2021 Miller Trust Grant Awards
January 30, 2023 (published)
EveryCat Health Foundation

George Sydney and Phyllis Redman Miller Trust
Funded for a total of $222,128

EveryCat Health Foundation is pleased to announce the award of eight feline health research grants funded in partnership with the George Sydney and Phyllis Redmond Miller Trust at the San Francisco Foundation for 2021. The following are the eight grant awards recommended to the Miller Trust that total $212,024.72, plus an additional $10,103.28 from EveryCat Health Foundation:

Impact of the secondary bile acid ursodeoxycholic acid (Ursodiol) on the feline gut microbiota and metabolome. $26,437
Principal Investigator(s): Jenessa A. Winston, DVM, PhD, DACVIM; The Ohio State University. MT21-001
The goal is to improve our knowledge of Ursodiol-mediated effects to the feline intestinal ecosystem to facilitate rational incorporation of Ursodiol into a personalized medicine approach for cats suffering from liver, gastrointestinal, and kidney disease in order to improve quality of life.

The role of microbial indole catabolites of tryptophan in host-microbiome cross-talk in cats with chronic enteropathies. $32,880
Principal Investigator(s): David Williams, University of Illinois. MT21-003
This study could inform the development of novel therapeutic strategies that could improve survival and quality of life in cats with IBD and SCL.

Prospective evaluation of unlicensed GS-441524-like antiviral therapy for treatment of feline infectious peritonitis. $4500 (ECHF Bria Fund)
Principal Investigator(s): Dr. Samantha J.M. Evans; The Ohio State University. MT21-005
The aims of this proposal are two-fold: 1) to prospectively evaluate the at-home use of unlicensed GS-441524-like antiviral drugs to treat FIP through serial, well-timed surveys of internet users of these compounds; and 2) to quantify the concentration, purity, and acidity of popular brands of unlicensed GS-441524-like compounds sold on the internet.

The Prognostic Value of Circulating Galectin-3 in Feline Heart Failure. $22,850
Principal Investigator(s): Ryan Fries, University of Illinois. MT21-006
Our study seeks to determine if a simple blood test can provide valuable prognostic information for cats with heart failure. Results of this study will pave the way for developing a widely available blood test useful for all veterinarians.

Non-genetic enhancement of feline adipose mesenchymal stromal cell immunomodulation with adenosine-loaded nanoparticles. $34,684
Principal Investigator(s): Natalia Vapniarsky, Boaz Arzi, Gang-yu Liu; University of California-Davis. MT21-010
We expect to cure the most severe forms of gingivostomatitis by enhancing the fraction of stem cells that successfully reach the oral cavity with NPs carrying adenosine.

Precision Medicine Genomics for Cats (using the new cat reference genome) (continuation). $34,945
Principal Investigator(s): Leslie A. Lyons, PhD; University of Missouri. MT21-012
Precision/Genomic Medicine can also help determine genes involved in a biological pathway of a health condition and those genes can then be targeted by specific drugs and therapies, leading to not only an identification of a cause for a disease but also a potential treatment or cure.

Investigating Pectus Excavatum in Cats Using Rigorous Phenotyping and Population-Scale High-Throughput Sequencing. $30,926
Principal Investigator(s): Brian W Davis; Texas A&M University. MT21-013
We propose to use an assembled cohort of 40 cats in year one, with 20+ more in year 2 to examine only PE to the exclusion of FCK to ensure targeting of a precise manifestation of thoracic deformity. This rigorous phenotypic requisite for study inclusion, coupled with computational approaches utilized frequently in our lab to map traits and diseases across species will result in identification of genomic variation influencing the occurrence and severity of PE, which will have a considerable effect on domestic cat health

Determining the genetics underlying diabetes mellitus in the domestic cat. $34,906
Principal Investigator(s): Dr. Rory Todhunter; Cornell University. MT21-014
Our study aims to identify regions of the cat genome that are associated with this disease, with the goal of developing a genetic screening test.