This August, PHS faculty member Dr. Natascha Merten, PhD, MS and Assistant Professor Dr. Freya Mowat, BVSc PhD, in the School of Veterinary Medicine and Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences (School of Medicine and Public Health) have initiated a new large collaborative study. Dr. Mowat has successfully secured funding ($2,845,317 including indirect costs) for a 5-year R01 study to investigate companion (pet) dogs as sentinels for human cognitive and sensory aging. As part of this project, Mowat and Merten will recruit the dogs of the Beaver Dam Offspring Study-Neurocognitive Aging Study participants (PI: Merten). This project will characterize companion (pet) dogs as sentinels for multimorbidities of human aging. It will also determine the extent to which home environment sources of neurotoxicant heavy metals affect neurocognitive and sensory outcomes in aging and will outline heavy metal-associated metabolic pathways that could be targeted in future therapeutic trials.