DVM, Diplomate ACVIM (oncology)
Current position: Emeritus Professor of Oncology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania and Cofounder and Chief Medical Director of Lesley’s Place, a non-profit foundation caring for homeless dogs with mammary tumors.
Dr. Sorenmo has been a veterinary oncologist for more than 3 decades of which she spent the majority at the University of Pennsylvania where she built an active and well-respected oncology section, while providing care to patients presenting for care for various types of cancer and at the same time conducting and overseeing clinical cancer research. In addition to book-chapters and reviews she has authored/co-authored more than 70 scientific publications across a wide spectrum of cancers in both dogs and cats. However, mammary tumors or breast cancer has always been her main research interest, and publications within this area represent a significant part of her most important scientific contribution to the literature. During the last few years at The University of Pennsylvania, she was able to focus on clinical research of canine and feline mammary tumors. Dogs and cats with naturally occurring mammary tumors/breast cancer offer an unparalleled opportunity to study cancer in a natural setting and capture the dynamic molecular and biological changes associated with tumor progression, as well as the complex interactions between tumor and the microenvironment. In order to do this work she established the PennVet Shelter Canine mammary tumor program where homeless dogs or dogs in shelters or rescues were provided free mammary tumor care. This program enabled the establishment of a large tumor tissue bank with corresponding clinical data. This program provides a rich resource for collaborative research on canine mammary tumors within the field of translational breast carcinogenesis and has positioned Dr Sorenmo as a valuable collaborator for other basic scientists. Although she recently retired from PennVet, as an Emeritus Professor of Oncology, this work continues through Lesley’s Place (www.lesleysplace.org). She is part of a collaborative research team spanning from basic scientists with expertise in tumor microenvironment as well as tumor genetics/pathology to oncology.
VMD, diplomate ACVS
Current position: Premier Veterinary Surgical Services and Cofounder of Lesley’s Place, a non-profit foundation providing medical care for homeless dogs with mammary tumors.
Dr. Cofone is a veterinary surgeon having worked primarily in private referral practice for over three decades. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 1985, where he also completed a one-year internship and three-year surgery residency. Dr. Cofone became a diplomat of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1995. He is the former co-owner of Veterinary Specialty Center of Delaware and served on the editorial board of the Today’s Veterinary Practice, the board of the Delaware Veterinary Medical Association and was named Delaware Veterinarian of the Year in 2014. Dr. Cofone is a founding member of the Delaware Valley Academy of Veterinary Medicine and is also on the Medical Advisor Board of Ardent Animal Health. His clinical interests include the care and treatment of mammary tumors in dogs and regenerative medicine therapies in dogs and cats.
Our Collaborative Team
Dr. Olga Troyanskaya
Princeton University & Flatiron Institute
Dr. Olga G. Troyanskaya is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science and the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics at Princeton University and the Deputy Director for Genomics at the Simons Center for Data Analysis at the Simons Foundation in NYC. Her group studies both fundamental biological processes and disease by integrating data science and machine learning with experimental approaches.
Dr. Kiley Graim
University of Florida
Dr. Kiley Graim got involved in this project while working as a research fellow at the Flatiron institute and Princeton University. She has been instrumental in completing our first study involving the molecular analysis of tissues from dogs with mammary tumors collected from the PennVet Shelter Canine Mammary Tumor Program (see publication list). She is currently an assistant professor at The University of Florida department of computer & information science & engineering. Dr. Graim’s research operates at the confluence of life science research and computer science. Her lab develops machine learning models that integrate diverse large-scale genomics data to address key questions in human health and disease. Her overarching goal is to map the mechanisms of human diseases and to enable development of personalized therapies and will continue to collaborate with the team when she starts her new faculty appointment at the University of Florida.
Dr. Susan Volk
University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Susan Volk is an associate professor of small animal surgery and a scientist. Her research area includes understanding mechanisms that governs the interaction between tumors and the surrounding extracellular matrix (tumor microenvironment). This collaboration has resulted in several grants and publications where tissues and data from dogs with mammary tumors were used.
Dr. Amy Durham
University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Amy Durham is an associate professor of anatomic pathology and a faculty director of the Comparative Pathology Core of the school of Veterinary Medicine. She has been the primary pathologist on all of the publications on canine mammary tumors published based on data from the PennVet Shelter Canine Mammary Tumor Program. Mammary tumor pathology is complicated and her insight and experience with the complex diversity within canine mammary tumor pathology has been paramount for these collaborations to be successful.