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October 23, 2020 – The Foundation’s Golden Retriever Lifetime Study gathers thousands of biological samples from its hero dogs every year. Expand that out across all Study years and the samples are in the hundreds of thousands. To accelerate what can be learned from those samples, the Foundation recently announced a rolling request for proposals for Study samples.

This allows researchers to submit a proposal to access samples any time of the year, rather than just during special or annual calls. These smaller, nested studies ideally will lead to identification of new biological markers of cancer and other diseases and provide a basis for additional lines of research to improve canine health.

The Study’s samples include serum, whole blood, DNA, urine, hair and toenails, collected annually from a cohort of privately owned dogs living throughout the lower 48 United States. Researchers can request data from the Study as well.

Two nested studies already are in process. Canadian researchers at the University of Guelph are using Study blood samples to help develop a blood test for early diagnosis of lymphoma in dogs. Meanwhile, Colorado State University researchers are looking at genetic changes in blood, including cancer-related mutations, associated with inflammation and aging.

Now in its ninth year, the Study is the most extensive prospective study ever undertaken in veterinary medicine, gathering information on more than 3,000 golden retrievers throughout their lives, to identify the nutritional, environmental, lifestyle and genetic risk factors for cancer and other diseases in dogs.

Researchers interested in the rolling RFP must first fill out a Project Inquiry form from the Foundation’s website, with a brief overview of their proposal. If the Foundation decides to move forward, it will send the researcher a link to an online application to submit their full proposal.