Invited speaker shares her research on congenital canine megaesophagus

HudsonAlpha welcomed Leigh Ann Clark, PhD, as an invited speaker for the Research Seminar series. Dr. Clark is an associate professor in the department of genetics and biochemistry at Clemson University. HudsonAlpha Faculty Investigator Greg Barsh, MD, PhD, hosted the seminar.

In her talk entitled “Identification of genetic risk factors for congenital megaesophagus in dogs”, Dr. Clark discussed her research focused on a devastating canine disease called megaesophagus. Her lab predominantly studies megaesophagus in German Shepherd dogs because the disease affects their breed more than other dog breeds.

Using various DNA sequencing and analysis methods, Dr. Clark’s lab found a significant association between the megaesophagus phenotype in German Shepherd dogs and a region of chromosome 12 in the dog. They continue to study this region to understand its role in the disease. They are also studying megaesophagus in other breeds of dog, with a special interest in Great Danes.

To learn more about Dr. Clark’s research, visit his website here.

More information on HudsonAlpha Research Seminars, including the upcoming schedule, can be found at