The Scott-Ritchey Research Center

The mission of the Scott-Ritchey Research Center is to conduct cutting-edge basic and translational research to improve the health of dogs and cats, and to communicate these findings to the clinical and scientific communities to facilitate their application.

The Scott-Ritchey Research Center is a state-of-the-art, interdepartmental and interdisciplinary research program at the College of Veterinary Medicine. The center currently has the largest single endowment at Auburn University but relies on funding for a majority of its ground-breaking research.

Scott-Ritchey Research Programs

History of the Center

Giving to Scott-Ritchey

this is hope for a breakthrough.

this is auburn research.

Heatherlys Samford Hall

For four decades, Scott-Ritchey researchers have sought a cure for GM1 gangliosidosis, a rare, neurodegenerative disease found in animals and humans.

Dr. Doug Martin and a team of scientists at the Scott-Ritchey Research Center believe they are close to a major advancement in treatment of the disease. His research, an extension of work that began by mentors Dr. Henry Baker and the late Dr. Nancy Cox, uses gene therapy to produce enzymes found missing in GM1 and Tay-Sachs-related diseases.

Martin and his team have successfully extended the life expectancy of cats by more than five times compared to non-treated GM1 cats with the use of gene therapy, a non-harmful viral vector to produce enzymes missing in GM1 and Tay-Sachs-related diseases.

In 2013, scientists met the Heatherly family. Parents Michael and Sara, both Auburn alumni, received the devastating GM1 diagnosis for their son, Porter, at just four months old. His is the only known GM1 diagnosis in Alabama. A national support group led the couple to Scott-Ritchey. Together, Porter’s family and Scott-Ritchey researchers are seeking a cure through the first social media funding campaign.

Auburn, in cooperation with the Auburn University Foundation, is using CrowdRise to raise awareness – and financial support – to model that success in human clinical trials and, through research partners across the United States, successfully apply similar therapies that translate into human medicine.

Give Hope to Lifesaving GM1 Research.

Give now through CrowdRise.VetMed-Porter-WebAd

Donations through CrowdRise will be received by the Auburn University Foundation as tax-deductible contributions, and will be directed to fund GM1 research in the college.

Or, give to GM1 online through the Auburn University Foundation. Gifts given  to support GM1 research will be designated to the Martin Research Gift Account,. Gifts by mail should be made out to Auburn University Foundation and sent to the attention of:

Auburn University Foundation
Attn: Gift Processing

RE:Scott-Ritchey Research for Porter
317 South College Street
Auburn, Alabama 36849


  • Interim Director
    Frank F. "Skip" Bartol
    bartoff@auburn.edu
    Phone:334/844-3700

  • Professor
    Bruce F. Smith
    smithbf@auburn.edu
    Phone:334/844-5587

  • Research Professor
    Tatiana I. Samoylova
    samoiti@auburn.edu
    Phone:334/844-5569

  • Professor
    Douglas T. Martin
    martidr@auburn.edu Phone:334/844-5815

Scott-Ritchey Research Center
College of Veterinary Medicine
Auburn University, AL 36849
Phone: (334) 844-5951
Fax: (334) 844-5850
Email: srrc@vetmed.auburn.edu