PDE Research Information

This page contains a short description about known projects and how to contact the scientists.

Dr. Kimberly Greer 
Prairie View A&M University 

In the late spring of 2012, I was able to meet Dr. Greer in Texas.  It was so wonderful. 
Dr. Greer on the left, me on the right

She graciously talked with me for an hour and a half. We shared our pug stories, and it became so clear how dedicated she is to this breed.  I am so happy that Payton is a part of her research.
After bureaucratic delays and a few cross-country moves, as of spring of 2014, Dr. Greer’s lab is finally up and running – back in Texas where she started!  Her research focuses on discovering the genetic markers, which could lead to ways to accurately diagnose and treat PDE – maybe even finding a cure one day.  She is currently working to verify additional markers of the disease discovered by another team. This is exciting as it should improve the PDE susceptibility test.  Dr. Greer helped develop the test with UC Davis and can be ordered here: http://www.vgl.ucdavis.edu/services/PDE.php.  It was designed to help responsible breeders to select mates that will produce puppies that are at decreased risk, but the test can also be used to predict the chances of your own pug getting sick.  Your vet should be able to help you coordinate testing.
It’s important to realize this test is not a diagnostic tool.  Dr. Greer warned me that there have been a few cases where a pug did get PDE even though the results showed the lowest risk (no copies of the identified markers).  Researchers have yet to identify all of the markers so the test can’t be 100% accurate yet.  In fact it's these "exception to the rule" pugs that would contribute the most to research – possibly holding the key to discovering the missing markers.

Dr. Renee Barber 
University of Georgia 
As late as December of 2014, Dr. Barber was still listed as a neurology resident at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital associated with the University of Georgia.  There are many online references that mention her work investigating PDE, but I am not sure if she is still actively researching.

Cornell University 

Approximately 10 or more years ago, I believe the Pug Dog Club of America (or some other internet article) had referenced research going on at Cornell, but I have not heard of any recent updates.

Join the fight against PDE and please consider donating to PDE research!
If you have a diagnosis or suspect your pug may be suffering from PDE, please think about allowing your pet to become a part of a research effort when the time comes.  Arrangements can be made for veterinary pathologists to examine the brain tissue while still allowing your pet to be cremated and returned to you.  I know for me, it gives meaning to all of Payton’s struggles, and I’m so proud she is still fighting against PDE by furthering Dr. Greer’s research.  So please consider contacting Dr. Greer or another PDE researcher to discuss options.  Note that it is crucial to have their body refrigerated, NOT frozen, if you are waiting for further instructions. 
Monetary donations are always welcomed for PDE research too.  Sometimes the grants and university funding doesn’t cover the medical and logistical costs of helping families who choose to donate samples after their beloved pet passes.

We have to do everything we can to help get to the bottom of this horrible disease!  As always, feel free to send us an email (boostrom1@charter.net) with any questions.

Christy (and angel Payton in spirit)

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