Meet the Team
Joel Ehrenzweig, DVM, MRCVS
Founder & CEO
Dr. Ehrenzweig holds a B.S. in Biology from the City College of New York and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine with Honors Standing from the Ontario Veterinary College. With over 25 years of multi-site clinical practice, he owned and operated five animal hospitals in New York City and three in Boston, as well as held technical service, turn-around, marketing, and consulting positions for companies in both the human and animal health industries.
Under Dr. Ehrenzweig's leadership, VHRC has adopted an innovative approach to pre-clinical testing and clinical trials for both human and animal health products. This approach has been crucial in earning the company recognition as a finalist in the Most Innovative Biotech Startup category of the 2023 Citeline Awards, highlighting its position as a pioneer in biotechnology and the One Health community.
VHRC has developed a unique global veterinary network under Dr. Ehrenzweig's guidance, allowing the company to identify and enroll client-owned patients with spontaneous naturally occurring conditions, such as cancer, inflammatory diseases, and age-related conditions, to advance new therapies and devices. This innovative approach provides One Health and comparative medicine researchers access to disease-relevant patients, accelerating the development of new products, medications, therapies, and devices for both humans and animals.
The VHRC team has established valuable relationships with general practices, specialists, and the life science industry, resulting in a vast network that reduces complexity, enhances efficiency, and accelerates the development of products for entrepreneurs and innovators worldwide, as well as large and small pharma and biotechs.
Dr. Ehrenzweig's vision and leadership have brought a culture of innovation to VHRC, setting the standard for excellence in the life sciences industry. The Citeline Awards recognition further validates VHRC's position as a pioneer in this space and highlights its ongoing commitment to innovation and progress.
Rob Hunter, MS, PhD
Co-Founder, Chief Science & Regulatory Officer
As a co-founder of VHRC, Dr. Rob Hunter's arrival is a significant win for the One Health community. With over twenty-eight years of practical and regulatory experience in veterinary and human drug development, as well as FDA/USDA compliance, Dr. Hunter is a true industry leader. His expertise on a wide range of subjects, including pharmacokinetics, antimicrobial PK/PD, interspecies allometry, drug metabolism, and tissue residues for human food safety with bioanalytical support, has garnered international recognition.
Dr. Hunter's distinguished record of service includes chairing Animal Health Institute committees and representing the U.S. veterinary pharmaceutical industry on the VICH BE expert committee. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of Kansas and instructor at Kansas State University, President of the American Academy of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, and an Editorial Board member for several journals.
Dr. Hunter's contributions to the US and/or global approvals of numerous products, such as Revolution®, Dectomax®, Aviax®, Doxidyl™, A180®, tylosin, Micotil®, Ovugel®, Kexxtone®, ractopamine, Experior®, Posilac®, and Pulmotil®, are a testament to his vast knowledge and experience. He has also represented companies at conferences and regulatory meetings worldwide, with organizations such as CVM/FDA, EMA/CVMP, APVMA, VDD (Canada), NVQRS/QIA (South Korea), Thailand FDA, NVAL (Japan), Ministry of Agriculture (Vietnam), and IVDC (China).
As a co-founder of VHRC, Dr. Hunter brings invaluable practical and regulatory expertise to the organization. He is a leader in veterinary drug approval and regulation, with a focus on areas such as antimicrobial agents (including antibiotics and biosimilars), susceptibility testing and pharmacodynamics, veterinary pharmacology and pharmacokinetics, veterinary bioequivalence, One Health and Translational Veterinary Medicine as a Service (TVMaaS), pre-clinical and GLP studies in companion, food production, and minor species (MUMS), regulatory guidance for animals, human food safety, dossiers, veterinary product development, market assessment, veterinary devices, drug metabolism, animal safety, residue withdrawal times, marker and total residue studies, and regulatory and strategic consulting. Dr. Hunter's extensive knowledge and experience position VHRC for continued success in providing services to the human and animal health industries.
Chief Development Officer
David Merrick, the visionary founder of Merrick Wellness, is a trailblazer in the field of animal health. With a rich family history in this domain and over 30 years of experience in the industry, he has established himself as a successful and proven animal health executive. His expertise spans across diverse areas, including veterinary practice management, academics, sales and marketing, distribution, and manufacturing.
David's deep knowledge and experience also extend to medical cannabis, where he holds certifications for both humans and pets. As the co-founder of Quincy Animal Health (makers of Neutricks®), he served as the President of Neutricks, LLC. He has also held senior executive positions in an animal health generic pharmaceutical company, a Swiss-based RFID manufacturer, and two startup animal health nutraceutical companies.
David has a unique ability to identify innovative products, enhancements, and services that can add value to portfolios. He brings together stakeholders at all levels, galvanizing interest and support for common missions and goals. He has consulted with the founding partners and board of directors at two wound care companies and a new animal health generic pharmaceutical company.
A founding board member of the International Veterinary Senior Care Society (IVSCS), David is a respected speaker on senior care and cognitive issues with senior pets, presenting at various TV, radio, and conference events. He holds a BA in Natural Science with minors in Chemistry and Biology, graduating with honors. In addition, he is a veteran who served as a United States Navy Diver and a lifetime member of the Disabled American Veterans Organization (DAV).
David Merrick's unwavering passion and commitment to animal health, combined with his extensive experience and expertise, make him the perfect fit for his new role as VHRC's Chief Development Officer. In this position, he will head up the development of new products, drive the expansion of the company's portfolio, and build strategic partnerships to further the organization's mission of improving animal health. His impressive track record of success, combined with his deep understanding of the industry, positions him to lead VHRC's growth and development with great confidence and acumen.