Renowned researcher Stephanie Valberg, DVM, PhD, will deliver the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Frank J. Milne State-of-the-Art Lecture in 2012, becoming the first female practitioner selected for the honor. The lecture will be given Dec. 3 during the AAEP's 58th Annual Convention in Anaheim, Calif.

The annual lecture, named for AAEP past president and distinguished life member Frank J. Milne, features state-of-the-art information on subjects and techniques important to the equine veterinary profession. Valberg's lecture, titled "Muscling In on the Cause of Tying Up," will review muscle form and function and equip practitioners with a basis for the management of exertional muscle disorders.

Currently the director of the Leatherdale Equine Center at the University of Minnesota, Valberg also oversees the university's Equine Neuromuscular Diagnostic Laboratory. Through her clinical research, she has identified new equine muscle disorders including polysaccharide storage myopathy, recurrent exertional rhabdomyolysis, glycogen branching enzyme deficiency, and immune mediated myopathies. She is a member of the international equine genome mapping group that developed genome maps for horses and sequenced the equine genome. Her current research focuses on identifying the heritable basis for neuromuscular disorders and developing genetic tests.

Valberg received her veterinary degree from the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, and her doctorate at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden. She became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in 1992 and a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation in 2010.

Valberg has received numerous honors and awards including the Pfizer Research Excellence Award, 2010 and 2001; the Distinguished Women Scholars Award in Science & Engineering, 2008, University of Minnesota; the EquiSci International Award 1998 for the most important scientific advance in equine exercise physiology; and several departmental teaching awards. Valberg was selected to give the Reg Thompson Memorial Lecture at the University of Prince Edward Island in 2009 and the DLT Smith Distinguished Lecture in 2004, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada.

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