The Georgie Project

Genetic Health and Longevity Program - “Georgie Project Phase II”

The Georgie Project Phase II ended August 31, 2016.

Dr. Gordon Lark and his associates are finalizing the analysis of the data and plan to send the report to the National Institutes of Health, the PWDCA and project participants by the end of 2016.

When the report is available it will be published here, as well as published in The Courier.

Here is the letter written by Dr.Lark to PWD owners who participated in the Georgie Project:

“Dear Georgie Project participant, Two decades ago our beloved dog, Georgie passed away. The search for another Portuguese Water Dog puppy brought me together with Karen Miller, the breeder of Mopsa who replaced Georgie. Karen’s interest in dog genetics was infectious and the Georgie Project was born. It has been a joyful adventure, funded by NIH and made possible by your collaborative commitment allowing us to get DNA for genetic analysis and tissues as well as health information that together form one of the most extensive data bases available for the studying the genetics of canine health.

On August 31 our support from NIH ended and we formally terminated the participation of more dogs in the Lark lab autopsy project. During the next months we will analyze the data and prepare a report for NIH and for you. In the meantime, we are transferring the genetic as well as phenotypic (disease) data base to Dr. Elaine Ostrander who intends to take over the project as of January 2017. We are also transferring all of the DNA as well as tissue samples to her. Dr. Ostrander is arguably the foremost scientist currently studying the genetics of canine health. The Georgie Project will be in good hands.

You may expect a final report mailed to you, as well as published in the Courier by the end of November, beginning of December. Dr. Ostrander will be working with the board to make plans for the future that will be shared with you.

To my knowledge, our collaboration has been without precedent. You have shared your dog’s life as well as death with us. You have done this solely in the hope of improving the health of the breed and despite your grief at a time when the loss of your beloved companion seemed unbearable. Through this project we have gotten to know a large number of fine, unselfish people.

We will miss you.

Gordon Lark”

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