Dogs are always ready to give their lives for us
Watching them age and become frail feels like a terrible injustice. Losing them is a tremendous pain, leaving scars on our souls. The aim of the Vaika project is to give our dogs a chance to stay with us longer.
We're searching for the antiaging treatment for dogs
We are a group of scientists and veterinarians in New York State. Our fascination with dogs led us to team up and begin research in an attempt to prolong their lives. Our program is called Vaika, in honor of the first dog that took part in our research.
We provide a happy retirement for sled dogs at a specialized facility where we utilize the most sophisticated medical approaches to aging prevention and treatment.
What we are doing
We have recruited 100 retired sled dogs that could no longer race from kennels across the United States, and placed them in a spacious home designed specifically for Vaika with a large playground where dogs can freely run.
We thoroughly analyze multiple parameters of the natural aging process in our dogs, like what is done with elderly humans. We never impose any stress on our dogs: periodic vaccination and blood tests as the only invasive procedures used. In order to make conclusions about their physical and cognitive health, we use play-based tests including problem-solving games and treadmill exercise.
Important! Our dogs are not used as experimental animals
for human drug development
They are treated with the standards of safety as healthy but old humans.
All treatments have been clinically tested on people and are absolutely safe.
Our dogs live under state-of-the-art veterinary care provided by faculty from the School of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University.
We aim to slow down their aging
In addition to giving our dogs happy retirement and detailed observation, we also aim to slow down their aging and reduce the risk of cancer using antiviral therapy and immunostimulatory treatments. We only choose those drugs and procedures that cause no distress and could be safely applied to humans.
Is it science fiction or reality?
Reality! Our approaches are based on a recent discovery that connects aging and the activity of latent viruses residing in our DNA. Activation of such viruses in the elderly, along with weakening immune functions, causes progressive frailty and increases the risk of cancer and other aging-related diseases. This discovery opens an opportunity to slow down aging through antiviral treatments and immunotherapy.
Why we need your help
The first phase of our research program has been ongoing for four years, funded by your philanthropic giving. During this time, we have collected rich scientific data on the aging process and continued our experimental antiaging treatments on our population of retired sled dogs.
We need your help to support the completion of our study over the next five years. We expect that these studies will lead to new therapies to prolong the healthy life of our dogs, which will then be applicable to extending the lives of dogs everywhere.
Our team leaders
Ph.D., Professor of Oncology, Garman Family Chair of Department of Cell Stress Biology at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
DVM, Director of Flint Animal Cancer Center, Steven Withrow Presidential Chair in Oncology, Colorado State University
DVM, Ph.D., Professor, Sections of Clinical Nutrition and Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
Ph.D., Associate Professor at Cornell University, Investigator of the sled dog study
The scientific leaders of our team are high-profile researchers in antiaging, anticancer, and veterinary medicine:
Your donations make our work possible
Our multidisciplinary approach to studying canine aging and cancer is possible thanks to a partnership with leading researchers from Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center; the Colleges of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell and North Carolina State Universities; and the Tauber Center for Bioinformatics at University of Haifa. Your donation will support and expand the crucial infrastructure and research activities in the program of Aging and Cancer Studies in Dogs.