The goals of our work are to improve understanding of cardiac diseases in veterinary species, particularly infectious disease. The diagnosis of myocarditis or sudden death in veterinary species is frustratingly incomplete due to a lack of available or feasible tools to identify the cause. As the standard of care of veterinary medicine improves, the diagnosis of cardiac infectious disease in companion animals is an area that substantially lags behind human medicine. Our lab is motivated to identify the largely unknown causes of veterinary cardiac infectious disease and thus establish the critical foundation for the development of confirmatory tests and therapeutics. Collaborating with experts in molecular detection/discovery of pathogens and genomics, we use a combination of retrospective/ prospective observational studies directed by pathology and integrating molecular testing of tissue to investigate veterinary heart disease. Our research into the etiopathogenesis of veterinary heart disease focuses on three broad categories of projects:
Defining the causes /factors and improving the diagnosis of feline heart disease. We are investigating the causes of feline endomyocarditis (EMC) and left ventricular endomyocardial fibrosis (LVEF). Ongoing related research seeks to define the molecular factors and intercurrent disease that affect Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM).
Determining the largely unknown causes of myocarditis in dogs. We pioneered the most comprehensive screen for causes of canine myocarditis to date; while the causes largely remain undetermined for our extensive cohort, we integrated agent pathophysiology to establish a rationale for age-specific testing and built a foundation for future research.
Investigating causes of sudden death in veterinary species. We are investigating structural and genetic causes of sudden death in racehorses which contributes to efforts to improve racehorse health, ensure jockey safety, and protect the viability of the racing industry.