Denver/Jan. 24, 2024 – Morris Animal Foundation announced the selection of eight new grant recipients who will advance the Foundation's commitment to improve the lives of dogs suffering from cancer through pioneering research initiatives.
"We are pleased to fund this diverse set of research proposals addressing aspects of canine cancer," said Dr. Kathy Tietje, Chief Program Officer at Morris Animal Foundation. "The knowledge gained by these studies will advance the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of cancers in both dogs and their humans."
"Our study will address this huge gap of knowledge by yielding detailed insight into soft-tissue sarcoma tumors by analyzing the exact molecular fingerprint of individual cells," said Enni Markkanen, principal investigator for one of the studies approved for funding. "Such knowledge is key to enabling the development of better therapies for patients. We are highly excited about the support by Morris Animal Foundation that makes this study possible!"
The grant awardees are:
- Hiroyuki Mochizuki, North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine; "Assessing Residual Cancer Cells in Aggressive T-Cell Lymphoma." This study aims to develop a novel molecular tool to assess residual cancer cell levels in dogs with aggressive T-cell lymphoma, improving treatment and disease monitoring.
- Krit Ritthipichai, Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine; "Generating T Cells for Canine Cancer Cell Therapies." This study will create a new method to expand immune cell production for cancer cell therapies for dogs.
- Alison Masyr, Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine; "Studying the Role of a Hormone in Pancreatic Tumors." This research will evaluate how the hormone ghrelin influences the development of canine pancreatic cancer to identify early disease biomarkers.
- Christina Pacholec, Virginia Tech, Virigina-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine; "Using Novel Computer Tools to Detect and Monitor Lymphoma – Fellowship Training Grant." This study explores using computer imaging tools to improve post-treatment detection of cancer cells in dogs with lymphoma.
- Heather Wilson-Robles, Ethos Discovery; “Exploring Comparative Oncology Approaches to Bone Cancer.” This study will collect and analyze lung tissue from dogs enrolled in a clinical trial for bone cancer that has spread to the lungs in hopes of discovering new ways to treat this common and aggressive canine cancer.
- Enni Markkanen, University of Zurich; "Understanding Cellular Changes Driving Soft-tissue Sarcomas." This research will analyze the cellular landscape of soft-tissue sarcomas in dogs to identify novel therapy targets.
- Karin Allenspach, University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine; "Predicting Immunotherapy Response in Dogs with Bladder Cancer." This study works toward developing a test to predict treatment response to immunotherapies in dogs with bladder cancer.
- Jenny Harris, University of Surrey School of Health Sciences; "Validating Assessment Tool for Chemotherapy Outcomes." This study will validate a new questionnaire tool to help monitor symptoms and quality of life in dogs undergoing chemotherapy.
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 nearly $160 million in more than 3,000 critical animal health studies to date across a broad range of species. Learn more at morrisanimalfoundation.org.
Media Contact: Annie Mehl