DENVER/Aug. 6, 2019 – Comparative Oncology Research Initiative Brings Organizations Together
With a challenge match of $1 million, Morris Animal Foundation partnered with the V Foundation for Cancer Research to raise $2 million in support of the Morris Animal Foundation Golden Retriever Lifetime Study. The match was met as part of the V Foundation Wine Celebration that raised more than $7 million during a full weekend of events in the Napa Valley, Aug. 1-4. The 2019 event fundraising total includes $5 million in “Fund-A-Need” donations to support the V Foundation’s Canine Comparative Oncology program.
Hosted by Mike “Coach K” Krzyzewski, Duke University men’s basketball coach and V Foundation Board Member, the three-day signature fundraising event included intimate winery luncheons and dinners, live entertainment, live and silent auctions and a cancer research symposium.
“We are excited to partner with the V Foundation to not only advance our Golden Retriever Lifetime Study but to bring awareness of what is happening in the field of comparative oncology, and the opportunity we have to do so much more to advance the state of cancer medicine for dogs and people alike,” said Tiffany Grunert, President/CEO of Morris Animal Foundation. “The impact of our work is even greater when combined with the efforts of the V Foundation and other organizations fighting this deadly disease. Together, we can do so much more for dogs and people.”
“The V Foundation Wine Celebration continues its tremendous legacy of uniting generous supporters and world-class vintners,” said Susan Braun, CEO of the V Foundation. “Through a team of dedicated individuals and organizations, we’ve once again come together to raise essential funds to help us move toward Victory over Cancer®!”
During the Wine Celebration Gala, the V Foundation announced their collaboration with Morris Animal Foundation to support the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study. The collaboration will focus on genomic sequencing that will allow for significant progress in understanding the genetic aspects of cancers. This information will additionally help advance human cancer research efforts.
The genomic sequencing data will be added to the Morris Animal Foundation Data Commons, an open data resource platform for animal and biomedical health researchers. Data Commons provides global access to historical data of the Golden Retriever Lifetime study cohort, covering 11 key subject areas such as activity, dental, disease diagnoses, diet, environment and others.
The Morris Animal Foundation Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is one of the largest studies of its kind ever undertaken in veterinary medicine. The $32 million study, which began in 2012, seeks to identify the environmental, nutrition, genetic and lifestyle risk factors for cancer and other diseases in dogs.
Dr. Rodney Page, Principal Investigator for the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, was one of the featured speakers at the event’s cancer research symposium. Event attendees also had the opportunity to meet “Hero Dogs” Churchill and Brewer, two of the more than 3,000 dogs enrolled in the Study. The golden retrievers and their owners illuminated the profound connection between people and the dogs that not only share their hearts and homes, but share 85% of their genetics and many of the same cancers.
Comparative oncology describes the integration of naturally occurring cancers in animals into studies of human cancer biology and therapy. Cancers in companion species are well suited to uniquely inform investigations of cancer biology and drug development. Clinical trials in veterinary oncology have gained interest and focus over the last decade, with both veterinary and comparative oncology drug development leading the effort.
About Morris Animal Foundation
Morris Animal Foundation was founded in 1948 by Dr. Mark Morris Sr., one of the first small animal veterinarians in the country. The Foundation’s mission is to bridge science and resources to advance the health of animals. Since 1948, the Foundation has invested more than $127 million in over 2,700 studies for the benefit of all animals. Grants are awarded through a competitive, peer-reviewed granting process that includes four Scientific Advisory Boards comprised of experts in their respective fields. For more information on Morris Animal Foundation or to make a donation, please visit morrisanimalfoundation.org.
About the V Foundation for Cancer Research
The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State University basketball coach and ESPN commentator. Since 1993, the Foundation has funded more than $225 million in cancer research grants nationwide. The V Foundation awards 100% of direct donations to cancer research and programs. The V Foundation’s endowment covers administrative expenses. The Foundation awards peer-reviewed grants through a competitive award process strictly supervised by a Scientific Advisory Committee. For more information on the V Foundation or to make a donation, please visit jimmyv.org.