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June 22, 2016 – The Golden Retriever Lifetime Study team is pleased to welcome Dr. Michael Betley as the first recipient of the Pathology Residency Training Grant to support the Morris Animal Foundation Golden Retriever Lifetime Study. Dr. Betley, a PhD candidate in neuroscience at Stanford University, will begin working this summer at Colorado State University to support our study. Recently, he shared his thoughts about his goals and the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study.

Why do you want to become a veterinary pathologist?

Pathologists are experts in understanding the basis and progression of disease, and I hope to decipher some of the unknowns to improve animal health.

What is your role in the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study?

I will participate in analysis of all biopsy samples that are submitted from dogs enrolled in the [study]. Along with my mentor, Dr. E.J. Ehrhart, we will create a database of information that will support the study and understanding of cancer in golden retrievers.

What are your scientific goals pertaining to the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study?

My primary goal is to create an excellent, detailed histopathology database that will be vital for understanding the epidemiology of cancer in this large population of golden retrievers. Furthermore, I hope to learn as much as possible about the diagnosis of cancer and cancer biology for my future career as a pathologist.

What does Morris Animal Foundation mean to you as a future scientist/specialist in training?

By funding my residency position, the Morris Animal Foundation is fully supporting me in my studies at Colorado State University. This support will allow me to become a boarded-certified pathologist…so I am very thankful to the foundation.

What pet(s) currently own you?

My wife and I currently share our home with a boxer, two cats and a bearded dragon. Our bearded dragon is the elder stateswoman, but the cats basically run the house.

What is your favorite thing about golden retrievers?

Of all the dog breeds I have encountered, I have to say that golden retrievers probably top the list of most friendly dogs. I have never met a golden retriever that did not want to be my friend.

What is one fun fact about you?

In my life outside of work, I spend a lot of time outdoors and compete in road cycling races. Dr. Betley is a great fit for the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study and life in Colorado. We welcome him to the team and look forward to his contributions to our study and the veterinary pathology profession.