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Study of companion animals and elderly receives ISAZ Waltham grant

The 2014 ISAZ Waltham Collaborative Research Award recipients – Branson (left) and Boss (right) – pictured at the start of their PhD studies in Aug. 2010. (Photo by D.R. Bates)

The 2014 ISAZ Waltham Collaborative Research Award recipients – Branson (left) and Boss (right) – pictured at the start of their PhD studies in Aug. 2010. (Photo by D.R. Bates)

HOUSTON – (July 24, 2014) – The International Society of Anthrozoology (ISAZ) recently announced at their annual meeting in Vienna that Sandra M. Branson, Ph.D., R.N., and Lisa Boss, Ph.D., R.N. – both assistant professors at the UTHealth School of Nursing – are the recipients of this year’s $45,000 collaborative research grant. Their award-winning study is titled, “Biobehavioral profiles of attachment to cats in community-dwelling elderly.”

ISAZ and Waltham, a science institute in England focused on the nutritional and behavioral needs of pets and their benefits to humans, partnered to create a collaborative grant program to stimulate new research in the area of human-animal interactions. 

“We are very proud of Drs. Sandra Branson and Lisa Boss for preparing this proposal,” said Associate Dean for Research at the School of Nursing Nancy Bergstrom, Ph.D., R.N. “ISAZ/Waltham has been increasingly interested in biobehavioral markers of the benefits of companion animals, and it should also be noted that this study of elderly persons and their cats is a first of its kind, extending sparse work to date on benefits of cats.”

Both Branson and Boss are graduates of UTHealth’s Accelerated PhD Scholars program and also are recipients of a Dean’s research award.

“Drs. Mara Baun and Duck-Hee Kang worked with Branson and Boss throughout their Ph.D. studies, with Dr. Baun having a long-term membership with ISAZ,” added Bergstrom.

ISAZ was formed in 1991 as a supportive organization for the scientific and scholarly study of human-animal interactions. It is a nonprofit, nonpolitical organization with a worldwide, multi-disciplinary membership of students, scholars and interested professionals.

– David R. Bates, Communications Director

Edgar Veliz
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