Sita Withers

Sita Withers

School of Animal and Veterinary Science

Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology


After graduating with a veterinary degree from the University of Melbourne in 2008, Sita practiced in a mixed animal clinic in Far North Queensland for a year. She then returned to Melbourne to pursue a small animal internship, and subsequently moved to California to undertake a medical oncology residency at the University of California Davis (UC Davis). She became a board-certified Veterinary Medical Oncologist (DACVIM(Onc)) in August, 2014. During her residency, she developed a keen interest in cancer research, which prompted her to stay on at UC Davis to pursue a PhD in Integrative Pathobiology. This experience enabled her to develop knowledge and skills in pathology, immunology, molecular biology, and flow cytometry.

She then joined Louisiana State University (LSU) as a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Medical Oncology in November, 2018. Her lab was primarily funded through National Institutes of Health grants and in the clinic, she oversaw the establishment and expansion of a residency training program to train up new Veterinary Medical Oncology specialists. She decided to return to Australia after five years at LSU and is currently a Senior Lecturer at the University of Adelaide.

When she's not at work she enjoys hoarding plants, jogging, swimming, practicing yoga, traveling and hanging out with her two dogs and two cats.

The Withers Lab studies naturally occurring cancers in pet dogs to develop a deeper understanding of canine and human cancer biology.

Specifically, we are focused on addressing three main goals:

  1. To explore the use of state-of-the-art tools to detail canine immune responses
  2. To characterize differences in the immune microenvironment between primary and metastatic sites of osteosarcoma
  3. To explore the utility of novel therapeutics for the treatment of osteosarcoma 

We utilize a range of cell-based, molecular and tissue assays, including techniques such as fresh tissue processing and preservation, protein assays, immunoassays, flow cytometry, RT-qPCR, and next-gen sequencing. 

  • Journals

    Year Citation
    2024 Richartz, E. R., Hodgkiss, B. A., Black-Ocken, N. C., Fuentes, R. A., Looper, J. S., & Withers, S. S. (2024). Characterization of the dissemination of canine cancer misinformation on YouTube. Veterinary and Comparative Oncology.
    DOI
    2024 Walter, K. M., Culp, W. T. N., Giuffrida, M. A., Amsellem, P., Wallace, M. L., Grimes, J. A., . . . Kent, M. S. (2024). Treatment of retroperitoneal sarcoma results in improved outcomes. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 1-9.
    DOI
    2023 Moses, A. A., Robinson, C. J., Rincon, A. A., Wurlod, V. A., & Withers, S. S. (2023). Autologous blood patch pleurodesis for management of persistent pneumothorax in a dog with metastatic osteosarcoma. Veterinary Record Case Reports, 11(2).
    DOI
    2023 Withers, S. S., Moeller, C. E., Quick, C. N., Liu, C. C., Baham, S. M., Looper, J. S., . . . Kousoulas, K. G. (2023). Effect of stimulator of interferon genes (STING) signaling on radiation-induced chemokine expression in human osteosarcoma cells. PLoS ONE, 18(4 April), 15 pages.
    DOI Scopus1 WoS1 Europe PMC1
    2022 Bauman, A. B., Moeller, C. E., Soileau, A. M., Goodermuth, C. E., Costa, V. R., Schaumburg, J. C., . . . Withers, S. S. (2022). Canine memory T-cell subsets in health and disease. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology, 246, 7 pages.
    DOI Scopus2 WoS1 Europe PMC1
    2022 Groves, P. K., Liu, C. C., Geels, O. R., & Withers, S. S. (2022). The use of ‘trend’ statements in veterinary oncology literature. Veterinary and Comparative Oncology, 20(3), 732-736.
    DOI
    2022 Aarnes, T., Abeysekara, S., Acierno, M., Adams, C., Adin, D., Alcaraz, A., . . . Duncan, C. (2022). Thank you: 2022 JAVMA Reviewers. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 261(1), 65-66.
    DOI
    2022 Soileau, A. M., Quick, C. N., Moeller, C. E., Schaumburg, J. C., & Withers, S. S. (2022). The Effect of Arginase on Canine T-Lymphocyte Functions and its Modulation by All-Trans Retinoid Acid (ATRA) in Canine Monocyte-Derived Macrophages. Veterinary Sciences, 9(7), 374.
    DOI Scopus1
    2022 Rebhun, R. B., York, D., Cruz, S. M., Judge, S. J., Razmara, A. M., Farley, L. E., . . . Canter, R. J. (2022). Inhaled recombinant human IL-15 in dogs with naturally occurring pulmonary metastases from osteosarcoma or melanoma: a phase 1 study of clinical activity and correlates of response. Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer, 10(6), e004493.
    DOI Scopus11 Europe PMC9
    2022 Costa, V. R., Soileau, A. M., Liu, C. C., Moeller, C. E., Carossino, M., Langohr, I. M., & Withers, S. S. (2022). Exploring the association of intratumoral immune cell infiltrates with histopathologic grade in canine mast cell tumors. Research in Veterinary Science, 147, 83-91.
    DOI Scopus3 Europe PMC2
    2021 Hu, T. G., Dehghanpir, S. D., Sasaki, E., Costa, V. R., Pucheu-Haston, C. M., Del Piero, F., & Withers, S. S. (2021). Pathology in Practice. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 259(S2), 1-4.
    DOI
    2021 Sparger, E. E., Chang, H., Chin, N., Rebhun, R. B., Withers, S. S., Kieu, H., . . . Kent, M. S. (2021). T Cell Immune Profiles of Blood and Tumor in Dogs Diagnosed With Malignant Melanoma. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 8, 20 pages.
    DOI Scopus3 WoS3 Europe PMC3
    2021 Singh, S. S., Mattheolabakis, G., Gu, X., Withers, S., Dahal, A., & Jois, S. (2021). A grafted peptidomimetic for EGFR heterodimerization inhibition: Implications in NSCLC models. European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 216, 13 pages.
    DOI Scopus12 WoS10 Europe PMC8
    2021 Dehghanpir, S. D., Boudreaux, B., Withers, S. S., Izquierdo, A., Sasaki, E., Piero, F. D., . . . Mitchell, M. A. (2021). Chemotherapy-Responsive Acute Myeloid Leukemia in a Veiled Chameleon (Chamaeleo calyptratus). Journal of Herpetological Medicine and Surgery, 31(4).
    DOI
    2020 Choi, J. W., Withers, S. S., Chang, H., Spanier, J. A., De La Trinidad, V. L., Panesar, H., . . . McSorley, S. J. (2020). Development of canine PD-1/PD-L1 specific monoclonal antibodies and amplification of canine T cell function. PLoS ONE, 15(7), 23 pages.
    DOI Scopus26 WoS21 Europe PMC15
    2019 Withers, S. S., Sparger, E. E., Boudreaux, B., & Mason, N. J. (2019). Utilizing Microbes to Treat Naturally Occurring Cancer in Veterinary Species. Current Clinical Microbiology Reports, 6(4), 200-212.
    DOI Scopus1 WoS1
    2019 Withers, S. S., York, D., Choi, J. W., Woolard, K. D., Laufer-Amorim, R., Sparger, E. E., . . . Rebhun, R. B. (2019). Metastatic immune infiltrates correlate with those of the primary tumour in canine osteosarcoma. Veterinary and Comparative Oncology, 17(3), 242-252.
    DOI Scopus14 WoS15 Europe PMC10
    2019 Wang, Z., Aguilar, E. G., Luna, J. I., Dunai, C., Khuat, L. T., Le, C. T., . . . Monjazeb, A. M. (2019). Paradoxical effects of obesity on T cell function during tumor progression and PD-1 checkpoint blockade. Nature Medicine, 25(1), 141-151.
    DOI Scopus510 WoS465 Europe PMC385
    2019 Withers, S. S., Skorupski, K. A., York, D., Choi, J. W., Woolard, K. D., Laufer-Amorim, R., . . . Rebhun, R. B. (2019). Association of macrophage and lymphocyte infiltration with outcome in canine osteosarcoma. Veterinary and Comparative Oncology, 17(1), 49-60.
    DOI Scopus28 WoS29 Europe PMC24
    2018 Withers, S. S., York, D., Johnson, E., Al-Nadaf, S., Skorupski, K. A., Rodriguez, C. O., . . . Rebhun, R. B. (2018). In vitro and in vivo activity of liposome-encapsulated curcumin for naturally occurring canine cancers. Veterinary and Comparative Oncology, 16(4), 571-579.
    DOI Scopus18 WoS16 Europe PMC10
    2018 Withers, S. S., Moore, P. F., Chang, H., Choi, J. W., McSorley, S. J., Kent, M. S., . . . Rebhun, R. B. (2018). Multi-color flow cytometry for evaluating age-related changes in memory lymphocyte subsets in dogs. Developmental and Comparative Immunology, 87, 64-74.
    DOI Scopus24 WoS21 Europe PMC14
    2017 York, D., Withers, S. S., Watson, K. D., Seo, K. W., & Rebhun, R. B. (2017). Enrofloxacin enhances the effects of chemotherapy in canine osteosarcoma cells with mutant and wild-type p53. Veterinary and Comparative Oncology, 15(3), 1087-1100.
    DOI Scopus9 WoS7 Europe PMC7
    2017 Rebhun, R. B., Kass, P. H., Kent, M. S., Watson, K. D., Withers, S. S., Culp, W. T. N., & King, A. M. (2017). Evaluation of optimal water fluoridation on the incidence and skeletal distribution of naturally arising osteosarcoma in pet dogs. Veterinary and Comparative Oncology, 15(2), 441-449.
    DOI Scopus5 WoS5 Europe PMC3
    2016 Withers, S. S., Lawson, C. M., Burton, A. G., Rebhun, R. B., & Steffey, M. A. (2016). Management of an invasive and metastatic Sertoli cell tumor with associated myelotoxicosis in a dog. The Canadian veterinary journal = La revue veterinaire canadienne, 57(3), 299-304.
    Scopus8 WoS6 Europe PMC2
    2016 Park, J. S., Withers, S. S., Modiano, J. F., Kent, M. S., Chen, M., Luna, J. I., . . . Canter, R. J. (2016). Canine cancer immunotherapy studies: Linking mouse and human. Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer, 4(1), 11 pages.
    DOI Scopus83 WoS79 Europe PMC66
    2015 Withers, S. S., Johnson, E. G., Culp, W. T. N., Rodriguez, C. O., Skorupski, K. A., & Rebhun, R. B. (2015). Paraneoplastic hypertrophic osteopathy in 30 dogs. Veterinary and Comparative Oncology, 13(3), 157-165.
    DOI Scopus42 WoS29 Europe PMC13
    2015 Shahi, M. H., York, D., Gandour-Edwards, R., Withers, S. S., Holt, R., & Rebhun, R. B. (2015). BMI1 Is expressed in canine osteosarcoma and contributes to cell growth and chemotherapy resistance. PLoS ONE, 10(6), 17 pages.
    DOI Scopus15 WoS19 Europe PMC11
    2014 Withers, S. S., Kass, P. H., Rodriguez, C. O., Skorupski, K. A., O'Brien, D., Guerrero, T. A., . . . Rebhun, R. B. (2014). Fasting Reduces the Incidence of Delayed-Type Vomiting Associated with Doxorubicin Treatment in Dogs with Lymphoma. Translational Oncology, 7(3), 377-383.
    DOI Scopus22 WoS16 Europe PMC9
    2012 Simcock, J. O., Withers, S. S., Prpich, C. Y., Kuntz, C. A., & Rutland, B. E. (2012). Evaluation of a single subcutaneous infusion of carboplatin as adjuvant chemotherapy for dogs with osteosarcoma: 17 cases (2006-2010).. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 241(5), 608-614.
    DOI Scopus20 WoS16 Europe PMC10

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