AKC Foundation Selects 6 Research Fellows

Six scientists with deep interest in canine health will work on issues ranging from Addison’s disease to mitral valve disease.

Six veterinary researchers focused on canine issues were named Clinician-Scientist Fellows on Wednesday under a program managed by the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation.

Each will receive $10,000 in support of their research project and $2,000 to present the results at a national scientific meeting.

The fellowship program is designed to encourage young researchers and advance canine and human health, according to the Raleigh, N.C., foundation.

“As emerging key opinion leaders in veterinary medicine, their relationships with our donors and their understanding of the value of collaboration is critical to helping us solve our greatest health concerns faster,” said the foundation’s chief scientific officer, Shila Nordone, Ph.D.

Financial support for the program comes from individual donors and other sponsors. An “Adopt a Researcher” function on the foundation website—http://bit.ly/1yqKA5C—allows contributors to direct their donation to an individual fellow.

Members of the 2015 class, the third in the program’s history, and their research projects are:

  • Emily Brown, DVM, of the University of California, Davis: The genetic etiology of Addison’s disease in Nova Scotia duck tolling retrievers and other dogs.
  • Steven Friedenberg, DVM, MS, MBA, of North Carolina State University: The genetic causes of autoimmune diseases in dogs.
  • Hyun Ji Noh, MS, Ph.D., of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard: Obsessive-compulsive disorder and other psychiatric disorders in dogs.
  • Alana Redfern-Allen, DVM, of Iowa State University: Diabetes mellitus, an endocrine disease of dogs and humans.
  • Christine Sibigtroth, DVM, of the University of Missouri: Canine degenerative myelopathy (DM), which is similar to inherited amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in humans.
  • Amelia Sinkin, VMD, of the University of Georgia: Myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD).

Dr. Brown’s work is sponsored by the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Club (USA) and the UC Davis Center for Companion Animal Health. Sponsoring Dr. Sibigtroth’s research is the American German Shepherd Dog Charitable Foundation.

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