Cancer is a leading cause of death in companion animals. An estimated 1,100 out of every 100,000 dogs and slightly fewer cats develop cancer each year, roughly the same rate as humans. Not only does oncology research help animal patients, it also has the potential to benefit human cancer patients. Some specific forms of naturally occurring cancer in dogs closely mimic the same form of cancer in humans (e.g., bone, brain and lymphoma). Clinical research with vet patients can provide valuable information that will lead to improved understanding and treatment of human and animal cancers.
To learn more about research in comparative oncology at Penn Vet, visit the Mari Lowe Center for Comparative Oncology.
Zoonotic infectious diseases, those that can be transmitted between animals and people, are of growing concern. While the global threat of animal-transmitted infectious disease increases, too few resources have been marshaled to advance further study in this arena. For example, resistance to antibiotics is an increasingly urgent problem that crosses all facets of medicine, and impacts both humans and animals. Answers can only be found if the urgent need for more veterinarians with expertise in infectious disease research is met.
To learn more about research in infectious disease at Penn Vet, visit the Veterinary Center for Infectious Disease.
Medical science is poised to make tremendous advances in the near future, thanks to recent discoveries in genetics and stem cell biology. Results from stem cell and genetics research remain a bright promise, and today, the efficacy of stem cell and gene therapy can be more quickly determined when used in animals. If stem cell therapy can heal wounds and fractures, as well as naturally occurring diseases in animals, the same might be true for humans, without the ethical debate surrounding the use of human stem cells.
To learn more about research in regenerative medicine at Penn Vet, visit the Walter Flato Goodman Center for Comparative Genetics and the Center for Animal Transgenesis and Germ Cell Research.
Visit The Institute for Regenerative Medicine to learn more about Dr. John Gearhart, IRM director and PIK professor.
Here at Penn Vet, discoveries we make in our basic, clinical and translational research programs lead to new disease prevention and treatment methods. Often, these approaches lead to improvements for the humans who own animals—either because of the benefits of the human-animal bond or because better health increases a farm animal’s productivity. That's why we don't limit our research -- the following department research centers contribute to our knowledge base.
Center for Animal Health and Productivity
Penn Vet Working Dog Center
Center for the Interaction of Animals and Society
Veterinary Clinical Investigation Center, Clinical Trials