31 October 2018

Veterinarians in International Collaboration


Veterinary researchers at the University of Copenhagen have just entered into an international research collaboration with Uppsala University funded by the American National Institutes of Health. The researchers will be studying dogs with cancer to learn more about cancer in animals and humans.

The official health research authority in the US, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has just funded a collaboration between the University of Copenhagen and Uppsala University on a large-scale research project focussing on cancer in dogs.

The Danish participants are researchers from the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, and the funding amounts to just under DKK 1.5 million. The researchers hope the new knowledge from dogs can give them increased insight into cancer in humans. The project will to a large extent be based on genetic and clinical data.

‘Our international collaboration will to a large extent be based on clinical data from dogs suffering from cancer. In that connection we require the large resource represented by the University Hospital for Companion Animals, and then we aim to establish collaborations with practising veterinarians throughout Scandinavia’, says Associate Professor Maja Louise Arendt from the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, who is the driving force behind the project in Copenhagen.

Less Background Noise
The majority of the project will be housed at the university in Uppsala, while Maja Louise Arendt’s part of the research conducted in Copenhagen focusses on breast cancer in dogs. Because there are great advantages to be had from studying the disease in dogs.

’Dogs are relatively inbred compared to humans, genetically. A lot of people have genes from all over the world in their genetic material, which causes great variation, but dog races are more delimited. When we study dogs for both genetic and acquired cancer mutations we get less background noise in our data than if we did the same study among humans. Nevertheless, the changes we find may still be interesting in connection with cancer in humans’, Maja Louise Arendt explains.

In addition to the funding from the NIH grant, the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences has received a PhD position rooted in the research project. The project will be launched before the new year.

Associate Professor Maja Louise Arendt
+45 35 33 61 30

Press Officer Mathias Traczyk
+45 93 56 58 35