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OFA Funded Research

OFA—The Non Profit

As a private not-for-profit foundation, the OFA has funded nearly $3 million in research aimed at reducing the incidence and prevalence of inherited companion animal disease. The OFA funds projects through the AKC Canine Health Foundation (AKC CHF), the Morris Animal Foundation (MAF) and occasionally through direct grants. The OFA has achieved Ruby Donor status with MAF, and Millennium Founder status with the AKC CHF. OFA supported research is not limited to orthopedic disease, and has included cancers, heart disease, and thyroid disease as examples. Some research has been breed specific, some for all breeds, some for multiple species, and has been done at many of our leading universities and research institutions. And, with the recent completion of the mapping of the canine genome, the OFA is focusing more of its research dollars towards research at the molecular level.


2013-2014 Research Grant Funding

At its Annual Meeting the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) Board of Directors approved $75,000 in new canine health research grant sponsorships. The funding will be directed through approved grants at the AKC Canine Health Foundation (AKC CHF) and the Morris Animal Foundation (MAF). The grants representing a broad spectrum of research, and leading academic and research institutions include:

In addition to the grants listed above, the OFA contributes throughout the year through other programs such as DNA Banking for future canine health research, our endowed veterinary student scholarships at the University of Missouri, regular contributions to the ACVO Vision for Animals Foundation, and most recently our full sponsorship of an AKC Pet Disaster Relief Trailer.

These grants and programs total over $150,000 in 2013 direct support of the OFA’s mission to improve the health and well being of companion animals through a reduction in the incidence of genetic disease.

2013 Research Grant Funding

AKC Canine Health Foundation
Grant 01753, “Identification of genetic modifiers that impact clinical expression of arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy in the Boxer dog”
Primary investigator, Dr. Kathryn Meurs, North Carolina State University

AKC Canine Health Foundation
Grant 01766, “Identifying disease related genes in renal dysplasia in Boxers and additional breeds”
Primary investigator Dr. Lindblad-Toh, Broad Institute

Morris Animal Foundation
Grant D13CA-020, “Identifying Genes Associated with Cruciate Rupture in Labradors”
Primary investigator: Dr. Peter Muir, University of Wisconsin

Morris Animal Foundation
Grant D13CA-403, “Mapping Orthopedic Disease in Border Collies”
Primary investigator: Dr. Marjo Hytonen, University of Helsinki

Morris Animal Foundation
Grant D10CA-303, “Identifying Genetic Mutations for Cataracts in Australian Shepherds”
Primary investigator: Dr. Sally Ricketts, Animal Health Trust, UK

Morris Animal Foundation
Grant D09CA-909, “Identifying the Genetic Mutation for a Heart Defect”
Primary investigator: Dr. Joshua Stern, Washington State University

Morris Animal Foundation
Grant D13CA-041, “Identifying Genetic Markers for a Congenital Heart Disorder in Newfoundlands”
Primary investigator: Dr. Kathryn Meurs, North Carolina State University

Morris Animal Foundation
Grant D13CA-071, “Identifying Genetic Markers for a Congenital Heart Disorder in Dogs”
Primary investigator: Dr. Kathryn Meurs, North Carolina State University

Morris Animal Foundation
Grant D12CA-031, “Understanding the Genetic Basis for Urinary Stones”
Primary investigator: Dr. Edward Patterson, University of Minnesota

2012 Research Grant Funding

Morris Animal Foundation
Grant # MAF-D12CA-031
Research Institution: University of Minnesota
Title: Understanding the Genetic Basis for Urinary Stones
Researchers: Dr. Ned Patterson

Morris Animal Foundation
Grant # MAF-D10CA-051
Research Institution: University of London, United Kingdom
Title: Studying Genetic Factors for Inflammatory Bowel Disease in German Shepherds
Researchers: Dr. Karin Allenspach

2011 OFA Research Funding

Morris Animal Foundation
Grant # MAF-D10CA-303
Research Institution: Animal Health Trust, United Kingdom
Title: Identifying Genetic Mutations for Cataracts in Australian Shepherds
Researchers: Dr. Sally Ricketts

Morris Animal Foundation
Grant # MAF-D09CA-909
Research Institution: Washington State University
Title: Understanding a Genetic Mutation That Causes Heart Defects in Golden Retrievers
Researchers: Dr. Joshua Stearn

AKC Canine Health Foundation
Grant # 1271
Title:  Mapping of Additional Genes Associated with Canine Degenerative Myelopathy
Research Institutions:  Broad Institute & University of Missouri
Researchers:  Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, PhD & Joan Coates, DMV, MS, DACVIM-N
Abstract: http://www.akcchf.org/research/grants/search/index.cfm?search=number&display=results&number=1271

AKC Canine Health Foundation
Grant # 1312
Title:  Association Mapping Study of Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
Research Institutions:  Clemson University
Researchers:  Keith Murphy, PhD
Abstract: http://www.akcchf.org/research/grants/search/index.cfm?search=number&display=results&number=1312

AKC Canine Health Foundation
Grant # 1424
Title:  Genetic Analysis of Cleft Palate
Research Institutions:  University of California – Davis
Researchers:  Danika Bannasch, DVM, PhD
Abstract:  http://www.akcchf.org/research/grants/search/index.cfm?search=numberd&display=results&number=1424

AKC Canine Health Foundation
Grant # 1485
Title:  Study of PLE/PLN in Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers
Research Institutions:  University of Pennsylvania
Researchers:  Dr. Meryl Littman
Abstract:  http://www.akcchf.org/research/grants/search/index.cfm?search=numberd&display=results&number=1485

2010 OFA Research Funding

Morris Animal Foundation, Grant D09CA-613
Studying Dalmatian Susceptibility to Chronic Kidney Disease
Nili Karmi, University of California–Davis   

Dalmatians are the only dog breed in which all individuals produce uric acid as the end product of food breakdown. As a result, these dogs have high amounts of this acid in their blood and urine, which can lead to bladder stones. In humans, increased levels of this acid cause high blood pressure that can lead to chronic kidney disease, but the effects of high uric acid in the blood of Dalmatians have never been investigated. This study will determine whether Dalmatians are predisposed to chronic kidney disease.

2009/2010 OFA Research Funding

Morris Animal Foundation
Grant # MAF-D08CA-001
Research Institution: Cornell University
Title: Identifying Genetic Markers for Liver Disorders
Researchers: Dr. Sharon A. Center
View Abstract:  http://www.morrisanimalfoundation.org/studies/current-studies/D08CA-001

AKC Canine Health Foundation
Grant # 1271
Title:Mapping of Additional Genes Associated with Canine Degenerative Myelopathy
Research Institutions:  Broad Institute & University of Missouri
Researchers:  Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, PhD & Joan Coates, DMV, MS, DACVIM-N
View Abstract:http://www.akcchf.org/research/grants/search/index.cfm?search=number&display=results&number=1271

AKC Canine Health Foundation
Grant # 1312
Title:Association Mapping Study of Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
Research Institutions:  Clemson University
Researchers:  Keith Murphy, PhD
View Abstract: http://www.akcchf.org/research/grants/search/index.cfm?search=number&display=results&number=1312

AKC Canine Health Foundation
Grant # 1151
Title:Molecular Basis of Tricuspid Valve Dysplasia
Research Institutions:  University of Pennsylvania
Researchers:  Paula S. Henthorn, PhD
View Abstract: http://www.akcchf.org/research/grants/search/index.cfm?search=number&display=results&number=1151

AKC Canine Health Foundation
Grant # 372
Title:  Determination of Breed Specific Reference Ranges for Assessing Thyroid Function in Several Breeds
Research Institutions:  University of Minnesota
Researchers:  Rebecca Davies, PhD
View Abstract: http://www.akcchf.org/research/grants/search/index.cfm?search=numberd&display=results&number=372


2007/2008 OFA Research Funding

Morris Animal Foundation
Grant # MAF-D06CA-026
Research Institution: The Ohio State University
Title: Investigating the Biology of Canine Met Mutations
Researchers: Dr. Cheryl London
Abstract: 
Research has shown that mutations in a gene called Met contribute to the development of numerous types of cancer in people and mice. Met inhibitors that may stop these mutations are entering human clinical cancer trials, and with further scientific work, the same trials could take place for dogs. Researchers in this study already have identified two similar mutations in dogs, one of which has been found in about 70 percent of Rottweilers, which have a high risk of developing cancer. This study will continue investigating the biology of Met mutations in dogs and lay the foundation for using Met inhibitors in dogs with cancer.

Morris Animal Foundation
Grant # MAF-D06CA-066
Research Institution: The Broad Institute
Title: Mapping Genes Associated With Canine Mast Cell Tumors
Researchers: Dr. Kerstin Lindblad-Toh
Abstract: 
Mast cell tumors (MCT) are the most common skin tumors in dogs. Survival rates are dependent upon the tumor grade. While dogs with grade 1 tumors often experience long-term survival, those with grade 3 tumors usual die within six months. This cancer has a particularly high occurrence in certain breeds, which suggests a significant genetic component. This study will use a new approach to identify genes that contribute to an increased risk of developing mast cell cancer in golden retrievers and related breeds. Identifying these genes will help scientists rapidly develop genetic tests that would indicated a predisposition to this cancer and would help develop therapeutic strategies based on tumor grade.

Morris Animal Foundation
Grant # MAF-D05CA-072
Research Institution: University of California - Davis
Title: Developing A Genetic Marker For Idiopathic Epilepsy In The Belgian Sheepdog
Researchers: Dr. Anita Oberbauer
Abstract: 
Idiopathic epilepsy affects more than 30 different dog breeds. It causes recurrent seizures that can be mild to severe. In most dogs, seizures can be controlled through medication; however, up to 30 percent of dogs suffering from repeated seizures may not respond to therapeutic drugs. In the Belgian Tervuren and Sheepdog, idiopathic epilepsy is a genetic disorder with exceptionally high heritability. Although the exact genetic defect is unknown, it appears to be significantly influenced by a single autosomal recessive gene. In previous MAF-funded studies, investigators identified five potential chromosomal regions that may be linked to idiopathic seizures in Tervurens and Sheepdogs. Using canine genomic resources, they hope to develop, in this study, a genetic marker associated with the gene that causes seizures in these dogs. This marker would lead to the development of a genetic test for diagnosing this disease in these breeds.

AKC Canine Health Foundation
Grant # 768
Research Institution: University of Illinois
Title: A Collaborative Study by Veterinary Oncologists, Pathologists and Diagnostic Laboratories to Enhance the Detection, Diagnosis and Treatment of Canine Lymphoma
Researchers: Dr. Ted Valli
View Abstract:
www.akcchf.org/research/grants/search/index.cfm?search=number&display=results&number=768

AKC Canine Health Foundation
Grant # 778
Research Institution: Colorado State University
Title: Role of Regulatory T Cells in Dogs with Osteosarcoma
Researchers: Dr. Steve Dow
View Abstract:
www.akcchf.org/research/grants/search/index.cfm?search=number&display=results&number=778

AKC Canine Health Foundation
Grant # 790
Research Institution: Ohio State University
Title: MicroRNA Profiling and MicroRNA-Based Treatment of Canine Cancers
Researchers: Dr. William Kisseberth
View Abstract:
www.akcchf.org/research/grants/search/index.cfm?search=number&display=results&number=790

AKC Canine Health Foundation
Grant # 372
Title:  Determination of BreedSpecificReferenceRanges for Assessing Thyroid Function in Several Breeds
Research Institutions:  University of Minnesota
Researchers:  Rebecca Davies, PhD
View Abstract:
www.akcchf.org/research/grants/search/index.cfm?search=number&display=results&number=372

AKC Canine Health Foundation
Grant # 615
Title:  Heritable and Sporadic Genetic Lesions in Canine Lymphoma
Research Institutions:  North Carolina State University, University of Colorado
Researchers:  Matthew Breen, PhD, Jaime Modiano, VMD, PhD
View Abstract:
www.akcchf.org/research/grants/search/index.cfm?search=number&display=results&number=615

2006 OFA Research Funding

Morris Animal Foundation
Grant # D04CA-135
Title:  Mapping Refinement of Quantitative Trait Loci for Canine Hip Dysplasia
Research Institution:  Cornell University
Researcher:  Rory Tudhunter, BVSc, PhD, D04CA-135
View Abstract:
www.morrisanimalfoundation.org/apply/studies/dog/current.asp#hipDysplasia

AKC Canine Health Foundation
Grant # 212
Title:  Development of a New Resource for Positional Cloning of Hip Dysplasia Genes:  A High Density SNP Map of Canine Chromosome One
Research Institutions:  CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique), Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center, National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Researchers:  Francis Galibert, PhD, Elaine Ostrander, PhD
View Abstract:  www.akcchf.org/research/grants/search/index.cfm?search=number&display=results&number=212

AKC Canine Health Foundation
Grant # 272
Title:  Oligonucleotide Micrarray Gene Expression Profiling of Canine Lymphoma
Research Institutions:  Ohio State University
Researchers:  William C. Kisseberth, DVM, PhD
View Abstract:
www.akcchf.org/research/grants/search/index.cfm?search=number&display=results&number=272

AKC Canine Health Foundation (also 2007)
Grant # 372
Title:  Determination of BreedSpecificReferenceRanges for Assessing Thyroid Function in Several Breeds
Research Institutions:  University of Minnesota
Researchers:  Rebecca Davies, PhD
View Abstract:
www.akcchf.org/research/grants/search/index.cfm?search=number&display=results&number=372

AKC Canine Health Foundation
Grant # 580
Title:  Patella Luxation in Dogs:  A Molecular Approach
Research Institutions:  University of Utrecht
Researchers:  H.A.W. Hazewinkel, DVM, PhD
View Abstract:
www.akcchf.org/research/grants/search/index.cfm?search=number&display=results&number=580

AKC Canine Health Foundation (also 2007)
Grant # 615
Title:  Heritable and Sporadic Genetic Lesions in Canine Lymphoma
Research Institutions:  North Carolina State University, University of Colorado
Researchers:  Matthew Breen, PhD, Jaime Modiano, VMD, PhD
View Abstract:
www.akcchf.org/research/grants/search/index.cfm?search=number&display=results&number=615

Partners

Canine Health Information Center (CHIC)

Canine Health Foundation

Morris Animal Foundation

Animal Health Trust

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