The Lyons’ Den is Moving into the Tiger’s Lair

Dr. Leslie Lyons, a world-renowned researcher in cat genetics, has accepted a position at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. Lyons will be the Gilbreath-McLorn Professor for Comparative Medicine.

Lyons is a professor of genetics at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Population Health and Reproduction. Her research laboratory, the Lyons’ Den, is part of the university’s Center of Companion Animal Health. The Lyons’ Feline Genetics Laboratory research focuses on the genetics of the domestic cat, the development of genetic tools and resources that assist gene mapping in the cat and other companion animals, the discovery of mutations that cause inherited diseases and phenotypic traits, and population dynamics of breed development and domestic cat evolution.

“Everything you need to know about genetics, you can learn from your cat,” Lyons said. “Most species have all the same genes, but when they get turned on and off, and for how long, is what makes us different. We (people) have genes for whiskers and tails, but they aren’t turned on, likewise cats have genes like humans that cause blindness, heart disease, and kidney disease,” she explained.

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