Clinician Scientist Fellows
To sustain future advancements in canine health, the AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) makes it a priority to encourage and support the next generation of canine health researchers. This next generation of researchers is but one piece of a scientific puzzle, building on past discoveries and forging new pathways.
Additional biographical information and research project descriptions are available by clicking on the name of each Fellow.
Support the Clinician-Scientist Fellowship program with a donation.
2018 AKC Canine Health Foundation Clinician-Scientist Fellows
Kathryn Dalton, VMD, MPH, is a PhD student in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering at The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Under the mentorship of Dr. Meghan Davis, Dr. Dalton is researching microbial communities and how they relate to human and canine health.
Shelby Gasson, DVM, is a PhD student in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences at Texas A&M University. She is this year's AKC Canine Health Foundation GCHP Hill Country's Let's Get Ready To Rumble “Rumble” Clinician-Scientist Fellow (akcchf.org/rumble). Under the mentorship of Dr. Brian Saunders, Dr. Gasson is researching the development of tissue engineering constructs for treatment of osteochondral defects.
Mariah Gentry, DVM, is a veterinary post-doctoral fellow at University of Pennsylvania. Under the mentorship of Dr. Margret Casal, Dr. Gentry is researching the heritability of renal dysplasia in Cairn Terriers and aims to develop a DNA-based marker test so the disorder can be diagnosed at an early age.
Sita Withers, BVSc(Hons), is a PhD student at University of California, Davis. Under the mentorship of Dr. Robert B. Rebhun, Dr. Withers is researching how naturally occurring canine cancers can contribute to the study of immunotherapeutics in dogs as well as people.
2017 AKC Canine Health Foundation Clinician-Scientist Fellows
Dr. Jeanie Lau, BVSc, is a neurology and neurosurgery resident at North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine. Under the mentorship of Dr. Karen Munana, Dr. Lau is researching Steroid Responsive Meningitis-Arteritis (SRMA) in dogs.
Dr. Jennifer Reinhart, DVM, DACVIM, is currently pursuing a PhD degree at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Reinhart is studying the genetic and breed risk factors for sulfonamide hypersensitivity in dogs under the guidance of Dr. Lauren A. Trepanier.
Dr. Takashi Taguchi, DVM, is a resident working under the mentorship of Dr. Dominique Griffon at Western University of Health Sciences. Dr. Taguchi's research involves the influence of donor’s age on canine adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells.
2016 AKC Canine Health Foundation Clinician-Scientist Fellows
Dr. Vincent Baldanza, VMD, is a veterinary oncology resident at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Baldanza will be working under the mentorship of Dr. Angela McCleary-Wheeler on ‘The Role of Canonical Hedgehog Signaling in Canine Osteosarcoma’.
Dr. Shirley Chu, DVM, of the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine is a veterinary oncology resident and graduate student pursuing her PhD. Dr. Jeffrey Bryan serves as Dr. Chu’s mentor for her project on ‘Examination of the methylome of Golden Retriever B cell lymphoma’.
Dr. Emily Rout, DVM, is a clinical pathology resident and graduate student pursuing her PhD in the laboratory of Dr. Anne Avery at the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University. She is investigating variable heavy chain polymorphisms in canine chronic lymphocytic leukemia, having recently been recognized for her work on ‘Preferential usage of a single immunoglobulin heavy chain variable gene in Boxers with chronic lymphocytic leukemia’.
2015 AKC Canine Health Foundation Clinician-Scientist Fellows
Dr. Steven Friedenberg, DVM, MS, MBA of North Carolina State University. Dr. Friedenberg is a PhD student in the laboratory of Dr. Kate Meurs at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine. The focus of his research is understanding the genetic causes of autoimmune diseases in dogs.
Dr. Hyun Ji Noh, MS, PhD of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Dr. Noh obtained her Master’s degree in pharmacology in 2008 and her PhD in computational biology from Oxford University in 2012. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Kerstin Lindblad-Toh at the Broad Institute, focusing on study comparative genetics. She is devoted to studying psychiatric disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder in the dog.
Dr. Alana Redfern-Allen, DVM of Iowa State University. Dr. Redfern-Allen is currently working on a combined internal medicine residency and MSc program at Iowa State University. She has a strong interest in clinical research, particularly one health-focused research activities that aim to improve the health of humans and animals alike. Working under the guidance of Dr. Al Jergens, Dr. Redfern-Allen’s research focus will be Diabetes mellitus, a common endocrine disease of dogs and humans.
Dr. Christine Sibigtroth, DVM of University of Missouri. Dr. Sibigtroth is working on a combined neurology/neurosurgery residency and PhD in the Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program with Dr. Joan Coates as her major advisor. She has a sincere enthusiasm for research and has a passion for study of canine degenerative myelopathy and neuroscience. Canine DM is an adult onset progressive neurodegenerative disease in dogs that shares many characteristics with inherited amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in humans. Ms. Sibigtroth's research is sponsored by the American German Shepherd Dog Charitable Foundation, Inc.
Dr. Amelia Sinkin, VMD of University of Georgia. Dr. Sinkin is a cardiology resident working under Dr. Amanda Coleman, DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology). The focus of her research is myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD), a condition that affects an estimated 2 - 4.9 million dogs in the United States and leads to the development of congestive heart failure in approximately 15% of affected animals.
Ms. Emily Brown, DVM / PhD Candidate of the University California, Davis. The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Club of America, with matching funds from the U.C. Davis Center for Companion Animal Health (CCAH) is funding Emily Brown, a combined DVM/PhD student in the laboratory of Dr. Danika Bannasch, to conduct research investigating the genetic etiology of Addison’s disease in the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. Addison’s disease is an endocrine disorder resulting from lack of hormone production by the adrenal gland and can occur in a dog of any breed at any age. Ms. Brown's research is sponsored by the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Club (USA) and the UC Davis Center for Companion Animal Health.
2014 AKC Canine Health Foundation Clinician-Scientist Fellows
Additional biographical information and research project descriptions are available by clicking on the name of each 2014 Fellow.
Dan Regan, DVM of Colorado State University. Dr. Regan will be studying inflammatory monocytes, an immature myeloid cell important in innate immune responses, which have also been shown to be increased in the blood of tumor-bearing humans and dogs, and are associated with poor disease outcome.
Joanne Tuohy, DVM of North Carolina State University. Dr. Tuohy’s research aims to improve survival times in canine osteosarcoma through targeting of metastatic disease by harnessing the anti-tumor activity of monocytes.
Laura Bryan, DVM of Texas A&M University. Dr. Bryan’s research will focus on exfoliative toxins in Staphylococcus pseudintermedius pathogenesis.
Eva Furrow, DVM of the University of Minnesota. Dr. Furrow will be investigating the most common type of urinary stones in dogs - calcium oxalate (CaOx).
Abigail Bertalan, VMD of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Bertalan’s research seeks to determine whether basal-bolus lispro and human analogue NPH insulin therapy in well-regulated diabetic dogs improves clinical signs and glycemic control.
2013 AKC Canine Health Foundation Clinician-Scientist Fellows
Additional biographical information and research project descriptions are available by clicking on the name of each 2013 Fellow.
Kristin Manning, DVM of North Carolina State University. Dr. Manning’s research project will evaluate regenerative medicine approaches to the treatment of urinary incontinence.
Lance Visser, DVM of The Ohio State University. Dr. Visser will study right ventricle (RV) systolic function in dogs to improve risk assessment for heart and lung disease.
Guillaume L. Hoareau, DVM of the University of California at Davis. Dr. Hoareau aims to develop tools for the diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) and determining the severity of OSAS in dogs.
Jill Schappa, DVM of the University of Minnesota. Dr. Schappa’s research concerns the protective effects of exercise on the bone marrow after treatment with radiation and chemotherapy.
Melanie Hezzell, VetMB, PhD of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Hezzell is conducting a multicenter study that will determine if the use of blood markers improves the standard of care in dogs with mitral valve disease
Help Future Generations of Dogs
Participate in canine health research by providing samples or by enrolling in a clinical trial. Samples are needed from healthy dogs and dogs affected by specific diseases.