Nancy Gee with Elsa

Dr. Nancy Gee

Nancy R. Gee, PhD, is Professor of Psychiatry, Bill Balaban Chair in Human Animal Interaction, and the Director of the Center for Human Animal Interaction at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond, VA. The Center is the only one of its kind to be housed in a School of Medicine, and in addition to research and educational activities it also houses the “Dogs On Call” therapy dog program. With over 90 DOC volunteer dog-and-handler teams, this program engages in upwards of 100,000 meaningful interactions with patients, staff, and students in the VCU Health system during a typical year.

Dr. Gee has extensive teaching and research experience and has specialized in the area of Human Animal Interaction (HAI) for the past 15 years. She served for five years as the HAI Research Manager for the Waltham Petcare Science Institute, located in Leicestershire, UK. In this role, she was responsible for guiding the selection, funding, and conduct of HAI research projects carried out around the globe, with particular focus on companion animals as they figure in the lives of children and older adults.

Because of Dr. Gee’s broad background in HAI across the lifespan, and especially her expertise in the area of pets in educational environments, she is regularly invited to share her knowledge in academic venues across the U.S., Europe, Latin America, and Asia. She has more than 50 peer-reviewed publications specific to the area of HAI and has edited and contributed to numerous books on the subject. Dr. Gee serves on the editorial review boards of several peer-review journals and has actively promoted the field of HAI through participation on the boards of HAI organizations and has initiated HAI interest groups in others.

Dr. Gee has shared her life with five therapy dogs (four miniature poodles and one border collie) over the years. Her newest poodle, Allie, has not yet decided whether to enter the “family business.” The choice will be hers.


To arrange an interview with Dr. Nancy Gee, please email or call (425) 679-5514.