EPISODE 230 | RELEASED October 16, 2023

Genetics in Dogs and People | Elaine A. Ostrander, PhD

“The days of doing a siloed approach to science are long gone. Now that we can sequence genomes, now that we can map genomes, everything needs to be integrated,” says Dr. Elaine Ostrander of the National Institute of Health.


When Elaine Ostrander decided to focus her genetics work on dogs, some of her colleagues thought she’d lost her way. But she’s proven, over and over, that comparing dog genes to human genes unlocks many secrets and leads to solid therapies.

“The days of doing a siloed approach to science are long gone,” Dr. Ostrander declares. And she has every right to.

We join guest host James Jacobson for a mind-expanding conversation with Dr. Ostrander of the National Institute of Health. We learn so much about how genes shape dogs (literally) and how the shapes they take help us understand our own human DNA.

They discuss the role of genes in behavior in dogs, and how new research points toward the possibility that neurodivergent people with things like ADHD and autism might have similar genetic profiles to certain dogs.

Join us for a powerful conversation with a woman who helps scientists understand their field, creates tools for everyone to use, and is a super dog lover … even bringing her not-super-smart Border Collie, Tess, to work so she could “work” with the families of her cancer patients and lab partners.

Links Mentioned in Today’s Show:

Dog Genome Project Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DogGenomeProject/

Morris Animal Foundation: https://www.morrisanimalfoundation.org/

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