Philadelphia, PA] – Genetics play an increasingly important role in the advancement of canine health. The Canine Breeder Excellence Seminar, sponsored by Penn Vet and the Theriogenology Foundation, gives breeders the opportunity to learn from top experts in canine health.

The seminar will take place on Saturday, April 30, 2016, from 8:00am-5:30pm at Penn Vet’s Hill Pavilion, Room 130 (380 South University Avenue, Philadelphia). Advance registration costs $99 and on-site registration is $125. Click here for more information and to register. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Dr. Elaine Ostrander, PhD, will deliver the luncheon keynote, “Advances in Canine Genomics Lead Advances in Canine Genetics.” Ostrander is Chief & NIH Distinguished Investigator of the Cancer Genetics and Comparative Genomics Branch of the National Human Genome Research Institute.

Ostrander’s lab developed the primary genomic mapping resources for the canine genetics field, and applied them to studies of disease and morphology. She and her collaborators were the first to map genes for canine epilepsy and Addison’s disease, as well as kidney, squamous cell, and histiocytic cancers. All are now candidates for comparable human disorders. In recent years, Ostrander’s experiments have revealed how modifications in small numbers of genes produce the enormous differences in canine body shape and size that characterize the spectrum of breeds.

Six prominent scientists also will participate in the seminar, discussing a variety of topics concerning canine health, from breeding programs and reproductive advancements to development and behavior. Speakers include:

Daniel Beiting, PhD, Research Assistant Professor of Pathobiology, Penn Vet
“The Microbiome in Canine Health and Disease”

Margret Casal, DVM, PhD, Associate Professor of Medical Genetics, Penn Vet
“Stud Dog Infertility: Who Dropped the Ball?”

Cindy O’Connor, DVM, Veterinarian, East Bridgewater Veterinary Hospital
“Canine Reproductive Advancements and Considerations for the Future”

Cindy Otto, DVM, PhD, Executive Director, Penn Vet Working Dog Center
“Why a Breeding Program is Important for Working Detection Dogs”

Carlo Siracusa, DVM, PhD, Director, Penn Vet’s Animal Behavior Service
“The World According to Dogs: Insight into Dog Cognition, Perception, and Emotion”

Gayle Watkins, PhD, President, Avidog International and Gaylan’s Golden Retrievers
“Mother Nature Meets Mother Nurture: Perinatal Influences on Dog Development and Behavior”