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DENVER/September 24, 2019 In a golden opportunity for researchers, Morris Animal Foundation has launched Data Commons, a new database rich with research opportunities built on data from the Foundation’s Golden Retriever Lifetime Study. The open-access, free database is available to researchers affiliated with universities, nonprofit organizations and government agencies.

“We are sharing Study data based on the philosophy that the greatest possible positive impact comes from broad collaboration,” said Dr. Janet Patterson-Kane, Morris Animal Foundation Chief Scientific Officer. “We hope to inspire scientists to further their research initiatives and build critical knowledge addressing health concerns for dogs. The database also has implications for human medicine as dogs and people share many of the same diseases and genetics, as well as cohabit in the same environments.”

The Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is one of the largest studies of its kind ever undertaken in veterinary medicine. Its purpose is to identify the nutritional, environmental, lifestyle and genetic risk factors for cancer and other diseases in dogs. Each year, with the help of veterinarians and dog owners, the Foundation collects health, environmental and behavioral data on more than 3,000 enrolled golden retrievers.

“Many large datasets and biological sample collections exist for human medicine and have aided in discovery of new diagnostics, treatments and even cures for a myriad of diseases. They also have created public awareness around lifestyle factors that increase or reduce cancer risk,” said Michael Cinkosky, Vice President of Information Systems. “Morris Animal Foundation, the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, and now the Data Commons, are here to improve the discovery process for animals, too.”

Data Commons provides global access to historical data from the Study cohort, covering 11 key subject areas: activity, behavior, dental, disease diagnoses, diet, environment, grooming, geographical locations, medications, physical exams and reproduction. The $32 million study, which began in 2012, is expected to last 14 years and collect more than five million data points.

Thanks to a new partnership with the V Foundation for Cancer Research, genomic sequencing data will be added to the Data Commons in the coming year, creating an additional powerful tool for veterinary and biomedical researchers. Biological samples also are available from the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study. For biological sample inquiries, email: mailto:[email protected].

Data Commons is open to researchers with a university, nonprofit organization or government agency affiliation, who have completed the credential approval process. After agreeing to the data use agreement, users are guided through a series of steps to start the approval process. Visit Data Commons to learn more.  

Morris Animal Foundation, headquartered in Denver, Colorado, is one of the largest nonprofit foundations dedicated to funding studies to improve and protect the health of companion animals and wildlife. During the last 70 years, the Foundation has invested $155 million toward more than 2,700 studies that have led to significant breakthroughs in diagnostics, treatments and disease prevention to improve the health and quality of life for dogs, cats, horses and wildlife around the world.

About Morris Animal Foundation

Morris Animal Foundation’s mission is to bridge science and resources to advance the health of animals. Founded by a veterinarian in 1948, we fund and conduct critical health studies for the benefit of all animals. Learn more at