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Funding received for 10 new equine research projects

News
Article

Morris Animal Foundation gave 10 grants to find more ways of advancing equine health

hedgehog94 / stock.adobe.com

hedgehog94 / stock.adobe.com

Morris Animal Foundation (MAF) announced its selection of 10 new grants dedicated to enhancing equine health, and specifically, the well-being of domesticated horses, ponies, donkeys, and mules. “We are excited to fund these research proposals that will advance equid health," said Kathy Tietje, PhD, MBA, chief program officer at MAF, in the release. "Through these grants, we aim to elevate the quality of life, ensuring a brighter, healthier future for horses, ponies, donkeys and mules."1

According to an article from EquiManagement, it is estimated that the number of horses in the United States has decreased by 23% in the last 10 years.2 However, data from the American Horse Council’s 2017 equine impact study,3 reveals that 1.3% of the US population owns horses, 29.2% of American household members participate in equine-related activities but do not own a horse, and 13.2% spectate at horse events but do not own or participate. This demonstrates that almost a third of US households own horses or participate in some way in the equine world, which is positive news for the equine industry.2,3

MAF’s call for more equine-focused research can help improve equine veterinary practice as a whole. The 10 recipients are:1

  • Claire Ricci-Bonot, University of LincoIn, United Kingdom; "An Exploration of the Nature of Separation-Related Problems in the Horse." Researchers will use survey tools to learn more about separation anxiety in horses, including its different forms and situational triggers.
  • Angela Gaesser, University of Pennsylvania; "What Role Does Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Pathway Play in the Pathogenesis and Treatment of Equine Osteoarthritis." Researchers will study if a signaling pathway contributes to the progression of osteoarthritis and if a novel treatment targeting this pathway can help affected horses.
  • Edward J. Knowles, Royal Veterinary College, United Kingdom; "Insights into the Pathogenesis of Equine Metabolic Syndrome: Plasma Amino Acid and Acylcarnitine Profiles in Ponies with Insulin Dysregulation." Researchers will learn more about insulin resistance and laminitis in horses and develop cost-effective tools to monitor these patients better.
  • Serena Ceriotti, Auburn University; "Effect of Omeprazole Treatment on the Pharmacokinetics of Orally Administered Flunixin Meglumine in Adult Horses: A Pilot Study." Researchers will study the anti-ulcer drug omeprazole, often prescribed with the NSAID flunixin meglumine and its impact on the latter drug's ability to reduce pain in horses effectively.
  • Izabela de Assis Rocha, University of Kentucky; "Investigation of the Immunopathogenesis of Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis." Researchers will study why a small percentage of horses infected with the causative parasite Sarcocystis neurona are afflicted with a severe neurological disease called equine protozoal myeloencephalitis while other infected horses are unaffected.
  • Sriveny Dangoudoubiyam, Purdue University; "Determining the Role of Dense Granule Protein, SnGRA9, in Sarcocystis neurona Infection." Researchers will study how a protein helps the parasite Sarcocystis neurona grow and reproduce in infected horses.
  • Breanna Sheahan, North Carolina State University; "Identifying CFTR Inhibition as a Treatment for Equine Diarrhea Using an In Vitro Patient-Derived Organoid Platform." Researchers will use an organoid platform, a 3D cell culture, to study a potential new treatment for severe diarrhea in horses.
  • Kristen Conn, University of Saskatchewan, Canada; "Understanding the Chromatin Regulation of Lytic Equine Herpesvirus 1 (EHV1) Gene Expression." Researchers will work to understand better how EHV1 causes disease and use this information to inform the development of improved treatments.
  • Carrie J. Finno, University of California, Davis; "Unraveling the Genetic Etiology of Equine Neuroaxonal Dystrophy in Quarter Horses and Warmbloods." Researchers will search for causative genes associated with a common neurological disease in horses called equine neuroaxonal dystrophy/degenerative myeloencephalopathy or eNAD/EDM.
  • Thilo Pfau, University of Calgary, Canada; "A Team-Based Approach to Monitoring Gait Symmetry: Hoof Care Providers, Horse Owners and Veterinarians Working Toward Prevention of Lameness." Researchers will partner with hoof care providers, veterinarians and owners to evaluate the feasibility of using video technology to monitor horse gait changes.

References

  1. Morris Animal Foundation funds 10 equine-focused projects. News release. Morris Animal Foundation. January 18, 2024. Accessed January 30, 2024. https://www.morrisanimalfoundation.org/article/foundation-announces-grant-recipients-equine-health-studies
  2. Grice AL. The reality of equine practice in 2023. EquiManagament. April 25, 2023. Accessed January 30, 2024. https://equimanagement.com/business-development/financial/the-reality-of-equine-practice-in-2023/
  3. Economic impact of the United States horse industry. American Horse Council. 2017. Accessed January 30, 2024. https://horsecouncil.org/resources/2017-economic-impact-study-facts/
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