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.

2020-2021 CCAH published donor funded studies:


Glioma-associated microglia/macrophages augment tumorigenicity in canine astrocytoma, a naturally occurring model of human glioma

Neuro-Oncology Advances (May 2021)
Toedebusch R, Grodzki AC, Dickinson PJ, Woolard K, Vinson N, Sturges B, Snyder J, Li CF, Nagasaka O, Consales B, Vernau K, Knipe M, Murthy V, Lein PJ, Toedebusch CM

Development of canine PD-1/PD-L1 specific monoclonal antibodies and amplification of canine T cell function
(July 2020)

Choi JW, Withers SS, Chang H, Spanier JA, De La Trinidad VL, Panesar H, Fife BT, Sciammas R, Sparger EE, Moore PF, Kent MS, Rebhun RB, McSorley SJ

Evaluation of accuracy for 18F-FDG positron emission tomography and computed tomography for detection of lymph node metastasis in canine oral malignant melanoma
Veterinary and Comparative Oncology (August 2020)
Willcox JL, Spriet M, Zwingenberger AL, Phillips KL, Burton JH, Skorupski KA, Hansen KS, Affolter VK, Woolard KD, Beylin D, Giuffrida MA

Reproducibility of echocardiographic indices of left atrial size in dogs with subclinical myxomatous mitral valve disease

Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine (June 2020)
Hsue W, Visser LC

Loss of sympathetic innervation to islets of Langerhans in canine diabetes and pancreatitis is not associated with insulitis
Nature Research (November 2020)
Gilor C, Pires J, Greathouse R, Horn R, Huising MO, Marks SL, Murphy B, Kol A

Impact of storage temperature, storage duration, and deproteinization on plasma amino acid concentrations in dogs
Research in Veterinary Science (March 2021)
Chiang C, Larsen JA, Sahtout M, Horoschak RE, Yu Z, Fascetti AJ

A randomized controlled trial of three-dimensional versus two-dimensional imaging system on duration of surgery and mental workload for laparoscopic gastropexies in dogs

Veterinary Surgery (July 2021)
Balsa IM, Giuffrida MA, Mayhew PD

Assisting Decision-Making on Age of Neutering for Mixed Breed Dogs of Five Weight Categories: Associated Joint Disorders and Cancers
Frontiers in Veterinary Science (July 2020)

Hart BL, Hart LA, Thigpen AP, Willits NH.

Assisting Decision-Making on Age of Neutering for 35 Breeds of Dogs: Associated Joint Disorders, Cancers, and Urinary Incontinence
Frontiers in Veterinary Science (July 2020)
Hart BL, Hart LA, Thigpen AP, Willits NH

Influence of interlocking thread screws to repair simulated adult canine humeral condylar fractures
Veterinary Surgery (August 2021)

Raleigh JS, Filliquist B, Kapatkin AS, Chou PY, Marcellin-Little DJ, Garcia TC, Jacques KL, Stover SM

Percutaneous radiologically guided gastrostomy tubes: Procedural description and biomechanical comparison in a canine model
Veterinary Surgery (October 2020)
Griffin MA, Culp WTN, Garcia TC, Glaiberman CB, Giuffrida MA, Balsa IM, Mayhew PD, Johnson EG, Marks SL

Chromatin accessibility in canine stromal cells and its implications for canine somatic cell reprogramming
Stem Cells Translational Medicine (November 2020)
Questa M, Moshref M, Jimenez RJ, Lopez-Cervantes V, Crawford CK, Settles ML, Ross PJ, Kol A

Multiple FGF4 Retrocopies Recently Derived within Canids
Genes 2020 (July 2020)
Batcher K, Dickinson P, Maciejczyk K, Brzeski K, Rasouliha SH, Letko A, Drögemüller C, Leeb T, Bannasch D

A Missense Variant in ALDH5A1 Associated with Canine Succinic Semialdehyde Dehydrogenase Deficiency (SSADHD) in the Saluki Dog
Genes 2020 (September 2020)
Vernau KM, Struys E, Letko A, Woolard KD, Aguilar M, Brown EA, Cissell DD, Dickinson PJ, Shelton GD, Broome MR, Gibson KM, Pearl PL, König F, Van Winkle TJ, O’Brien D, Roos B, Matiasek K, Jagannathan V, Drögemüller C, Mansour TA, Brown CT, Bannasch DL

Quality of DNA extracted from formalinfixed, paraffin-embedded canine tissues
Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation (July 2020)
Dear JD, Sykes JE, Bannasch DL

Liver Disease
Ferumoxytol-enhanced magnetic resonance angiography provides comparable vascular conspicuity to CT angiography in dogs with intrahepatic portosystemic shunts

Veterinary Radiology and Ultrasound  (July 2021) 
Wilson S, Culp WTN, Wisner ER, Cissell DD, Finn JP, Zwingenberger AL

Surgery - Orthopedics
Comparison of needle arthroscopy, traditional arthroscopy, and computed tomography for the evaluation of medial coronoid disease in the canine elbow
Veterinary Surgery (July 2021)
Hersh-Boyle RA, Chou PY, Kapatkin AS, Spriet M, Filliquist B, Garcia TC, Marcellin-Little DJ

Blood Clotting
Lipopolysaccharide-Activated Canine Platelets Upregulate High Mobility Group Box-1 via Toll-Like Receptor 4

Frontiers in Veterinary Science (June 2021)
Li RHL, Hommel C, Nguyen N.

Analgesia/Pain Control
Pharmacokinetics of a high-concentration formulation of buprenorphine (Simbadol) in male dogs
Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia (July 2021)

Hansford J, Henao-Guerrero N, Machado ML, Pypendop BH

Comparison of the efficacy and duration of desensitization of oral structures following injection of a lidocaine-bupivacaine mixture via lateral percutaneous and modified infraorbital approaches in dogs
American Journal of Veterinary Research (January 2021)
Chohan AS, Pascoe PJ

Internal Medicine
Efficacy of a micronized, nanocrystal fenofibrate formulation in treatment of hyperlipidemia in dogs

Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine (July 2021)
Munro MJL, Hulsebosch SE, Marks SL, Gilor C


Phenylpiperidine opioid effects on isoflurane minimum alveolar concentration in cats
Journal of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics (November 2020)
Brosnan RJ, Pypendop BH, Stanley SD

Reference intervals for radiographic, echocardiographic and N-terminal pro B-type natriuretic peptide values in healthy kittens
Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery (April 2021)
Gunther-Harrington CT, Sharpe AN, Vernau KM, Ueda Y, Montgomery EA, Surmick JD, Fernandez N, Ontiveros E, Walker AL, Stern JA

Stem cell therapy prior to full-mouth tooth extraction lacks substantial clinical efficacy in cats affected by chronic gingivostomatitis
Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery (September 2020)
Arzi B, Taechangam N, Lommer MJ, Walker NJ, Loscar MR, Borjesson DL

Stem cell therapy prior to full-mouth tooth extraction lacks substantial clinical efficacy in cats affected by chronic gingivostomatitis
Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery (September 2020)
Arzi B, Taechangam N, Lommer MJ, Walker NJ, Loscar MR, Borjesson DL

Rabbit Carcasses for Use in Feline Diets: Amino Acid Concentrations in Fresh and Frozen Carcasses With and Without Gastrointestinal Tracts
Frontiers in Veterinary Science (January 2021)
Owens TJ, Fascetti AJ, Calvert CC, Larsen JA

Avian & Exotic Animals

Varying Expression of Mu and Kappa Opioid Receptors in Cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus) and Domestic Pigeons (Columba livia domestica)
Frontiers in Genetics (October 2020)
Fousse SL, Golsen BM, Sanchez-Migallon Guzman D, Paul-Murphy JR, Stern JA

Pharmacokinetics of hydromorphone hydrochloride after intramuscular and intravenous administration of a single dose to orange-winged Amazon parrots (Amazona amazonica)
American Journal of Veterinary Medicine (November 2020)
Sanchez-Migallon Guzman D, Knych, H, Douglas, J, Paul-Murphy, JR

Pharmacokinetics of amantadine after oral administration of single and multiple doses to orange-winged Amazon parrots ( Amazona amazonica)
American Journal of Veterinary Medicine (August 2020)
Berg KJ, Sanchez-Migallon Guzman D, Knych HK, Drazenovich TL, Paul-Murphy JR

Pharmacokinetic and Efficacy Study of Acyclovir Against Cyprinid Herpesvirus 3 in Cyprinus carpio
Frontiers in Veterinary Science (October 2020)
Quijano Cardé EM, Yazdi Z, Yun S, Hu R, Knych H, Imai DM, Soto E

Evaluation of the thermal antinociceptive effects of hydromorphone hydrochloride after intramuscular administration to orange-winged Amazon parrots (Amazona amazonica)
American Journal of Veterinary Medicine (October 2020)
Sanchez-Migallon Guzman D, Douglas JM, Beaufrère H, Paul-Murphy JR

Prior Publications