2019: A Year in Review for the Michelson Prize & Grants

At the beginning of each year, we like to reflect on our important accomplishments from the past 12 months and prepare for new challenges and opportunities in the year ahead.

Since the Michelson Prize & Grants program’s establishment in October 2008, we have committed just over $17 million to 38 grant projects worldwide. These projects have ranged in duration from 1 to 5+ years, have been carried out in all corners of the world, including the United States, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Australia, Argentina, and beyond, and have been led by top research scientists in various fields. We are so proud of our grantee community and of their continued progress toward the development of a nonsurgical sterilant for companion animals.

Our grantee teams have continued to publish and present important findings for the research community. In September 2019, Michelson Grant awardee Dr. Tatiana Samoylova at Auburn University published her research findings in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, marking the 25th scientific paper that has been published by a Michelson Grantee. Dr. Cristina Gobello, a Michelson Grantee based at the National University of La Plata in Argentina, presented her research findings at the Society for Theriogenology’s annual conference in Savannah, Georgia in July 2019. Publications and presentations like these are an integral part of the Michelson Prize & Grants program because they allow our grantees to continually advance the current knowledge on canine and feline reproduction. We are so grateful for our grantees’ commitment to this important work.

Looking to the year ahead, we are excited to announce that a brand new Michelson Grant project will commence in February 2020 under the direction of Drs. Lee Smith and John Aitken at the University of Newcastle in New South Wales, Australia. Drs. Smith and Aitken have each directed two Michelson Grant projects of their own, and this will be their first joint project.

We are also thrilled for the opportunity to participate in the International Symposium for Canine & Feline Reproduction (ISCFR), which will take place in Milan, Italy on June 24-27, 2020. ISCFR is a scientific meeting that focuses on important research advancements made in the field of small animal reproduction and contraception. Our two-hour session on the first day of the conference will provide a wonderful opportunity for our grantees, staff, and board members to present important research findings to this community and will also give us the opportunity to learn about potential new approaches to nonsurgical sterilization that could be explored.

We want to thank Dr. Gary Michelson and his wife Alya Michelson for their continued vision for, and financial support of, the Michelson Prize & Grants program. As the primary funder of nonsurgical spay/neuter research for cats and dogs, the MPG program would not be possible without their commitment to animal welfare.

We are wishing you all a wonderful 2020!