The Morris Animal Foundation recently awarded two fellowships to promote feline health research.
The Amanda Feline Fellowships were granted to Jessica Quimby, DVM, of Colorado State University, who will study chronic kidney disease therapy, and Smitha Pillai, BVSc, Ph.D., of The Ohio State University, who will study oral cancer treatment. Each will receive $100,000 for her two-year fellowship. The fellowships are fully funded by an anonymous cat enthusiast.
“With this fellowship, I hope to discover why cats develop chronic kidney disease and to develop stem cell therapy for cats suffering from it,” said Dr. Quimby, a Ph.D. student who also works in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State.
Dr. Pillai is working as a postdoctoral fellow in feline cancer pathogenesis and treatment. Specifically, she is examining a potential treatment for feline oral squamous cell carcinoma. Pillai hopes the drug combination she is studying will reduce tumor growth and bone invasion in cats suffering from this cancer.
The fellowships are part of the foundation’s Happy Healthy Cat Campaign, which aims to raise pet owner awareness of feline health issues and to increase funding for feline health research and scientist training.