Adam Gow

Dr, DR

Accepting PhD Students

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Personal profile

Current Research Interests

In vitro production of functional canine hepatocytes from stem cell sources.

Canine liver disease and pathogenesis of hepatic encephalopathy. 

Research Interests

In vitro production of functional canine hepatocytes from stem cell sources
Hepatocytes have a crucial role in drug metabolism. The ability to assess drug metabolism in vitro would allow candidate drugs to be screened quickly, cheaply, as well as reducing in vivo testing. Primary hepatocytes do not expand and rapidly lose function in vitro. The ability to differentiate stem cell sources into hepatocytes would have the potential to provide an unlimited supply.  

Main themes of research include:
Optimising canine primary hepatocyte culture conditions to retain function.
Differentiation of canine bone marrow, adipose-derived mesenchymal and induced pluripotent stem cells into hepatocytes.  

Clinical Research - Hepatic encephalopathy and canine liver disease
Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) is common in the dog, seen as a result of congenital portosystemic shunting and also in acquired liver disease. Although hyperammonaemia is a key driver of this condition, there is increasing recognition that inflammation and disturbed manganese metabolism are important. I am interested in assessing all potential triggers of HE and therefore developing additional therapies to improve the morbidity and mortality of this common condition.

Hepatic encephalopathy is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in humans and naturally occurring disease in the dog serves as a useful model for understanding and developing treatments for human medicine.

Administrative Roles

Small Animal Internal Medicine


Adam graduated from the R(D)SVS, and initially worked in two large small animal hospital practices in Gloucestershire. On returning back to Scotland, three years were then spent in an out-of-hours emergency clinic before joining the R(D)SVS, first as Visiting Clinical Fellow, then Resident in Canine Medicine. Adam became a European Specialist Veterinary Internal Medicine and Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Diplomat of Small Animal Medicine in 2010. A year was then spent back in first opinion practice in Edinburgh before he then completed a PhD on production of canine liver cells from stem cell sources at the Roslin Institute and R(D)SVS. It is hoped that this research will help development of new drugs for the dog as well as reduce the need for animal testing. Adam is currently senior lecturer in small animal medicine at the R(D)SVS. Adam’s clinical and research interests include gastroenterology, liver disease and hepatic encephalopathy. Adam received his PhD in 2014.

Education/Academic qualification

Developmental Biology, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Edinburgh


Award Date: 12 Nov 2014

Veterinary Internal Medicine, Postgraduate Diploma, European College of Veterinary Internal Medicine

Award Date: 2 Sep 2010

Small Animal Medicine, Postgraduate Diploma, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

Award Date: 23 Jul 2010

External positions

Visiting Lecturer Veterinary Nursing BSc (Hons) , Edinburgh Napier University

2002 → …


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  • BSAVA Woodrow Award

    Gow, Adam (Recipient), 5 Apr 2020

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)