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Department of Veterinary Medicine

Cambridge Veterinary School

Studying at Cambridge


Maja Arendt

Maja Arendt

Senior Clinical Training Scholar - small animal oncology


Maja graduated from the University of Copenhagen in 2005. After a short period in first opinion practice she started a PhD in telomerase targeted gene therapy for treating canine cancer at the University of Glasgow. She completed her PhD in 2008 and went on to do an internship at the University of Glasgow. After her internship she worked at the University of Copenhagen as a senior clinician in internal medicine and dermatology. In 2010 she started a post-doc in comparative genetics.

Subject groups/Research projects

Comparative Pathobiology:

Research Interests

Maja has a special interest in identifying breed specific genetic risk factors predisposing certain dog breeds to cancer. She also has an interest in molecular profiling of specific cancer types.

In addition to this she also has an interested in evolutionary difference between dogs and wolves and genetic risk factors for gestational / dioestral diabetes in female dogs.


  • Genetics
  • Cancer


Key Publications

Genome-wide association study identifies shared risk loci common to two malignancies in golden retrievers. Tonomura N, Elvers I, Thomas R, Megquier K, Turner-Maier J, Howald C, Sarver AL, Swofford R, Frantz AM, Ito D, Mauceli E, Arendt M, Noh HJ, Koltookian M, Biagi T, Fryc S, Williams C, Avery AC, Kim JH, Barber L, Burgess K, Lander ES, Karlsson EK, Azuma C, Modiano JF, Breen M, Lindblad-Toh K. PLoS Genet. 2015 Feb 2;11(2):e1004922.

Amylase activity is associated with AMY2B copy numbers in dog: implications for dog domestication, diet and diabetes. Arendt M, Fall T, Lindblad-Toh K, Axelsson E. Anim Genet. 2014 Oct;45(5):716-22.

The genomic signature of dog domestication reveals adaptation to a starch-rich diet. Axelsson E, Ratnakumar A, Arendt ML, Maqbool K, Webster MT, Perloski M, Liberg O, Arnemo JM, Hedhammar A, Lindblad-Toh K. Nature. 2013 Mar 21;495(7441):360-4.

 A novel two-step transcriptional activation system for gene therapy directed toward epithelial cells. Arendt ML, Nasir L, Morgan IM. Mol Cancer Ther. 2009 Dec;8(12):3244-54.

The human and canine TERT promoters function equivalently in human and canine cells. VCO Volume 8, Issue 4, December 2010, Pages: 310–316, M. L. Arendt, L. Nasir and I. M. Morgan

Oncolytic gene therapy for canine cancers: teaching old dog viruses new tricks. VCO Volume 7, Issue 3, September 2009, Pages: 153–161, M. Arendt, L. Nasir and I. M. Morgan