Murphy Foundation's Research
on Exceptional Longevity
Featured in AKC's Family Dog

“It’s a blessing to have a dog who wins big in the life span lottery.”  This true statement signals the start of “The Oldest Old”, an article appearing in the Nov/Dec 2015 issue of AKC’s magazine Family Dog.  The story, written by Mara Bovsun, presents a perspective on the special subset of dogs that live as long as 100-year-old people — the ultra-seniors. 

Incredibly, these dogs side-step or delay the disease conditions that affect the lives of average dogs.  And when it comes to studying the science behind this disease delay, the Murphy Foundation continues to lead the way.  In 2003, we published in The Journal of Gerontology the first scientific paper on 21 ultra-senior Rottweilers.  The research showed that the majority of these dogs have profound disease resistance, remaining totally disease-free until after reaching 13 years of age — the age equivalent to the 100-year mark in humans. 

Today, Murphy Foundation scientists maintain their position at the head of the pack when it comes to probing the science behind highly successful aging.  In 2016, The Murphy Foundation intends to publish results on how the oldest-old dogs delay diseases and compress morbidity.  This consequential study represents the culmination of more than 6 years of dedicated scientific study, gathering data from more than 300 of these 100-year-old Rottweilers from across the U.S. and Canada.

Researchers want to find out just how these ultra-seniors do it, counting on these insights to help both pets and people dodge diseases and age more successfully.  Read about this research committed to serving both pets and people in
Mara Bovsun’s article “The Oldest Old”.                       

Pioneering Education
in Personalized Medicine

 Dr. Waters Participates in the First Sex and Gender Medical Education Summit at Mayo Clinic

It’s becoming more and more clear that to advance health, we must personalize our disease prevention strategies and medical treatments.  We must match each patient with the best possible care. 

Experts are now looking to personalized medicine — also known as individualized or precision medicine — to provide a patient-centered framework for ushering in a new way of thinking that will guide tomorrow’s inevitable leaps in medical innovation. 

But in order for this medical-cultural shift to occur, we need to incorporate this new way of thinking into how physicians are trained.  To accomplish this, a group of scientists and medical educators convened at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN in October 2015 for the first Sex and Gender Medical Education Summit.  This timely initiative recognizes the mounting medical evidence that men and women are different when it comes to many important aspects of biology and disease.  For example, from lupus to Grave’s disease, from rheumatoid arthritis to multiple sclerosis, women are more prone than men to develop autoimmune diseases.  Men report better health than women, yet women outlive men.  Adverse drug effects are seen much more frequently in women.

The goal of this first-of-its-kind educational summit is that 5 years from now in every medical school in the U.S., physicians-in-training will be taught about high blood pressure in men and high blood pressure in women, rather than just high blood pressure.  They will be trained in the lung cancers of women and the lung cancers of men, rather than generic lung cancer. 

Dr. Waters was one of 150 participants at the Mayo Clinic Summit, sharing his decade-long experience in researching male-female differences in biology and health.  In 2004, Dr. Waters’ team published work on male-female differences in the ability of the trace mineral selenium to protect against human cancers. 

More recently, the Murphy Foundation’s published research on highly successful aging in pet dogs documented a female longevity advantage that depends on ovary function.  The Murphy Foundation will continue to champion research and education on personalized medicine, including sex-specific differences that impact cancer and aging. 

In 2016, Dr. Waters intends to publish the Murphy Foundation’s new findings providing the first examination of sex differences in disease resistance in the oldest-living Rottweilers.  With these efforts, the Murphy Foundation will be propelling forward the new thinking — advancing patient-centered care for people and pet animals through precision medicine.

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This e-Newsletter highlights examples of the considerable progress that we are making.  This body of work is the product of smart investment in specific areas of research and education that hold the greatest promise. 
While grants and contracts fund some of our work, our needs cannot be met without the individual gifts that you make to support us. 

You make our ideas come to life.  You enable us to advance our mission:
To Discover, To Educate. 

With each tax-deductible dollar that you generously invest in the Murphy Foundation, we move ahead — ever closer to the goal of living the longest and healthiest that we can. 

To each of you, let me say how grateful we are to serve you in this pursuit. 


 Best Wishes,
David J. Waters, DVM, PhD

 The Gerald P. Murphy Cancer Foundation is a 501(c)(3), not-for-profit research organization.

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This is our December 2015 e-Newsletter.  If you missed our previous e-newsletters,
you can read them on our website.
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