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Winn Announces Grant Award For Amyloidosis Study

Winn Feline Foundation

Vicki Thayer, DVM, DABVP (Feline)
Executive Director
888-963-6946, extension 702
Media Info

Steve Dale, CABC
Media Contact and Winn Board Member
Media Info

For Immediate Release

Wyckoff, NJ, November 9, 2015: Winn Feline Foundation is pleased to announce a research grant award to determine a genetic cause of amyloidosis in Siamese and Oriental-related breeds of cats. Amyloidosis is a group of diseases that all cause the build-up of amyloid proteins in different organs, such as the kidney and liver. The deposited proteins clog the organs causing the organs to eventually fail, leading to death from liver or kidney failure. The study is funded through the generous support of private donations from around the world concerned about the significant impact of amyloidosis in these breeds.

Winn Board President, Glenn Olah, DVM, PhD, DABVP (Feline) says, “Due the request of several concerned cat breeders, the Winn Board of Directors established a special donation fund for research on amyloidosis in the “slinky breeds” this past July. The goal is to find the cause of the disease and develop a test to identify affected cats thus allowing Fanciers to breed away from the disease. I’m impressed with the overwhelming support the Fancy community has given for finding answers to this devastating disease and pleased that Winn Feline Foundation responded quickly to fund a researcher of Dr. Lyons’ caliber as a geneticist. We are appreciative of the results coming from the 99 Lives Initiative at the University of Missouri.”

Determining genetic answers for amyloidosis of Siamese and related breeds (MTW15-017)  Principal Investigator: Leslie Lyons, PhD, Barbara Gandolfi, PhD; University of Missouri; $15,500

The complete DNA sequence of an individual can now be determined within a few days. The 99 Lives Cat Genome Sequencing Initiative has been initiated to find the genetic causes of health problems in felines.  There is strong evidence that amyloidosis is heritable. Two breeds of cats suffer from amyloidosis: Oriental/Siamese related cats and Abyssinian related cats, however their diseases present differently. The Siamese and Oriental cats tend to have a liver disease such that amyloid protein build-up causes the liver to become hard and then rupture, causing the cats to die of severe hemorrhage. This study will determine the entire genome of two Siamese – Oriental cats with well-defined amyloidosis in order to attempt to identify a genetic cause of amyloidosis. The whole genome sequencing phase of the study will begin in November.

Winn Feline Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 1968 that supports studies to improve cat health. Since 1968, the Winn Feline Foundation has funded over $5.4 million in health research for cats at more than 30 partner institutions world-wide. For further information, go to www.winnfelinefoundation.org.

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