Seminar speaker discusses direct-to-consumer dog DNA testing

HudsonAlpha welcomed Adam Boyko, PhD, as an invited speaker for the Research Seminar series. Dr. Boyko is an associate professor in biomedical sciences at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. He also serves as founder and chief science officer of Embark Veterinary, a canine genetic testing company. HudsonAlpha Faculty Investigator Greg Barsh, MD, PhD, hosted the seminar.

In his talk entitled “Direct-to-consumer genetic testing of pet dogs drives genetic discovery and opportunities for building a future of healthier, long-lived dogs”, Dr. Boyko discussed his research focused on the genomic investigation of dogs as a model of genetic disease and evolutionary genetics.

Dog owners who submit their pup’s DNA to Embark Veterinary for testing can opt-in to allow their dog’s DNA to be used for research purposes. Using this genetic information, Boyko and his team have identified many interesting genes in dogs. For example, they identified a blue eye gene in Siberian huskies, a roaning gene (splotchy coat pattern), and a gene for early-onset adult deafness in Rhodesian ridgeback dogs.

To learn more about Dr. Boyko’s research, visit his website here. To learn more about Embark Veterinary, visit the website here.