RALEIGH, N.C. (September 24, 2013) – Building on its 18 year commitment to the health of all dogs, the AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) today announces the approval of 17 research grants to 14 research institutions and universities. These grants, totaling nearly $1.5 million in funding for researchers studying canine health, will ultimately equip veterinarians to meet the most pressing health concerns for dogs throughout the world. 

dog“CHF’s main objective in funding canine health research is to be responsive to the concerns of dog owners and ultimately help all dogs live longer, healthier lives,” said Dr. Shila Nordone, CHF’s Chief Scientific Officer. Based on the ongoing accumulation of data received through health polls, as well as known areas of need in veterinary medicine, studies were chosen to fill critical gaps in knowledge. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Immune-mediated Hemolytic Anemia, Cushing’s Syndrome, Chronic Kidney Disease, and Hip Dysplasia are just a few of the canine health concerns that researchers are studying with the newly awarded grants.

Additionally, the research grants will deliver innovative tangible outcomes including:

  • A new treatment option for canine cartilage disease that will provide support for the evidence-based practice of regenerative medicine.
  • Novel drug targets to treat canine pain.
  • Use of genomic data that will enable veterinary cardiologists, for the first time, to provide personalized treatment for pulmonary hypertension.
  • Development of a panel of tests that will define a dog’s suitability to perform as a service dog. Such tests will save time and money and increase access to services dogs for individuals who require assistance to live independent lives. Insight gained in this study will also deepen our understanding about how dogs acquire knowledge and understand their environment.

In addition to the canine health funding announced today, CHF and the Golden Retriever Foundation jointly funded nearly $1.5 million in canine cancer research in May. While the two grants focus mainly on Golden Retrievers, both projects emphasize a better understanding of the mechanism of how cancer begins and spreads, resulting in research that will be applicable across all breeds of dogs.

To highlight the goals and significance of the new research projects, CHF will release a series of short videos with Dr. Shila Nordone, CHF’s Chief Scientific Officer. Separated by research program area, Dr. Nordone explains how the grants will move canine health forward, with the end goal of helping dogs that come into the veterinary clinic. Beginning October 3, the webinars can be viewed at www.akccchf.org/videos.

Funding for CHF grants comes from a variety of sources, including corporations, dog clubs and individuals who are committed to canine health research. Dog lovers are encouraged to make a donation to support canine health research by visiting www.akcchf.org/2014grants.

The complete portfolio of grants for 2014 is as follows:

Behavior
Grant 1995: Understanding the Flexibility and Limitations of How Dogs Acquire Knowledge and Understanding: Application to Service Dog Emotional Health and Selection
Dr. Evan L. MacLean, PhD; Co-Investigator: Dr. Brian Hare, PhD; Duke University

Blood Disorders
Grant 1988: Identification of a Safe Storage Time for Canine Blood Used In the Treatment of Anemia
Dr. Mary Beth Callan, V.M.D.; University of Pennsylvania

Grant 2052: Defining the Mechanism of Severe, Life-Threatening Bleeding Disorders in Dogs
Dr. Dana N. LeVine; Iowa State University

Cardiology
Grant 1982: Personalized Medicine: The Intersection of Genotype and Drug Responsiveness in the Treatment of Canine Pulmonary Hypertension
Dr. Joshua A Stern, DVM; University of California, Davis

Grant 1994: Early and Accurate Prediction of Mitral Valve Disease Development
Dr. Sydney N. Moise, DVM; Cornell University

Grant 2046: Using a Novel Combination of Drugs to Treat Arrhythmia and Heart Failure in Dogs
Dr. Janice McIntosh Bright, DVM, BSN; Colorado State University

Endocrinology
Grant 2011: Identification of Novel Drugs to Halt the Metastasis of Tumors That Cause Cushing’s Syndrome
Dr. Sara Galac, DVM, PhD; University of Utrecht

Gastrointestinal Disease
Grant 2002: Defining the Genetic Basis of Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Dr. Karin Allenspach, DVM PhD; Royal Veterinary College, University of London

Grant 2050: Defining the Genetic Susceptibility to Granulomatous Colitis, a Severe Form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Dr. Kenneth W. Simpson, BVMS, PhD; Cornell University

Hepatic Disease
Grant 1986: Profiling the Metabolic and Lipid Imbalances that are Causative of Gallbladder Disease in Dogs
Dr. Jody L. Gookin, DVM, PhD; North Carolina State University

Musculoskeletal Conditions and Disease
Grant 1828: Mapping of Genetic Risk Factors for Canine Hip Dysplasia
Dr. Antti Iivanainen, DVM, PhD; Co-Investigator: Hannes Lohi, PhD; University of Helsinki and the Folkhälsan Institute of Genetics

Grant 2078: Development of a Regenerative Medicine Technique to Treat Cartilage Disorders in Dogs
Dr. William Brian Saunders, DVM, PhD; Texas A&M AgriLife Research

Neurology
Grant 1985: Defining Novel Drug Targets to Treat Chronic and Neuropathic Pain in the Dog
Dr. Ronald Sluyter, Ph.D.; University of Wollongong

Oncology
Grant 2071: Development of a Therapeutic Brain Tumor Vaccine
Dr. Grace Elizabeth Pluhar, DVM, PhD; University of Minnesota

Ophthalmology
Grant 2057: Identification of the Genetic Cause of Corneal Ulcers
Dr. Keith W Montgomery, DVM; North Carolina State University

Grant 2061: Emergence of Pigmentary Uveitis as a Potential Cause of Cataracts and Glaucoma
Dr. Wendy M. Townsend, DVM, MS; Purdue University

Renal Disease
Grant 2066: Identification of Novel Biomarkers and Therapeutic Targets for Chronic Kidney Disease in Dogs
Dr. Mary B Nabity, DVM, PhD; Texas A&M AgriLife Research