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Rebecca Kohnken, DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVP
Adjunct Assistant Professor


Education and Specialty Training

  • PhD, Ohio State University, Veterinary Biosciences (Cancer Biology), 2017
  • Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Pathologists- Anatomic Pathology 2017
  • DVM, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2013
  • BS, University of Rochester, Biochemistry, 2009


Dr. Rebecca Kohnken, D.V.M., Ph.D., D.A.C.V.P, is a Principal Pathologist at AbbVie with expertise in cardiovascular and renal pathology.  As both a cancer biologist and veterinary pathologist, Dr. Kohnken works with and supports project teams for a diverse set of preclinical drug development studies. The success of many classes of pharmaceutical depends on improved preclinical modeling of cardiovascular toxicity- a common limitation to the safety of cancer therapies. Additionally, with the advent of immunotherapy and antibody-based therapy, unique toxicities may manifest in kidney as well as vascular beds throughout the body. Dr. Kohnken employs an integrated and cross-functional approach to evaluating and addressing risk in drug development. As adjunct professor in the Department of Veterinary Biosciences, Dr. Kohnken supports the training of anatomic pathology residents in cardiovascular disease through didactic coursework, laboratories, and seminars. She assists in board certification training for cardiology residents in collaboration with the clinical cardiology faculty. Dr. Kohnken also lends her cardiovascular pathology expertise to pathology residents and faculty through consultations on congenital cardiac malformations and vascular disease.

Research and Professional Interests

  • Cardiovascular toxicologic pathology
  • Renal toxicologic pathology
  • Cancer biology and epigenetics
  • Translational medicine