visiting Professor, University of Tennessee
  • 2005     Review Panel for the Department of Clinical Sciences, University of Pennsylvania
  • 2005     Chairman, Research Assessment Exercise of the University of Helsinki, Panel 19: Veterinary Medicine
  • 2001-2006     NIH / NIDDK. K08 Career Development Award
  • 2001-2002     President of the Comparative Gastroenterology Society
  • 1999     Pfizer Award for Research Excellence, Cornell University
  • 1994     Diplomate, European College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Companion Animals
  • 1993     Award for Teaching Excellence, Royal Veterinary College, University of London
  • 1992     Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
  • 1990     National Phi Zeta Award for a research manuscript
  • 1984-1987 Wellcome Trust Research Training Scholarship, The Medical School, University of Leicester, England

Professional/Academic Affiliations

  • American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine

  • Comparative Gastroenterology Society

  • European College of Veterinary Internal Medicine

  • Graduate Field of Veterinary Medicine and Microbiology