My primary and active research areas involve diseases and injuries that occur at the human-animal interface. These often reflect new and emerging issues (i.e. C. difficile, MRSA) or evolving disciplines such as veterinary infection prevention in the clinic/hospital setting.
Calcium oxalate urinary stones represent a painful, debilitating, and costly disease that affects humans and dogs. Our long-term research goals are to understand key factors responsible for calcium oxalate stone disease and develop safe and effective therapies to prevent stone recurrence. In addition to clinial nutritional studies we investigating genetic markers of disease and investigating the microanatomy of uroliths.
Genetics/molecular biology of cancer - understanding heritable risk traits for common canine tumors Cancer immunology/immunotherapy - understanding mechanisms of immune response to cancer in lab, in clinic, back to lab. Current work specifically studying tumor immunosuppressive barrier Lymphocyte activation - intrinsic negative regulation and its role in maintaining lymphocyte quiescence Cancer pathology/diagnostic medicine - stratification of molecular tumor subtypes that are clinically relevant (prognostic and to guide therapy) Pre-clinical (lab animals and spontaneous tumors of dogs) drug development studies for cancer therapeutics (drugs and biologics). Development of FasL gene-based immunotherapy, ligand targeted toxins, antibodies, genetically modified bacterial vectors, targeted nanoparticles carrying gene therapy, small molecules Nicotine immunotoxicology - role of nicotine in lymphocyte activation and in tumro progression
I perform clinical research focused on developing and optimizing diagnostic testing in companion animal species, primarily dogs and cats. My clinical research focuses on complications of chemo and radiation therapy in laboratory animal models, predominantly effects on heart, blood, and bone. Recently, I am collaborating on some human studies that branch off from the laboratory animal.