Born in Los Angeles, California and raised in the San Fernando Valley, Philip Kass attended UC Davis as an undergraduate in 1976, and remained to obtain five degrees, including Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (1983), Master of Preventive Veterinary Medicine (1984), M.S. in Statistics (1988), and Ph.D. in Comparative Pathology (Epidemiology) (1990). Following completion of a post-doctoral fellowship in environmental epidemiology from the UCLA School of Public Health in 1990, he joined the UC Davis faculty and currently holds appointments as a Professor of Analytic Epidemiology in the School of Veterinary Medicine and School of Medicine. His research has centered around companion animal epidemiology, where he studies determinants of health and disease using statistical models, and has co-authored over 500 peer-reviewed scientific articles and several book chapters. His research seemingly covers almost every aspect of companion animal health, ranging from studying factors affecting relinquishment to and adoption from animal shelters, to developing statistical approaches to conducting syndromic surveillance using electronic medical records from networked animal hospitals, to conducting epidemiologic research into causes of injection-site sarcomas in cats.
His leadership and administrative responsibilities have included serving as Chair of Faculty in the School of Veterinary Medicine, Chair of the Department of Population Health and Reproduction, Chair of the UC Davis Committee on Privilege and Tenure, serving on the UC Davis Academic Senate's Executive Council, and most recently as Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Equity and Inclusion. In the latter capacity, his responsibilities included using biostatistical methods to conduct research into determinants of rates of advancement, oversight of faculty hiring and promoting effective practices with respect to enhancing diversity in professorial ranks, and annually performing analyses of faculty salaries across the university leading to unique individual-level equity adjustments.