Three Inductees Named to UK Equine Research Hall of Fame

The Gluck Equine Research Foundation will induct three scientists into the University of Kentucky (UK) Equine Research Hall of Fame Sept. 23 at Keeneland Race Course.

George Allen, PhD, a posthumous inductee formerly of UK's Gluck Equine Research Center; Eugene Lyons, PhD, of UK's Gluck Equine Research Center; and Stephanie Valberg, DVM, PhD, of the University of Minnesota, were selected for their contributions to equine science and research. Nominated by their peers and colleagues, these three individuals were selected by past Hall of Fame inductees.

"On behalf of the Gluck Equine Research Foundation board, I would like to congratulate this year's inductees," said Walter Zent, DVM, chairman of the foundation's board of directors. "We were fortunate to have many excellent nominees who have dedicated their lives to equine research."

A Kentucky native, Allen joined the faculty in the Department of Veterinary Science at UK as an assistant professor in 1978 and was promoted to professor in 1987 until his death in 2008. Among Allen's most important accomplishments were the elucidation of equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) pathogenesis, his findings about the importance of cytotoxic T cells in controlling EHV-1 infection, an equine model for neurologic diseases caused by EHV-1, and the identification of risk factors for the development of this severe clinical outcome.

"George Allen was a truly dedicated, highly creative, and accomplished scientist whose contributions to the field of equine herpes virology were unmatched throughout his highly productive career in equine research," said Peter Timoney, FRCVS, PhD, the Frederick Van Lennep Chair in Equine Veterinary Science at the Gluck Equine Research Center.

Lyons joined the faculty in the Department of Veterinary Science at UK in 1963 and was promoted to professor in 1977. In his more than 45-year career Lyons work continues to provoke interest in the equine parasitism. He was the first to demonstrate the transmission of helminth parasites in a dam's milk to her offspring, which has been extended to a number of host parasite relationships with all the significance to the epidemiology of infections this implies.

"This is a great, and I personally feel, nondeserved honor for myself alone," Lyons said. "It is unfortunate that the other team members, Sharon Tolliver and Sandra Collins, cannot be included as co-awardees."

Valberg, director of the University of Minnesota's Equine Center, established the university's Neuromuscular Diagnostic Laboratory, which receives muscle biopsy submissions from horses around the world. Valberg has been a pioneer in unraveling the mystery of tying up and other muscle disorders in horses. Through her research, previously unknown muscle disorders were discovered, their genetic basis identified, and nutritional strategies developed to minimize muscle pain. Her work in equine myopathies has revolutionized equine practice.

"I am honored to be among such distinguished scientists in the Hall of Fame," said Valberg. "My research has been fueled by a passion for horses, by the wisdom of colleagues such as Dr. Jim Mickelson and the hard work of terrific graduate students."

Equine Research Hall of Fame nominees can be living or deceased, active or retired in the field of equine research. Established in 1990, the Equine Research Hall of Fame honors international scientific community members biennially who have made equine research a key part of their careers, recognizing their work, dedication, and achievements in equine research.

Past inductees include: W. R. Allen, Douglas F. Antczak, John T. Bryans, William W. Dimock, Elvis R. Doll, Jr., Harold Drudge, Phillip R. Edwards, Baltus J. Erasmus, Harold E. Garner, Oliver J. Ginther, Harold Hintz, Sir Frederick Hobday, Leo B. Jeffcott, Robert M. Kenney, I.G. Joe Mayhew, Travis C. McGuire, Jr., C. Wayne McIlwraith, Alan J. Nixon, Peter D. Rossdale, Edward L. Squires, Clyde Stormont, Sir Arnold Theiler, and Peter J. Timoney.

The Maxwell H. Gluck Equine Research Center, on the University of Kentucky campus, is home to the Equine Research Hall of Fame. For more information, visit

Jenny Blandford is the Gluck Equine Research Foundation Coordinator at the Gluck Center.

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