Denver/Oct. 28, 2009-Helping animals enjoy longer, healthier lives requires ongoing scientific animal health research to give veterinarians the tools they need to better diagnose and treat animals. Morris Animal Foundation, a world leader in supporting research to prevent, treat and even cure disease in companion animals, horses and wildlife, has committed to funding more than 200 animal health studies in 2010, with support for those studies totaling $13 million over the next three years. Read full descriptions of the current studies at morrisanimalfoundation.org/studies
Funding will be provided to established researchers as well as new researchers, veterinary student scholars and veterinarians pursuing advanced study. Studies will take place at more than 60 of the world’s most elite veterinary colleges, zoological institutions and scientific research centers.
The Foundation will support more than 50 canine health studies that will research blood and eye disorders, infectious diseases, orthopedic problems, pain management, early retirement of guide dogs and urinary problems. A number of cancer studies, funded by the nonprofit’s Canine Cancer Campaign, will look at multiple aspects of canine cancer prevention and treatment.
The 24 feline health research studies address asthma, cancer, gastrointestinal problems, heart disease, kidney disease, pain management and urinary problems. A special fellowship project and three studies that look at transmission of upper respiratory infection in shelter cats are being funded by the Foundation’s Happy Healthy Cat Campaign. The campaign will also support a major genetics project to be launched in 2010.
The selection of 17 equine studies involves equine health research into genetics, foal diseases, laminitis, infectious diseases and colic. In addition, the Foundation will provide significant funding for its Equine Consortium for Genetic Research, a group of the world’s best equine researchers who are working on multiple collaborative projects to improve equine health through genetics.
An additional six health studies related to nutrition, genetics and infectious parasites will help llamas and alpacas. The Foundation is also the leader in wildlife health funding, with 42 studies designed to improve reproduction and nutrition and to decrease infectious disease in a host of animals, including anteaters, bears, birds, amphibians, elephants, primates, marine life, wolves, wild cats and many more.
In response to the growing shortage of veterinary scientists needed to improve animal health, Morris Animal Foundation designated $3.1 million of the $13 million toward training new scientists. More than 60 students will receive short-term grants through the Veterinary Student Scholars program, which gives students interested in animal health and welfare the opportunity to work with a mentor on research projects and encourages them to consider a career in veterinary research.
The new Pfizer Animal Health-Morris Animal Foundation Veterinary Fellowships for Advanced Study provides annual funding for veterinary professionals to pursue advanced study that will lead to careers in research. Eight veterinarians entered the program in September 2009, and an additional four fellows will begin September 2010. Additional training programs are being funded at Colorado State University, Oklahoma State University and the University of Minnesota.Individuals and groups have a unique opportunity to help animals through sponsorships of these studies. Co-sponsorships begin at $3,000 per study. Sponsorship information is available at morrisanimalfoundation.org/studies/sponsor-a-study, by calling 800.243.2345 or by e-mailing sponsorship@MorrisAnimalFoundation.org