Elaine Ostrander (NIH) 1: Canine Genetics: Dog Genes Tell Surprising Tales

Elaine Ostrander (NIH) 1: Canine Genetics: Dog Genes Tell Surprising Tales

Recording date: 22/05/2018
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Elaine Ostrander provides an overview of canine genetics, and explains how scientists are using genetics to decipher the molecular basis of different traits such as height and cancer risk. https://www.ibiology.org/genetics-and-gene-regulation/canine-genetics Talk Overview: Although all domestic dogs belong to the same species, different breeds display unique morphological traits and different disease susceptibility. Dr. Elaine Ostrander provides an overview of canine genetics, and explains how scientists are using genetics to decipher the molecular basis of different traits such as height and cancer risk. In her second lecture, Ostrander explains that canine genetics can be used to understand disease susceptibility and cancer risk. By analyzing the pedigree of dogs, her laboratory identified a series of genes involved in the elevated cancer risk of particular dog breeds. Specifically, her laboratory studied invasive transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder, a disease for which breeds like Scottish Terriers have a high susceptibility.  In human cases of this disease, the cause is unknown in 50% of patients. Ostrander’s laboratory identified genetic mutations that explain the elevated cancer risk in these dogs. This information may improve diagnosis and targeted therapy in dogs and humans. Speaker Biography: Dr. Elaine Ostrander is the Chief and Distinguished Investigator at the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She received her B.S. degree from the University of Washington (1981), and her Ph.D. from the Oregon Health & Science University (1987). Ostrander continued her postdoctoral training at Harvard University. A few years later, she joined the Lawrence Berkeley National Labs at University of California, Berkeley, where she began the canine genome project. In 2004, she joined the NIH and her laboratory studies the domestic dog as a model organism to understand the heritability of traits and disease susceptibility. For her scientific contributions, she was named NIH Distinguished Investigator (2011). Visit her lab website and learn more about Ostrander’s research: https://www.genome.gov/12513335

Elaine Ostrander (National Institutes of Health)


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