Dr Kelly Blacklock (BVM&S DipECVS SFHEA PGCert PhD MRCVS)

Senior Lecturer in Small Animal Surgery. Research Fellow, Liz Patton Group


Kelly graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2005 and after 18 months in small animal general practice, completed a rotating internship at the Royal Veterinary College and a three-year ECVS approved residency programme in the Small Animal Surgery at the University of Bristol. Kelly joined the Animal Health Trust in 2011 and was awarded a PhD from the University of Liverpool for studies into the genetics of metastasis in canine cancer. In 2019, Kelly returned to the R(D)SVS as a senior lecturer in Small Animal Surgery, where she is involved in the clinical service, teaching, and research into the genetic basic and functional aspects of canine cancers. She is a Research Fellow at the Patton Lab in the Institute of Genetics and Cancer, where she studies metastasis of canine oral melanoma. 

Kelly is a Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and EBVS® European Specialist in Small Animal Surgery. She works within the soft tissue surgical service, providing cutting-edge specialist surgical care for small animals, and has a particular interest in surgical oncology.  She provides tuition of small animal surgical theory and practice to veterinary undergraduate and postgraduate students, and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and a mentor of other staff on the Edinburgh Teaching Award. 


2020  Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Liverpool

2019  Edinburgh Teaching Award, Level 3 (SFHEA)

2013 Diploma of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons (Small Animal) (DipECVS)

2005 Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, University of Edinburgh


Responsibilities & affiliations

Chair of the Clinical and Education Career Development Committee. 2020-present.

Member of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee. 2020-present.

Associate Editor Veterinary Record. 2020-present.

Member of the Improving Culture Facilitation group. 2021-present.


Undergraduate teaching


  • Integrated Clinical course: Cat and Dog Course (BVM&S / 3rd Year) /Soft Tissue Surgery (8 lectures PA, 2019 – present)
  • Clinical Foundation Course (BVM&S / 3rd Year) (1 lecture per annum, 2019 – present)
  • Clinical Foundation Course (BVM&S / 3rd Year) (2 practical sessions (4 hours), 2019 – present)
  • Small Animal Soft Tissue Surgery (Final year rotation, selective, 18-26 weeks per annum, 2019 - present)

Postgraduate teaching


  • Surgery of the thoracic and abdominal cavity (CertSAS) (3 lectures and 3 practical sessions per annum, 2015 – present)
  • External examiner for PG Certificate in Small Animal Surgery (caselog assessment, BSAVA)
  • Member of the examining team for PG Certificate in Small animal Surgery (BSAVA)
  • External examiner for PG Certificate in Small Animal Surgery (University of Liverpool)

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

Surgical Residents:

Primary supervised

  • Fui Yap (Dip ECVS)
  • Ian Faux (2019 – present)
  • Jamie-Leigh Thompson (2019-present)

Secondary supervised

  • Sofia Garcia-Pertierra Garcia (2019 – present)

Research summary

  • Veterinary clinical soft tissue surgery
  • Veterinary surgical education
  • Veterinary infection control 
  • The application of naturally occuring canine oral melanoma as a model for human mucosal melanoma

Current research interests

Research Groups: Patton lab, led by Prof Elizabeth Patton at the MRC Human Genetics Unit, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh 

Past research interests

Collaborative research and other projects: Collaborative research projects with Dave Adam's group at the Sanger Institute in Cambridge to identify translational canine models of human cancers

Affiliated research centres

Project activity

The application of naturally occuring canine oral melanoma as a model for human mucosal melanoma

Current project grants

2020-2023 Kennel Club Charitable Trust Grant: Defining the genetic and transcriptomic landscape of canine oral melanoma
2021-2024 Dog Trust's Canine Welfare Grant: Investigation of microRNA (miRNA) as biomarkers of chronic hypoxia in brachycephalic dogs

Past project grants

2019-2020 Student Experience Grant: Development of Veterinary Clinical Case Scenarios website (www.CasePALs.vet.ed.ac.uk)
2020-2021 Wellcome Institutional Partnership Award (Wellcome iTPA): Is canine oral melanoma a faithful clinical model of human mucosal melanoma?

View all 34 publications on Research Explorer