The Morris Animal Foundation, dedicated to improving animal health, has approved funding for 17 new equine research and training grants totaling $1 million.

The grants will fund investigators at 15 institutions across the United States, along with one in Switzerland and one in New Zealand; support 16 university-based studies; and contain three fellowship training grants for new researchers.

The scope of the studies funded covers a diverse set of equine health challenges including infectious diseases, musculoskeletal disorders, respiratory illnesses, and more. The Morris Animal Foundation’s Equine Scientific Advisory Board reviewed all grant applications and selected, based on scientific merit and impact, the studies that had the greatest potential to advance equine veterinary care and wellness.

Among the studies funded are:

  • How equine muscle cells regulate calcium movement, and the role calcium plays in equine muscle disease—Stephanie J. Valberg, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, ACVSMR, University of Minnesota/Michigan State University
  • How to improve diagnosis and treatment of equine insect bite sensitivity, one of the most common allergic skin diseases in horses—Eliane Marti, DrMedVet, PhD University of Bern
  • Biomechanical forces in different horse gaits as well as genetic risk factors associated with the development of osteochondrosis in Standardbred horses, a breed with a high prevalence of OC lesions—Annette M. McCoy, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVS, University of Illinois
  • How the bacterium Burkholderia mallei that causes glanders, an infectious disease in horses, regulates immune response to persist in infected animals—Sophie A. Aschenbroich, DVM, Dipl. ABVP, University of Georgia
  • A new treatment strategy against antibiotic-resistant foal pneumonia—Steeve Giguère, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, University of Georgia

“With the approval of our new set of equine studies, we will continue to improve the health of horses, the treatment tools available for equine veterinarians, and, for horse owners, the hope of having long, healthy lives for their equine companions,” said Barb Wolfe, DVM, PhD, chief scientific officer at Morris Animal Foundation. “Each of these studies has the potential to improve the lives of horses in significant ways, and we are incredibly proud to support these enterprising researchers in their endeavors.”

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