Neurology Faculty Veterinarians
Joan R. Coates, DVM, MS, DACVM–Neurology
Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery
Board-certified Specialist in Neurology
Joan Coates specializes in neurology and neurosurgery and is the Service Leader for the Neurology and Neurosurgery Service.
As a researcher, Coates is a member of the Comparative Neurology Program, which explores inherited developmental and degenerative diseases of the nervous system, and is involved with translational research for treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Her research focus involves the study of canine degenerative myelopathy as a disease model for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease).
In addition, Coates is co-director of the VHC’s Physical Rehabilitation Service, and a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.
Coates received a bachelor’s degree and a doctor of veterinary medicine from the University of Missouri. She completed a small animal rotating internship at Texas A&M and a three-year residency in neurology and neurosurgery at Auburn University. She also received a master’s degree from Auburn.
When she’s not working, Coates enjoys spending time with her family and their four dogs, one cat, three miniature Sicilian donkeys and two quarter horses. Her hobbies include long-distance cycling, hiking and trekking and playing flute.
Dennis O’Brien, DVM, MS, PhD, DACVIM
Professor of Neurology
Chancellor’s Chair of Excellence in Comparative Neurology
Board-Certified Specialist in Neurology
Dennis O’Brien specializes in medical neurology with a special interest in hereditary diseases, movement disorders and epilepsy.
O’Brien received his doctor of veterinary medicine from the University of Illinois. After three years in general practice, he returned to the University of Illinois to complete a residency in neurology and a PhD in neuroscience.
A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, O’Brien received the organization’s Kirk Award for Professional Excellence in 2011.
When he’s not working, O’Brien enjoys hiking, cycling, prairie restoration, and photography. His family shares their home with two cats, three draft horses, and two dogs with cerebellar ataxia and one with diabetes.
Daniela Mauler, DVM, DECVN
Assistant Teaching Professor, Neurology/Neurosurgery
Board-Certified Specialist in Neurology
Daniela Mauler specializes in neurology and neurosurgery with a special interest in the study of spinal cord disorders. Her research involves spinal arachnoid diverticula, a rare compressive spinal cord disorder in dogs. She is completing her PhD.
A native of Cologne, Germany, Mauler received a doctor of veterinary medicine from Justus-Liebig-University in Giessen, Germany. After working in private practice as a visiting veterinarian in New York and Berlin, Mauler completed a small animal rotating internship at the University of Vienna, Austria, and a residency at Ghent University in Belgium. She passed the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates (ECFVG) program to become eligible for licensure in the United States, and then completed a neurology residency at Ghent University in Belgium.
Mauler is a Diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Neurology.
When she’s not working, she enjoys photography, traveling, walking her dogs, biking on the Katy Trail and water sports. She shares her home with three cats, two golden retrievers and one Labrador mix.
Randall Cochran, DVM
Randall Cochran is a veterinary neurology and neurosurgery resident who works with patients with neurological diseases, under the supervision of board-certified neurologists. He also works on a research project.
Cochran received a bachelor’s degree, doctor of veterinary medicine, and completed a small animal rotating internship at Iowa State University. He completed a specialty internship in small animal neurology and neurosurgery from the Ontario Veterinary College.
When he’s not working, Cochran enjoys playing guitar, photography, and spending time with his cat, Larry.
John Gagnepain, DVM
John Gagnepain is a veterinary neurology and neurosurgery resident who works with patients with neurological diseases under the supervision of board-certified neurologists and participates in research.
Gagnepain received a bachelor’s degree from Clemson University in South Carolina. He received his DVM from the University of Georgia and remained in Athens, Georgia, in a general practice for one year. He then completed specialty internships in emergency and critical care at the University of Florida and in neurology at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital of San Diego.
When he is not working, he enjoys rock climbing, cooking and hiking.
Amanda Jurkoshek, DVM
Amanda Jurkoshek is a veterinary neurology and neurosurgery resident who works with patients with neurological diseases under the supervision of board-certified neurologists and participates in research.
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Jurkoshek received a bachelor’s degree from Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio, and a DVM from the Ohio State University in Columbus. She completed a small animal rotating internship at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia.
When she’s not working, she enjoys playing soccer, shooting pool, line dancing, spending time with her family and her American bulldog mix, Mabel Jean.
Christine Toedebusch, DVM, MS
Christine Toedebusch is a veterinary neurology resident, working on a combined neurology/neurosurgery program and PhD in the MU interdisciplinary neuroscience program. Her research focus is canine degenerative myelopathy.
Toedebusch was one of six fellows selected for the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation Clinician-Scientist Fellowship program in 2015. Her research is supported by the American German Shepherd Dog Charitable Foundation Inc.
A graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater, Toedebusch received her doctor of veterinary medicine from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She served an internship at Veterinary Specialty Hospital in San Diego, California.
Stephanie Gilliam, RVT, VTS-Neurology, BS, CCRP
Stephanie Gilliam is a senior veterinary technician in neurology/neurosurgery and small animal physical rehabilitation. She also serves as an adjunct clinical instructor in the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery.
She received an associate’s degree in veterinary technology from Jefferson College in Hillsboro, Missouri, and canine rehabilitation therapy certification from the University of Tennessee. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology from St. Petersburg College in Florida, Gilliam became a veterinary technician specialist in neurology.
She is pursuing a master of biomedical science degree with an emphasis in veterinary medicine and surgery through the MU CVM’s online master’s program, and is an organizing committee member of the proposed Academy of Physical Rehabilitation Veterinary Technicians.
Gilliam has presented at national meetings for veterinary practitioners and technicians, and received first-place honors in case presentations at the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine forum in 2009. She was named a Service Champion by the MU Staff Advisory Council in 2014.
When she is not working, she enjoys traveling, hiking, and being outdoors with her family on their farm.