A planning committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will organize and host a 1.5-day public workshop that will examine the potential role of companion animals as sentinels of relevant, shared environmental exposures that may affect human aging and cancer. The workshop will explore the opportunities and challenges for using this novel translational approach to exposure science as a way to accelerate the knowledge turn in this evolving field. The workshop will feature invited presentations and panel discussions on topics that may include:
- Potential data sources needed to assess whether companion animals may serve as sentinels for human environmental exposures
- The state of the science for biomarkers of exposure and use of biosensors for application to companion animal populations of interest.
- Best practices for collection, storage, and analysis of biosamples to assess exposures (eg., biorepository resources, DNA susceptibility, DNA methylation, microbiome, etc).
- Strategies for standardizing, sharing, and aggregating health records and relevant metadata across species.
- Current policies and regulations related to monitoring and mitigating environmental exposures and the role for prospective interventions based on companion animal data.
The planning committee will develop the agenda for the workshop sessions, select and invite speakers and discussants, and moderate the discussions. A proceedings of the presentations and discussions at the workshop will be prepared by a designated rapporteur in accordance with institutional guidelines.