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Building a data repository to improve oncologic care of zoological species

PIs: Tara Harrison (NC State), Amy Boddy (UC Santa Barbara), Jason Somarelli (Duke)

Spring 2020 Working Group in Cancer and Evolution

Zoo and aquarium animals and other wildlife get cancer just like humans do, but little is known about causes and effective treatments. Gaining a better understanding of these cancers can improve medical care for these animals, many of whom are endangered species. Learning more about how cancer has evolved across species may shed light into cancer’s fundamental, underlying principles and reveal new treatments for this disease. To provide a tool set for comparative oncology, we are curating a database to evaluate cancer in a multitude of species. Building on this extensive effort, we now aim to 1) expand our effort into other groups, and 2) enhance the sharing of multi-species data with veterinarians and the larger research communities in human health and biology.


Gunady EF, Ware KE, Hoskinson Plumlee S, et al. (2022). Exome sequencing of hepatocellular carcinoma in lemurs identifies potential cancer drivers: A pilot studyEvolution, Medicine, and Public Health 10(1) 221-230.


(2021) Cancer Across Species: Improving Cancer Care for All. Cohosted virtually by NC State College of Veterinary Medicine and Exotic Species Cancer Research Alliance.

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