2013 Grants Focus on One Health - One Medicine


The AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) is proud to announce approval of 17 research grants to 13 research institutions and universities. These grants, totaling more than $1.7 million in funding for researchers studying canine health, will provide better treatments, more accurate diagnosis, and a deeper understanding of the mechanisms that cause disease in areas such as oncology, cardiology, infectious disease, and musculoskeletal health.

Forty percent of the newly approved grants have a One Health – One Medicine component. By tapping into naturally occurring veterinary diseases that affect both canines and humans, CHF can use this to drive translational research faster and more cost-effectively than traditional animal models have in the past. According to Dr. Shila Nordone, Chief Scientific Officer of CHF, “Naturally occurring diseases in dogs is emerging as the most rigorous model for breakthroughs in treatments and therapies.”

The regulatory process necessary to generate new treatments in dogs is relatively quick and inexpensive in comparison to humans. On average, the cost of development of veterinary-specific therapeutics is $30 million dollars, or 1/10 of that of human drugs. The cost differential and acceleration from bench-to-bedside indicates that the use of dogs in translational medicine is financially and logistically preferable for drug development. “One Health – One Medicine allows us to prevent, treat, and cure canine disease while simultaneously supporting human health,” said Nordone. To make a donation to support these grants, visit www.akcchf.org/2013grants.

To detail the goals and significance of the new research projects, CHF has released a webinar intended for an audience of non-scientists. In the webinar Dr. Nordone explains how these grants will move canine health forward, eventually helping dogs that come into the veterinary clinic. The webinar can be viewed at www.akccchf.org/2013grantwebinar.

The complete portfolio of grants for 2013 is as follows:

1753: Identification of genetic factors that alter the severity of cardiomyopathy
Dr. Kathryn M. Meurs, DVM, PhD; North Carolina State University
1760: Use of gene therapy to read dilated cardiomyopathy
Dr. Margaret M Sleeper, VMD; University of Pennsylvania

Musculoskeletal Conditions and Disease
1762: Use of plasma-derived growth factors to heal cruciate rupture
Dr. Peter Muir, BVSc, PhD; University of Wisconsin, Madison
1782: Defining the elements of successful cranial cruciate ligament repair
Dr. Gina Bertocci, PhD; University of Louisville

1731: A novel approach to understanding how menigoencephalomyelitis develops in dogs
Dr. Nick Jeffery, BVSc; Iowa State University

1843: Investigation of the genes controlling canine leukemia to properly diagnose and control the disease
Dr. Matthew Breen, PhD; North Carolina State University
1822: Beyond the genome: the intersection of genes and the environment in canine cancer
Dr. Robert K. Wayne, PhD; University of California, Los Angeles
1826: A novel treatment for brain tumors using a One Medicine approach
Dr. Simon R. Platt, BVMS; University of Georgia / Emory School of Medicine
1759: Disrupting the differentiation of cancer stem cells to prevent the spread of hemangiosarcoma
Dr. Jaime F. Modiano, VMD, PhD; University of Minnesota
1787: Clinical advancement of a cancer vaccine in dogs
Dr. Nicola Mason, BVetMD, PhD; University of Pennsylvania
1806: A novel virus-based anti-tumor treatment for canine osteosarcoma
Dr. Bruce R. Smith, VMD, PhD; Auburn University

Renal Disease
1766: Identification and validation of the genes that define abnormal development of the kidney in dogs
Dr. Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, PhD; Broad Institute
1844: Treatment of urinary incontinence with multipotent muscle cells: a regenerative medicine approach to a common canine health problem
Dr. Shelly Vaden, DVM, PhD; North Carolina State University

General Canine Health
1827: Defining the specific species of bacteria that contribute to canine periodontal disease
Dr. Marcello Pasquale Riggio, PhD; University of Glasgow

Immunology and Infectious Disease
1771: Defining the unique genetic markers in dogs that define immune function, disease resistance and tissue transplantation
Dr. Aravind Ramakrishman, MD; Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
1780: Defining the mechanism by which ticks locate dogs in order to better prevent disease transmission
Dr. Emma Natalie Ivy Weeks, PhD; University of Florida

All Program Areas
1849: Filling the gaps in the canine genome
Dr. Shaying Zhao, PhD; University of Georgia

Since 1995, CHF has invested more than $29 million in canine health research. Funding for CHF grants comes from a variety of sources, including our alliances: the American Kennel Club, Nestlé Purina PetCare, and Pfizer Animal Health. In addition, contributions to help sponsor or fund grants are received from many all-breed, parent, and specialty dog clubs, as well as from individuals all over the world who are committed to canine health research. “By funding grants in diverse program areas CHF is leading the way, improving the quality of life for all dogs, while at the same time supporting research that targets breed-specific issues,” said Nordone.

To learn more about the CHF grants process, including the full abstracts for the 2013 grants, visit www.akcchf.org/2013grants.

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