NEW RESEARCH COLLABORATION
EXOCRINE PANCREATIC INSUFFICIENCY (EPI)
CANCER GENETICS AND COMPARATIVE GENOMICS BRANCH
NATIONAL HUMAN GENOME RESEARCH INSTITUTE
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
As leaders of the Dog Genome Project at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), we are writing to discuss a possible new collaboration with your breed club. Our laboratory has a long standing goal of dissecting the role of genomic changes controlling both simple and complex diseases, specifically in the realm of disease susceptibility.
We have recently initiated a new project aimed at identifying the genetic components that increase pancreatic inflammation in purebred dogs, with a particular focus on exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI). As you probably know, EPI is closely related to pancreatitis as it is characterized by insufficient synthesis of digestive enzymes. While EPI may occur secondarily to repeated pancreatic inflammation, there is substantial evidence for a heritable, breed-specific risk component of the disease. We aim to identify genetic variants that predispose certain breeds to EPI as a first step in better understanding other more complex pancreatic disorders in dogs.
We are contacting your breed club because of the established risk for this disorder among English Cocker Spaniels. We are asking for your help in contacting members of the English Cocker community who have had dogs diagnosed with EPI or other pancreatic conditions who are willing to provide DNA samples. We also need DNA samples of healthy English Cockers, who must be 10 years of age or older. We will provide DNA collection kits to any owner that elects to participate. Kits include a one page consent form, materials for collecting blood at their primary veterinarian’s office, and instructions for returning the collected sample. The kit is provided in a mailer tube approved for shipping biological materials by the U.S. Postal Service. Samples submitted from dogs with pancreatic disorders should also include a copy of relevant veterinary diagnostic results. Any diagnostic method will be useful, although “SNAP” test of enzyme activity and blood chemistry are ideal. Cytology and histopathology can also be accepted. Pedigree information is also great appreciated, if available. Participation in the study and any information provided to us will remain strictly confidential and samples are only identified by coded numbers.
Our laboratory has had many productive relationships with breed clubs like yours that have resulted in the identification of genes for various types of cancer, retinal disease, and other disorders. All of this work is based on our successful published efforts to both build tools and analyze sequence analysis from the canine genome. In the last 25 yrs, our research has proven critical for improving the health of purebred dogs.
Elaine A. Ostrander, Ph.D.
Chief and Distinguished Investigator
Cancer Genetics and Comparative Genomics Branch
National Human Genome Research Institute
National Institutes of Health
*Edited for republication
Andrew Hogan [C] Samples Manager
Dog Genome Project, NIH/NHGRI
Office: (301) 451-9390 Fax: (301) 594-0023
Bldg.50, Room 5347
50 South Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892
Dr. Dayna Dreger, Project lead scientist, will answer questions related to the study. firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’d like to learn more about the Dog Genome Project and their work visit their website: http://research.nhgri.nih.gov/dog_genome
THIS RESEARCH IS OPEN TO ENGLISH COCKERS WORLDWIDE