TNCC Schedule of Events

Wednesday 8 am to 5 pm TICA Board of Directors Meeting
Thursday 8 am to 5 pm TICA Board of Directors Meeting
  8 am to 10 am Dr. V. Moran, Birth Control Options for Breeders
  10 am to Noon Dr. Leslie Lyons, Genetic Variants causing Diseases and Traits in Cat Breeds, Pt 1
  1 am to 3 pm Dr. Leslie Lyons, Genetic Variants causing Diseases and Traits in Cat Breeds, Pt 2
  3 pm to 5 pm ViagGen President Blake Russell,
Genetic Preservation ~ DNA Banking ~ Clones
  7 pm to 9 pm Meet & Greet Party
Friday 8 am to noon TICA Board of Directors Meeting
  3 pm to 10 pm International Cat Show
Sat/Sun 9 am to 6 pm International Cat Show


Leslie A. Lyons, MS, PhD
University of Missouri - Columbia
Gilbreath-McLorn Endowed Professor of Comparative Medicine
Professor Emerita - University of California - Davis

Dr. Lyons received her graduate degrees from The University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public Health, Department of Human Genetics. In 1992, Dr. Lyons joined the National Cancer Institute, Laboratory of Genomic Diversity for her post-doctoral career focusing on developing genetic resources for comparative gene mapping across mammalian species, with emphasis in the domestic cat. During her tenure at the NCI, she worked closely with theriogenologists to produce a feline interspecies backcross between domestic cats and Asian Leopard cats for use as a gene mapping resource, initiating the Feline Genome Project. In addition, Dr. Lyons began curating DNA samples of cats with various heritable traits, including a large family from Purina that was used in the first feasible cat heritable trait studies. In the fall of 1999, Dr. Lyons joined the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Population Health and Reproduction. The laboratory’s major focus is the genetics of the domestic cat, including disease, inherited traits, and population diversity. Dr. Lyons’ research laboratory has had success with the identification of the gene causing Persian cat polycystic kidney disease, Burmese hypokalemia, the Burmese craniofacial defect, several coat traits in the cat and the mutation causing cat blood group B. Each of these mutations can now be used as a genetic test in cats. The Lyons’ laboratory has been used to confirm the cloned domestic cats and African wildcats and also the first green fluorescent protein (GFP) cats. Studies have included the analysis of the origin of cat breeds and the sites of cat domestication, which resulted in a documentary with National Geographic as an episode of Explorer entitled “The Science of Cats”. Dr. Lyons has a cooperative and collegial research program that fosters new feline-based research by supporting sample distribution and building genetic resources for the community and is highly interactive with the veterinary community. In July, 2014, Dr. Lyons joined the University of Missouri (MU), College of Veterinary medicine as their Gilbreath-McLorn Endowed Professor of Comparative Medicine. At MU, Dr. Lyons has ;launched the 99 Lives Cat Genome Sequencing Inititative that is a public effort to enhance genomic resources for the cat and to perform whole genome sequencing on over 100 cats.

ViagGen President Blake Russell

Blake is responsible for ViaGen’s efforts to profitably deliver genomics and cloning services to the livestock, pet and equine sector worldwide. Blake also operates an equine breeding program of his own built around his cloned stallion Pure Tailor Fit – Tailor Fit was a 2-time AQHA Racing World Champion. Blake joined ViaGen, Inc. in January of 2006. Prior to joining ViaGen, Blake served on the management team of PIC, the world’s largest suppliers of genetics to the swine industry, for more than 15 years. Blake’s 20 year career in the swine genetics business included responsibilities in sales, business development, marketing, operations, and general management. Blake has worked in more than 15 countries and carried P&L responsibilities for businesses throughout the America’s and Asia. Blake received his B.S. in Animal Science from Oklahoma State University and his MBA from Emory University.


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