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Gifts in Action


Ichthyosis-A Skin Disorder Affecting Dogs and Humans

Progress in addressing a severe skin disease that affects dogs and humans

Think of the skin as a kind of raincoat for the inner organs. With its densely packed layers of cells and lipids, it keeps foreign substances from leaking in and keeps water from leaking out, preventing dehydration. But in certain skin disorders, this barrier breaks down, and problems arise.

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Assets in the opioid epidemic, working dogs can also become its victims

It’s hard to overstate the magnitude of the nation’s opioid crisis, which claims more than 100 lives each day due to overdoses. The impact of opioids radiates beyond the direct users, however, as secondary exposure to drugs can harm first responders such as police officers, firefighters, and even working dogs, which can use their perceptive noses to find illicit drugs.

Dr. Chakrabarti's Lab at Penn Vet is studying stem cell signaling and its relationship to breast cancer.

Stem cell signaling drives mammary gland development and, possibly, breast cancer

The human body develops most tissue types during fetal development, in a mother’s uterus. Yet one only tissue develops after birth: the mammary gland. This milk-producing organ, a defining characteristic of mammals, is also the site of one of the most common cancers, breast cancer, which affects roughly one in eight women in the United States over the course of their lifetime.

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Innovative vaccine offers canine cancer patients a shot at a longer, happier life

Osteosarcoma is the most common bone cancer to affect dogs. It is a painful and aggressive disease. Affecting more than 10,000 dogs annually, predominantly larger breeds, it kills more than 85 percent within two years. 

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Immune cells involved in triple-negative breast cancer could offer future therapeutic target

 About 15 percent of breast cancers are classified as triple-negative, lacking receptors for estrogen, progesterone, and Her2. These cancers do not respond to targeted hormonal therapies, and they tend to be particularly aggressive, often resisting systemic chemotherapy and metastasizing to other tissues.

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Cutting-edge science moves to the clinic to help ‘our furry friends’ fight cancer

Penn’s School of Veterinary Medicine has long been a scientific and clinical powerhouse. But the launch of an initiative last year is further bolstering those strengths in the areas of cancer research and care.

Dr. Mason Receives NIH Research Award

Penn Vet’s Nicola Mason Receives NIH Research Award to Target Therapies for Autoimmune Disease in Dogs

[October 2, 2018; Philadelphia, PA] – Nicola J. Mason, BVetMed, PhD, associate professor of Medicine and Pathobiology at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn Vet), and Aimee S. Payne, MD, PhD, the Albert M. Kligman Associate Professor of Dermatology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, have received the prestigious NIH Director’s Transformative Research Award.

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Ventilating with mixture of helium and oxygen improves outcomes for horses in surgery

A horse in general surgery is an awkward sight. For the best access, the animals may be placed on their sides or even their backs, a position that puts considerable pressure on their internal organs, often leading to partial lung collapse. In spite of using oxygen-rich ventilation, blood oxygen levels can fall to dangerous levels during lengthy procedures.

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Knockdown and replace: A gene therapy twofer to treat blindness

The last year has seen milestones in the gene therapy field, with FDA approvals to treat cancer and an inherited blinding disorder. New findings from a team led by University of Pennsylvania vision scientists, who have taken gene therapies into clinical trials in the past, are proving successful, this time treating a form of retinitis pigmentosa, a disease that progressively robs people of their night and peripheral vision before blindness develops.

Dr. Gary Althouse explains key concepts to students during a hands-on lab.

Penn Vet Teams with Merck Animal Health to Educate Young Swine Veterinarians

Swine University participants, representing seven countries from across the globe, were involved in a training program that included lecture, interactive lab, and both small and large group activities. Facilitated by the foremost experts in swine health, the curriculum included a mix of practical and theoretical exercises on swine management, communication skills, economic analyses, and an in-depth review of diagnosis and treatment of respiratory and reproductive diseases.

The Changing Landscape of Mosquito- and Tick-borne Diseases

The changing landscape of mosquito- and tick-borne diseases

Sara Cherry has a visceral memory of when Asian tiger mosquitoes, Aedes albopictus, first found their way into the Philadelphia region.

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Want to reduce emissions? Start in the gut of a cow.

As concern about climate change rises, researchers are working to develop innovative strategies to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

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Multidisciplinary team to develop stem cell-based approaches to restore vision

A team from the University of Pennsylvania, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison are launching a project to develop new strategies for treating vision disorders using cells implanted in the retina. 

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Senior Senator's Triumphant Return

Senior Senator has been called “one of the craziest horses that ever looked through a bridle.” But a serious accident in May 2017 temporarily dampened some of the eight-year-old gelding’s fiery, unique personality, nearly ending his racing career. While defending his 2016 Maryland Hunt Cup title at the 2017 race, the Thoroughbred and jockey Eric Poretz tumbled at the third fence in the notoriously challenging four-mile timber course.

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Treating Orthopedic Injury Makes Dog and Owner Comfortable

During a casual conversation, a dog park friend once advised New York City resident Leslye Alexander to take her dog Olivia to Penn Vet in an emergency. “I never thought I would need it,” said Alexander. “But then Olivia was injured.”

Dr. David Levine Answers Ten: Surgery, Disease Prevention, Gardening, and More

Assistant professor of clinical large animal surgery Dr. David Levine is a world class surgeon, clinician, and teacher. Holding Diplomate status in Large Animal Surgery from the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and in Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation from the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, Levine is well-respected among his peers, clients, and students.      

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Dr. Michael Mison Answers Ten: Surgical Oncology, Ah Ha Moments, and Summiting Kilimanjaro

As a child, Dr. Michael Mison’s parents encouraged him to be a physician. Drawn to animals and science, Mison knew early on that he would indeed go into medicine but focus on animals instead of humans.

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Surprise! It's Twins!

Excitement over a first pregnancy turned to concern for owner Adel Dukes Melson when her pregnant Holsteiner began showing signs of premature foaling. Weeks before the mare’s March 13 due date, her mammary gland started to develop and secrete milk, a typical indication that her body was preparing to soon give birth.

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Angel's Long Way Home

Saturday, March 17, 2018, 6:00 AM. Earl Welsh was home getting his family ready for his teen daughter’s dance competition. Before they headed out for a long day, Welsh wanted to give Angel, their four-year-old Yorkie, some outdoor time. He and Angel headed into the quiet streets of Philadelphia for a walk. They would not come home together. Instead, Angel would end up in Emergency Services at Ryan Hospital. And Earl would face an agonizing decision about her life.

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Penn Vet’s Opportunity Scholarship Program Celebrates 20 Years of Student Success

Students, faculty, alumni and supporters gathered on Sunday, April 14, 2018 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine’s Opportunity Scholarship (OS) Program.