Dr. Emily Rout, DVM

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.'

B cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL) is a cancer of lymphocytes (B cells) in the blood. Although this disease is frequently seen in dogs, B-CLL has not been fully characterized. This Fellow will study the clinical features, pathogenesis, genetics and outcomes of B-CLL in dogs, particularly in two high-risk breeds, Boxers and English Bulldogs.

B-CLL is the most common blood cancer affecting humans in the developed world. Human patients are generally divided into two subsets with very different clinical outcomes based on genetics. Analysis of gene mutation status (VH) is one of the best prognostic factors for predicting outcome in human B-CLL patients. By further investigating B-CLL in the Boxer and English Bulldog, Dr. Rout and the team hope to have a better understanding of B-CLL, and how it may differ across breeds, studying gene expression to identify potential differences in tumor biology between breeds, and further validating canine B-CLL as a naturally occurring model of a common human cancer.

Finally, the investigators have launched a large study to correlate breed, clinicopathologic findings and gene mutations with outcome. This study may also identify certain types of patients with a unique outcome, which would be important for further understanding this disease and guiding appropriate and improved treatment.


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