University Veterinarian Supports Morris Animal Foundation in More Ways than One
Dr. Michael Court’s participation in the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study takes his commitment to animals and Morris Animal Foundation to a one-of-a-kind level. As a member of the Foundation’s Small Animal Scientific Advisory Board, he has already volunteered hundreds of hours of time reviewing our grant proposals.
It was during one of the annual review board meetings that Dr. Court was first introduced to the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, and he was immediately intrigued. Dr. Court recalls listening to Dr. Mike Guy, director of the Canine Lifetime Health Project, describe the Golden study and thinking, ”Wow, that makes a lot of sense.”
“I had some familiarity with the Framingham Heart Study from my time living in the Boston area,” he adds, “so I was excited about a similar longitudinal study being conducted with Golden Retrievers.”
Dr. Court quickly enrolled his dog, Matilda, just making the age cutoff of two years.
As a veterinary anesthesiologist who specializes in pharmacogenomics research, Dr. Court recognizes the benefits of a long-term study such as the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study. He’s a professor and the William R. Jones Endowed Chair at Washington State University, and his laboratory’s long-term goal is to advance treatments for disease through genetic research and individualized therapeutics.
His commitment is personal, too. Dr. Court has been an owner of Golden Retrievers for 20 years. Like many other study participants, he’s experienced the loss of a beloved pet to cancer, and that loss, at first, fostered a sense of helplessness.
He needed to know how he could make a difference. He views participating in the study with Matilda as one way to support an endeavor to determine the risk factors for cancer.
“The outcome could make a difference in the lives of future dogs,” Dr. Court says.
Though he recently completed his fourth and last year as a member of our scientific advisory board, his journey with the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is just beginning. We expect that he and “Mattie” will be long-term partners in our fight to beat cancer.
To learn more about Morris Animal Foundation and our other programs please visit morrisanimalfoundation.org.