News Release

Morris Animal Foundation funds 6 new studies to advance canine cancer research

Grant and Award Announcement

Morris Animal Foundation

DENVER/Sept. 12, 2023 – Recent findings from the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study confirm the enormous impact of hemangiosarcoma on golden retrievers. To address critical gaps in disease detection and treatment, Morris Animal Foundation announced it is funding six studies focused on this deadly form of canine cancer. 

“We are committed to providing resources to the top research teams in the world that can advance our understanding of hemangiosarcoma," said Dr. Kathy Tietje, Chief Program Officer at Morris Animal Foundation. "These innovative research projects represent the best of the best. All who have contributed to the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study deserve to see progress in addressing this devastating disease.” 

The six studies will explore a range of approaches to prevent, diagnose and treat hemangiosarcoma, and include the following: 

Dr. Erin Dickerson, University of Minnesota – Investigate whether different hemangiosarcoma subtypes influence how affected dogs respond to treatment. 

Dr. Andrea Pires dos Santos, Purdue University – Examine the feasibility of using molecules called microRNAs as an early detection tool for hemangiosarcoma. 

Dr. Jong Hyuk Kim, University of Florida – Investigate the role of a genetic mutation found in about 1/3 of dogs diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma in effort to find new therapies for dogs affected by hemangiosarcoma. 

Dr. Frances Chen, University of Massachusetts – Develop statistical breeding models to help reduce hemangiosarcoma incidence in dog breeds. 

Dr. Jiho Kim, Protein Advances Incorporated Life Sciences – Explore whether a protein found in some human cancers is also present in hemangiosarcoma tumors and is a feasible therapy target. 

Dr. Alexandre Le Roux, Schwarzman Animal Medical Center – Use a technique called single-cell RNA sequencing to identify surface markers specific to canine hemangiosarcoma cells as a first step toward the development of an effective and precise radiation therapy. 

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, Colorado, it is one of the largest nonprofit animal health research organizations in the world, funding nearly $160 million in more than 3,000 critical studies to date across a broad range of species. Learn more at   

Media Contact: Annie Mehl

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