Nelson Receives AAEP Foundation Past Presidents' Fellow

Colorado State University (CSU) doctoral candidate Brad Nelson, DVM, MS, received the 2013 AAEP Foundation Past Presidents’ Research Fellow for his research into early detection of osteoarthritis, a progressive disease that incurs significant costs and morbidity to the horse industry.

Nelson was recognized Dec. 9 during the Frank J. Milne State-of-the-Art Lecture at the AAEP’s 59th Annual Convention in Nashville, Tenn. The $5,000 grant is awarded annually to a doctoral or residency student who has made significant progress in the field of equine health care research.

Nelson’s research seeks to detect cartilage injury in the early stages of osteoarthritis, which would enable institution of earlier treatments that have better success providing long-term comfort to the horse. His project investigates whether decreased equine articular cartilage glycosaminoglycan (GAG) content can be detectible and correlative with computed tomography attenuation using cationic contrast agents in an impact model of osteoarthritis. The research will compare and develop correlations between articular cartilage GAG content and contrast enhanced CT attenuation in the horse.

Nelson received his DVM from the University of Wisconsin in 2009. He completed his surgical residency at CSU in June 2013 and is currently pursuing his PhD at the CSU Orthopaedic Research Center.

“The Past Presidents’ Research Fellowship has always been about training the next generation of equine researchers,” said AAEP Foundation Chairman Wayne McIlwraith, BVSc, PhD, DSc, FRCVS, Dipl. ACVS, ACVSMR. “Dr. Nelson’s career goals fit this award perfectly.”

The AAEP Foundation established the Past Presidents’ Research Fellow in 2006. The award is made possible through the monetary contributions of AAEP past presidents. For more information about this program and other scholarships offered through the AAEP Foundation, please visit the scholarship section of the AAEP Foundation’s website at

The AAEP Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization created in 1994, serves as the charitable arm of the American Association of Equine Practitioners to improve the welfare of the horse. Since its inception, the foundation has allocated more than $2.8 million to support its mission.

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