Kari Ekenstedt

Kari Ekenstedt Profile Picture

Assistant Professor
DVM, University of Minnesota
PhD, University of Minnesota

Contact Info:


Training Group(s):
Computational and Systems Biology
Integrative Neuroscience

Active Mentor - currently hosting PULSe students for laboratory rotations and recruiting PULSe students into the laboratory; serves on preliminary exam committees

Current Research Interests:

My research group uses the latest molecular genetics and genomics tools to study Mendelian and complex genetic traits and diseases in canine populations. Our goals are to improve canine health through the understanding of genetic disease, allowing veterinarians to better predict, diagnose, and treat these syndromes, and to improve human health through the use of the dog as a biomedical model. We are working on over a dozen different naturally-occurring diseases in dogs, from musculoskeletal and neurologic to ophthalmic and even coat color. Specifically, we are currently investigating ectrodactyly, spinal abnormalities, dwarfism, ocular melanosis, progressive retinal atrophy, hypomyelination, "hidden" coat color alleles, and others.

Selected Publications:

Minor KM, Letko A, Becker D, Drogemuller M, Mandigers PJJ, Bellekom SR, Leegwater PAJ, Stassen QEM, Putschbach K, Fischer A, Flegel T, Matiasek K, Ekenstedt KJ, Furrow E, Patterson EE, Platt SR, Kelly PA, Cassidy JP, Shelton GD, Lucot K, Bannasch DL, Martineau H, Muir CF, Priestnall SL, Henke D, Oevermann A, Jagannathan V, Mickelson JR, and Drogemuller C. Canine NAPEPLD-associated models of human myelin disorders. Sci Rep 2018; 8(1):5818. Doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-23938-7.

Smit MM, Ekenstedt KJ, Minor KM, Lim CK, Leegwater PAJ, Furrow E. Prevalence of the AMHR2 mutation in Miniature Schnauzers nd genetic investigation of a Belgian Malinois with persistent Mullerian duct syndrome. Reprod Domest Anim 2018; 53(2):371-376. doi:10.1111/rda.13116

Zierath S, Hughes AM, Fretwell N, Dibley M, and Ekenstedt KJ. Frequency of five disease-causing genetic mutations in a large mixed-breed dog population (2011-2012). PLoS One 2017; 12(11):e0188543 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0188543

Becker D, Minor KM, Letko A, Ekenstedt KJ, Jagannathan V, Leeb T, Shelton GD, Mickelson JR, and Drogemuller C. A GJA9 frameshift variant is associated with polyneuropathy in Leonberger dogs. BMC Genomics 2017; 18(1); doi: 10.1186/s12864-017-4081-z

Ekenstedt KJ, Minor KM, Rendahl AK, and Conzemius MG. DNM1 mutation status, sex, and sterilization status of a cohort of Labrador retrievers with and without cranial cruciate ligament rupture. Canine Genet Epidemiol 2017; 4(2):doi:10.1186/s40575-017-0041-9

Wilke V, Zaldivar-Lopez S, Ekenstedt K, Evans R, and Conzemius M. Genotype Influences Risk of Cranial Cruciate Ligament Disease in the Newfoundland and Labrador retriever Breeds. J Vet Med Res 2015; 2(3):1028.

Ekenstedt KJ, Becker D, Minor KM, Shelton GD, Patterson EE, Bley T, Oevermann A, Bilzer T, Leeb T, Drögemüller C, and Mickelson JR. An ARHGEF10 deletion is highly associated with a juvenile-onset inherited polyneuropathy in Leonberger and Saint Bernard Dogs. PLoS Genet 2014; 10(10):e1004635.

Winkler PA, Ekenstedt KJ, Occelli LM, Frattaroli AV, Bartoe JT, Venta PJ, and Petersen-Jones SM. A Large Animal Model for CNGB1 Autosomal Recessive Retinitis Pigmentosa. PLoS One 2013; 8(8): e72229.

Ekenstedt KJ, and Oberbauer AM. Inherited Epilepsy in Dogs. Topics in Compan An Med 2013; 28(2):51-58.

Ekenstedt KJ, Patterson EE, and Mickelson JR. Canine Epilepsy Genetics. Mamm Genome 2012; 23(1):28-39.

Minor KM, Patterson EE, Keating MK, Gross SD, Ekenstedt KJ, Taylor SM, and Mickelson JR. Presence and impact of the exercise-induced collapse associated DNM1 mutation in Labrador retrievers and other breeds. Vet J 2011; 189(2):214-219.

Ekenstedt KJ, Patterson EE, Minor KM, and Mickelson JR. Candidate genes for idiopathic epilepsy in four dog breeds. BMC Genet 2011; Apr 25; 12:38.

Patterson EE, Minor KM, Tchernatynskaia AV, Taylor SM, Shelton GD, Ekenstedt KJ, and Mickelson JR. A canine DNM1 mutation is highly associated with the syndrome of exercise-induced collapse. Nat Genet 2008; 40(10):1235-9.

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