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.
With many feline infectious diseases, it is difficult to identify the specific pathogen involved. In a previous pilot study funded by Morris Animal Foundation, the research team developed a genetic assay that detected and characterized multiple feline pathogens. In this study they will evaluate the test’s application as a diagnostic method by using it to identify the pathogens associated with three common feline diseases: lymphoma, leukemia and chronic anemia. Modern genomic technologies such as this type of test have revolutionized human medicine but are still underused tools in veterinary medicine. The researcher’s goal is to discover new causes of feline disease, which could lead to better diagnostic tests, therapies or vaccines for conditions that are currently incurable.
Principal Investigator: Dr. Sue VandeWoude, Colorado State University
Study ID: D14FE-007
The wildcat, an ancestor of the domestic cat, lives in the same areas as domestic cats throughout Europe, the Mediterranean and North Africa. Several subspecies of wildcats occupy these areas, and the African wildcat is the subspecies considered to be the most influential in cat domestication. Because of the extensive habitat overlaps, populations of European wildcats are breeding with domestic cats, causing hybridization between the populations. Conservation programs throughout Europe are attempting to preserve true wildcat populations, but identifying pure wildcats can only be accomplished by genetic tests. Conservation programs are trying to find the strongest diagnostic markers to help develop population management programs for the wildcats. The new Illumina Infinium Cat DNA test uses SNP chips, a type of DNA chip that contains single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), genetic footprints found in DNA, , could provide the most accurate measure for wildcat and domestic cat hybridization. Using this tool, conservationists will be able to identify pure wildcat populations for conservation within Europe. A secondary goal of the research is to identify regions of the genome that may be involved with the domestication process of the cat. The project could identify the genes that are contributing to boldness and tameness and are influencing cat domestication.
Principal Investigator: Dr. Leslie A. Lyons, University of California–Davis
Study ID: D12FE-505