That's an easy answer!
- Clare Rusbridge and Penny Knowler select the most promising dogs for the project (based on a number of criteria) and then pay for the scan out of Rupert's Fund, which they manage themselves.
- The scans are then seen by the owner of the dog, and the researchers.
As donors will notice when they make a donation, all donations to Rupert's Fund go directly to them in the first place (the SM DNA Research fund). I get the running total for the fund from Penny Knowler, and when people say their name may be shared, I know who donates, and will keep a list on the website to acknowledge everyone's support.
Scan results and discussions once done are entirely between the owner and the researchers in the UK and Canada. No report is made back to anyone else, and the scans are not made public to the CKCS Club, the Kennel Club, the donors to Rupert's Fund, to me, or to anyone else. The exact same when someone has a scan done anywhere by any UK MRI centre. If owners want to discuss their results, that is their personal choice. In the case of the two scanned sisters' results, the owner gave permission for the results to be shared. She hoped others might be encouraged by her results and their importance to this research.
So who are the researchers? The researchers would comprise:
- Those doing the scan itself (there are a couple of places that are working with this project, so I don't know all the specific neurologists, but that can be confirmed with Clare Rusbridge)
- Clare Rusbridge, who interprets each scan for consistency across the project
- The Canadian genome group, who will use the results for the genome work
- Dr Sarah Blott and/or Tom Lewis, as the scan is shared with the Estimated Breeding Values (EBV) work
And no one else!
For further information, people can speak with Penny Knowler or Clare Rusbridge directly.