Sugar Rub! Feline Mammary Cancer Study
When Sugar was diagnosed with feline mammary cancer, I started an organization called Sugar Rub! to raise awareness about mammary cancer in animals and to encourage pet owners to do a Sugar Rub! (breast exam) at least once a month.
We are also committed to funding research on feline mammary cancer because even though this horrible disease is very aggressive in cats, very few studies have been done. We are thrilled and honored to be working with Susan W. Volk, V.M.D., Ph.D., Diplomate ACV of Penn Vet.
Dr. Volk earned her B.A. in Biology, her Veterinary Medical Degree, and a Doctorate in Pathology at the University of Pennsylvania. After completion of the Veterinary Medical Scientist Training Program (VMD-PhD), as well as a small animal surgical residency and obtaining board certification from the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, she established her own laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. A major goal of her research program is to define the role of the extracellular matrix (ECM) in regulating cell activities and fate in regenerative and tumor microenvironments. This research is highly relevant to her goal of improving care of surgical patients with degenerative conditions, injuries or cancer that can not be successfully treated with existing surgical and medical therapies.
Currently a tenured, Associate Professor of Small Animal Surgery, she is a member of the Bioengineering Graduate Group at the School and an active member of local, national and international societies in the fields of regenerative medicine and oncology. Her leadership in the fields of wound repair and tissue regeneration is evidenced by election to the Board of Directors of both the Wound Healing Society and the North American Veterinary Regenerative Medical Association. She also serves as a member of the PennVet Cancer Center steering committee. Dr. Volk maintains an active clinical practice and teaches veterinary, graduate students and residents. With a strong clinical interest in improving tissue repair and regeneration and developing superior prognostic biomarkers and novel therapies in small animal patients with mammary tumors, her work is poised to change the trajectory of clinical care in veterinary medicine (and by extension to human medicine in a One Health approach).