CHF Approves $1.7 Million in Canine Health Research Funding


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.

The new grants cover a wide range of health concerns that affect all dogs. Funding was awarded to study the specific causes of periodontal disease, the most common clinical condition occurring in adult dogs. This study will aid in the development of vaccines and improved treatment methods.  Six separate oncology grants were approved, targeting the number one disease-killer of dogs. Additionally, funding was approved for the study of the prevention of tick-borne diseases and the treatment of urinary incontinence, two common canine health concerns that face dog owners. To make a donation to support these grants, visit

To detail the goals and significance of the new research projects, CHF has released a webinar with Dr. Shila Nordone, CHF’s Chief Scientific Officer. Intended for an audience of non-scientists, 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

The complete portfolio of 2013 grants 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. According to Dr. Nordone, “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.”

To learn more about the CHF grants process, including the full abstracts for the 2013 grants, visit

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