AKC Canine Health Foundation Awards 2023 Clinician-Scientist Fellowships

AKC Canine Health Foundation Awards 2023 Clinician-Scientist Fellowships


RALEIGH, NC (December 8, 2022) – The AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF), a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the health of all dogs, awards four Clinician-Scientist Fellowships for 2023.

CHF’s Clinician-Scientist Fellowship Program was launched in 2013 to encourage and support the next generation of canine health researchers. Since then, more than 35 promising new scientists have received financial support to start their careers in canine health research, studying topics such as canine cancer, atopic dermatitis, genetics and more.

Many of these researchers have continued their careers in canine health research, receiving continued funding from CHF to improve our understanding of canine disease and contributing to the body of peer-reviewed publications supported by CHF funding.


The following clinician-scientist fellowships are announced for 2023:

Matthew Berry, DVM

Fellowship Mentor: Timothy Fan, DVM, PhD, DACVIM; University of Illinois

Dr. Berry will study the effects of combining a known cancer cell apoptosis inducer with radiation therapy as treatment for a variety of canine cancers.


Nolan Chalifoux, DVM

Fellowship Mentor: Erica Reineke, VMD, DACVECC; University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Chalifoux will study the efficacy of decontamination using hemodialysis and hemoperfusion in the emergency treatment of baclofen (an anti-spasticity and muscle relaxant medication) intoxication in the dog.

This fellowship is generously sponsored by owners Carolyn and Gary Koch along with breeders Kristy and Kevin Ratliff in honor of “Rumble,” GCHP Hill Country’s Let’s Get Ready To Rumble. (www.akcchf.org/rumble)


Jennifer Heyward, DVM, MS

Fellowship Mentor: Freya Mowat, BVSc, PhD, DECVO, DACVO, MRCVS; University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dr. Heyward will study why dogs with sudden acquired retinal degeneration syndrome (SARDS) have an increased risk of blood clot formation to develop new diagnostic and treatment strategies for this disease.


Samantha Van Buren

Fellowship Mentor: Anita Oberbauer, PhD; University of California, Davis

Ms. Van Buren will study the role of MITF gene mutations in white spotting of the haircoat and development of retinal degeneration in the Italian Greyhound.

This fellowship is generously sponsored by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA).

The Clinician-Scientist Fellowship program has been very successful, supporting many new researchers who go on to make significant contributions to our understanding of canine health and disease,” says Dr. Darin Collins, CHF Chief Executive Officer. “This program is essential to allow scientists to focus on canine health and provide breakthroughs to benefit the dogs we love.

Fellows are selected based on their promise and enthusiasm for pursuing a career in canine health research. Their research is conducted in line with the Foundation’s mission and consistent with the Foundation’s policies. For more information and to support CHF’s Clinician-Scientist Fellowship Program, visit www.akcchf.org/clinsci.

  • Since 1995, the AKC Canine Health Foundation has leveraged the power of science to address the health needs of all dogs. With more than $66 million in funding to date, the Foundation provides grants for the highest quality canine health research and shares information on the discoveries that help prevent, treat and cure canine diseases. The Foundation meets and exceeds industry standards for fiscal responsibility, as demonstrated by their highest four-star Charity Navigator rating and Candid Platinum Seal of Transparency. Learn more at www.akcchf.org.

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