2016: A Year in Review for the Michelson Prize & Grants Program

In October 2008, the Michelson Found Animals Foundation announced the creation of the Michelson Prize & Grants program, whose mission is to rapidly develop the world’s first permanent, nonsurgical spay/neuter method for cats and dogs. As we embark on a new year in our quest to create a noninvasive sterilization product for companion animals, we wanted to take a look back at the important achievements made by our grantees over the past year.

2016 marked the eighth year of the Michelson Prize & Grants program. As of the end of the year, researchers have submitted a total of 358 letters of intent and 133 grant proposals for funding consideration. To date, the MPG program has committed over $15 million to 37 approved projects in 7 different countries.

2016 was yet another big year for the MPG program. For starters, it marked the beginning of a truly innovative Michelson Grant-funded project led by Principal Investigator Dr. David Baker at the University of Washington. Keep an eye out for an upcoming blog that will give an in-depth overview of this exciting new project. 8 multi-year Michelson Grant projects were completed in 2016, 2 of which have resulted in continuation projects that are already underway. We are eager to see how these new projects unfold!

4 scientific papers written by Michelson Grantees were published in the esteemed journals Reproduction in Domestic Animals, Biology of Reproduction, Theriogenology, and Biomaterials, and 6 grantees presented their work at the prestigious International Symposium on Canine and Feline Reproduction in Paris, France in June. We are so grateful to work with such an engaged and active research community that is excited to share these important findings with their peers.

Finally, January 2016 marked the retirement of our beloved Dr. Shirley Johnston, the first Director of Scientific Research at the Found Animals Foundation. In addition to reviewing nearly every letter of intent and grant proposal that had been submitted to the MPG program up until her retirement, Shirley was pivotal in the formation of the Michelson Prize & Grants program’s scientific advisory board, the oversight of 30+ Michelson Grant-funded projects, and the development of the Michelson Prize criteria. Shirley is absolutely thrilled to have entered her retirement so she can spend more time traveling and visiting her children and their families in Oregon and South Korea. We are forever indebted to Shirley for making the Michelson Prize & Grants program what it is today, and we are so happy that she is enjoying this new phase of her life.

We are also indebted to Dr. Gary K. Michelson and his wife Alya Michelson for their generosity in funding the Michelson Prize & Grants program, and we are grateful for your continued support of our mission. We wish you all a happy and healthy 2017!