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Dr. Meurs Recipient of Asa Mays Excellence in Canine Health Award

Kathryn Meurs, associate dean of research and graduate studies at North Carolina State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, is the recipient of the Asa Mays Excellence in Canine Health Research Award presented by the American Kennel Club-Canine Health Foundation.

Dr. Meurs, who received the biennial award at the National Parent Club Canine Health Conference, is being honored for “her critical contributions to understanding inherited heart disease in dogs.”

The AKC-Canine Health Foundation established the Asa Mays, DVM, Excellence in Canine Health Research Award to honor researchers who demonstrate meritorious advancements in identifying, characterizing, and treating canine disease and ailments. Dr. Mays was a dog breeder, judge, and founding board member of the AKC Canine Health Foundation, and the award is a tribute to his long-term dedication to canine health.

Dr. MeursAfter receiving her doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Wisconsin, Dr. Meurs earned a PhD in genetics from Texas A&M University and the Texas Heart Institute. She is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine with a subspecialty in cardiology. She joined NC State’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 2011 after several years in clinical service and teaching at The Ohio State University and Washington State University.

Dr. Meurs is a leader in comparative genetics research with a special interest in inherited heart disease, cardiomyopathy, and pharmacogenomics. She is credited with the discovery of four causative mutations for inherited cardiomyopathies in dogs and cats, one of which was subsequently described in human beings with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.  The genetic tests developed by Dr. Meurs are helping to reduce the incidence of heart disease so that dogs can live longer, healthier lives.

“The pioneering effort of researchers like Dr. Meurs is a testament to Asa May’s vision for conquering diseases in all dogs,” said Dr. Shila Nordone, chief scientific officer for the Canine Health Foundation (CHF). “We are privileged to work with Dr. Meurs and we are pleased to recognize her contributions to canine health with this award.”

Dr. Meurs, who is an avid supporter of students and fosters their interest in veterinary and translational research, is the second researcher from the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine to receive the Asa Mays Award. Dr. Matthew Breen, professor of genomics, was honored in 2007.   Other recipients include Dr. Elaine Ostrander, National Institutes of Health (2005); Dr. Mark Oyama, University of Pennsylvania, (2009); and Dr. Jaime Modiano, University of Minnesota, (2011).

Established in 1995, the American Kennel Club-Canine Health Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing, treating, and curing canine disease by funding sound, scientific research and supporting the dissemination of canine health information. Through the support of the American Kennel Club, Nestlé Purina PetCare, Zoetis, dog clubs, and dog owners worldwide, CHF has dedicated more than $39 million to canine health research projects and education programs.