New VaTech Equine Center Faculty Member to Focus on Molecular Research

Jennifer G. Barrett, DVM, PhD, has joined Virginia Tech's Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center as an assistant professor of equine surgery. In this tenure track appointment, Barrett will be utilizing the center's newly constructed molecular research lab and directing investigations into tendon and ligament healing and repair.

She will also serve as a practicing surgeon at the hospital and as an instructor for the center's veterinary and graduate students.

"Dr. Barrett is an expert in the area of tissue regeneration--specifically involving tendons, ligaments, and cartilage--and will be conducting research in that area," said Nat White, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, Jean Ellen Shehan Professor and director of the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center. "We are pleased with the experience and enthusiasm that she brings to this new initiative and look forward to the discoveries that we can bring back to the hospital for direct application to these problems."

Prior to joining the equine medical center, Barrett, who earned a doctor of veterinary medicine degree from Cornell University, and a Ph.D. in molecular biology from Yale University, conducted a residency in equine surgery at the University of Illinois' Veterinary Teaching Hospital. She held a postdoctoral research position in the University of Wisconsin's Comparative Orthopaedics Research Laboratory in Madison and completed an internship in equine medicine and surgery at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky.

Barrett was honored in 2006 with both the American Association of Equine Practitioners' Research Fellow Scholarship and the American College of Veterinary Surgeons' Resident Research Presentation Award. Her work has been published in various prestigious scientific publications including the Journal of Orthopaedic Research, the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine and the Journal of Cell Biology, and she has lectured at several universities including the University of Illinois and Yale University.

"I am excited about this position because it gives me an opportunity to perform research and practice in an area where there is a high population of performance horses. It is like bringing the lab right to the patients," said Barrett. "I will be using what is currently known in molecular biology to develop tissue engineering techniques to help treat problems that are important to both horses and people, including tendon injuries and osteoarthritis."

Virginia Tech's Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center is a premier full-service equine hospital located in Leesburg, Va., that offers advanced specialty care, 24-hour emergency treatment, and diagnostic services for all ages and breeds of horses. One of three campuses that comprise the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, the center's team of equine specialists is committed to providing exceptional treatment to patients, superior service to clients, and cutting-edge research to the equine industry.

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