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December 16, 2019 – Dr. Erin Hales recently joined Morris Animal Foundation as our first postdoctoral fellow. Erin will be working with Dr. Missy Simpson, Study Epidemiologist, on a variety of projects, but her main focus will be the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study.

Erin grew up in southern Colorado. After receiving her undergraduate degree from Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana, Erin attended the University of California, Davis, for her graduate studies. She was a newly minted PhD student when she arrived at the Foundation in early October.

Erin’s PhD work combined both biology and genetics, with an emphasis on equine genetics. Erin’s mentors at UC Davis included several Foundation-funded researchers, so Erin knew a lot about the Foundation before she arrived. In fact, the Foundation funded part of her research through her mentor’s grant.

Erin started to think about what she would do once her PhD was finished, when a friend pointed out the new postdoctoral position at the Foundation.

“A friend saw your advertisement and thought the job would be perfect for me,” said Erin. “I was so excited to interview and I’m glad I was able to be awarded this unique fellowship!”

Fellowship training is more common in human than veterinary medicine. The Foundation was lucky to receive a donation earmarked to promote the development of a young researcher with a focus on epidemiology.

Dr. Simpson is mentoring Erin in her new role and guiding her through our Golden Retriever Lifetime Study database.

“Erin will be analyzing data for a number of projects related to the Study,” said Dr. Simpson. “But the most important project will be one that she designs herself!”

Erin also is a newlywed. She shares her home with her husband, Robert, and a rescue dog named Holly. Her horse, Uno, is still in California but will be joining Erin later this spring and Erin can’t wait.

Welcome, Erin!