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Lisa Freeman - DVM, PhD, DACVN

Dr. Lisa Freeman is one of three faculty 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 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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Linder, D.E., Siebens, H.C., Mueller, M.K., Gibbs, D.M., Freeman, L.M. 2017. Animal-assisted interventions: A national survey of health and safety policies in hospitals, eldercare facilities, and therapy animal organizations. American Journal of Infection Control.
  6. Linder, D.E., Mueller, M.K., Debra, G., Siebens, H.C., Freeman, L.M. 2017. The role of veterinary education in safety policies for animal-Assisted therapy and activities in hospitals and nursing homes. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education.
  7. Linder, D.E., Sacheck, J.M., Noubary, F., Nelson, M.E., Freeman, L.M. 2017. Dog attachment and perceived social support in overweight/obese and healthy weight children. Preventive Medicine Reports.
  8. Linder, D.E., Mueller, M.K., Gibbs, D.M., Alper, J.A., Freeman, L.M. 2017. Effects of an Animal-Assisted Intervention on Reading Skills and Attitudes in Second Grade Students. Early Childhood Education Journal.
  9. Prantil, L.R., Heinze, C.R., Freeman, L.M. 2017. 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.
  10. Pierce, K.V., Rush, J.E., Freeman, L.M., Cunningham, S.M., Yang, V.K. 2017. Association between Survival Time and Changes in NT-proBNP in Cats Treated for Congestive Heart Failure. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine.
  11. Freeman, L.M., Lachaud, M.-P., Matthews, S., Rhodes, L., Zollers, B. 2016. Evaluation of Weight Loss Over Time in Cats with Chronic Kidney Disease. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine.
  12. Freeman, L.M., Rodenberg, C., Narayanan, A., Olding, J., Gooding, M.A., Koochaki, P.E. 2016. Development and initial validation of the Cat HEalth and Wellbeing (CHEW) Questionnaire: a generic health-related quality of life instrument for cats. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery.
  13. Romano, F.R., Heinze, C.R., Barber, L.G., Mason, J.B., Freeman, L.M. 2016. Association between Body Condition Score and Cancer Prognosis in Dogs with Lymphoma and Osteosarcoma. Journal of veterinary internal medicine.
  14. Lenihan, D., McCobb, E., Diurba, A., Linder, D., Freeman, L. 2016. Measuring the Effects of Reading Assistance Dogs on Reading Ability and Attitudes in Elementary Schoolchildren. Journal of Research in Childhood Education.
  15. Prantil, L.R., Markovich, J.E., Heinze, C.R., Linder, D.E., Tams, T.R., Freeman, L.M. 2016. Nutritional analysis and microbiological evaluation of commercially available enteral diets for cats. Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care.
  16. Sapowicz, S.A., Linder, D.E., Freeman, L.M. 2016. Body Condition Scores and Evaluation of Feeding Habits of Dogs and Cats at a Low Cost Veterinary Clinic and a General Practice. Scientific World Journal.
  17. Johnson, L.N., Linder, D.E., Heinze, C.R., Kehs, R.L., Freeman, L.M. 2016. Evaluation of owner experiences and adherence to home-cooked diet recipes for dogs. Journal of Small Animal Practice.
  18. Freeman, L.M. 2015. Nutritional Management of Heart Disease. August's Consultations in Feline Internal Medicine.
  19. Rush, J.E., Roderick, K.V., Freeman, L.M., Cunningham, S.M., Yang, V.K., Bulmer, B.J., Antoon, K.N. 2015. Assessment of the responsiveness of the Cats' Assessment Tool for Cardiac Health (CATCH) Questionnaire. Journal of Veterinary Cardiology.
  20. Freeman, L.M., Rush, J.E., Cunningham, S.M., Yang, V.K., Bulmer, B.J. 2015. Pilot study of a myostatin antagonist in dogs with cardiac cachexia. Journal of Veterinary Cardiology.

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 sanilac cardivascular diseases
Nutritional Basis of Diseases
  • Nutritional modulation of cardiac disease, critical care nutrition, feline cardiomyopathy as a model for human cardiomyopathies, clinical nutrition, cachexia and sarcopenia.