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Thursday, March 28, 2019
at 12 PM – 12:50 PM
in the Agnes Varis AUDITORIUM, in the Campus Center (#16 on the Campus Map)

Part of the Animal Matters Seminar Series

presented by Tufts Center for Animals and Public Policy

Jessica Hekman, DVM, PhD
Postdoc, Karlsson Lab, The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

View presentation here:


MAPP students got to talk with Dr. Jessica Hekman after her presentations, along with two from the lab with Dr. Hekman, and MAPP Behavior instructor Seana Dowling-Guyer.

Welcome to the genomics era! Suddenly panels of genetic tests for dogs are relatively affordable for the average pet owner. These tests claim to tell you what your dog’s breed ancestry is (for those of us with mystery mixes) and to give you a heads-up about possible health issues. However, although similar direct-to-consumer testing is carefully regulated for humans, there is no regulation in place for them in veterinary medicine. Additionally, while trained genetic counselors are available to help interpret these results for your human family, no such speciality exists among veterinarians, and general practice veterinarians are not typically trained in this area. How much can we trust the results of these tests? Are some tests or companies more reliable than others? Dr. Hekman is a veterinarian and a genomics researcher who studies canine genetics. She will explain how these tests work, and will build on that explanation to explain the differences between various products, and which products are helpful in which situations.

Members of the public are invited to this seminar on campus or remotely at no charge.

Made possible by the generous support of: Elizabeth A. Lawrence Endowed Fund

About Tufts Center for Animals and Public Policy
The mission of the Tufts Center for Animals and Public Policy is to conduct and encourage the study of complex issues surrounding the changing role and impact of animals in society. The Center supports the development and dissemination of research driven policies, programs and practices that benefit both people and animals.
Work conducted by the Center is based on the tenets that animal well-being matters, that animal and human well-being are linked, and that both are enhanced through improved understanding of human-animal relationships. Click here for more information