2017 Miller Trust Awards
July 18, 2018 (published)
Winn Feline Foundation

EveryCat Health Foundation
(formerly Winn Feline Health Foundation)

George Sydney and Phyllis Redman Miller Trust
Funded for a total of $127,868

Winn Feline Foundation is pleased to announce the award of five feline health research grants funded in partnership with the George Sydney and Phyllis Redman Miller Trust for 2017.  Winn President, Shila Nordone, PhD comments, “With the help of the Miller Trust, Winn Feline Foundation continues to remain at the forefront of funding feline health innovation.  As the only foundation focused exclusively on feline medical research support, Winn Feline is in a unique position to help advance the body of medical knowledge on the cat. Winn is also pleased to be a funding source for new clinical scientists in feline medicine with our New Feline Investigator Grant Award established in memory of longtime Winn board member and legal advisor, Fred Jacobberger.”  Through the Miller Trust, Winn Feline Foundation is awarding $127,868 for studies investigating gabapentin dosing as a sedative in cats with chronic kidney disease, using biomarkers to diagnose reflux disease, evaluating the use of mesenchymal stem cells as a treatment for inflammatory bowel disease and chronic gingivostomatitis, and determining stress hormone levels in hair and nails of cats to measure chronic stress.

Grants were awarded for the following research studies.

Investigating appropriate dosing for gabapentin sedation in cats with and without chronic kidney  disease. $32,349 (MT17-002)  
Principal Investigators: Jessica Quimby, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, The Ohio State University; Karen Van Haaften, DVM, University of  California- Davis

A mild sedative, gabapentin, is often used to aid in transporting cats to their veterinarians. This study looks  at the appropriate dose of this sedative in cats with kidney disease who may have trouble eliminating this  medication, as humans with kidney disease do. This information will help avoid overdosing these patients.

Using biomarkers of aerodigestive disorders involving reflux for diagnosis of reflux in cats. $21,164(MT17-006)
Principal Investigator: Megan Grobman, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, Carol Reinero, DVM, PhD, DACVIM; University of Missouri

Reflux is a common cause of respiratory symptoms in humans. This study evaluates the incidence of reflux  in cats. This will lead to a better understanding and treatment of respiratory disease in cats. Results may also  increase the understanding of medications that block reflux in many other feline diseases.

Mesenchymal stem cell therapy for cats with inflammatory bowel disease. $34,863 (MT17-007) Principal Investigators:  Craig Webb, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, Tracy Webb, DVM, PhD;   Colorado State University

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a common cause of diarrhea and vomiting in cats. Preliminary data  suggests stem cell therapy from fat tissue is an effective and safe treatment for this disease. This study will  further evaluate the safety and efficacy of this alternative to corticosteroid treatment for IBD.

Early intervention of mesenchymal stem cell therapy for cats with chronic gingivostomatitis. $28,008 (MT17-008)
Principal Investigator: Boaz Arzi, DVM, PhD, DADC, Dori Borjesson, DVM, PhD, DACVP,   Frank  Verstraete, Professor; University of California-Davis.

Previous studies have shown the efficacy of stem cells from a cat’s own fat tissue in chronic non-responsive  stomatitis, a severe inflammation of the mouth. This study looks at the efficacy of this therapy as a primary  treatment for this painful and otherwise poorly responsive common disease of cats, prior to full mouth tooth  extractions. 

New Feline Investigator Award (In Memory of Fred Jacobberger)

Using novel, non-invasive measures of chronic stress in cats to determine levels of stress hormone in  the hair and nails of cats. $11,484 (MT17-017)
Principal Investigators: Elena Contreras, DVM, MS, Michael Lappin, DVM, PhD, DACVIM;   Colorado State University

Chronic stress plays a role in many diseases, but has been difficult to measure. This study proposes a novel way to measure stress by evaluating the amount of the stress hormone, cortisol, in hair and nails, which accumulates over a much longer period of time than blood levels. 

Winn Feline Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 1968 that supports studies to improve cat health. Since 1968, the Winn Feline Foundation has funded over $6 million in health research for cats at more than 30 partner institutions world-wide. For further information, go to www.winnfelinefoundation.org.