Adam Boyko, PhD


Adam Boyko, PhD

Adam Boyko, PhD is a cofounder of Embark and an associate professor in Biomedical Sciences at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. His research focuses on the genomic investigation of dogs.

Dr. Boyko's research has addressed fundamental questions of dog evolution and history, disease and trait mapping, and advancing genomic tools for canine research. He has coauthored over 60 peer-reviewed scientific papers, including research in Nature, Science, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

Dr. Boyko is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Morris Animal Foundation. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and received an MS in Computer Science and a PhD in Biology from Purdue University before his postdoctoral work at Cornell and Stanford.

All work

Shih Tzu sitting with a bow in hair
Genetic Health Education

Should I breed a dog tested as a carrier or at-risk?


Learn how to factor genetic health results into breeding decisions in this introductory video with Embark Co-founder Dr. Adam Boyko. How should I factor my dog’s genetic health results into my breeding decisions? Many breeders receive their dog’s Embark results and discover that their dog is a carrier or at-risk for a genetic health condition....

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How Dog DNA Testing Works

Embark CSO Explains Genetic Diversity


Genetic diversity refers to the total number of genetic characteristics in the genetic makeup of a certain species. Embark cofounder and Chief Science Officer Dr. Adam Boyko explains genetic diversity and how it affects dogs in the following video. Dr. Boyko has traveled to every inhabitable continent to study dogs and is a professor at...

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basenji mix
Dog Decoded

Surprise! What You Need to Know About Your Basenji Mix


I adopted my mutt Penny from an animal shelter in Rochester, NY. The shelter labeled her as a “Terrier-Basenji” mix. She certainly had the curly tail of a Basenji, but many dogs have curly tails. As a dog geneticist, I knew that if she truly was part Basenji, it would become very clear with a...

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How Dog DNA Testing Works

Oedipus Rex: Dog Inbreeding, its Consequences, and its Quantification


For millenia, dog breeders have intentionally mated relatives as a way to fix traits in a lineage, recognizing that there is a reduction of fitness in offspring of close relatives. However, this certainly wasn’t always intentional as one can see from this post on the Hapsburg lip. A century ago, Sewall Wright devised the coefficient...

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About Our Research

Why I Founded Embark


I founded Embark because I love dogs and science. My earliest experiences as a biologist came in the rainforests of Costa Rica and Panama studying all different sorts of tropical biodiversity, and also getting friendly with the free-ranging dogs wandering around the nearby towns (my family even adopted a dog in Panama when we lived...

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