2022 Miller Trust Grant Awards
January 30, 2023 (published)
EveryCat Health Foundation

EveryCat Health Foundation
George Sydney and Phyllis Redman Miller Trust
Funded for a total over $199,000

In 2002, the George Sydney and Phyllis Redmond Miller Trust designated EveryCat Health Foundation as one of its advisor organizations. EveryCat has subsequently been provided an unprecedented opportunity to make annual recommendations for grant awards to the San Francisco Foundation, trustees of the Miller Trust. The total grant funding varies each year.

At the end of September 2022, EveryCat Health Foundation’s Scientific Review Committee met, along with EveryCat’s Board of Directors, to review 14 grant proposals submitted for the 2022 Miller Trust Grant cycle. Six proposals were recommended for funding, totaling just over $199,000.00 USD.

The grant proposals recommended for funding are listed below, along with a brief summary of each proposed study.

Curbing FIP by targeting and blocking the viral ion channels. $34,962
Principal Investigator(s): Gary Whittaker; Isiah Arkin, Cornell University. MT22–019
FIP and COVID are closely related coronaviruses, and many drugs can be used to treat both diseases. This study leverages the strengths of a well-known human lab studying COVIID with a premier veterinary lab at the forefront of FIP research to discover novel drugs that inhibit the virus’ ion channels, which regulate infectivity, to develop new therapeutic drug combinations.

Establishment of feline keratinocyte organoids and use as a model to study feline dermatophytosis. $35,000
Principal Investigator(s): Dominique Wiener, Texas A&M University. MT22–020
Ringworm is a common fungal skin infection of cats that is not well understood. But infecting cats to study this disease is not ideal. This study will develop skin “organoids” from feline skin stem cells to enable researchers to study this disease without the use of research cats.

Immediate Intervention Following Tooth Extraction Using Allogeneic Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy for Cats with Chronic Gingivostomatitis: A Randomized, Controlled and Blinded Study. $27,392
Principal Investigator(s): Boaz Arzi, Maria Soltero-Rivera; University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. MT22–021
This study is a continuation of previous research funded by EveryCat that developed a highly effective stem cell treatment for Stomatitis, a painful inflammation of the mouth in cats. By giving stem cells immediately after tooth extractions, it is expected to hasten the response to this treatment and improve their quality of life.

Continuous rate infusion thrombolysis with tissue plasminogen activator, pentoxifylline and cyproheptadine in acute feline aortic thromboembolism – the ALPEXC trial. $34,427. (Adjusted Budget: $32,336)
Principal Investigator(s): Julien Guillaumin, Colorado State University. MT22–025
Blood clots sometimes occur in cats, especially those with heart disease, and is usually fatal. This study investigates a new protocol for continuous infusion of clot-busting drugs in children with blood clots to determine if it is effective in cats.

Development of a new whole exome capture array for cat disease and cancer studies. $35,000
Principal Investigator(s): Leslie A. Lyons, PhD, University of Missouri. MT22–028
As genome sequencing (the identification of DNA gene sequences) has matured, new technologies have been developed to improve the accuracy and decrease the cost. This proposal takes it a step further by concentrating on the most important part of the genes, the exons, which code for proteins, and standardizing its use for the entire veterinary community.

Re-evaluation of the current, and development of an updated, histopathologic set of criteria for the diagnosis and differentiation of gastrointestinal small-cell lymphoma from other forms of chronic enteropathies in cats. $34,856
Principal Investigator(s): Panagiotis G Xenoulis, Jörg M. Steiner; Texas A&M AgriLife Research. MT22–033
Chronic intestinal diseases are common in cats and often caused by inflammation or cancer. But differentiating between the two is difficult, even with biopsies, and the treatments are very different. This study will develop a new method of analyzing intestinal biopsies to improve the accuracy of diagnosis and lead to more successful treatment.