Canine cancer research will be boosted annually from contributions to the Flint Animal Cancer Center, part of the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Colorado State University.

Lifelong learners and lovers of science, the late Dr. and Mrs. Laiks created the Ann and Lawrence G. Laiks Canine Cancer Fund in honor of their love for their dogs and their commitment to advancing cancer treatments for all canines.

Dr. Laiks was born in Brooklyn, New York, and developed a love for serving others at a young age. He attended the University of Pennsylvania for both his undergraduate degree and dental school. After college, Dr. Laiks commissioned in the United States Air Force, serving as a dentist and reaching the rank of captain.

It was during his tour of duty in Amarillo, Texas, that he met his beloved wife, Ann. They married and enjoyed 49 years together before she passed away in 2005 from cancer.

When Dr. Laiks retired from dentistry, they moved to Sarasota, Florida, where they cultivated a love for the arts, music, and following local sports teams. He continued to play tennis every day.

After Ann’s death, Dr. Laiks’ life centered around his friends and his two Golden Retrievers – Phoebe and Kingsley. The dogs were the highlight of Dr. Laiks’ life. He took great pride in them, walking them twice a day and playing most afternoons.

In Dr. Laiks’ legacy planning, he created the Dr. Larry and Ann Laiks Charitable Trust. He directed distributions to be split between the Flint Animal Cancer Center at CSU and the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences/Oncology at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Florida. Dr. Laiks established the Ann and Lawrence G. Laiks Canine Cancer Fund at each university to provide annual support for these two programs in perpetuity.

Dr. Laiks desired to use the funds to achieve the greatest advancements in research and treatment for canine cancers. At the FACC, the funds will be used for collaborative research activities related to canine cancers including the scientific understanding of cancers, training programs to sustain future discoveries, and competitive research grants utilizing our strengths in multimodality therapeutics.

Our ‘Foundation to Practice’ approach will allow us to get the right therapy, in the right patient, at an optimal dose. To do this, we will need an understanding of the differences and similarities of various canine cancers as well as how these characteristics affect response to both standard (chemotherapy and radiation) and developing (molecularly targeted and immuno-based) cancer therapies. Identifying which tumors will respond to which therapies upfront will allow for accelerated impact in dogs with cancer.

“We are profoundly honored to be awarded the Ann and Lawrence G. Laiks Canine Cancer Fund. With this legacy of support, the Flint Animal Cancer Research Center can create long-range programmatic initiatives to accelerate diagnostics, treatment, and prevention for canine cancers,” said Dr. Rodney Page, Director of the Flint Animal Cancer Center.

Derek Dictson, vice president for University Advancement at CSU, also praised the Laiks’ generosity and the long-lasting impact their legacy gift will have on the FACC.

“While I didn’t have the opportunity to know Dr. Laiks personally, it is clear that, as evidenced by his gift, he was a true visionary in supporting canine cancer research,” said Dictson. “On behalf of CSU, thank you for the future canine cancer discoveries made possible at the Flint Animal Cancer Center.”

“The Flint Animal Cancer Center has a long history of being a leader in canine cancer research. On behalf of the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, we are honored to further the legacy of Ann and Dr. Larry Laiks with their generous gift. The Ann and Lawrence G. Laiks Canine Cancer Fund will allow the FACC to advance canine cancer research and work toward discoveries for treatment, diagnostics, and prevention,” said Dr. Sue VandeWoude, DVM and the Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University.

We feel privileged to carry on the legacy of Ann and Lawrence G. Laiks at the Flint Animal Cancer Center.