Nathan Sutter
Assistant Professor
Nathan Sutter




College of Veterinary Medicine
C3179 Veterinary Medical Center
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853


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Department Profile


Nathan Sutter is an Assistant Professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine. He earned a B.S. degree from La Sierra University in Biology in 1994 and a Ph.D. degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Research Center in 2001. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center from 2001-2004 and a Research Fellow at the National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH, from 2004-2007.

Research Description

Why are some dog breeds giant and others tiny? What genes control the differences in this complex trait? Why are domestic animals like dogs and horses so much more size variable than ‘natural’ populations (humans, wolves)? Our interest is to use inbred dog and horse breeds as tools to understand complex genetic problems. We also want to understand how retrotransposons have contributed to the evolution of the dog genome.

Selected Publications

Sutter NB, Mosher DS, Gray MG, Ostrander EA. Morphometrics Within Dog Breeds Are Highly Reproducible and Dispute Rensch’s Rule (2008) Mamm. Genome 19(10-12):713-723.

Gray MM, Granka JM, Bustamante CD, Sutter NB, Boyko AR, Zhu L, Ostrander EA, Wayne RK. Linkage Disequilibrium and Demographic History of Wild and Domestic Canids (2009) Genetics 181(4):1493-1505

Parker HG, VonHoldt BM, Quignon P, Margulies EH, Shao S, Mosher DS, Spady TC, Elkahloun A, Cargill M, Jones PG, Maslen CL, Acland GM, Sutter NB, Kuroki K, Bustamante CD, Wayne RK, Ostrander EA. An Expressed fgf4 Retrogene is Associated With Breed-Defining Chondrodysplasia in Domestic Dogs (2009) Science 325(5943):995-998.

Gray MM, Sutter NB, Ostrander EA, Wayne RK. The IGF1 Small Dog Haplotype is Derived From Middle Eastern Gray Wolves (2010) BMC Biol. 8:118.

Boyko AR, Quignon P, Li L, Schoenebeck JJ, Degenhardt JD, Lohmueller KE, Zhao K, Brisbin A, Parker HG, vonHoldt BM, Cargill M, Auton A, Reynolds A, Elkahloun AG, Castelhano M, Mosher DS, Sutter NB, Johnson GS, Novembre J, Hubisz MJ, Siepel A, Wayne RK, Bustamante CD, Ostrander EA. A Simple Genetic Architecture Underlies Morphological Variation in Dogs (2010) PLoS Biol. 10;8(8).

Brooks SA, Makvandi-Nejad S, Chu E, Allen JJ, Streeter C, Gu E, McCleery B, Murphy BA, Bellone R, Sutter NB. Morphological Variation in the Horse: Defining Complex Traits of Body Size and Shape (2010) Anim. Genet. Dec;41 Suppl 2:159-65.

Powell JA, Allen J, Sutter NB. DOG-SPOT Database for Comprehensive Management of Dog Genetic Research Data (2010) Source Code Biol. Med. Dec 15;5:10.

Balmus G, Zhu M, Mukherjee S, Lyndaker AM, Hume KR, Lee J, Riccio ML, Reeves AP, Sutter NB, Noden DM, Peters RM, Weiss RS. Disease Severity in a Mouse Model of Ataxia Telangiectasia is Modulated by the DNA Damage Checkpoint Gene Hus1. (2012) Hum. Mol. Genet. Doi: 10.1093/hmg/dds173.

Makvandi-Nejad S, Hoffman GE, Allen JJ, Chu E, Gu E, Chandler AM, Loredo AI, Bellone RR, Mezey JG, Brooks SA, Sutter NB. Four Loci Explain 83% of Size Variation in the Horse (2012) PLoS One 7(7):e39929.

Hoopes BC, Rimbault M, Liebers D, Ostrander EA, Sutter NB. The Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 Receptor (IGF1R) Contributes to Reduced Size in Dogs (2012) Mamm. Genome. PMID: 22903739.