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Our Research

Science has the power to change the world

As the global leader in supporting scientific research that advances veterinary medicine, Morris Animal Foundation has invested more than $100 million toward more than 2,400 studies to improve the health and well-being of dogs, cats, horses, llamas/alpacas and wildlife.

At any given time, Morris Animal Foundation is managing more than 200 active studies. Each year, we also fund about 30 veterinary student scholar projects. Search our health study database by species or area of study to learn more about research that will make a true difference in the lives of animals—today and tomorrow.

To sponsor a study, please contact a member of our sponsorship team for the most up-to-date status on our research projects at sponsorship@MorrisAnimalFoundation.org or call 800.243.2345. 

Search Results

Understanding the Role of Specific Cells in Lymphoma Spread

Canine lymphoma accounts for up to 24 percent of all canine tumors, and more than 80 percent of hematopoietic cell cancers. Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma is the most common type of lymphoma in dogs. Despite efforts to establish effective chemotherapy protocols, long-term remissions are rare, and the median survival time for dogs with high-grade tumors ranges from 6 to 11 months. New strategies are required to improve survival and attain cures. One of the limitations in identifying therapeutic targets for canine lymphoma has been the lack of reliable systems to maintain and expand lymphoma cells in the laboratory. Previously, the researcher created a culture system to maintain lymphoma cells in the laboratory. In this study, he will use this system to stimulate CD40, a protein found in B lymphocyte cells that help lymphoma cells spread, and learn more about its signaling pathway. The findings may highlight novel targets for developing therapies to treat diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in dogs.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Daisuke Ito, University of Minnesota, First Award Grant

Sponsors: Co-sponsor: The American German Shepherd Dog Charitable Foundation, Inc.; Golden Retriever Foundation

Study ID: D12CA-302

Understanding Why and How Canine Osteosarcoma Tumors Spread

Renegade cancer cells escape from virtually every tumor, but only rare cells from certain tumor types survive, grow and spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body. In the case of bone cancer, this metastasis leads to death for virtually every patient. Researchers do not fully understand how bone cancer cells spread from the primary site in the bone to the lungs, but recent work suggests that the tumors send out small bags of cargo (vesicles) and cell fragments into the bloodstream. These vesicles carry biologically active genes and proteins, and when they reach the lungs, they prepare and help make this site welcoming for the renegade tumor cells. Researchers hope to find markers in the blood circulation that will help them understand why and how the tumor spreads. Their findings may be used to develop treatments to help prevent osteosarcoma metastasis in dogs.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Jaime F. Modiano, University of Minnesota

Sponsors: Jim & Karen Withrow

Study ID: D15CA-047

Using Human Diagnostic Tools to Identify Liver Cancers

Thoroughly evaluating masses in the canine liver presents a diagnostic challenge. It requires invasive diagnostic techniques, such as biopsy and fine-needle aspiration, that are sometimes effective, but usually don’t completely show microscopic changes in liver masses. Imaging is particularly relevant in the diagnostic evaluation of the canine liver. This study will examine a radioactive drug used to diagnose human cancer combined with both positron emission tomography and computed tomography to determine whether this noninvasive technique can help diagnose liver disease and expedite therapeutic intervention in dogs. Results from this study will contribute to the little information known about the use of this particular form of imaging in diagnosing and prescribing treatment for canine liver cancers.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Elizabeth A. Ballegeer, Michigan State University, First Award Grant

Sponsors: Co-sponsors: Courtney Babcock Borntraeger Foundation; Anonymous, for Chris (Xcaliber)

Study ID: D10CA-316

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