$1 Million For Equine Research

The Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation Board of Directors recently approved funding for 11 new projects. An additional project will be funded on the properties of extracorporeal shock wave therapy. The Foundation is inviting researchers to submit proposals (for more on shock wave therapy, see pages 12 and 57).

Most of the new research involves two-year projects, which will be funded along with five second-year projects begun last year. Given the expectation that the new projects will progress on schedule and be funded in their second year, this slate represents a commitment of more than $1 million for equine research.

The Foundation's total during the last two decades now exceeds $9 million for funding of 163 projects at 27 universities. If you are interested in supporting the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation in its efforts, contact ebowen@jockeyclub.com or visit http://home.jockeyclub.com/grayson.html.

Following are the new projects:

Identification of Immunology Proteins Specific to Strangles by John Timoney, MVB, PhD, DSc, MRCVS, University of Kentucky. Timoney's project aims to identify yet-unrecognized components of the strangles bacterium, Streptococcus equi, and can lead to improvement of a new strangles vaccine. (See the Up Front section in the April issue of The Horse for more on strangles, online at www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=978.)

Analysis of Semen in Unexplained Infertility Cases by Steven P. Brinsko, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACT, Texas A&M University. Brinsko sees promise for helping stallions which pass routine fertility exams, then are unable to get mares in foal. He hopes to develop a treatment for these horses and make them reproductively salvageable, based on knowledge of a comparable human condition where an alteration in the ratio of cholesterol to phospholipid in semen is an underlying problem.

Practical Equine DNA Vaccination by Paul Lunn, BVSc, MS, PhD, MRCVS, University of Wisconsin. Lunn's project is designed to exploit recent innovations in DNA vaccination to produce a practical vaccination strategy to protect horses from viral respiratory disease. This project is a continuation of work supported by earlier Grayson funding. It is also thought that success in this field will produce technology that could be adapted for use against emerging diseases such as West Nile virus.

Development of a Refined Equine Model for Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis (EPM) by William Saville, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, The Ohio State University. Studies have shown that transportation stress shortly after EPM infection creates more severe clinical signs than in cases that don't travel. Saville's team will attempt to refine the equine model by determining the amount of the protozoan infection required to produce severe clinical symptoms in relationship to transport. (For more on OSU EPM research, see www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=60.

Is Suspensory Apparatus Injury Related to Condylar Fracture? by Sue Stover, DVM, PhD, University of California-Davis. This project is designed to determine whether suspensory apparatus injury is related to condylar fracture. Demonstration of such could assist horsemen in avoiding condylar fracture with suspensory treatment before further racing. Also, Stover will study the relationship between toe grabs on horseshoes and musculoskeletal injury.

Seeking Solutions to Problems of the Cecum, an Organ Related to Dangerous Colic Cases by David A. Schneider, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, Washington State University. Schneider hopes to improve understanding of how transmission of nerve impulses controls the cecum, determine how that control mechanism differs from control of the small intestine, and better understand how certain drugs might impact normal or dysfunctional cecum activity.

The Role of Volatile Fatty Acids in Equine Gastric Ulcers by Frank Andrews, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, University of Tennessee. Andrews wants to determine the effects of different concentrations of acids on stomach injury, and also to determine if calcium can protect the stomach against gastric ulcers.

Basis for the Treatment of Flexural Deformities by Steven Arnoczky, DVM, Dipl. ACVS, Michigan State University. This project will test the premise that oxytetracycline inhibits contractile mechanisms (that cause deformities in foals' legs) in a dose-dependent relationship. In addition, the project will investigate the ability of other antibiotics to yield positive results without toxic side effects.

Further Evaluation of Shoes and Impact Trauma by David Nunamaker, VMD, Dipl. ACVS, University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center. Nunamaker and his team will continue Grayson-funded work to develop a safer shoe for horses running at high speeds, and will evaluate options of shoe attachment. The study's method of using accelerometers attached to the hooves will provide a data acquisition system that can enhance evaluation of any aspect of the interface between hoof and ground surface.

Is Nitric Oxide Involved in Delayed Uterine Clearance? by Sherri Rigby, DVM, PhD, Texas A&M University. This study will investigate whether nitric oxide is a cause of an abnormal muscle contraction that prevents some subfertile mares from clearing the uterus of contamination after breeding. Rigby will determine which cells of the uterus are capable of producing nitric oxide, a compound that reduces cell function, then compare the amount of this substance in normal versus subfertile mares.

Muscle Glycogen Metabolism in Horses by Kenneth Hinchcliff, BVSc, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, The Ohio State University. This project seeks nutritional explanations for "tying-up" and addresses aspects of athletic performance. The aim is to determine the role of diet in computing how quickly horses can replenish muscle glycogen concentration.

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