UK Graduate Student Spotlight: Barry Meade

UK Graduate Student Spotlight: Barry Meade

Barry Meade

Photo: University of Kentucky's College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment

Name: Barry Meade
From: Paintsville, Ky.

Degrees and institute where received: Bachelor of Science in biology and chemistry at Eastern Kentucky University,
Master's degree in population genetics
DVM from Louisiana State University

Meade came to the Gluck Equine Research Center because of the department's outstanding reputation and expertise in the field of equine disease research.

"My main intention for enrolling in graduate school at this stage of my career was to upgrade my technical and writing skills," he said.

Meade's research interests include mathematical and statistical modeling of equine infectious disease transmission that occurs in equine populations at racetracks, stables, and other locations where animals reside in close proximity to each other.

For his dissertation topic, Meade compared outbreaks of equine herpes virus 1 (EHV-1) attributed to either a non-neuropathogenic or a neuropathogenic strain of virus involving horses located at Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville, Ky., and horses stabled at Murray State University in Kentucky.

"Both cohorts were affected by natural outbreaks of disease associated with either respiratory or neurological strains of the virus," he said.

Meade said the research objective was to establish whether the outbreaks were similar with regard to their transmission dynamics, environmental influences, or host-specific characteristics. To compare transmission, he developed an advanced statistical model to predict the first appearance of illness for each group of horses. The estimates for the date of illness onset derived from the models allowed for construction of an epidemic curve and, with the use of survival analysis techniques, a comparison of the relationship between time to infection for each group.

Meade is currently the federal Area Veterinarian in Charge (AVIC) for North Carolina and is based in Raleigh.

Shaila Sigsgaard is a contributing writer for the Bluegrass Equine Digest.

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