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Collaborative Success Stories: On the Scent


University of Missouri researcher Dr. Dennis O’Brien is finding clues to cure sick dogs in hopes of curing sick kids.

Unfortunately, some dog breeds are susceptible to hereditary neurologic diseases which cause coordination loss, seizures and death. These brain malformations are similar to those that cause intractable seizures in children. O’Brien led a team of researchers from the College of Veterinary Medicine, School of Medicine and College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources that was looking for a genetic “culprit.” While researching, the team developed a preventative DNA test to identify several canine neurologic diseases.

The research resulted in numerous publications including an article in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine. The team received grants from four breed clubs (Border Terriers, Airedales, Standard Poodles, and Black Russian Terriers) to continue their hereditary disease work, as well as nearly $200,000 in additional research funding from other agencies.

Dr. Dennis O’Brien is professor of veterinary medicine and surgery in MU’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

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Related Initiative(s):
One Health/One Medicine