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Kennel to Cure

Transforming Cancer Therapy Development

At the University of Guelph, we have a unique capacity to conduct companion animal clinical trials on a variety of cancer types alongside laboratory bench-top research.

The Ontario Veterinary College Health Sciences Centre is the first Canadian institution involved in the NIH Comparative Oncology Trial Consortium. Our extensive experience in companion animal clinical trials allows us to fill an unmet translational gap in cancer therapy design for people. Through this work, we will establish regulatory pipelines to change the landscape of how cancer interventions are evaluated and approved

Our interdisciplinary research team will focus on the following themes to address the unmet need of developing effective and impactful cancer therapies:

  • Interdiscipinary Translational Cancer Therapeutics and Intervention
    • Drs. Jim Petrik, Michelle Oblak, Cathy Bauman, Byram Bridle, Angela Canovas, Hal Hirte, Sebastien Hotte, Ronald Johnson, Rosalyn Jeurgens, Roger Moorehead, Valerie Poirier, Rebecca Shapiro, Paul Woods, Sarah Wootton, Alex zur Linden
    • Existing and future pan-cancer and cancer-specific therapies that can be tested in companion animal cancer clinical trials 
    • Development of canine PDX models – feed back to murine models for therapy refinement and further testing in clinical trials 
    • Improvements in medical devices and staging/surgical/ procedural companion animal cancer treatment that can be applied to human cancer therapy (vice versa)
  • Maximizing Quality of Life in Cancer Patients
    • Drs. Gianinna Descalzi, Jibran Khokhar and Lee Niel
    • Pain mitigation using cannabinoids and other supportive interventions 
    • Impact on human-animal bond 
  • Personalized Medicine and Cross-Species Genomics
    • Drs. Huiyan Li, Anthony Mutsaers, David Pearl, Courtney Schott,  Darren Wood, Geoff Wood, Alicia Viloria-Petit, Wei Zhang
    • Matching therapies with genetic mutations 
    • Identification of unique biomarkers of disease progression and response to therapy 
    • Bi-directional information sharing on genetic similarities/differences, and identification of predictive tools and therapeutic targets
  • Social Impact, Ethics, and Economics of Translational Cancer Therapeutics
    • Drs. Michael Burgess, Kieran O’Doherty, Stuart Peacock
    • Placing translational cancer therapeutics and research in the broader context of social, ethical and economic considerations
    • designing,  implementing, and handling feedback regarding potential policies and funding for emerging cancer therapeutics

Our Key Members

Dr. Jim Petrik (Lead)
Dr. Byram Bridle
Dr. Giannina Descalzi
Dr. Rosalyn Jeurgens
Dr. Huiyan Li
Dr. Lee Niel
Dr. David Pearl
Dr. Rebecca Shapiro
Dr. Geoff Wood
Dr. Wei Zhang
Dr. Michelle Oblak (Lead)
Dr. Michael Burgess
Dr. Hal Hirte
Dr. Ron Johnson
Dr. Roger Moorehead
Dr. Kieran O’Doherty
Dr. Valerie Poirier
Dr. Alicia Viloria-Petit
Dr. Paul Woods
Dr. Alex zur Linden
Dr. Cathy Bauman
Dr. ‪Angela Cánovas
Dr. Sebastien Hotte
Dr. Jibran Khokhar
Dr. Anthony Mutsaers
Dr. Stuart Peacock
Dr. Courtney Schott
Dr. Darren Wood
Dr. Sarah Wootton

Recent Contributions

  • OVC Companion Animal Trial in Mammary Carcinoma lead by Dr. Byram Bridle leads to Phase I and II Human Clinical Trials in 5 Years!

Facilities and Collaborations

The key members of the Kennel to Cure work collaboratively with experts from diverse disciplines and backgrounds to make integrative contributions and create innovative approaches to translational research and clinical trials. Kennel to Cure research activities benefit from access to and involvement with the following facilities:


Site curators:
Dr. Michelle Oblak (
Dr. Jim Petrik (

Ontario Veterinary College
University of Guelph
50 Stone Road E.,
Guelph, ON, Canada, N1G 2W1

To contact individual investigators, please refer to their respective profile pages.