Audrey Ruple, the Dorothy A. and Richard G. Metcalf Professor of Veterinary Medical Informatics at Virginia Tech, has been named chair of the Veterinary Advisory Board for pet insurance provider Fetch.

Ruple, who came in 2021 to the Department of Population Health Sciences within the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, will lead a panel of seven veterinarians representing academia, public and private practice across the U.S.

The board will advise Fetch’s product development process and the company’s understanding of pet health trends and how to support the veterinary community.

"As a veterinary epidemiologist who has studied the science of health through the lens of human, animal, and environmental health for over a decade, I am proud to partner with a company that has such a bold vision for pet wellness," said Ruple said. "I look forward to working with my fellow board members and Fetch leadership to help pets and people live better, longer."

Ruple has previously helped Fetch develop its Fetch Forward technology, which utilizes data and artificial intelligence to predict health and disease outcomes for dogs.

Ruple, who received her bachelor's, master’s, DVM and Ph.D. from Colorado State University, was on the faculty at Purdue University  before coming to Blacksburg. Informatics, and the application and development of the discipline, have been integral parts of Ruple’s research portfolio, including advanced computing and data sciences, the fundamental research tools utilized in her lab.

Ruple has been a co-principal investigator and member of the executive operations team of the Dog Aging Project, which is collecting data on tens of thousands of dogs over a decade, the largest prospective project on dog health ever undertaken. She has worked on prognostic genetic, epigenetic, and metadata indicators in veterinary oncology and has several publications related to informatics and veterinary big data.

Ruple led a steering committee for a panel of 56 experts that developed standardized reporting guidelines for randomized controlled clinical trials involving dogs and cats. The PetSORT guidelines, and the rationale behind them, were published in the journal Frontiers earlier this year.

Written by Kevin Myatt, Writer/Editor for the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine.


Andrew Mann
Director of Communications and Marketing