Dr. Sandra Barker
Director, Centerfor Human-Animal InterAction,
Virginia Commonwealth University
Dr. Sandra Barker is Professor of Psychiatry at the Medical
College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU).
She currently serves as Associate Director for five inpatient
psychiatry programs and Director of the VCU Center for Human-Animal
Interaction, a Center she established in the School of Medicine.
She has incorporated evidence of the health benefits of interacting
with companion animals into her teaching of psychiatry residents
and doctoral psychology interns and incorporates animal-assisted
therapy (AAT) into her clinical work. Dr. Barker is also an
Adjunct Professor of Small Animal Clinical Sciences at Virginia-Maryland
Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech.
Dr. Barker has been actively involved in research on human-companion
animal interaction, and has published numerous articles and
given talks around the world on the subject. She has received
numerous awards including the 2002 Friends of Veterinary Medicine
Award from the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association, the
2001 Community Achievement Award from the American Kennel
Club, and the 2001 Distinguished Alumni Award from Florida