Valberg Named MSU McPhail Dressage Chair

Valberg Named MSU McPhail Dressage Chair

Photo: Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine

Stephanie Valberg, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, ACVSMR, has been named the Mary Anne McPhail Dressage Chair in Equine Sports Medicine at the Michigan State University (MSU) College of Veterinary Medicine.

“Dr. Valberg is an international leader in understanding and managing equine neuromuscular disorders,” said Dan Grooms, DVM, PhD, chairman of the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences. “Her experience in establishing collaborative relationships across the health sciences will play an important role in driving the research, teaching, and clinical missions of the department and the college.”

The overarching goal of Valberg’s research is to define the basis for neuromuscular disorders in horses; develop accurate, minimally invasive diagnostic tests; and devise optimal methods for preventing or managing these diseases.

Valberg’s work in equine muscle disease has transformed equine clinical practice. Her research has led to the discovery of previously unknown muscle disorders, identification of their genetic basis, and development of nutritional strategies to minimize muscle pain. Valberg’s studies have included collaborations with epidemiologists, nutritionists, geneticists, neurologists, endocrinologists, biochemists, and physiologists.

“As a clinician scientist, one of the most important parts of my research is collaboration,” said Valberg. “The breadth of expertise in the health sciences at MSU will be important to my work—I don’t always know who I’m going to collaborate with until we start to get a research problem.”

Valberg comes to MSU from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. As a professor in the Department of Clinical and Population Sciences, she established the Neuromuscular Diagnostic Laboratory and directed the University of Minnesota Equine Center from 2003 to 2013.

The recipient of numerous honors, Valberg most recently was awarded the 2014 Richard Hartley Clinical Award from the British Equine Veterinary Association for her research linking seasonal pasture myopathy to box elder tree seeds. In 2013, she was selected to deliver the annual American Association of Equine Practitioners Milne Lecture and in 2012 Valberg became the first woman to be inducted into the Equine Research Hall of Fame.

Valberg, who holds four patents, has authored or coauthored more than 140 peer-reviewed publications and 28 book chapters and is a frequent speaker at national and international veterinary, nutrition, and genetic conferences. She has mentored more than 60 graduate students, interns, residents, and post-doctoral students and is a recipient of numerous awards for teaching and mentorship.

Valberg received her DVM from the University of Guelph Ontario Veterinary College and her PhD in equine exercise physiology from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. She completed a residency in internal medicine at the University of California, Davis, and is board certified in large animal internal medicine and veterinary sports medicine and rehabilitation.

Valberg is also an active horsewoman and is currently training Cajun, a 7-year-old Warmblood for three-day eventing.

She will begin work at MSU on Nov. 1.

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