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Lisa Freeman - DVM, PhD, DACVN

Dr. Lisa Freeman is a faculty member in the Nutrition Service at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. As one of a small but growing number of board-certified veterinary nutritionists, she teaches veterinary students, practitioners, and pet owners about proper feeding for their animals, especially ones which are too sick to eat or who have chronic diseases such as heart disease, kidney disease or cancer. She conducts research on nutritional effects on heart disease, heads the Cummings School's Residents' Enhanced Veterinary Education and Academic Learning (REVEAL) Program and is Associate Director of the Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute's One Health Program.

A native of Florida, Dr. 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—earning her the rare distinction of holding a degree from each of Tufts University's three campuses. Her original intent was to become an equine veterinarian, but, through her studies, she became increasingly interested in nutrition and its role in preventing and treating disease.

Dr. Freeman teaches in all four years of the veterinary curriculum at the Cummings School. Only about one-third of veterinary schools have a board-certified nutritionist on their faculty, and this helps Cummings graduates to be well prepared to provide their patients with optimal nutritional care.  Dr. Freeman also is passionate about helping veterinarians and pet owners learn to objectively provide the best nutrition possible to dogs and cats.


  • PhD - Friedman School of Nutrition Science, Tufts University - 1996
  • DVM with thesis - Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University - 1991
  • BS - Tufts University - 1986

Board Certification

  • American College of Veterinary Nutrition
  1. Ware, W.A., Freeman, L.M., Rush, J.E., Ward, J.L., Makowski, A.J., Zhang, M. 2020. Vitamin D status in cats with cardiomyopathy. Journal of veterinary internal medicine.
  2. Freeman, L.M., Rush, J.E., Clark, M.A., Bulmer, B.J. 2020. Validation and preliminary data from a health-related quality of life questionnaire for owners of dogs with cardiac disease. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine.
  3. Freeman, L.M., Michel, K.E., Zanghi, B.M., Vester Boler, B.M., Fages, J. 2020. Usefulness of muscle condition score and ultrasonographic measurements for assessment of muscle mass in cats with cachexia and sarcopenia. American Journal of Veterinary Research.
  4. Serpell, J.A., Kruger, K.A., Freeman, L.M., Griffin, J.A., Ng, Z.Y. 2020. Current Standards and Practices Within the Therapy Dog Industry: Results of a Representative Survey of United States Therapy Dog Organizations. Frontiers in Veterinary Science.
  5. Santiago, S.L., Freeman, L.M., Rush, J.E. 2020. Cardiac cachexia in cats with congestive heart failure: Prevalence and clinical, laboratory, and survival findings. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine.
  6. Ineson, D.L., Freeman, L.M., Rush, J.E. 2019. Clinical and laboratory findings and survival time associated with cardiac cachexia in dogs with congestive heart failure. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine.
  7. Schleicher, M., Cash, S.B., Freeman, L.M. 2019. Determinants of pet food purchasing decisions. Canadian Veterinary Journal.
  8. Freeman, L.M., Michel, K.E., Zanghi, B.M., Vester Boler, B.M., Fages, J. 2019. Evaluation of the use of muscle condition score and ultrasonographic measurements for assessment of muscle mass in dogs. American Journal of Veterinary Research.
  9. Sutherland-Smith, J., Hutchinson, D., Freeman, L.M. 2019. Comparison of computed tomographic attenuation values for epaxial muscles in old and young dogs. American Journal of Veterinary Research.
  10. Karlin, E.T., Rush, J.E., Freeman, L.M. 2019. A pilot study investigating circulating trimethylamine N-oxide and its precursors in dogs with degenerative mitral valve disease with or without congestive heart failure. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine.
  11. Freeman, L.M., Rush, J.E., Helburn, A.M. 2018. Validation of a Health-related Quality of Life (QoL) Questionnaire for Owners of Dogs with Heart Disease. Anthrozoos.
  12. Freeman, L.M., Sutherland-Smith, J., Cummings, C., Rush, J.E. 2018. Evaluation of a quantitatively derived value for assessment of muscle mass in clinically normal cats. American Journal of Veterinary Research.
  13. Beaumier, A., Rush, J.E., Yang, V.K., Freeman, L.M. 2018. Clinical findings and survival time in dogs with advanced heart failure. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine.
  14. Linder, D.E., Mueller, M.K., Gibbs, D.M., Alper, J.A., Freeman, L.M. 2018. Effects of an Animal-Assisted Intervention on Reading Skills and Attitudes in Second Grade Students. Early Childhood Education Journal.
  15. Prantil, L.R., Heinze, C.R., Freeman, L.M. 2018. Comparison of carbohydrate content between grain-containing and grain-free dry cat diets and between reported and calculated carbohydrate values. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery.
  16. Freeman, L.M., Stern, J.A., Fries, R., Adin, D.B., Rush, J.E. 2018. Diet-associated dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs: What do we know?. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
  17. Johnson, L.N., Freeman, L.M. 2017. Recognizing, describing, and managing reduced food intake in dogs and cats. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
  18. Aona, B.D., Rush, J.E., Rozanski, E.A., Cunningham, S.M., Sharp, C.R., Freeman, L.M. 2017. Evaluation of echocardiography and cardiac biomarker concentrations in dogs with gastric dilatation volvulus. Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care.
  19. Freeman, L.M., Sutherland-Smith, J., Prantil, L.R., Sato, A.F., Rush, J.E., Barton, B.A. 2017. Quantitative assessment of muscle in dogs using a vertebral epaxial muscle score. Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research.
  20. Kent, M., Boozer, L., Glass, E.N., Sanchez, S., Platt, S.R., Freeman, L.M. 2017. Post-operative Salmonella surgical site infection in a dog. Canadian Veterinary Journal.

General Research Interests

  • Nutrition and Heart Disease
  • Critical Care Nutrition
  • Cachexia and sarcopenia

Research Interests by Area

Other Areas of Research
  • Nutrition and heart disease, cachexia and sarcopenia, critical care nutrition

Research Interests by Organ System and Disease

Cardiovascular Diseases and Nutrition
  • Role of nutrition in etiology and treatment of cardiovascular diseases
Nutritional Basis of Diseases
  • Nutritional modulation of cardiac disease, critical care nutrition, clinical nutrition, cachexia and sarcopenia.