The Friendly Scientists

Our Mission:

Paw Print Genetics™ is dedicated to achieving optimal canine genetic health by providing outstanding resources for dog owners, breeders, trainers, and veterinarians for pets, show dogs and working dogs.

Our Vision:

To raise the standard in canine genetic diagnostic testing, carrier screening, and customer support, and to educate our clients and the community on the importance of optimal canine genetic health.

Our Lab:

Staffed by expertly trained geneticists, veterinarians, and technicians, the lab at Paw Print Genetics is equipped with the latest technology for the testing and analysis of canine genetic diseases. Once your tests are completed, you will receive a clinical report with results, interpretations and recommendations, in addition to a Canine Genetic Health Certificate. Our staff is also available to provide you with genetic counseling and consultation about our services, your report, or additional information to help with your breeding program or buying a new puppy.

Our Team

Lisa G Shaffer, PhD Founder & CEO

Lisa Shaffer is the Founder and CEO of Genetic Veterinary Sciences, Inc. (DBA Paw Print Genetics). Prior to Paw Print Genetics, she was the co-Founder, President and CEO of Signature Genomic Laboratories. Dr. Shaffer received her BS in Biology from Washington State University, Pullman in 1984 and her PhD in Human Genetics from the Medical College of Virginia, Richmond in 1990. She served at various ranks as a Professor in the Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine from 1991-2002 and as a Professor in the School of Molecular Biosciences, Washington State University, Spokane from 2002-2008. She is currently an adjunct Professor in the School of Molecular Biosciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, WSU, Pullman. Dr. Shaffer has authored over 300 medical publications, almost two dozen book chapters, and four books in various aspects of clinical genetics. She is currently on the Board of the Washington Biotechnology and Biomedical Association (WBBA), the Advisory Council to the Chancellor of Washington State University Spokane, the Advisory Council for the Riverpoint Academy, Mead School District, and on the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS) Development Action Committee. Dr. Shaffer is a board certified geneticist by the American Board of Medical Genetics.

Dr. Shaffer is passionate about her three children, helping other startup companies and 80s rock music. In addition to Trixie the Wiener Dog, she and her husband have Daisy Jane, a mixed breed rescued dog.

Blake Ballif, PhD Laboratory and Scientific Director

Blake Ballif currently serves as the Laboratory and Scientific Director of Paw Print Genetics. From March 2004 until July 2012, Dr. Ballif was the Director of Research and Development at Signature Genomic Laboratories where he had oversight for genomic microarray diagnostic content, designs and performance, among other product development including array analysis software. He received his BS in Molecular Biology from Brigham Young University, Provo, UT in 1995, his MS in Molecular Biology from BYU in 1997, and his PhD in Molecular and Human Genetics from Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX in 2003. Dr. Ballif is passionate about research into the molecular basis of genetic disease and has authored over 80 scientific publications in various aspects of clinical genetics and molecular diagnostics.

Blake loves to travel with his wife, play basketball, and spend time with his six amazing children.

Christina Ramirez, PhD, DVM, DACVP Medical Director

Christina J. Ramirez currently serves as the Medical Director for Paw Print Genetics. Dr. Ramirez has a strong passion for canine genetic health and combines her genetics, veterinary, and pathology backgrounds to further understand and prevent inherited disease in dogs. In 2013 she completed her residency in Veterinary Anatomic Pathology at the University of Missouri, Columbia. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Colorado College followed by a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in conjunction with the University of Washington, Seattle and a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Washington State University, Pullman.

An avid marathon runner, Christina is often running the trails of the inland northwest. She enjoys spending time with her husband and her two dogs and cat.

Casey Carl, DVM Associate Medical Director

Casey Carl is currently the Associate Medical Director at Paw Print Genetics. Prior to Paw Print Genetics, he was a private practitioner in the Portland, OR, area with a significant interest in the human-animal bond. Dr. Carl received his BS in Biology from Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA in 2004 and his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Washington State University, Pullman, WA, in 2008. While in veterinary school, Dr. Carl was heavily involved in the AVMA’s Veterinary Leadership Experience focusing on leadership development, teamwork, and medical ethics.

Casey enjoys spending time with his wife and son, listening to podcasts, playing guitar, and he is an avid video gamer.

Kyle Sundin, MS Senior Manager, Development and Laboratory Operations

Kyle Sundin is the Senior Manager of Development and Laboratory Operations for Paw Print Genetics. From March 2004 until July 2012, Mr. Sundin held various positions at Signature Genomic Laboratories including Senior Analyst, Laboratory Supervisor, Laboratory Manager and Manager of Assay Validation and Implementation. He received his BS in Zoology from Washington State University, Pullman in 1999 and his MS in Genetics and Cell Biology from WSU in 2002. Early in his career, Mr. Sundin performed genomic research on Oncorhynchus mykiss and Oncorhynchus tshawytscha, the common species of rainbow trout and Chinook salmon.

Kyle is an avid football fan! He enjoys a good action flick, reading in the evenings and is a bit of a tech/Apple junkie. His main passion is his family; having three children that keep him busy!

CJ Shoemaker Sr. Administrative Specialist

CJ is the Sr. Administrative Specialist for Paw Print Genetics. Born and raised in Spokane Wash, she grew up at the base of Mt Spokane. In this wide-open, peaceful setting, she and her family bred and raised working border collies. Her family also was one of the pioneering families to help grow the Northwest rodeo scene. Her dogs and her horses have always been a big part of her life. CJ graduated from Eastern Washington University with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration, with a focus on Management Information Systems. She came to Paw Prints after overseeing the day-to-day activities of an all equine veterinary practice with multiple locations and five mobile units. CJ is thrilled to able to combine her love for animals with her degree to help provide outstanding customer service to the Paw Prints clients.

CJ spends her free time with her husband, two sons, her German shepherd dog Riley and her riding her horses.