UK's Gluck Equine Research Center Continues to Improve Horse Health

Six of the 10 major vaccines to protect against equine infectious diseases were developed and created at the University of Kentucky's Maxwell H. Gluck Equine Research Center. But that’s not the only major research accomplishment the world-renowned Gluck Center has contributed to the equine and veterinary fields.

The 81,000-square-foot facility on Nicholasville Road in Lexington is the only scientific institute in the United States that has nearly all its faculty conducting full-time equine health and disease research.

"Since its establishment in 1987, the Gluck Center has endeavored to build upon and enhance the historical reputation of the Department of Veterinary Science in the field of equine diseases," said Peter Timoney, the Frederick Van Lennep Chair in Equine Veterinary Science at the Gluck Center, former Gluck Center director, and former chair of the department of veterinary science. "Much has been accomplished in the intervening years, all primarily focused on improving the health and well-being of the horse and the economic betterment of the equine industry."

Researchers at the College of Agriculture’s Gluck Center have:

  • Developed diagnostic serological tests for contagious equine metritis (CEM), Tyzzer’s disease, equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM), equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy, strangles, and equine viral arteritis;
  • Developed enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test for drug detection;
  • Demonstrated the usefulness of artificial lights and progesterone/estradiol treatments for hastening the onset of the breeding season;
  • Determined the genetic basis for and developed tests for inheritance of certain color coat traits;
  • Provided leadership in the sequencing of the complete genome of the horse and structural characterization of horse genes; and
  • Performed the definitive experiments that identified the cause of mare reproductive loss syndrome.

"Landmark discoveries have been made in vaccine research and production, sequencing of the equine genome, parasite control, and reproductive management," said Mats Troedsson, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACT, director of the Gluck Center and chair of the department of veterinary science at UK.

Today the Gluck Center faculty continues to conduct equine research in six targeted areas: genetics and genomics, infectious diseases and immunology, musculoskeletal science, parasitology, pharmacology/toxicology, and reproductive health.

The Gluck Center also is a World Organisation for Animal Health (O.I.E)-designated world reference laboratory for equine rhinopneumonitis, equine influenza, and equine viral arteritis.

"Major emphasis has been placed on making the Gluck Center one of the preeminent equine research institutions in the world based on the quality of its varied research programs and the expertise and international reputation of its faculty," Timoney said. "Over the years, the center has served as a clearing house for information, especially on how best to prevent and control some of the most economically damaging equine diseases."

The mission of the Gluck Center is scientific discovery, education, and dissemination of knowledge for the benefit of the health and well-being of horses. For more information on the Gluck Center, visit the website.

Jenny Blandford is the Gluck Equine Research Foundation assistant at the Gluck Center.

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More information on Gluck Equine Research Center and UK's Equine Initiative.

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