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September 13, 2019 – Dr. Kathy Tietje has joined the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study team as Senior Director, after several years working in the human medical research field and biotechnology industries. We’re excited to have her on board!

Kathy grew up in western Michigan. After receiving a BS from Aquinas College, she headed to Seattle where she received her PhD in pharmacology from the University of Washington. She spent a number of years in research management and product development, and also picked up her MBA from University of Washington Bothell along the way.

Kathy’s interest and experience in human health longitudinal studies includes the Women’s Health Study and CARET (Carotene and Retinol Efficacy Trial). She followed this experience with a position at PATH, an international, nonprofit global health organization. One of her favorite projects at PATH was assessing the usability and accuracy of diagnostic tests for malaria in underserved countries.

“The project was really fascinating,” said Kathy. “It required understanding the complexity of malaria biology, the health systems in countries that typically used these tests, and the process of developing medical products. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded this project and I still follow their malaria eradication efforts.”

Kathy spent a few years in the biotechnology industry, both in the Seattle area and Boulder. Her passion for the nonprofit world brought her to Morris Animal Foundation and the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study. Kathy said she was drawn to the Study because the data and samples are a unique and invaluable opportunity for research that will extend for decades after the Study is complete.

“I’m thrilled to be part of the team that will connect these resources with national and international scientists who will make new medical breakthroughs,” said Kathy.

Kathy and her husband, Grant, are empty nesters and decided to move to a new area of the country. They love hiking and the outdoors and, with its thriving biotechnology industry, Colorado was a natural choice. They moved just outside of Boulder, home of the University of Colorado, as Kathy wanted to live in a college town. Kathy also is a self-proclaimed dog person. She and Grant have two Labrador retriever crosses, Coco and Jessie, and Kathy is enamored with their distinct personalities.

“The differences in how they relate to each other and their human pack members are so interesting!” said Kathy.

The team is lucky to have Kathy join us with her breadth of knowledge and experience in conducting large-scale studies with associated data and sample collection. And, we look forward to adding two more dogs to our office dog team.