Genetic basis of naturally-occurring cancers in purebred dogs as a model for human disease
Dr. Evans will discuss genetic investigation of cancer susceptibility in dogs, focusing on her histiocytic sarcoma research, as well as how the results of these studies can be applied to improve canine health.
About the Speaker
Dr. Jacquelyn Evans has studied canine genetics for the last 10 years. She earned her PhD at Clemson University where she identified three mutations that together increase risk for an autoimmune disease, dermatomyositis, in Collies and Shetland Sheepdogs. From this work, she developed a genetic risk assessment that can be used to carefully design matings to reduce the likelihood of producing affected puppies. Dr. Evans completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health, studying cancer susceptibility. She identified two genetic variants in Flat-coated Retrievers that are associated with risk for histiocytic sarcoma, a lethal cancer that affects approximately 20% of the breed. Dr. Evans is now an Assistant Professor at the Baker Institute for Animal Health at Cornell University. She is interested in understanding the genetic basis of complex diseases, including cancer, and applying this to canine health through genetic tepting. Among her current projects is investigating breed predisposition to stomach cancer.