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Karisa Tang stands in front of Shedd's historic bronze doors.

Dr. Karisa Tang

Vice President of Animal Health

Dr. Karisa Tang oversees the veterinary medical program at the aquarium and participates in the development of long-term strategic plans.


DACZM, American College of Zoological Medicine

D.V.M, University of California, Davis 

M.S., Veterinary Clinical Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

B.S., Biology, University of California, Los Angeles

“Whether it’s a six-inch American bullfrog or a 700-pound sea lion, we ensure the highest standards of professional care and welfare for the animals that call Shedd home.”

Dr. Karisa Tang is a member of Shedd’s senior leadership team and lead a team of talented, best-in-class animal health professionals that oversee the care of 32,000 animals at the aquarium, from mammals to fishes, in the A. Watson Armour III Center for Animal Health and Welfare. She advances Shedd Aquarium’s pioneering work in aquatic animal welfare with an emphasis on advancements in preventative care and treatment for patients, as well as care for animals beyond the aquarium’s walls and conservation science. Also, Dr. Tang looks to connect guests and community with the aquatic world and deepen their understanding of the natural history and biology of the animals in Shedd’s care.

Further, Dr. Tang plays a critical role in the implementation of Centennial Commitment, as the whole animal care division does, by ensuring the safety and care to the animals throughout the transforming and modernizing the historic aquarium galleries. Additionally, she will advance the vision and development of a brand-new, onsite animal hospital and laboratory space that will enable innovative science, research and conservation within the aquarium and beyond its four walls.

In addition to her roles and responsibilities at Shedd, Dr. Tang serves as an Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, College of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Tang completed her residency at the aquarium as part of the Illinois Zoological and Aquatic Animal Residency (IZAAR) Program, in which the aquarium is one of three partners that provides advanced training to veterinarians who aspire to careers as specialists in zoo and aquarium clinical medicine. After graduating, she spent time as a veterinarian with the Minnesota Zoo before returning to Shedd in 2020 as an Associate Veterinarian.

She earned her bachelor’s from the University of California, Los Angeles and doctorate from the University of California, Davis, and received a master’s in veterinary clinical medicine from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She also is a Diplomate from The American College of Zoological Medicine, which makes her a board-certified specialist and one of fewer than 30 in the world focused on aquatic medicine.