OC Researcher Named AAEP Past Presidents' Research Fellow

University of Minnesota doctoral candidate Annette McCoy, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, was named the 2011 American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Foundation Past Presidents' Research Fellow for her work to advance equine veterinary research.

McCoy was recognized during the Nov. 20 Frank J. Milne State-of-the-Art Lecture at the AAEP's 2011 Annual Convention in San Antonio, Texas. The $5,000 grant is awarded each year to a doctoral or residency student who has made significant progress in the field of equine health care research.

McCoy's research investigates genetic risk factors for the development of osteochondrosis (OC), a disease manifested as abnormal cartilage development at the end of long bones in horses. This disease is prevalent across many breeds of horses and surgical intervention is generally required to avoid long-term adverse effects in the joint.

Despite efforts over the past two decades to reduce the prevalence of osteochondrosis through management of diet and exercise, the disease continues to have a negative economic impact on the horse industry. McCoy used a model population of Standardbred yearlings in her study to identify chromosomal regions and candidate genes that play a role in determining genetic risk of OC. The long-term goal of the study is to develop a genetic risk model that could be used across breeds to identify at-risk horses early so that clinical intervention can be implemented.

McCoy received a bachelor's degree in animal science in 2002 and a veterinary degree from Michigan State University in 2006. She completed a residency in equine surgery and lameness and earned her master's of clinical science degree from Colorado State University in 2010.

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 Web site at www.aaepfoundation.org.

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