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Researcher Named Clinician Scientist by the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation

The following information is from an announcement made by the AKC-Canine Health Foundation.

Dr. Steven Friedenberg Dr. Steven Friedenberg, a doctoral student in the laboratory of Dr. Kate Meurs at North Carolina State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, has been named a Clinician Scientist by the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation.

Friedenberg received the honor in recognition of his research into the genetic causes of autoimmune diseases in dogs.

Autoimmune diseases occur when the body attacks a part of itself – like joints, blood cells, or the pancreas – causing common diseases like rheumatoid arthritis or type I diabetes. Most of the time, veterinarians do not know why this happens, but the causes are likely a mix of both genes and the environment. Because dogs share a common environment with people and have the same types of naturally occurring autoimmune diseases, they offer an excellent opportunity to learn about these debilitating diseases.

The two diseases Friedenberg is currently studying are Addison’s disease and immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA). Addison’s disease is an endocrine disorder where the body attacks its own adrenal glands. The adrenal glands make important hormones that help humans and dogs cope with stress and control electrolyte balance.

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