Faculty Research and Program Support

Faculty Research and Program Support

Faculty research pictureThe CCAH provides grant funding on a competitive basis to faculty for studies dedicated to advancing the health of dogs, cats and exotic pets. For over 25 years the CCAH has been supporting these efforts, and has awarded more than $20 million. In 2020-21, the CCAH funded 35 faculty grants totaling $828,356, and 11 matching grants in the amount of $85,500.

By supporting our faculty research, we directly impact companion animals and their families by doing the work needed to better understand, prevent and treat disease. Here are a few examples of how the CCAH uses your donations to fund groundbreaking research.






Some of the new CCAH awarded faculty grants for 2020-2021 include:

  • Developing anticoronalviral therapies for cats with FIP (Murphy)
  • Effect of age, sex, and weight on antioxidant and vitamin status in cats (Giulivi)
  • Exploring the therapeutic potential of a Rbm38 Peptide for the treatment of canine lymphoma (Zhang)
  • SARS-CoV-2 intestinal infection in feline and canine intestinal organoid (Kol)
  • Fatty acid analysis and stability of selected vegetable and fish oils in pet food (Larsen)
  • Treatment for chemotherapy-induced diarrhea in dogs (Willcox)
  • Pilot safety study on the use of therapeutic drug for dogs with epilepsy (Lein)
  • Endoscopy versus surgically acquired biopsies of the intestine (Marsilio)
  • Stem-cell therapy for the treatment of persistent bacterial bone infections (Filliquist)
  • Collagen crosslinking with riboflavin for treatment of canine infectuous keratitis (Da Costa Martins)
  • Evaluation of Leptospira exposure and infection in a feral cat population (Sykes)
  • Efficacy of multiple dose acyclovir against Cyprinid Herpesvirus 3 infection in koi. (Soto Martinez)
  • Comprehensive profiling of antirvial immune responses in dogs (Keller)
  • Mediated microglial immunosuppression in brain tumors (Toedebusch, C.)
  • Feline burn wounds: digital measurement, diagnostic imaging, bacterial assessment, and proteomics (Peyton)
  • Endoscopic identification of gastrointestinal lesions in dogs with shunts (Culp)
  • Efficacy and safety of the nucleoside analog GS-441524 for treatment of cats with naturally occurring feline infectious peritonitis
  • Pedersen NC, Perron M, Bannasch M, Montgomery E, Murakami E, Liepnieks M, Liu H

    The aim of this study was to determine the safety and efficacy of the drug GS-441524 to treat cats suffering from various forms of naturally acquired feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). 31 cats were enrolled in the study. Cats ranged from 3.4-73 months of age. 26 had effusive or dry-to-effusive FIP and 5 had non-effusive disease. Cats with severe neurological and ocular FIP were not recruited. The group was started on GS-441524 at a dosage of 2.0 mg/kg SC q24h for at least 12 weeks and increased when indicated to 4.0 mg/kg SC q24h. Four of the 31 cats that presented with severe disease died or were euthanized within 2-5 days and a fifth cat after 26 days. The 26 remaining cats completed the planned 12 weeks or more of treatment. Eighteen of these 26 cats remain healthy at the time of publication after one round of treatment, while eight others suffered disease relapses within 3-84 days. Three of the eight relapsing cats were treated again at the same dosage, while five cats had the dosage increased from 2.0 to 4.0 mg/kg q24h. The five cats treated a second time at the higher dosage, including one with neurological disease, responded well and also remain healthy at the time of publication. However, one of the three cats re-treated at the original lower dosage relapsed with neurological disease and was euthanized, while the two remaining cats responded favorably but relapsed a second time. These two cats were successfully treated a third time at the higher dosage, producing 25 long-time survivors. One of the 25 successfully treated cats was subsequently euthanized due to presumably unrelated heart disease, while 24 remain healthy. GS-441524 was shown to be a safe and effective treatment for FIP. The optimum dosage for this drug was found to be 4.0 mg/kg SC q24h for at least 12 weeks.
  • Prophylactic and therapeutic effects of twice-daily famciclovir administration on infectious upper respiratory disease in shelter-housed cats
  • Cooper AE, Thomasy SM, Drazenovich TL, Kass PH, Potnis SS, Leutenegger CM, Maggs DJ

    In humans with herpetic disease, early or pre-emptive famciclovir therapy, which is an antiviral drug,  reduces disease duration and severity. This prospective, masked, placebo-controlled study tested therapeutic and prophylactic effects of two famciclovir doses given to cats for 7 days following shelter entry. Cats were assigned to prophylactic or therapeutic study arms based on clinical evidence of herpetic disease at study entry. Cats in the therapeutic arm received no treatment (n = 19), placebo (lactose; n = 18) or famciclovir at ~30 (n = 21) or ~90 mg/kg (n = 20) by mouth twice daily for 7 days. Cats in the prophylactic arm received no treatment (n = 25) or famciclovir at ~30 (n = 28) or ~90 mg/kg (n = 27) by mouth twice daily for 7 days. Disease scores, body weight, conjunctival feline herpesvirus 1 (FHV-1) shedding, and adoption rates were recorded on days 1 (admission), 8 (end of therapy) and 15 (1 week after cessation of therapy). No significant differences in clinical scores were observed among groups in the prophylactic or therapeutic arms at any of the three time points. However, within the therapeutic arm, viral shedding on day 8 was significantly higher in cats receiving no treatment compared to  those receiving ~30 or ~90 mg/kg famciclovir, and this effect persisted 1 week after famciclovir was stopped (day 15) only in cats receiving ~30 mg/kg, although this approached significance in cats receiving ~90 mg/kg. No significant differences in adoption rates were detected among groups in either arm throughout the study. Although we did not demonstrate a statistically or clinically significant effect of famciclovir administration upon clinical signs of infectious upper respiratory disease or adoption, when it was administered at ~30 or ~90 mg/kg twice daily for 1 week famciclovir reduced conjunctival FHV-1 shedding. This suggests a potential role in interrupting the infectious cycle within a shelter population; however, cost in time and resources, and stress and pathogen transmission induced by oral administration should be considered.
  • Determination of mammalian DNA in commercial canine diets with uncommon and limited ingredients
  • Fossati LA, Larsen JA, Villaverde C, Fascetti AJ

    Over-the-counter (OTC) commercially available, limited ingredient diets for dogs could be reliable alternatives to veterinary therapeutic diet formulations for the diagnosis and management of adverse food reaction (AFR). However, the possibility of undeclared ingredients jeopardizes the efficacious use of OTC options for medical purposes. The objective was to determine the presence of undeclared ingredients in OTC canine dry diets marketed as limited or single protein source diets. Twenty-one OTC adult canine diets marketed as limited or single protein source diets were purchased. Multiplex PCR was used to screen for DNA of 10 mammalian species. The presence of DNA from one or more species not declared on the label was identified in all 21 diets tested and included cow (Bos taurus), pig (Sus scrofa), sheep (Ovis sp.), goat (Capra hircus) and bison (Bison bison). Twenty diets were positive for the declared protein source and one diet was negative for the declared species. Cat (Felis catus), dog (Canis sp.), horse (Equus sp.), mouse (Mus musculus) and rat (Rattus norvegicus) DNA was not identified in any samples. The presence of undeclared mammal species in OTC canine dry diets marketed as having limited or single protein source ingredients may complicate AFR diagnosis and treatment. However, PCR can detect a miniscule amount of DNA which might not be clinically significant, because the amount needed to elicit a response is unknown. Quantification of the contamination was not determined in this study, precluding discrimination of intentional adulteration from unavoidable cross-contamination.


2019-2020 CCAH published donor-funded studies:


Use of transrectal ultrasonography for assessment of the size and location of prostatic carcinoma in dogs
American Journal of Veterinary Research (November 2019)
Culp, WTN, Johnson, E, Giufridda, MA, Palm, CA, Mayhew, P, Kent, MS, Rebhun, RB, Burton, JH

The interaction between RUNX2 and core binding factor beta as a potential therapeutic target in canine osteosarcoma
Veterinary and Comparative Oncology (March 2020)
Alegre, F, Ormonde, AR, Godinez, DR, Illendula, A, Bushweller, JH, Wittenburg, LA

Intramuscular diphenhydramine does not affect acute doxorubicin infusion-related arrhythmia number or severity in a prospective crossover study in canine lymphoma: A Pilot Study
Frontiers in Veterinary Science (July 2020)
Willcox, JL, Belanger, C, Burton, JH, Yu, L, Yu, U, Visser, LC, Skorupski, K, Stern, JA

Clinicopathological characteristics of histiocytic sarcoma affecting the central nervous system in dogs
Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine (March 2020)
Toyoda, I, Vernau, W, Sturges, BK, Vermau, KM, Rossmeisl, J, Zimmerman, K, Crose, CM, Woolard, K, Gufridda, M, Higgins, RJ, Dickenson, PJ

Canine platelets express functional Toll-like receptor-4: lipopolysaccharide-triggered platelet activation is dependent on adenosine diphosphate and thromboxane A2 in dogs
BMC Veterinary Research (July 2019)
Li, RHL, Nguyen, N, Tablin, F

Pigment Intensity in Dogs is Associated with a Copy Number Variant Upstream of KITLG
Genes (Basel) (January 2020)
Weich, K, Affolter, V, York, D, Rebhun, R, Kallenberg, A, Bannasch, D

Comparison of the efficacy and duration of desensitization of oral structures following injection of various volumes of a lidocaine-bupivacaine mixture via an infraorbital approach in dogs
American Journal of Veterinary Research (July 2020)
Pascoe PJ, Chohan AS.

Utility of bronchoscopy combined with surgery in the treatment and outcomes of dogs with intrathoracic disease secondary to plant awn migration
Veterinary Surgery (July 2019)
Gibson EA, Balsa IM, Mayhew PD, Phillips, K, Giuffrida, MA, Culp, WTN, Steffey, MA, Johnson, LR


A multicenter experience using adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cell therapy for cats with chronic, non-responsive gingivostomatitis
Stem Cell Research & Therapy (March 2020)
Arzi, B, Peralta, S, Fiani, N, Vapniarsky, N, Taechangam, N, Delatorre, U, Clark, KC, Walker, N, Loscar, M, Lommer, MJ, Fulton, M, Battig, J, Borjesson, D

Assessment of P2Y12 Inhibition by Clopidogrel in Feline Platelets Using Flow Cytometry Quantification of Vasodilator-Stimulated Phosphoprotein Phosphorylation
Frontiers in Veterinary Science (April 2020)
Li RHL, Nguyen N, Rosati T, Jandrey K

Topology and expressed repertoire of the Felis catus T cell receptor loci
BMC Genomics (January 2020)
Radtanakatikanon A, Keller SM, Darzentas N, Moore, PF, Folch, G, Ngoune VN, Lefranc, MP, Vernau, W

Infectious Disease
Perspectives: potential therapeutic options for SARS-CoV-2 patients based on feline infectious peritonitis strategies: central nervous system invasion and drug coverage
International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents (June 2020)
Olsen, M, Cook, SE, Huang, V, Perdersen, N, Murphy, BG

Cardiopulmonary effects of dexmedetomidine, with and without vatinoxan, in isoflurane-anesthetized cats
Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia (November 2019)
Jaeger AT, Pypendop BH, Ahokoivu H, Honkavaara J

Effects of famciclovir in cats with spontaneous acute upper respiratory tract disease
Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery (June 2020)
Kopecny L, Maggs DJ, Leutenegger CM, Johnson LR
An RNA-directed gene editing strategy for Attenuating the infectious potential of feline immunodeficiency virus-infected cells: a proof of concept
Viruses (May 2020)
Murphy, BG, Wolf, T, Vogel, H, Castillo, D, Woolard, K

Avian, Reptile & Other Companion Animals

Pharmacokinetics of maropitant citrate in New Zealand White rabbits ( Oryctolagus cuniculus)
American Journal of Veterinary Research, (October 2019)
Ozawa, SM, Hawkins, MG, Drazenovich, TL, Kass, PH, Knych, K

Evaluation of deslorelin implant on subsequent mammary tumors of rats (Rattus norvegicus)
Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine (October 2019)
Vergneau-Grosset, C, Peña, L, Cluzel, C, Hawkins, MG, Maccolini, E, Sinclair, K, Graham, J, Sadar, MJ, Guzman, DS-M, Lair, S, Langlois, I, Paul-Murphy, J

Infectious Disease
The formation, persistence, and resistance to disinfectant of the Erysipelothrix piscisicarius biofilm
Journal of Aquatic Animal Health (January 2020)
Pomaranski, E, Soto, E

Non-lethal diagnostic methods for koi herpesvirus in koi Cyprinus carpio
Diseases of Aquatic Organisms (March 2020)
Soto, E, Tamez-Trevino, E, Yarzdi, Z, Stevens, BN, Yun, S, Martinez-Lopez, B, Burges, J 

Evaluation of a ventral and a left lateral approach to coelioscopy in bearded dragons ( Pogona vitticeps)
American Journal of Veterinary Research, (March 2020)
Frei, S, Guzman, DS-M, Kass, PH, Giuffrida, MA, Mayhew, PD