NutraWomen Wednesday: Margitta Dziwenka, Director, Preclinical and Companion Animal Services at Nutrasource

By Danielle Masterson

- Last updated on GMT

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Reading the nutrition labels on pet food is now the norm for many pet parents—something Dziwenka said is a very rewarding part of her job.

Margitta Dziwenka is a registered veterinarian and board certified toxicologist. She has many years of experience with companion animals as a practicing veterinarian in addition to experience in laboratory animal medicine. She has extensive experience in designing and conducting preclinical research studies for animals as well as humans, including safety, pharmacokinetic and efficacy studies. Today Dziwenka serves as the director of preclinical and companion animal services at Nutrasource.

Dziwenka said that ever since she can remember, she’s always wanted to work with animals, but never imagined she’d be doing what she does today. But one fateful call changed her career trajectory.

“After graduating, I worked in our local veterinary clinic here. We have a research facility here and one day I got a phone call to go check out one of the research animals because their veterinarian was away. And that really opened the door and opened my eyes to opportunities,” said Dziwenka.

“I was lucky enough that what I consider to be my first mentor was working there, and he's a veterinarian as well as a board-certified toxicologist and he sort of introduced me and opened my eyes into the research field and what's available for veterinarians in that field.”

She said her mentor, Dr. Robert Coppock, was very encouraging and excited that another veterinarian was also interested in toxicology and research. “He wasn't always gentle, but he pushed me to learn and encouraged me to keep developing and keep pushing that envelope and see how much I could develop my career.”

Dziwenka added that while she hasn’t had the opportunity to mentor many toxicologists, she has mentored several veterinarians.

“It's important, I think that [mentoring] can really shape a young person's career. If they can have access to somebody that can really help them along and encourage them and push them to keep going.”

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