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The Berner-Garde Foundation (BGF) is poised to have greater impacts into the future of the health of our breed. Our DNA Repository has gained the attention of and been used by canine health researchers both in this country and throughout the world. The combination of DNA samples, pedigrees and health histories of those dogs is a huge benefit to researchers studying genetic diseases.  As of this writing ten peer reviewed research papers using Repository samples have been published confirming that the database and repository continue to add to the bank of knowledge of genetics in the Bernese Mountain Dogs.


There are currently two research projects that launched in 2023 that are the direct result of the Repository. The first is the 2nd phase of a clinical trial for the drug Trametinib that is very effective in the treatment of Histiocytic Sarcoma. This research is led by Dr. Vilma Yuzbasiyan-Gurkan. It is funded by the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America through the Morris Animal Foundation. It is being managed in three university veterinary clinics around the country. Michigan State, University of Florida and University of Wisconsin. We hope to add Purdue University in the fall of 2024.


Dr. Vilma has begun the project for a liquid biopsy for Histiocytic Sarcoma – an early detection tool for dogs that may be harboring HS without any actual symptoms.

 We know that once symptoms occur it typically means the disease has spread so much it cannot be treated. Phase I launched December 2023.


Last but not least, we have entered into an agreement with the French Researchers led by Dr. Benoit Hedan to transfer several hundred DNA samples for their continuing work on HS and now Lymphoma and Mast Cell cancers. The administrative work between Michigan State and University of Renne is complete and samples are being prepared for shipment this summer.

Money raised this year will be used to transfer at least 250 Repository Samples to the French Researchers, Drs. Benoit Hedan and Catherine Andre at University of Renne. We expect the cost to be in excess of $25,000. The laboratory work to prepare the samples which are frozen, and shipping are the major contributors to the cost.


We are grateful and blessed that the fancy has supported us over the past 28 years with their information, DNA samples from their beloved dogs, their time, financial contributions, and their support of our shared mission, which is to improve the health and longevity of Bernese Mountain Dogs. There is no way to thank the countless volunteers who have helped to make BGF a reality in its day to day operations. We are excited by what we have accomplished together and thrilled to look ahead to the future—and what the next 29 years will bring!

For the love of a Berner, 

The Board of Berner-Garde Foundation