DENVER/November 21, 2022 – Morris Animal Foundation has awarded its latest Mark L. Morris Jr. Investigator Award to four distinguished researchers. Each researcher’s project focuses on issues affecting the health and well-being of aging dogs.
“We’re inspired by the number of high-quality proposals we received for this call, and thrilled that we can award four grants,” said Dr. Kathy Tietje, Morris Animal Foundation Vice President of Scientific Operations. “The diversity of projects allows us to address key health problems affecting aging dogs from several different angles. In total, results can help improve not just the lifespan but the health span of older dogs.”
The selection of four proposals is a departure from previous awards, which were given to a single individual. The Mark L. Morris Jr. Investigator Award is designed to support impactful companion animal research for which there is a pressing need, with the potential to make rapid, meaningful progress.
The four awardees are:
- Dr. Freya Mowat, University of Wisconsin-Madison, will study the effect of toxic heavy metal burden on cognition and sensory decline in older dogs.
- Dr. Anne Avery, Colorado State University, will study age-associated inflammation and links to disease in aging dogs.
- Dr. Andrei Gudkov, Vaika Inc., will study genetically programmed aging “clocks” and anti-aging strategies in retired sled dogs.
- Dr. Natasha Olby, North Carolina State University, will conduct a clinical trial to assess if exercise can improve frailty and health span in elderly dogs.
Projects are slated to begin in 2023 and will take two to three years to complete.
First awarded in 2016, the Mark L. Morris Jr. Investigator Award was created to honor the legacy and vision of Dr. Mark L. Morris Jr., son of Dr. Mark L. Morris Sr., the Foundation’s founder. Mark L. Morris Jr. was renowned for his pioneering work in small and exotic animal nutrition, and his dedication to Morris Animal Foundation’s mission to advance animal health through excellent science.
About Morris Animal Foundation
Morris Animal Foundation’s mission is to bridge science and resources to advance the health of animals. Headquartered in Denver, and founded in 1948, it is one of the largest nonprofit animal health research organizations in the world, funding more than $149 million in nearly 3,000 critical studies across a broad range of species. Learn more at morrisanimalfoundation.org.
Media Contact: Kelly Diehl, DVM, MS