RALEIGH, NC (August 5, 2021) - The AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF), a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the health of all dogs and their owners, announces that Dr. Cynthia Otto is the recipient of the 2021 Asa Mays, DVM Excellence in Canine Health Research Award.
Named for Dr. Asa Mays, a member of CHF’s first Board of Directors in 1995, the award is a biennial honor presented to a research investigator who demonstrates meritorious achievements in furthering the mission of identifying, characterizing, and treating canine disease and ailments. Stephanie A. Montgomery, DVM, PhD, DACVP, Chair of CHF’s Scientific Review Committee, will present the award during the 2021 AKC Canine Health Foundation National Parent Club Canine Health Conference on Saturday, August 14. The conference, sponsored by Purina, will follow a virtual format this year and features distinguished researchers presenting the latest medical and scientific advancements in canine health.
The cornerstone of Dr. Otto’s AKC Canine Health Foundation funded research has been the 9/11 Medical Surveillance Study, now in its 20th year. Since 2001, Dr. Otto has received almost $600,000 in funding to study the physical and behavioral consequences of search and rescue dog deployment to the 9/11 disaster sites. To date, the work has produced 11 peer-reviewed publications describing the short and long-term effects of deployment on toxicology, behavior, mortality, the dog-handler relationship, and more. Findings will help us protect not only the health and safety of search and rescue dogs, but provide valuable translational information benefitting the health of human handlers and first responders.
“Dr. Otto’s groundbreaking research and dedication to advancing the health of working dogs and their handlers exemplifies the AKC Canine Health Foundation’s mission and vision,” says Dr. Montgomery. “This One Health approach can accelerate medical discoveries that impact both species. We are honored to present Dr. Otto with this award and look forward to our continued collaboration to benefit the health of all dogs and their owners.”
Data analysis from the 9/11 Medical Surveillance Study is ongoing with funding through CHF Grant 02322: Analysis of the Health, Behavioral, and Longevity Data Collected in the 9/11 Medical Surveillance Longitudinal Study. This work is part of CHF’s $11.4M active research portfolio encompassing all aspects of canine health. View CHF’s Research Grants Portfolio at akcchf.org/portfolio.
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Since 1995, the AKC Canine Health Foundation has leveraged the power of science to address the health needs of all dogs. With more than $62 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 GuideStar Platinum Seal of Transparency. Learn more at www.akcchf.org.