Dr. Jill Schappa

Dr. Jill Schappa

Dr. Jill Schappa is the 2013 AKC Canine Health Foundation Clinician-Scientist Fellow from the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Schappa earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Minnesota in 2012.  She is currently a Resident in Clinical Pathology at the University of Minnesota. Her professional affiliations include the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology.

Dr. Schappa has extensive research experience having been selected for the Merck-Merial Veterinary Scholars Program in 2008 and 2009 and the prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Fellowship for 2010-2011. She has won numerous awards and scholarships including the AKC Canine Health Foundation Robert L. Kelly Memorial Scholarship awarded to a veterinary student who demonstrates exceptional academic skill and an interest in the health and well being of all dogs.

Fellowship Research Project

The alarming number of beloved pets lost each year due to cancer led Dr. Schappa to pursue research on a new chemotherapeutic agent for hemangiosarcoma, a common devastating cancer in dogs with few treatment options.   The results showed this therapy has potential to overcome problems like toxicity and resistance that are seen with traditional therapies.   This culminated in funding for a clinical trial, potentially leading to a new treatment while also supporting development of this drug in humans.  During her residency, Dr. Schappa aims to continue hunting for safer and more effective treatment options for dogs and humans.  Using physical activity as a component to therapy is an exciting new area of research because it is easily accessible, inexpensive, and can reduce toxic side effects often seen with conventional therapies.  In the laboratory, she will study the protective effects of exercise on the bone marrow after treatment with radiation and chemotherapy.  Additionally, Dr. Schappa will examine how physical activity can prevent chemotherapy induced damage to canine blood cells, with the ultimate goal of supporting further comparative studies in dogs and humans leading to new complementary treatments that will improve the quality and potentially length of our pets' lives.

Learn more about the AKC Canine Health Foundation Clinician-Scientist Fellowship Program and Adopt a Researcher.

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