Mandi Lopez, DVM, MS, PhD, Dipl. ACVS, associate professor in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, has received one of 17 research grants from the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation for her project, "Equine Bone Regeneration with Adult Stem Cells." This is the second year in a row that Lopez has received research funds from the foundation.

Adult stem cells have been the subject of significant research in recent years based on their potential to help treat ill or injured horses. Stem cell contributions to bone repair is one area of intense interest given the difficulties associated with treating broken bones in the horse. About 70 million adult stem cells are needed to repair a single cubic centimeter of bone. Only two types of tissues in mammals have been shown to have the potential to provide that many stem cells: adipose (fat) and bone marrow. Lopez's laboratory has found that equine stem cells from both sources have formed bone in cell experiments. Direct comparisons of the bone-forming abilities of fat-derived and bone-marrow-derived stem cells is the subject of the current investigation. The researchers believe that results from this study will significantly advance treatment of broken bones in the horse.

The slate of grants includes nine projects to be launched this year and eight, including Lopez's, that will be in their second year of funding, for a total allocation of $841,023. The foundation is the leading source of private funding for horse specific veterinary research. The 2011 funding brings the Grayson-Jockey Club Foundation funding total to $18.1 million across 279 projects at 40 universities since 1983.

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