This year, for the first time, the Hoerlein research award is given to a team. Nancy Cox and Henry Baker of the Scott-Ritchey Research Center are co-recipients of the B.F. Hoerlein Memorial Endowed Faculty Research Award for innovative and important research and discovery.
Cox and Baker, along with colleagues at Vaxin, a clinical stage vaccine development company, received a $1 million Michelson Grant award from the Found Animals Foundation to continue development of a vaccine that may provide an alternative to surgical spay and neuter for cats and dogs.
With the Michelson Grant, the team will pursue the $25 million Found Animals Foundation's Michelson Prize in Reproductive Biology which seeks a low-cost, nonsurgical method to sterilize large populations of cats and dogs to reduce the number of homeless and unwanted animals that are killed each year in shelters.
“For a decade scientists at the Scott-Ritchey Research Center and Vaxin have collaborated in the design and testing of dog and cat contraceptive vaccines. The goal is to create a vaccine which will induce long-term sterility and block breeding behavior in both male and female dogs and cats after administration of a single dose,” said Baker, professor emeritus of pathobiology and past director of the Scott-Ritchey Center.