STUDY/TRAVEL GRANT to attend the AKC Canine Health Foundation 2019 National Parent Club Canine Health Conference

Sponsored by Nestle Purina PetCare

August 9-11, 2019

Hyatt Regency Riverfront Hotel

St. Louis, Missouri 

Conference Background

The AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) is the largest nonprofit organization worldwide to fund health research exclusively for canines.  Every two years, the CHF hosts a Canine Health Conference to update donors and responsible breeders on research progress and the latest news, from changing trends in vaccination protocols, to novel disease treatments and cures, to the latest scientific breakthroughs in discovering genotypic disease markers.  Representatives from each of the breed parent clubs (ie Golden Retriever Club of America) are invited, as are other individuals with a specific interest in purebred canine health.

Session Tracts and Presentation Topics at this year’s conference include:

  • Nutrition & Disease
    • New Approaches to Diagnosis and Therapy of Intestinal Microbiota Dysbiosis – Jan Suchodolski, DVM, PhD, DACVM (TAMU)
    • Effects of Probiotics on the GI Microbiome and Immune System –Michael Lappin, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (CO State)
    • The Gut-Brain Axis:  Impact of BL999 on Anxious Dogs – Ragen McGowan, PhD (Purina)
    • Updates on Nutritional Considerations and Heart Disease Staging in Dogs – Darcy Adin, DVM, DACVIM (U of FL)
    • Update on Cannabis Research in Dogs – Stephanie McGrath, DVM (CO State)
  • Autoimmune Disease
    • Addison’s Disease:  A Research Update – Steven Friedenberg, DVM, PhD, DACVECC (UMN)
    • Clinical Characteristics of Steroid Responsive Meningitis Arteritis – Karen Munana, DVM, DACVIM (NC State)
    • A Case of Mistaken Identity:  Autoimmunity and Endocrine Disorders – Anita Oberbauer, PhD (UC-Davis)
    • Vector-borne Infections and Autoimmune Disease:  What’s the Link? – Linda Kidd, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (Western)
  • Infectious Disease & Cancer
    • Emergence of Canine Leptospirosis – Jason Stull, DVM, PhD, DACVPM (OH State)
    • The genus Bartonella and Vasoproliferative Cancers in Dog and Humans – Ed Breitschwerdt, DVM, DACVIM (NC State)
    • Advances in Immunotherapy for Canine Cancer – Steve Dow, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (CO State)
    • Cancer, Evolution, and Society – New Perspectives and Next Generation Solutions to the Cancer Problem in Dogs & People – Jaime Modiano, VMD, PhD (UMN)
  • Genetics & Genetic Testing
    • Dilated Cardiomyopathy – Joshua Stern, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (UC-Davis)
    • Understanding Breeds as Populations – Jerold Bell, DVM (Tufts)
    • Development and Utilization of a Genetic Risk Assessment for a Multifactorial Disease – Leigh Anne Clark, PhD (Clemson)

OFA Study/Travel Grant

The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA), a not-for-profit foundation dedicated to improving companion animal health through a reduction in the incidence of genetic disease, is offering a study/travel grant to one student from each of the US accredited veterinary schools.  The OFA will cover all conference related expenses, including all travel, for the selected student to attend the AKC Canine Health Conference in St. Louis.

The OFA believes this is an outstanding opportunity, particularly for students interested in the sport of purebred dogs, canine health research, as well as those interested in building a client base that includes responsible dog breeders.  In addition to the conference sessions, students will have the opportunity to interact and network with students from other schools, veteran dog breeders and dog club members, practicing veterinarians, scientists, as well as professional staff and board members from the OFA, AKC, CHF, and Purina.

The conference begins on Friday afternoon and runs through mid-day Sunday.  The students will have access to all conference sessions, as well as the planned meals, events, and receptions.

On Friday evening following the afternoon conference kick-off, the OFA Board of Directors will host a dinner for all the students to familiarize them with the OFA, and the role it plays with the breeder community in breeding healthier dogs.

As part of the grant, each student will be required to organize and deliver a conference summary to their fellow students on their return.  The OFA will issue a $200 stipend to each student to cover any costs associated with delivering the conference summary (copying charges, snacks, etc).

Pre-Requisites and Selection

All applicants must be enrolled as full time students at an accredited United States veterinary medical school.  Grant recipients will be selected based on academic achievement, past experience, involvement in the sport of purebred dogs, and future interests in the veterinary profession.  The application must be received by Friday May 24, 2019, and selections will be made and announced during the first full week of June.

The OFA study/travel grant will cover any applicable airfare, mileage expenses, airport parking, and transportation fees to/from their originating city.  Transportation from the airport in St. Louis to the Hyatt Regency Riverfront Hotel will be provided by the OFA.  Students must utilize the OFA designated travel agent to book airline reservations.

About the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals

The OFA is a not-for-profit 501c(3), founded in 1966, with the mission to improve the health and well being of companion animals through a reduction in the incidence of genetic disease.  Its specific objectives are:

  • To collate and disseminate information concerning orthopedic and genetic diseases of animals.
  • To advise, encourage and establish control programs to lower the incidence of orthopedic and genetic diseases.
  • To encourage and finance research in orthopedic and genetic disease in animals.
  • To receive funds and make grants to carry out these objectives.

The OFA provides radiographic evaluation by board certified veterinary radiologists for canine hip and elbow dysplasia, and maintains the world’s largest database on canine health screening results to assist breeders in making more informed breeding decisions.

About the AKC Canine Health Foundation

Since 1995, the AKC Canine Health Foundation, Inc. has become the largest funder of exclusively canine health research in the world. The Foundation is dedicated to advancing the health of all dogs and their owners by funding sound scientific research and supporting the dissemination of health information to prevent, treat, and cure canine disease.  The Foundation raises funds to support quality research to discover: (1) causes of disease; (2) earlier, more accurate diagnoses; (3) better, more effective treatments.  Over the first fifteen years, the Foundation has funded over 550 grants totaling $25 million.

More detailed information can be found on the AKC CHF’s website at:

Application Form