Susan Pearce-Kelling has been a dog person from her first days of toddling aside her family’s English Setter. The next dog in her life was a young Brittany Spaniel that tragically died from Canine Distemper Virus in the days before the CDV vaccine was available. The memory of that pup’s suffering helped to shape her interest in disease and canine medicine.
In college Sue focused on biology obtaining a Bachelor’s and then a Master of Science degree in veterinary pathology from Cornell University while working on the pathogenesis of CDV at the James Baker Institute. While there, she was fortunate to join the research team led by Drs. Gus Aguirre and Greg Acland, whose work focused on discovery of multiple mutations involved in inherited eye diseases in dogs. Two of these mutations, Collie Eye Anomaly and rcd2- PRA, are of particular interest to Collie breeders.
In 1998, OptiGen LLC, a DNA testing laboratory in Ithaca that focused particularly on inherited eye diseases of dogs, spun off from the Aguirre/Acland discoveries and was one of the first laboratories to specialize in canine genetic testing. Sue left the Cornell research world to serve as OptiGen’s manager and president for its last dozen years. In 2018, OptiGen was acquired by MARS PetCare/Wisdom Health, where Sue has assisted in managing the transition of all testing services from OptiGen to the Wisdom Health platforms. Sue looks forward to continuing to work with the Wisdom Health team and especially her return to assisting in continuing research efforts aimed at inherited canine diseases that the Wisdom Health group wholeheartedly supports.
Sue and her husband have lived for 40 years on an old farm near Ithaca. In the 1980s they showed and bred a few litters of Golden Retrievers years before raising their two sons (who have finally obtained obedience titles).
Seminar on Hip & Elbow Dysplasia, OFA and Pennhip
Collie Health Foundation Seminar on Hip & Elbow Dysplasia, OFA and Pennhip. Presented by Dr. Nancy Kelso at the 2019 Collie National in Peoria.
Presentation on Dermatomyositis and Interpreting Risk Assessments
By Dr. Leigh Anne Clark, Clemson University At Collie Club of America National Specialty March 29, 2018 Special thanks to Dog Show Video Pros for capturing this presention in such high quality!