What’s been done about canine research

The collection of scientific data is of the highest importance; helping all those invested in canine health to understand the prevalence and heritability of specific disorders, identify the genetic status of dogs prior to breeding and to develop effective treatments.  This article aims to provide information on how the Kennel Club is helping to support and promote research into canine health.



Founded in 1987, The Kennel Club Charitable Trust has, to date, donated approximately £6.5 million to support, amongst other things, a diverse range of research projects, including such topics as; simple inherited canine disorders, oncology, Chiari Malformation/Syringomyelia, epilepsy, cardiac disease, arthritis and deafness, to name but a few.

Furthering research at the Animal Health Trust

In 2009, The Kennel Club Charitable Trust invested £1.2 million in The Kennel Club Genetics Centre at the Animal Health Trust (AHT), enabling the collection and storage of DNA for future use (11,000 dogs to date), Genome-wide association studies and the identification of, and means by which to test for, genetic mutations found in 29 breeds (38,000 dogs tested to date through the AHT's DNA testing facility).  Five years on, the Kennel Club Charitable Trust has committed a further £1.6 million to further the research carried out at the centre.

In 2013, The Kennel Club provided the AHT with an interest-free loan of £1.5 million to help with the construction and development of The Kennel Club Cancer Centre at the Animal Health Trust.  The Centre contributes to the AHT's well-established cancer research programme and brings together the expertise of their clinical oncology team, molecular scientists and geneticists to investigate cancers in animals.

Inspiring researchers

To further promote and encourage research and to recognise innovative scientific investigations, The Kennel Club Charitable Trust, alongside Vernon and Shirley Hill, founders of Metro Bank, have created the International Canine Health Awards, the largest veterinary awards in Europe.  The awards offer a funding programme to each recipient of the Student Inspiration Award (£10,000), the International Prize in canine health (£40,000) and the Lifetime Achievement Award (£10,000). 

Promoting studies and helping to recruit

The Kennel Club has recently developed an online communication resource known as Bio-acquisition Research Collaboration (BARC), which helps bring researchers and clinicians together. BARC acts as a central platform for researchers to request the biological samples they need to undertake their research.

The Kennel Club has recently developed further means by which to assist researchers recruit for their studies, via publicity and promotion through social media (Kennel Club Facebook page and Twitter account), The Events, Seminars and Surveys section on the Kennel Club website, BARC, Kennel Scope and most importantly, by utilising our registration database collaboratively with appropriate research  collaboration to contact registered owners of particular breeds.

Publication of results

The new Canine Genetics and Epidemiology journal,launched in April 2014,is a peer-reviewed, open access, online publication containing research and review articles relating to all aspects of canine genetics and epidemiology.  This international journal aims to encourage public understanding of science, with each paper published including key "take home messages" for non-specialists, bridging the gap between breeders, clinicians and scientists.

For further information on how the Kennel Club can assist researchers, please visit the vets and researchers tab on the Kennel Club website.

Source: www.thekennelclub.org.uk



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