Genetic Disease Researcher Receives AAEP Past Presidents' Research Fellow

University of Minnesota doctoral candidate Nichol Schultz, DVM, has received the 2012 AAEP Foundation Past Presidents' Research Fellow for her work to advance equine veterinary research.

Schultz was recognized today during the Frank J. Milne State-of-the-Art Lecture at the AAEP's 58th Annual Convention, currently under way in Anaheim, Calif. 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.

Schultz's thesis project is focused on the epidemiology and genetic basis of equine metabolic syndrome (EMS). One of her research goals is to accurately model the environment of individual subjects when conducting genetic association analysis by gathering quantitative dietary intake data, allowing 1) the determination of dietary components most strongly correlated to the expression of EMS in susceptible individuals, and 2) incorporation of these dietary components into an EMS risk model that includes the effects of genotype, environment and the genotype-by-environment interaction. Once the genetic EMS susceptibility loci are identified, a DNA test for EMS susceptibility can be developed allowing horse owners to determine if their horse is at risk for EMS prior to the development of clinical signs. Management practices, such as dietary changes, could then be put in place to prevent disease development.

Schultz received her veterinary degree from Purdue University in 2003. She is currently working on her PhD in comparative and molecular bioscience. 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 website at


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