2018 Feline Health Grants
July 18, 2018 (published)
Winn Feline Foundation

EveryCat Health Foundation
(Formerly Winn Feline Health Foundation)
2018 Feline Health Grants
  11 Grants Funded for a Total of $230,264

Winn Feline Foundation is pleased to announce the award of eleven feline medical research grants totaling $230,264 funded through the generous support of private and corporate donations from around the world. 
Winn Acting Board President Glenn Olah, DVM, PhD, DABVP (Feline) stated, “Following a very thorough and rigorous review of 44 competitive proposals and our special Shelter Medicine review which funded three studies for $73,807, Winn also awarded $230,264 for a final total amount of $304,071 in grants for a diverse group of health studies. The grants include infectious disease research related to FIP, FeLV, and toxoplasmosis. In addition, Winn awarded grants investigating new therapies for lung and oral cancers affecting cats, identifying a new pain pathway for arthritis and a new biomarker for HCM, determining cat feeding behaviors that manage weight and obesity, further evaluating genetic differences of amyloidosis in cat breeds, and, finally, measuring a total cat count in communities. Winn’s Grant Review Committee continues to be impressed by the quality of the science proposed and the number of submissions advancing feline health.”
Winn’s Ricky Fund is devoted to the funding of feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and related heart disease research. Special recognition is due again this year to the sponsor, Ms. Holly Aglialoro, of this year’s Ricky Fund study in memory of her cat, Augustus. Wisdom Health™ is recognized for sponsoring a New Feline Investigator Award in the area of feline genomics.
Winn awarded grants for the following research studies:

General Studies

Using new approaches to modulate feline leukemia virus infection. $24,974.
Principal Investigator: Drs. Cheryl Swenson and Vilma Yuzbasiyan-Gurkan, Michigan State University (W18-014)

Feline leukemia causes persistent infection in cats, even when not fatal. This study will look at whether a drug known to decrease a similar infection in mice can also decrease persistent infection in cats.

Understanding how toxoplasmosis develops in cats could lead to new therapies or prevention. $17,500 
Principal Investigators: Drs. David Arranz Solis and Jeroen Saeij; University of California-Davis. (W18-015)

Toxoplasmosis can cause serious disease in cats and people, and a highly resistant form in cat feces can contaminate the environment. This study will consider factors that trigger the development of this highly resistant form of the organism, which may lead to effective treatments or preventative vaccines.

Examining the effectiveness of a low-cost treatment for oral cancer in cats. $23,060
Principal Investigators: Dr. Michael Nolan; North Carolina State University. (W18-019)

This study will examine the effectiveness of a simple treatment for oral cancer in cats with few side effects that could make treatment readily available, safe, and affordable.

Investigating a new pain pathway associated with osteoarthritis in cats. $23,560.
Principal Investigators:  Drs. Santosh Mishra and Duncan Lascelles; North Carolina State University. (W18-028)

Osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease) is common in older cats, but few effective and safe treatments are available. This study will investigate a new pathway of pain associated with arthritis, which may lead to new therapies for this debilitating disease.

Determining feeding behavior in cats to manage weight and obesity. $24,002.
Principal Investigator: Drs. Andronie Verbrugghe and Anna-Kate Shoveller; Ontario Veterinary College, Canada. (W18-039).

Many cats are overweight and controlling their calories sometimes doesn't help. This study will look at whether feeding cats smaller meals more frequently makes a difference.

Evaluating the genetic differences of amyloidosis in Siamese/ Oriental and Abyssinian/Somali cats. $23,870
Principal Investigators:  Drs. Maria Longeri and Leslie Lyons; University of Milan and the University of Missouri. (W18-040)

While both Siamese and Abyssinian cats have a genetic mutation that causes accumulation of an abnormal protein in different organs (called amyloidosis), the mutation is different in each breed. This study will characterize the disease in Siamese cats and compare it to the disease in Abyssinians to gain a better understanding of this disease.

Measuring total cat count in communities. $25,000
Principal Investigators:  Tyler Flockhart; University of Maryland, Center for Environmental Sciences. (W18-046)

While people debate the best way to manage outdoor cats, there is currently no good way to know how many there are. This study will use scientific methods to accurately measure their numbers so management strategies can be developed to benefit them.

Bria Fund Studies And New Feline Investigator Award

Understanding genetic differences in immunity to feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). $6,400
Principal Investigators: Drs. Emi Barker and Christopher Helps; Langford Vets, University of Bristol, UK. (W18-010)

Although feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is caused by a coronavirus, only some infected cats get the disease. This study will examine how genetic differences in a cat's immune system play a role in this disease, and how common these differences are in the general cat population.

Ricky Fund Study (Sponsered by Holly Aglialoro in Memory of Augustus)

Identifying a new biomarker for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) in cats. $21,900
Principal Investigators: Drs. Jonathan Stack and Ryan Fries; University of Illinois. (W18-031)

Heart disease in cats can be readily diagnosed and treated, but some of these cats have a short lifespan. This study will evaluate a test used in humans to predict which cats are at the highest risk of early death from this disease. 

New Feline Investigator Award – Genomics (Sponsered by Wisdom Health)

Predicting susceptibility to FeLV infection in cats. $15,000
Principal Investigators: Elliott Chiu, candidate DVM, PhD; Colorado State University. (W18-013)

Cat genes contain remnants of ancient viral infections, including feline leukemia virus (FeLV). This study will look at whether ancient infection protects against new infection, and whether a test can be developed to predict which cats are susceptible to this disease.

Lung Cancer Fund Study

Evaluating a new drug therapy for lung cancer in cats. $24,998
Principal Investigators: Drs. Alycen Lundberg and Timothy Fan; University of Illinois. (W18-021)

Lung cancers in cats respond poorly to current therapies. This study will evaluate a promising new drug for efficacy and side effects in cats with primary lung tumors.