Roundtable participants of "Advances in pet cancer: Innovation in research, scientific collaboration, therapy, and prevention"
This group of veterinary experts in oncology met recently to discuss the innovative research, new technology, medical advances, and important collaborations occurring in pet cancer diagnostics and treatment, with a focus on the benefits for general practitioners, their clients, and patients. (Their roundtable discussion, "Advances in pet cancer: Innovation in research, scientific collaboration, therapy, and prevention," is available by clicking here.)
David J. Waters, DVM, PhD
Director, Center for Exceptional Longevity Studies, Gerald P. Murphy Cancer Foundation,
West Lafayette, IN
Dr. Waters is nationally recognized for his work on validating pet dogs as models of human cancer and aging. From 2000 to 2014, Dr. Waters served as Professor of Comparative Oncology in the School of Veterinary Medicine and Associate Director of the Center on Aging and the Life Course at Purdue University. In 2006, he published in Scientific American “Cancer Clues from Pet Dogs,” which benchmarked for investigators and the public the science behind the field of comparative oncology. Since 2008, he has led the research team conducting the first systematic study of exceptional longevity in pet dogs. The research hinges on the idea that pet dogs with extreme longevity—equivalent to humans who live to be 100 years old—offer a valuable scientific opportunity to uncover important clues to understanding what it takes for pets and people to age more successfully and avoid cancer mortality. Since 2010, Dr. Waters has conducted five cross-country scientific expeditions (“The Old Grey Muzzle Tour”), studying in their homes 100 exceptionally long-lived Rottweilers who are cancer resistant. His 2013 TEDx talk “The Oldest Dogs as Our Greatest Teachers: Get the Words Out of Your Eyes” highlights the innovation of studying the oldest-old pet dogs and underscores how our use of language limits scientific discovery and how we respond to new information.
Kim Cronin, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology)
Co-founder, Senior Medical Oncologist, and Medical Director of the New England Veterinary Oncology Group (NEVOG), Waltham, MA
Dr. Cronin is a board-certified oncologist who graduated from Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine in 1990. She completed a one-year internship at The Animal Medical Center, followed by a residency in medical oncology at North Carolina State Veterinary School. She worked as a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania for three years and then as a staff oncologist at Angell Memorial Animal Hospital for three years. In 2001, she co-founded the New England Veterinary Oncology Group (NEVOG) in Waltham, MA. She continues to work at NEVOG as a senior medical oncologist and medical director.
Gerald Post, DVM, MEM, DACVIM (Oncology)
Principal and Practice Owner, The Veterinary Cancer Center in Norwalk, CT; Co-founder of Innogenics, a specialty oncology reference laboratory
Dr. Post is a board-certified veterinary oncologist and also a principal of The Veterinary Cancer Center in Norwalk, CT, founder of the Animal Cancer Foundation, board member of Saving Species, and trustee of the Collaboration for Environmental Evidence. He has more than 25 years of clinical experience and has participated in clinical oncology research on the national and international levels. He champions the field of comparative oncology every chance he gets. He truly believes that the knowledge gained through comparative oncology can be used to more effectively diagnose and treat many cancers, not only in animals, but in humans as well. He is a co-founder of Innogenics, a specialty reference laboratory that supports veterinary oncologists, veterinary clinicians and pet owners dealing with canine cancer. Based on the most advanced genomic tests used for people with cancer, Innogenics is the first laboratory to offer an advanced genomic test for canine cancer. Innogenics is currently developing genomic tests for feline cancer.
Rachael Thomas, PhD, FRSB CBiol
Assistant Professor, Genomics, Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences,
College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
Originally from the UK, Dr. Thomas received her undergraduate honors degree in Biology from the University of Bath, and her PhD in Molecular Biology and Cytogenetics from the University of Leicester. Following postdoctoral studies at the Animal Health Trust, she joined North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2004. Her research interests include the development of novel molecular diagnostic and prognostic tools for canine and feline cancers, and comparative genomic studies of human and veterinary cancers as a means to identify conserved and clinically predictive molecular signatures of disease. She has published more than 50 research articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals, in addition to a series of review articles and book chapters. In 2014 she became a fellow of the Royal Society of Biology for her contributions to veterinary and comparative cancer genomic studies.
Jackie M. Wypij, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Oncology)
Assistant Professor, Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL
Dr. Wypij is a board-certified veterinary oncologist and assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As a veterinary clinician-scientist Dr. Wypij pursues translational research in pet dogs and cats to benefit both pet animals and people with cancer. Her focus areas include drug repositioning as well as novel therapies and cancer biomarkers. She is a national speaker and has authored more than 140 publications, abstracts, proceedings, and book chapters. Dr. Wypij’s community service activities include the American Association of Feline Practitioners’ Welfare Committee and the Veterinary Comparative Oncology Group subcommittee on defining quality of life standards. Her clinical interests include palliative care and she has pursued additional training in grief counseling, acupuncture, and herbal medicine.