DENVER, May 30, 2023 – Morris Animal Foundation announced it is funding 10 new fellowship studies, with two of the studies funded by longtime donor Sally R. McIntosh. The studies will focus on a variety of topics, including deadly infections in dogs, immune response disorders in horses and amphibian conservation. The awards provide critical support to promising young veterinary scientists.
“Our Fellowship Training program is one of the most impactful investments we can make for animal health research,” said Dr. Kathy Tietje, Chief Program Officer at Morris Animal Foundation. “We are delighted to be able to support these highly qualified candidates at this critical juncture in their careers."
The projects are slated to begin this year. Grant recipients and their projects include:
- Amir Aliramezani, Jagiellonian University, Poland – Evaluate the nine currently available drugs for the treatment of deadly algae infections in dogs.
- Nora Jean Nealon, The Ohio State University – Investigate antibiotic resistance in dogs with urinary tract infections caused by E. coli, as well as gut microbiota responses to antibiotics in dogs with and without multidrug-resistant E. coli strains, to help inform antibiotic use.
- Shun Kimura, University of Georgia – Determine the feasibility of using a currently available veterinary drug as a treatment for systemic inflammatory response syndrome, a serious immune response disorder in horses.
- Rebecca C. Bishop, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign – Study proteins and the genetic makeup of the peritoneal fluid (a liquid that acts as a lubricant in the abdominal cavity) as a first step toward a diagnostic test to help predict which horses are at higher risk for colic surgery complications.
- Danielle Scott, Colorado State University – Investigate how air pollution affects horses training outside and use this information to help inform management and training recommendations.
- Emily R. Whitmer, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign – Aggregate health data of wild Humboldt penguins and create health and disease models to assist with conservation efforts.
- Camila Benavides Espejo, Yale University – Study biomarkers in the blood of African buffalo that could provide a fast and accurate way to diagnose bovine tuberculosis and help control the spread of this common disease in animals.
- David Daversa, University of California, Los Angeles – Assess the health and well-being of amphibian populations using epigenetics (a measurement of gene expression) as a potential new tool for amphibian conservation.
- Matheus Moreno Passos Barbosa, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign – Determine how to block an immune protein associated with the accelerated spread of osteosarcoma in dogs.
- Marcos Isidoro-Ayza, University of Wisconsin-Madison – Test a promising new drug to protect North American bats against white-nose syndrome, a serious and highly fatal fungal infection.
Dr. Moreno Passos Barbosa's and Dr. Isidoro-Ayza's studies are specifically funded by Sally R. McIntosh. McIntosh wanted to provide fellowship funding to support applicants from historically marginalized groups interested in studying dog and wildlife health, stating that she hopes to make "a tiny dent" in diversifying the animal health research community. McIntosh made her first gift to Morris Animal Foundation to advance greyhound health research in 2009 and since then, has expanded her support into other areas of animal health research, including wildlife health.
About Morris Animal Foundation
Morris Animal Foundation’s mission is to bridge science and resources to advance the health of animals. Founded in 1948 and headquartered in Denver, 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: Annie Mehl