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Leslie A Lyons

Leslie A Lyons


University of Missouri, College of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Veterinary Medicine & Surgery, USA


Dr Leslie Lyons was trained in human genetics and her postdoctoral fellowship focused on developing genetic resources for comparative gene mapping across mammalian species. 

Her research is currently primarily focused on heritable diseases and traits and the population dynamics of the domestic cat. Specific diseases remain of high priority, including polycystic kidney disease (PKD), skin abnormalities, structural defects, and heritable blindness. An expectation of the research is to develop drug and gene therapies and translational efforts, for one or more of these abnormalities to better develop the cat as an animal model for human disease. 

Her early studies involved assisted reproduction to produce F1 and backcross cats between domestics and Asian leopard cats (Prionailurus bengalensis) and she continues to work with theriogenologists to preserve the biomedical model through gamete cryopreservation. 

Dr Lyons has also supported the community by providing DNA studies for the first cloned domestic cat, wildcat, and Sand Cat, and the GFP transgenic cat. Her laboratory has identified over 30 mutations in over 20 genes including many diseases, several coat colors, several fur types, and cat AB / B blood type. She recently launched the 99 Lives Cat Genome Sequencing Initiative – an effort to have deep coverage sequencing of cats with inherited diseases and as a SNP resource for the community. 

Dr Lyons has 3 patents and over 140 peer-reviewed publications, including several in forensic journals. One recent work demonstrated Precision Medicine in domestic cats. Her work on cat population genetics was developed into a National Geographic Explorer episode “The Science of Cats” and she has worked with the BBC on several cat television productions.

Published Papers