Scientist proves he is dog’s best friend

Professor David Argyle
Professor David Argyle
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A scientist hailed as a leading light in the field of canine oncology has been recognised for his role in transforming dog health.

Professor David Argyle, Head of the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at Edinburgh University, won the International Canine Heath award for his work in identifying stem cells in cancer.

By isolating and studying the cancer stem cells in dogs, Professor Argyle has transformed our understanding of how the cancer stem cells drive cancer progression, opening up the possibility of new treatments. It is hoped that the insights into the dog population will also benefit people.

Speaking about the award, Prof Argyle said: “Cancer is a disease that has a devastating impact on both the dog and human populations and I am honoured that my work has enabled me to develop a greater understanding of how the disease develops and spreads.

“I am very proud that this work has been recognised and delighted that the money from the award will enable me to fund a postgraduate student to study the protein we have identified as causing the spread of cancer, enabling us to take this vital research to the next level.

“This will have huge implications not only for dogs, but potentially for humans as well, meaning that dogs really are a man’s best friend.”

Prof Argyle graduated from the University of Glasgow veterinary school before working in general veterinary practice.

He returned to Glasgow to complete a PhD in the department of Veterinary Pathology and then worked as a lecturer and senior lecturer in clinical oncology in the Department of Clinical Studies.

In 2002, he became Associate Professor of clinical oncology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the United States. In 2005 he returned to the UK to take the William Dick Chair of clinical studies at the University of Edinburgh.

He in a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, a European Specialist in Veterinary Oncology, a Diplomat of the European College of Internal Medicine in Oncology and is co-scientific editor of the Journal of Veterinary and Comparative Oncology. Within the Royal Dick School he is Professor of Veterinary Clinical Studies and head of the Cancer and Imaging Centre.

Professor Argyle was awarded a £20,000 prize. The awards are run by the Kennel Club Charitable Trust.