DNA testing for dogs? Scientist will discuss advances in canine genetics


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — People aren’t only interested in testing for their own ancestry these days; they are curious about their pets’ origins as well. Cornell University biomedical scientist Adam Boyko, who co-founded a dog DNA testing company, will talk Oct. 20 about “Canine Genomics: Deciphering the Past, Present and Future of Dogs” at the University of Louisville.

    The free, public talk at noon in Room 139, Shumaker Research Building, is sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences’ biology department as part of the Brown & Williamson lecture series.

    Boyko is an assistant professor of biomedical sciences at Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine. He is chief science officer of Embark Veterinary Inc., which he co-founded with his brother, Ryan, in 2015.

    Embark offers testing to identify more than 175 breeds, including wolf and coyote ancestry, and more than 160 genetic health conditions. This year the biotech startup conducted DNA testing via cheek swabs for the 78 players in the Animal Planet “Puppy Bowl,” televised during Super Bowl Sunday.

    Boyko’s research focuses on questions of dog evolution and history, disease and trait mapping and advanced genomic tools for canine study. He also is working on the evolution and genetics of so-called village dogs, which are the semi-feral canines found in much of the modern world.

    For more information, contact Michael Perlin at 502-852-5944 or michael.perlin@louisville.edu.




    Judy Hughes
    Judy Hughes is a senior communications and marketing coordinator for UofL’s Office of Communications and Marketing and associate editor of UofL Magazine. She previously worked in news as a writer and editor for a daily newspaper and The Associated Press.