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AKC's $1.7M Funding for Dog Health Includes Grants for Genomics-based Research

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) today announced $1.7 million in funding for research into canine health including several projects with a genetic or genomic component.

While the funding is directed at improving the diagnosis, treatment, and understanding of canine health, about 40 percent of the 17 newly approved grants have a One Health-One Medicine component, which explores the relationship between animal and human illnesses.

"By tapping into naturally occurring veterinary diseases that affect both canines and humans, CHF can use this to drive translational research faster and more cost effectively than traditional animal models in the past," AKC said.

In total, 13 research institutions and universities received funding in the new round including several genetics-based studies. They include "Identification of genetic factors that alter the severity of cardiomyopathy," led by Kathryn Meurs at North Carolina State University; "Investigation of the genes controlling canine leukemia to properly diagnose and control the disease," a cancer-based project being led by Matthew Breen, also at NC State; and "Beyond the genome: the intersection of genes and the environment in canine cancer," headed by Robert Wayne at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Other researchers receiving funding included Kerstin Lindblad-Toh at Broad Institute for a project titled "Identification and validation of the genes that define abnormal development of the kidney in dogs"; Aravind Ramakrishman at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center for "Defining the unique genetic markers in dogs that define immune function, disease resistance, and tissue transplantation"; and Shaying Zhao at the University of Georgia for "Filling the gaps in the canine genome."

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