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Winn Feline Foundation Awards Five Grants For Feline Health Studies

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 21, 2016:  Winn Feline Foundation is pleased to announce2016-mt-grants-press-release the award of five feline health research grants funded in partnership with the George Sydney and Phyllis Redman Miller Trust for 2016.  Winn President, Glenn A. Olah DVM, PhD, DABVP (Feline) comments, “With the help of the Miller Trust, Winn Feline Foundation continues to remain at the forefront of providing funding for feline health studies.  As the only foundation focused exclusively on feline medical research support, Winn Feline is in a unique position to help advance the body of medical knowledge on the cat.”  Through the Miller Trust, Winn Feline Foundation is awarding $124,495 for studies in cats on characterizing calcium oxalate mineralization in diseased kidneys, evaluating if oral glucocorticoids affect glucose levels and fluid balance, delivering a new chemotherapy system for injection-site sarcomas, developing a new concept vaccine for FIP, and exploring a genetic cause for potential predisposition for ringworm in Persian cats.

Grants were awarded for the following research studies:

Characterization of mineralization and expression of osteogenic proteins in feline kidneys with and without calcium oxalate uroliths.  (MT16-004)
Principal Investigators: Jody Lulich, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, Eva Furrow, VMD, PhD, DACVIM; University of Minnesota; $12,000

Many cats with kidney disease also have kidney stones, which cannot be treated and may make the disease worse. This study investigates whether diseased kidney cells develop traits similar to bone-forming cells and produce substances that cause mineralization that lead to stone formation. If this hypothesis is correct, new treatments that prevent or minimize mineralization should improve survival.

The effects of oral anti-inflammatory glucocorticoids on glucose homeostasis and fluid balance in clinically healthy cats. (MT16-007)
Principal Investigator: Jessica Ward, DVM, DACVIM; Iowa State University; $24,975

Steroids are used in medicine to treat many different diseases but may cause side effects, including heart failure due to increases in blood glucose. This study investigates whether oral prednisolone, a commonly used medication, can cause these side effects. If no effect is found, this will lead to more confident use of this medication in cats.

Carboplatin-impregnated calcium sulfate hemihydrate beads: A cost-effective, local treatment for feline injection site-associated sarcoma. (MT16-010)
Principal Investigators: Heidi Phillips, DVM, DACVS, Elizabeth Maxwell, DVM; University of Illinois; $29,169.

These highly aggressive tumors have limited treatment options in cats. This study investigates whether a very effective chemotherapy drug, known to be toxic to cats, can be administered by a new method with minimal side effects. This method has been used in other species with good results.

Structure-based design of a novel subunit immunogen for development as a feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) vaccine. (MT16-014)
Principal Investigator:
Gary Whittaker, PhD; Cornell University; $30,273

FIP is a very lethal infection in cats without effective treatment options. While vaccination is the best method to control this disease, past attempts have been unsuccessful. This study investigates a different approach to vaccine development which has proven effective with other diseases.

Susceptibility to dermatophytes and asymptomatic carrier state in Persian cats. (MT16-015)
Principal Investigators: Aline Rodriguez Hoffman, DVM, PhD, William Murphy, PhD; Texas A&M University; $28,078

Persian cats develop a fungal skin infection, called “ringworm,” more often than other breeds of cats. This study investigates whether Persians are more likely to become infected without symptoms, which makes the disease difficult to control. It also investigates whether Persians have a genetic defect that predisposed them to this disease. If so, they could be identified before reproducing, to decrease the incidence in this breed.

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 $5.7 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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