Dr Lauren Trepanier, who is heading up National Canine Cancer Foundation research grant on bladder cancer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has discovered a GSTT enzyme that is defective in some dogs. This defective enzyme may not break down cancer-causing chemicals (carcinogens) from the environment in a normal way. Carcinogen exposure can occur from the inhalation, ingestion, or absorption of environmental chemicals into our bodies. Carcinogens act on our DNA, causing dangerous changes at the cellular level. This can lead to cancer, involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to spread to other parts of the body.

Dr. Trepanier’s preliminary data is studying Scottie dogs, since they have the highest risk for bladder cancer. Her team has found that Scottie dogs differ in how commonly this defective GSST enzyme is found, compared to other breeds.  Dr. Trepanier’s ongoing research will see whether different variations of the GSTT enzyme can effectively break down chemical carcinogens, and find out how GSTT enzyme variations affect the risk of bladder cancer in dogs of all breeds.

Dr. Lauren Trepanier

Titles & Education:
Professor, Internal Medicine – University of Wisconsin-Madison
B.S., The College of William and Mary, 1981
D.V.M., Cornell University, 1986
Internship and Residency in Small Animal Internal Medicine, The Animal Medical Center, NY, 1986-1989
Diplomate, ACVIM, 1991
Ph.D., Pharmacology, Cornell University, 1997
Diplomate, ACVCP, 1998