WSU veterinary professor named to National Academy of Inventors


Katrina Mealey developed test for potentially fatal gene mutation in dogs.

Dr. Katrina MealeyWashington State University professor Katrina L. Mealey, DVM, PhD, has been elected a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors-a prestigious group of scientists that includes 27 Nobel laureates.

Mealey discovered a potentially fatal gene mutation in dogs, developed a test for it and has established an individualized veterinary medical treatment program at WSU. She has nine national and international patents licensed on four continents by eight different companies.

“Dr. Mealey's research in veterinary pharmacogenetics has generated discoveries that truly are ‘bench to bedside' and are used globally to prevent adverse drug reactions in dogs and cats,” says WSU veterinary college Dean Bryan Slinker, DVM, PhD, in a release from the university. “Becoming a fellow in the NAI is quite uncommon for veterinarians, and we could not be more proud of this honor for Katrina and her team.”

The academy cited Mealey for demonstrating “a highly prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.”

“While I am honored to be a fellow in the National Academy of Inventors, it is equally rewarding because this validates the impact of pharmacogenetics and precision medicine in the veterinary profession,” Mealey says.

She discovered the MDR1 gene mutation and is the inventor of a subsequent genetic test for the mutation. Knowing a dog has the mutation can prevent it from being given potentially fatally toxic medications. Mealey also launched the Program in Individualized Medicine (PrIMe) at WSU, a coordinated research effort that optimizes drug therapy for individual veterinary patients.

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