Changing Faces in the University of Kentucky's Equine Programs

The past few years saw many faculty changes at the University of Kentucky's Gluck Equine Research Center and Equine Initiative. Additions to the Gluck Center included a new Department of Veterinary Science chair and director, a new Gluck Equine Research Foundation executive director, and the loss of a longtime faculty member. Three new faces joined the Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center (LDDC). In the Equine Initiative, the past year saw the addition of Jamie MacLeod, VMD, PhD, Director of the UK Equine Initiative and Dickson Professor of Equine Science and Management (more on MacLeod below). Additionally, new equine-specific faculty were hired in Agricultural Economics and Animal and Food Sciences.

Changes in the Gluck Center
In summer 2008, Mats Troedsson, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACT, became the new director of the Gluck Equine Research Center and chair of the Department of Veterinary Science. Troedsson replaced Peter Timoney, FRCVS, PhD, who was chair of the Department of Veterinary Science from 1989 to 1999 and 2002 to 2008. However, Timoney did not leave the Gluck Center and is now a full-time research scientist in the infectious diseases and immunology program.

Troedsson's previous position at the University of Florida from 2002 to 2008 was as professor and service chief for reproduction in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine. Prior to his tenure in Florida, Troedsson was at the University of Minnesota in the Department of Clinical and Population Sciences.

Troedsson, who joined the reproduction program at the Gluck Center, received his veterinary degree in Sweden and his PhD at the University of California, Davis.

A few months after Troedsson began at the Gluck Center, another faculty member joined the reproduction program as a research scientist. Ed Squires, MS, PhD, Hon. Dipl. ACT, who spent 33 years on the faculty at Colorado State University, came on board in November 2008 as the Executive Director of the Gluck Equine Research Foundation and Director of Development and Industry Relations.

A native of West Virginia and a graduate of West Virginia University, Squires was inducted into UK's Equine Research Hall of Fame in 2007. He also is the editor of the Journal of Equine Veterinary Science and has published more than 260 papers, written 30 book chapters, and published 14 textbooks.

In April 2008 longtime faculty member George Allen, PhD, died. Allen had been a professor and faculty member in the Department of Veterinary Science since 1979.

Allen was known to the scientific community as one of the world's foremost authorities on equine herpesvirus infections in equines.

LDDC Faculty Additions
Cynthia Gaskill, DVM, PhD, joined the LDDC as an analytical toxicologist, associate professor, and veterinary clinical diagnostic toxicologist. Gaskill's primary duty is to provide an analytical and diagnostic toxicology service for the animal industry in Kentucky. She is also responsible for the establishment and direction of a toxicology laboratory and development of a top-class program in analytical toxicology at the Diagnostic Center.

Gaskill, who worked on several cattle ranches and horse farms in the western United States during her youth, obtained her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University and her PhD from Atlantic Veterinary College. After obtaining her PhD, she accepted a tenure track faculty position at Atlantic Veterinary College as a clinical toxicologist.

Alan Loynachan, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVP, is an anatomic veterinary diagnostic pathologist and assistant professor at the LDDC. He works with other LDDC faculty to develop a nationally recognized veterinary pathology program that aids in the reduction of morbidity (illness) and mortality (death) in animals.

Prior to coming to Kentucky, Loynachan was an assistant professor and diagnostic pathologist at Iowa State University, Department of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine. He was also a pathology consultant for Sirrah-Bios in Ames, Iowa. Loynachan earned his DVM in veterinary medicine in 2003 and his PhD in veterinary microbiology in 2005 from Iowa State University.

As a veterinary diagnostic pathologist and assistant professor at LDDC, Lynne Cassone, DVM, is responsible for helping to reduce loss from disease in Kentucky’s livestock and other animal industries by providing competent and timely diagnostic pathology at the department’s diagnostic center. Duties also include diagnostic gross pathology and histopathology of biopsy and necropsy specimens, mammalian, avian, and reptilian species (approximately 80% of her caseload is equine) and regular participation in resident training.

Cassone earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1999 at Texas A&M University. Prior to coming to Lexington in September 2008, Cassone was a staff pathologist at Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory.

Other College of Agriculture Staff Changes
MacLeod, Director of UK Equine Initiative and Dickson Professor of Equine Science and Management and the John S. and Elizabeth A. Knight Chair at the Maxwell H. Gluck Equine Research Center, is a Professor of Veterinary Science. He became the Director of the Equine Initiative in a 20% capacity with the other 80% of his time comprised of his distinguished research with the Maxwell H. Gluck Equine Research Center. In his role with the Equine Initiative, MacLeod focuses primarily on advancing the Equine Initiative through productive working groups made up of faculty in subject areas of interest as well as through engaging in active faculty relations throughout the college. He has been involved in the development of the Equine Initiative since its formation in 2005.

Bob Coleman, PhD, Associate Director for Undergraduate Education in Equine Science and Management and Extension Horse Specialist, is already a familiar face to many across Kentucky. Coleman has taken on a different role in the past few years, warranting a reintroduction to many who knew him in his former roles in Horse College and equine youth programs. Coleman now heads UK's new Equine Science and Management undergraduate degree program. He is also continuing his work as an Extension Horse Specialist and maintains his involvement in Horse College programming and equine adult education. In addition, Coleman teaches several courses in the program and serves as faculty advisor for UK's Equestrian Team.

Jill Stowe, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics with a joint appointment with UK's Department of Economics, teaches and conducts research on issues related to the equine industry. Originally from New Mexico, Stowe received a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Texas Tech University and a doctorate in Economics from Texas A&M University. She was employed at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business from 2002 to 2008. She started at UK in July 2008. Stowe is slated to conduct research 60% of the time and teach the other 40%. Her professional areas of interest include economic research of the equine industry, decision making under risk and ambiguity, other-regarding behavior, game theory, neuroeconomics, optimal contracting, and sports economics.

Fernanda Camargo, DVM, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences and equine extension specialist focusing on youth. In 2001 her passion for horses brought her to Lexington, where she completed her doctorate at UK in equine pharmacology and toxicology. She was specifically involved in the development, creation, and validation of several analytical methods for the detection of pharmacological compounds in equine biological fluids.

She is now an equine extension professor at UK with a major emphasis in equine youth extension through the 4-H Horse Program, which touches more than 6,000 youth and is one of the largest 4-H horse programs in the country. She develops and delivers educational materials and activities for the county extension agents for 4-H youth development, horse owners, volunteer leaders, parents, and 4-H youth. In addition, she contributes to the adult equine extension program alongside Coleman.

Mary Rossano, MS, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences, is also conducting research in epidemiology. Rossano currently teaches in the new undergraduate program and is slated to teach 70% of the time and conduct research the other 30%. She currently teaches classes that include Equine Management (both a hands-on version and an online version through distance learning), Horse Behavior and Handling, and Domestic Animal Biology. Her research interests are in equine epidemiology via surveys and observational studies of outcomes of equine management practices and factors associated with health, performance, profitability, and environmental impact.

Kristine Urschel, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences, is also conducting research in nutrition. Urschel hails from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. She received her bachelor's and doctoral degrees at the University of Alberta. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship in equine nutrition at Virginia Tech, where she worked from April 2007 to July 2008. Her research at Virginia Tech was twofold: first, to investigate the factors regulating protein synthesis and metabolism in healthy, adult horses; and second, to develop and validate stable isotope techniques that could be used to study protein metabolism and requirements in horses of all ages. She plans to build on this initial research at UK. Urschel’s research will work toward an improved understanding of how the equine body uses and metabolizes dietary protein as well as the knowledge of how protein and amino acid requirements change with age, ultimately helping horse owners optimize the protein composition of horse diets to support better performance and/or health. --Jenny Blandford, Holly Wiemers


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