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First Dog Biobank in Westies Launches to Aid Human and Canine Health Research Efforts

Westies pitch in to help humans with deadly diseases

Westies may hold key to deadly human and canine diseases

The Westie Foundation of America and Resero Genomics Announce Alliance on Canine Genetics, DNA Banking

This is a significant milestone in our efforts to help move science forward faster for our dogs and humans via our One Health approach.”
— Bebe Pinter, President of the Westie Foundation of America
HOUSTON, TX, USA, November 14, 2022 / -- The Westie Foundation of America (WFA), a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the health and well-being of the West Highland White Terrier, and Resero Genomics, a world-leading genomics service provider, announced today an alliance that will provide the first West Highland White Terrier biobank in the world.

Storage for Westie DNA samples will provide a tool to help better understand diseases that afflict the West Highland White Terrier as well as other canine breeds. It will also provide sources of DNA for research efforts by both veterinary researchers and human medical researchers who are working to solve some of the most devastating diseases that occur in both canines and humans.

“The WFA is honored to partner with Resero Genomics on this monumental step for the health of our Westie breed,” said Bebe Pinter, President of the Westie Foundation of America. “This is a significant milestone in our efforts to help move science forward faster for our dogs and humans via our One Health approach.”

Known as One Health, the translational benefits of studying naturally occurring diseases are becoming better recognized in both veterinary and human sciences. Taking information learned from diseases in domestic animals and comparing them to human diseases has been shown to significantly decrease the time it takes for a given therapy to move from the bench to the bedside of human patients and in dogs. Diseases such as cancer, fibrosis, and atopic dermatitis, that are relatively common in domestic animals, urgently need therapies. These naturally occurring models can often provide a more accurate model of disease than many mouse models that are currently widely used and known to have limitations, often failing to translate into humans.

One Health continues to gain traction as a viable and important part of human research. Recently, U.S. Senator Kristen Gillibrand introduced a groundbreaking One Health bill to prevent, detect, and respond to biological threats. More information on the bill can be found here:

Naturally occurring diseases in canines, in particular, have helped usher in therapeutics for humans, including in bladder and other forms ofcancer. In fibrosis, particularly in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, the most common interstitial lung disease and a deadly disease with no life-saving therapy. Mouse models often show positive results in multiple drug trials only to fail later in human studies, costing years of research efforts, billions of dollars in funding and dealing heartbreaking results to patients, families and medical experts working to help them. Having genetic information on animals who suffer from diseases such as ILD, provides an avenue to help them and humans who suffer.

“Since we first launched our DNA banking services to canine owners, we have had tremendous success,” said Jared Larsen, Genomics Manager at Resero Genomics. “Those who have opted to be part of our research program have allowed Resero to make significant progress in understanding genetic abnormalities within various dog breeds and we are excited to continue this progress.”

DNA Storage
The focus of Resero Genomics, which has successfully stored and maintained both animal and human DNA since 2003, is providing secure, long-term storage of DNA. The Westie Foundation of America Biobank will provide an option for Westie owners to include their animals’ DNA, Westie owners may learn more to request a kit to include their dogs’ DNA in the biobank by visiting:

The WFA worked with Westie owners to collect DNA samples for medical and veterinary research: erinarians . An article by Tufts explains the importance of their One Health study: The WFA has provided DNA samples around the globe and the new biobank program will serve to simplify the process and the speed that research can be completed. With direct grants and support of more than 50 studies worldwide, the WFA has made an impact on the health of Westies. In fact, a major investment of research in a deadly disease called Craniomandibular Osteopathy (CMO) led to a critical test in the condition.

All Westies are welcome to be included in the biobank. To learn how to order a sample collection kit, visit:

About Resero Genomics
Resero is a genomics services company specializing in DNA banking, genomic analysis and genetic data visualization. At Resero, we offer clinical-grade technology for animal testing and analysis giving customers the ability to store DNA samples in multiple safe and secure locations for up to 50 years. Based in Salt Lake City, we have extended human genome technology to DNA analysis for livestock, equine and companion animals. To learn more about Resero, visit:

About the Westie Foundation of America (WFA):
The Westie Foundation of America, Inc., (WFA) is a non-profit corporation, recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) organization. The mission of the Foundation is to provide financial aid and other support for medical research to benefit the health and quality of life of West Highland White Terriers; and to develop and communicate information regarding the health, care, breeding and quality of life of Westies to Westie owners, Westie breeders and veterinarians. To find out more about the WFA Biobank and the WFA’s efforts, visit:

Teresa Barnes
Westie Foundation of America
+1 303-521-4080
email us here